Sunday, August 2, 2015

Blitz : Race for Love

Race for Love by Nana Malone

(The Donovans #3)
Publication date:
July 27th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Goodreads: Click
Purchase: Amazon | B&N


Up and coming racecar driver, Kisima Jennings, is all alone in the world and that’s just how she likes it. After all, she has her career, who needs family? But when a near-fatal crash jeopardizes her future, she’s forced to lean on someone for the first time in her life.

As an athletic trainer, Derek Donovan is driven and has always kept his eyes on the prize, never letting personal entanglements come between him and his dream of becoming a head trainer for the New Orleans Jaguars. That is, until one misstep costs him everything. Now he’s starting over, but with a client as tempting as Kisima, is he destined to repeat the mistakes of his past? Or will letting someone close bring him everything he’s ever wanted?


She stopped her chair when she saw the man in the living room. From this vantage point, she had an excellent view of a spectacular jeans-clad ass. It was so good the jeans should be thanking him for making them look so good. Butterflies fluttered low in her belly and she silently admonished herself. What was she doing ogling this guy? She was here to work. Never mind that it had been so long she barely remembered what sex was like.
She dragged her focus back to the tall stranger taking up space in TJ's living room.
Dark, inky hair dusted his collar, lightly curling at the collar. His shoulders, holy hell, they were broad. Clearly, he worked out, but not so much that he looked like some muscle bound meathead. He still had a neck. Judging his height, he was probably around six feet two, maybe taller. He was just a little shorter than TJ. His back equally fascinated her as he studied the trophy wall and her stats. But she mostly focused on how his jeans hung low on his hips, showcasing his tight ass.
A deep voice startled her out of her reverie. "You should take a picture, it'll last longer. Or you like seeing it all in the flesh?" His voice was low and sexy, but held a note of teasing.
A flush of heat crept up her neck, making her face flame. The last thing she needed. When he turned slowly, Kiss involuntarily held her breath, almost like her body knew to brace itself for something magic.
Oh, wow. With a jaw carved out of stone, his beautiful cheekbones were more geared for a runway model than a physical therapist. And his thick, sooty lashes rivaled her own. Jesus Christ, She was supposed to work with this guy? How was she supposed to work with him day in and day out for the next few months? She had twelve weeks until the Abu Dhabi race.
No way no how. Physical therapy required touching. Lots of...touching. She'd had her fill of too handsome too cocky assholes. Antonio had been one. She knew the type "I won't be needing a picture thanks, I've had enough."
The corner of his lips tipped into a wry smile and those piercing baby blues of his made it nearly impossible to think. Nearly.
He studied her in her chair for a moment. "So you're KM Jennings. I'm not sure why, but before I got here, I expected a guy."
She shrugged. "Kisima, actually. And it was done by design. When I first started, it was to slip me past organizers without too much discrimination. Added bonus was I looked like a boy for ages."
His gaze slid over her and her skin prickled with heat in response. "Somehow I doubt that. I can see you doing it to keep the announcers from butchering your name.” His voice was softer and flowed over her like melted chocolate.
That too. It means spring in Swahili. Mom was Tanzanian.” Stop talking, Kiss. Why had she offered that? He wasn't here to date her. He was here to train her.
His gaze narrowed for a moment, then he angled his head toward the trophy wall. "That you in Sports Illustrated?"
Like an idiot, she blushed...again. What the hell was wrong with her? This guy was her supposed new trainer not some cute boy who wanted to buy her a drink at the club. "Yeah. The story on women in racing."
He nodded. "So the racing bikini is totally called for."
She'd regretted that spread from the moment she'd agreed to do it. It certainly didn't help her gain respect. Magazines liked to feature her as their token minority and woman. There were other women. And other black racers. But a black woman, she was a chupacabra.
Kiss shifted in the chair trying to take some pressure off her hip. "So they call you the miracle worker. Is it true? I mean, why do you patch up broken athletes? You going to have me all patched up and ready to drive in three months?" Her lower back throbbed and all she wanted to do was lie down and stretch properly.
His eyes widened as he watched her shift in the chair and he crossed his arms. "I don't know about that. I don't really believe in miracles." His frown deepened. "But I guess I like to help people. And athletes are a special breed. Able to do what so few can do."
"My own personal superhero. I suppose you'll have me call you Clark Kent."
"If you need to see me as a superhero, feel free. But there won’t be any magic involved. Just plain old hard work. One question though, do you want to tell me what you're still doing in the chair?" His glare was derisive as if she'd done something wrong.
She tilted her chin up. "Some trainer you are. I assume you've seen my file, so you know I can't really walk right now. This is my ride."


