Book Review + Excerpt: HOOPS HOLIDAY by Kennedy Ryan

HOOPS Holiday, a Christmas bundle featuring all-new, never-before-published content by Kennedy Ryan, is available now!


MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer.
They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck's first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they've climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn't changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . .
except them.
But that was then.
The only question is...what about now?


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** Hoops Holiday consists of FULL-COURT PRESS, a HOOPS novella originally published in the TEAM PLAYER Anthology. It has been expanded with all-new, never before published content & epilogue.
It also includes Christmas-themed bonus material for LONG SHOT (Iris & August) and BLOCK SHOT (Banner & Jared).
*All HOOPS Stories are standalone, and can be enjoyed individually or in order.

Soft and fresh like petals. I'm a jock. Not a dumb one, but a jock nonetheless. I don't describe a woman's lips as soft and fresh or compare a kiss to flowers. Besides the few years I was married to Tara, if it opened its legs and said yes or please, I fucked it. I always rushed it. A man's got needs, but I got in and I got out. This woman, this kiss, I have to savor. I'd be a fool not to. It's a first kiss. I understand the difference now between the first time you kiss someone, and a first kiss. This is a discovery of tongues and lips and heat. An introduction of our souls, if that doesn't sound too pussy-ish. It's how I feel, though. Like as our lips brush back and forth, as our tongues tangle, as I taste her, mouthful by delicious mouthful, I'm learning her secrets. I'm telling her mine. My hand slides from the door to flatten into the warmth of her back through the silk blouse, bringing her incrementally closer. The air shifts and takes the shape of lust; assumes the form of want. The sound of her moaning, the slight lift and fall of her breasts against my chest, testifies that she feels it, too. The elevator dings, and our bodies go still even as we keep exchanging breaths and heartbeats through our clothes; even though my mouth is still poised above hers. I have her against the door, and every curve of her body is impressing itself on me, making sure I'll never forget how right we fit together. I look over my shoulder toward the elevator. The doors open, but no one gets off. That interruption was enough to bring her back to her senses, though. God knows I can't find mine. "Um . . . you should go," she whispers, a muscle rippling along the smooth line of her jaw. I bend to breathe over her mouth, so she can taste our kisses lingering on my lips. "Or you could invite me in." Her scent and the warmth of her body take my senses hostage. I smell her and want to kiss her again so badly it stings my taste buds. Her eyes already regret the last few moments I thought were so perfect. I can't calm my emotions or my body that quickly. "You don't want to come in, Deck." "I assure you I do." A short laugh, deceptively light, breezes past her lips. She glances down to the floor and shakes her head. "I'd make the worst one-night stand ever," she says. "One-night stand?" I take her chin in hand and lift, forcing her to look at me. "I've waited a long time for this path to be clear. No conflict of interest. No other people standing in our way. I don't know exactly what I want, Avery, but it's damn sure more than one night."

It's no secret that Kennedy Ryan is one of my all time favorite authors. Her ability to tell a story and move you to feel for the characters is outstanding. Every time I go into one of her books I go in excited and with lots of wine. Ryan pulls you into her stories and you will never want to leave. When I first heard about this holiday short, I squealed...probably did a little dancing. 

"I would handle this woman. I would pick her up when I kiss her." 

Hoops Holiday follows the story of Avery and MacKenzie. And these two are a rocket of feels. When Avery was first starting out as a reporter she gets an awesome chance to interview the great MacKenzie Decker but he does little to answer her questions or actually help her career. He does the opposite and hits on her, asks her on a date, causing her fellow co-workers to not take her very seriously. After all she is a woman in a "man's world." 

"We hide in the open. We cover our scars so we can move on." 

But now it's been years since that incident and she's become established in her job and is happy. She's seen Decker over the years at sports events but now he's about to be side by side with her co-hosting a show, and she is anything but happy about it. Knowing there is nothing she can do about it Avery has to get along with Decker and work with him. Which isn't easy. Because he's gorgeous and makes her feel things she hasn't felt in years. 

Decker wants a date with her, he wants a chance with her. He's thought about her for years and nobody has ever quite made him feel like she does. He knows he has his work cut out for him winning her over but nothing ever worth having comes easy. And Decker isn't about to take the easy road out. 

"That's the thing with a full-court press. You have to know when to apply it, and when to let up, or it's useless." 

Hoops Holiday is the perfect mix of everything you could want in a sports romance and the perfect mix of holiday. So grab that spiked eggnog and get to reading. 

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ANY Signed HOOPS Novel signed paperback!

Want more from Kennedy? Love audiobooks?
Listen to her audio-first story SWIPE for FREE on the Read Me Romance podcast!

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Swipe is available NOW exclusively on Read Me Romance!
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On May 2nd, an EXPANDED e-book version of SWIPE will be released!
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Coming March 2019!
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A Top 30 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes about women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine and Frolic, Kennedy's writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta Autism families, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism. KR W Bckg Verti

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