Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Book Tour: Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway for The Baller by Vi Keeland

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Meet Brody Easton in THE BALLER!
A standalone Contemporary Romance novel by
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Vi Keeland

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The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.   
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.   
And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.  
No.  The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question.  On camera.   
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.  
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.   
I’d date an athlete.   
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.   
You know the type.  Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.
Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right?
Let’s face it.  It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…  
And this one is ours.

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Excerpt from  
A new song had just started, and I was enjoying his company when a voice behind me said, “Can I cut in?”
My head whipped around, even though I had no doubt whom the gravelly voice belonged to.
Michael was gracious. “I hate to share. But I suppose I have been hogging the most beautiful woman at the event.” He let go of my hand and stepped back with a gentlemanly nod. “Thank you for the dance, Delilah.”
Again Brody Easton had caught me off guard. Before I knew it, I was dancing with the arrogant jerk.  He wrapped his arms around me and pulled my body tight against his. Way tighter than Michael had held me.
“Good to see you again, Lois Lane.”
The man had balls; I had to give him that. I looked him straight in the eyes. “Nice to see you with clothes on, Easton.”
“Do you prefer me without?”
“I prefer you on the other side of the room.”
He chuckled. It was a hearty laugh. “That’s what happens sometimes when you decide you want to hang out in the men’s locker room.”
I tried to pull back, but he tightened his grip and held me in place. I craned my neck. “Let go of me.”
“That’s right. No.”
“I can scream at the top of my lungs.”
“I’d like to hear you scream.” His tone made it clear he meant he wanted me underneath him while I was doing the screaming.
“You’re an asshole. You know that?”
“I do. You asked me that yesterday. For a reporter, you should really try changing up your questions more frequently.”
My eyes bulged.
Easton shifted his hand down to the small of my back before twirling us around the dance floor. Figures the prick can dance.
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“You can’t be serious?”
He ignored my comment. “Would you like to have dinner tonight?”
“We just ate.”
“Dessert at my place, then?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Did you hit your head at the game yesterday?”
“On a diet, huh?”
“Yeah. That’s it. I don’t want to go to your place for dessert because I’m on a diet.”
“Well, that’s just a shame.” 



★★★★★ stars

I rarely fall in love with covers. I can honestly say I fell in love with this one. It doesn't take more than a glance to see why, but as beautiful as the cover is, it's really the story that took my breath away. Vi Keeland used her gift of spinning words to weave a web of enchantment from the first word to the last. This book has it all, incredible heat between the characters, but also a depth of emotion and the human condition I wasn't expecting. 

Brody and Delilah set fire to the page. Initially their pull to one another is tinges with humor, rife with romantic tension, and even slightly contentious, as they try to out do each other and dominate in the locker room. Their sparring is so fun to read. I may have blushed a time or two.  That later changes to a deeper yet still intense connection between them. 

Delilah loves the football and loves her job. She's been hurt in the past by players and is trying to keep her heart safe by staying away from guys like Brody. Of course the fact that Brody's body makes her drool doesn't help her resolve to abstain from dating and men. Neither does the fact he's beginning to invade her thoughts and dreams. I loved how Delilah was able to handle herself not only with Brody, but in her profession. She was knowledgeable and capable of handling the challenges thrown at her. I loved how she knew so much about football and wasn't afraid to show it. I also loved her attitude and the way she handled the challenges that came with being around and with Brody. She showed a maturity and understanding, I don't know if I'd ever be capable of showing.

Loving Brody and Delilah is so easy. Brody was such a surprise. Yes, I was expecting a man whore who was tamed by nothing more than realizing how amazing Delilah is, but Brody was so much more than the jerk who dropped his towel or the incredibly talented football player. Brody was cocky, but he was so darn sweet. He has so many amazing qualities and traits; I like how they weren't hidden from us, even if they may have been hidden from others. He truly was a great guy, and it was never more obvious than when he was narrating and I was in his head. I loved how Brody was there for those he cared for without fail.

The one thing I've come to learn about Vi Keeland and her books is to expect the unexpected. If you're expecting a sports romance, you're going to get a sports romance, but one with lots of heart and emotion. Kudos to her for including so much about the sport, and for making her characters complex and easy to love. Don't get me wrong, labeling this just as a sports romance feels wrong because it's also so much more. I was so confident I knew what had happened or even what was going to happen, but as it turned out I was wrong. There were moments when my chest was tight and I wasn't sure if I was more worried for Delilah, Brody, or others. I'm sorry if I'm being vague, but in all honesty, you've got to read the book to understand why. Reading this book was certainly an experience I enjoyed!

I am very hopeful Vi Keeland will write more books in this setting. It's not just that I want more Brody and Delilah, but I would absolutely love to see Indie, Delilah's best friend, with the dirty mouth and dirty mind fall in love. I never failed to laugh or smile when she was in a scene, because she totally stole the spotlight. If you're looking for a story with laughter, love, passion, and emotion, look no further than The Baller. I promise you it'll enchant you as it did me. 

*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

About the Author:

vi keeland bio.pngVi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

Additional Books by Vi Keeland

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1zk882K

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter Series, Book One)
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1alpVES
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/1is0zNX

Worth The Chance (MMA Fighter Series, Book Two)

Worth Forgiving (MMA Fighter Series, Book Three)

The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You (Cole Series, Book One)
Made for You (Cole Series, Book Two)

Standalone novels
Cocky Bastard (Written with Penelope Ward)

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

First Thing I See
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1JWFo21


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