"Can you come in here for a sec?"
Fuck yes. But his rational brain stopped him from doing the stupid thing. "Are you sure about that?"
She hesitated a second. "Yes. Please, I need your help."
With an exhale, he knew how this was going to go down. If he touched a wet, slippery Kiss, he was going to want to touch more. Kiss, lick, fuck. But he opened the door anyway.
Steam filled the expansive bathroom. But through it he could see it was a larger version of the guest bath down the hall. The floor was a white marble and white and gray glass tile lined the shower. His gaze raked over her hungrily. From her delicate feet and strong calves to the lean strong thighs. But then her mauve towel stopped the progression of his exploration. Damn. "What's the problem?"
She sighed with relief as she turned, keeping just her head in the stream of the shower, trying to avoid getting the towel wet. She squinted up at him as the spray of water hit her face. "I managed to wash it okay, and even get conditioner in, but I'm dead exhausted and my shoulder started to talk to me. Normally I'd have just kneeled at the tub to wash it, and last time, Leah helped me, but I'm sort of desperate here."
She was wet, and slick. And he wanted his hand in her hair. He'd had a million dreams just like this one. In fact he wasn't entirely sure he wasn't dreaming right now. "Okay, what do you need?"
"If you could just help me make sure that the conditioner is out, I can do a quick detangle."
"Uh, okay." Except to do it, he was going to have to get into the shower. First option was to take off his clothes and climb in with her. He liked that option. The idea of burying himself inside her had him biting back a groan. Yeah no, no naked. He'd have to go in clothed.
He removed his phone and put it on top of the toilet. When he opened the glass door, her eyes flared. "What are you doing?"
"To make this work properly, you need to be under the stream of water right?"
She nodded.
"Okay then, I'm getting wet."
"Oh, uh..." Her voice trailed.
"Do you want my help or not?"
"I do. Sorry. I guess I just didn’t think this all the way through."
He clamped his jaw together. The sooner you help her, the sooner you can go back to your room and take a cold one. Once in the stream of the shower, her scent surrounded him and he knew he was going to lose the battle and the war. He was already losing a grip on his control and he hadn't even touched her yet. "Uh, just stand in the stream and I'll rinse you out. While you're at it, give me the wide-tooth comb."
"Oh, you don't have to do that. I'll manage."
"Don't be silly. I'm in here, I'm wet and I know how to detangle hair."
A light flush stained her cheeks. "While I believe you've probably done this before, I, uh, black hair is different."
He blinked at her, the laugh rushing out of him just like always. He never knew what was going to come out of her mouth. "I guess I should have probably mentioned four of my sisters are black, or half black anyway. Two of them with hair curlier than yours. I got this."
Her jaw unhinged and she did a guppy routine for a moment, then she handed over the wide-tooth comb. "Have at it."
"Turn around." Damn, why did his voice sound so hoarse? When she did, the water ran though her hair, rinsing out the conditioner and he massaged the rest out with the pads of his fingers. In front of him, Kiss groaned and let her head relax back into the scalp massage he was giving her. The towel she clutched was soaked and no doubt heavy by this point.
He forced his mind to go blank as he rinsed and massaged. Gently, he began to detangle her hair, starting in sections from the ends to the roots. Growing up, he'd had to help get Brooklyn and Max ready for school sometimes, so he knew what he was doing. When he was done, he couldn't keep his hand out of the softness of her hair and he kept finger detangling.
Slowly she turned into him, blinking up at him through wet, sooty lashes. "Th-thank you. I couldn't have done that myself and it went much faster."
The first step in dealing with a problem was admitting he had a problem. He was fighting the pull, but it had been an uphill battle from the minute he saw her. If he was Clark Kent, she was his Kryptonite. "Kiss, I--fuck it." He cupped the back of her head and pulled her into him. Before melding their lips together, he paused, giving her an out, but she didn't protest. Instead, her fingers dug into his soaked T-shirt and dragged him closer.
When he slid his lips over hers, need took over and all brain function ceased.

Derek punished the treadmill in the hotel gym. Kisima Jennings’ words kept running through his skull. I don't think this is going to work out. I don't think this is going to work out. I don't think--
He pushed faster, trying to outrun the echo of her voice in his head. In his blood. Since he'd left the ranch, he couldn't stop thinking about her. Which was part of the problem. He sure as shit couldn't work with her. They would clash at every turn.
The other problem, he fucking wanted her. Bad enough to consider begging. Those dark, chocolate, arresting eyes of hers had latched onto his soul. In the sunlight of the study, her cinnamon kissed skin had looked soft and good enough to taste. Even with the chair, he could tell she was strong and athletic, but curvy. He liked strong women. None of that waify bullshit. Idiot.
It was like he never fucking learned. He couldn't explain it, but the pull to her was strong, potent. After Kallie, he should have learned his lesson. But his cock, apparently, was a little slow on the uptake. He could ignore it, but if he was trapped in one room with her for several weeks, he might go insane.
He knew he'd been an ass. And he'd even tried to rein himself in. But the fire in her eyes was too fun to watch. Someone with that kind of fire would never just take being in a wheelchair at face value. She was a fighter. He knew it. It pissed him off that the woman in all the photos was replaced by a pampered princess.
She was the princess in the ivory tower who expected everything to be done for her. And he thought Kallie Wintor was spoiled. She had nothing on Kisima Jennings.
The main house reminded him of a trip his family had taken to California to see Hearst Castle when he was a kid. It wasn’t nearly as large or opulent, but pretty fucking close with the old-world feel. From the research he'd done, he knew that the Daniels were an old racing family. The founder of Daniels Racing, Donald Daniels had been an oilman who had too much money and no idea what to do with it. Looked like that was still true today.
The grounds, from what he'd seen and the map he'd been given, contained three guesthouses spread across the property. The one directly behind the main house was about a football field away. Between the two houses, there was a pool, a basketball court, an expansive circular driveway and a state of the art gym.
The map boasted two other equally large guesthouses on the property spread out around the mazes and the racetrack. TJ Daniels had a racetrack on his freaking property. Granted he ran a racing school too, but damn. Why the hell had his dad never sent them out there for summers? That would have certainly been a change of pace.
Though, judging by that enormous chip on Kiss Jennings' shoulder, the money hadn't done her any good. He was still trying to figure out that relationship. She clearly lived there, but what was she to the old man?
Stop thinking about her. It's not like you're ever going to see her again. Something way too close to regret spread from his chest. No, he was not upset about not seeing her again. He was missing an opportunity to use his skills. Yeah, yeah. The lies he told himself. Either way though, he'd be right about one thing. It wouldn't work to be at odds with her trainer. He needed someone to commit to working their ass off. And he had a feeling Kisima wasn't that kind of girl.
His phone chimed and he hopped off the still moving treadmill to snag it. Maybe one of those calls he'd been making to every friend he had in the league was finally starting to pay off.
"Hello, this is Derek."
There was a beat of silence and his skin prickled with awareness. "This is Kisima Jennings. Do you have a few minutes?"
His brain told him to be cautious. Told him that he'd regret taking this call. But every instinct and cell in his body told him to take it. "What can I do for you, Kisima?"
"I don't suppose you'll let me get away without eating any crow."
He smirked. "Not on your life."
"Fine." She was silent for a moment. "I would like you to come back. I need your help." It sounded like she was speaking through her teeth.
His gut twisted even as the adrenaline flooded his veins. He wanted to go back. Just the idea of seeing her stubborn little vein jut was enough. "On one condition, I'm in charge of your recovery. I say it, you do it. No questions, no complaints."
More silence. No doubt she was thinking up all the ways she could kill him. "Fine."
"In that case, I'll see you tomorrow."


She stumbled forward, changing tactics. "Derek, I'm sorry. It was stupid. A one time thing. I never should have--",she blew a strand of hair out of her face. "Let me make it up to you. I'll blow you. Remind you why we're good together."
Usually, when a woman so generously offered to wrap her lips around his cock and suck him into her sweet warmth, he wasn't ever turning her down.
Except for now. In this case, with this woman. So. Not. Even. Happening.
She sidled up to him and tried to wrap herself around him boa constrictor style, and Derek wished he was anywhere but here.
He gently removed her arms from around his neck. "Kallie, not gonna happen."
She pulled back with raised brows. "You're seriously turning me down?"
He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing at the incredulity in her tone. Might not be a good idea to laugh in her face. She wasn't used to hearing no. "I'm sorry, Kallie, but yeah. I'm not even mad about that dude. Truth be told, it was nearing time for this to be over anyway."
"Why can't you see that we'd be good together?"
He had no delusions about why she wanted him. It wasn't his looks, though they probably didn't hurt. He was just starting in his career so he didn't have money. No, Kallie wanted a project, and he was damned if he was going to be anyone's damn boy toy. He wasn't a doll she could dress up and parade around and would jump when she said.
She glared at him as she stepped back. "I know your reputation, you know. The girls you've been with. Women talk. Derek Donovan, the devil himself in the sack. I made a mistake last night. But you can’t walk away from me. We're not done, Derek."
His stomach knotted. She wasn't wrong, there had been a string of women. More than he could remember. It wasn't something he was proud of. After the injury that had sidelined him, his friends had been getting NBA offers. The jealousy and despair had made him spin out and he'd gone a little bit out of control. The guy he'd been then would have taken the blow job and walked away. But he wasn't that person anymore. Especially not if it meant relinquishing his freedom. "Goodbye, Kallie."


  1. Welcome to What to Read Wednesday! I’m excited to have you here. Tell us five things about you the person, not the author.
Oh I’m just your average Ghanaian/American girl who lives in sunny San Diego with an American husband who thinks my family is crazy. My Big Fat Greek Wedding has nothing on us. In my infinite spare time, I chase around my two year old trying to tame her wild mane of hair, try and corral my spunky Scottie and occasionally let my hubby pamper me.
  1. Tell us your favorite comfort food?
Plantain. Pretty much any way you can make it but it’s my favorite thing in the world. In Ghana we have a version called Kelewele. Super ripe plantain cut into tiny pieces and spiced with pepper and ginger and garlic and deep friend. OMG, makes me homesick.
  1. If you ruled your own country, what would be the first law you’d put into effect?
First law, all men must do the dishes. Anyone who makes over a million in salary, must “adopt” a family living in poverty and bring them to middle income.
  1. What genre (s) do you write?
Paranormal Romance, Multicultural Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
  1. What are the first 3 sentences of your book?
I have to cheat a smidge "What do you mean you're breaking up with me?"
Derek Donovan shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned up against the far wall in Kallie Wintor's sun-lit penthouse apartment overlooking the French Quarter. The building only had seven floors, but the view was spectacular. He'd expected some dramatics but the venom in her voice was unexpected.

  1. What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you? The easiest?
Edits. Anyone who knows me knows I hate to edit. In my brain the story is done. (Even though it’s not) The first flush of the story idea. I have ideas ying yang. Just need the cloning machine to write them all. Lol.
  1. Describe your writing space.
Space? Ha! Anywhere I can have access to Drop Box and can get ten minutes to write. With a five year old, you find your time when you can.
  1. What’s the easiest part of a book to write for you…the beginning, middle or end?
The meet. I can always see it in my head. It’s almost always the moment I think about first.
  1. What are you working on now? 
I’m working on the next Donovans books. I’m also working on the next In Stilettos books. And as always a novella here, a side project there.
  1. Do you have one piece of advice you’d share with a newbie author?
Listen to your gut. You know best for your story.
  1. And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)?
All kinds of places : Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thank you so much for having me!

Author Bio

USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she "borrowed" from her cousin.

It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.

While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Want to know when the next book is coming? Hit up her Newsletter here. You'll only get updated when there is a new release or a special promotion for her Sexy, Sassy Readers. Newsletter

*USA Today Bestselling In Stilettos Series *

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