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Lorana Hoopes

A Divine Interception

A Divine Interception

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He's the playboy player who can't settle down. She's the boy-crazy massage therapist. Can they find love together?

Carter is new to the Tornadoes but he's already created a reputation for himself - the playboy player who brings a different woman to each game. However, when God gets a hold of his life, will he finally settle down?

April knows that she and Carter could work if he would just give her the chance, but when life throws her a curve ball, will she turn to God or continue trying to forge her own path?

Find out in this sixth book of the Texas Tornadoes series by USA Today best selling author Lorana Hoopes. This touching romance will rebuild your faith in God and in humanity as it steals your afternoon.

First Chapter

Carter blinked at the woman across from him as she flipped her hair over her shoulder and droned on about her latest yoga class. She was beautiful - every man in the room had looked at her at least once - but she was also vapid. He couldn’t remember a more painful date, and he’d been on plenty of bad ones. Usually, there was some redeeming quality he could find in the woman - she loved football, they liked the same movies, they both enjoyed exercising, but with this one? He supposed some people might consider yoga exercise, but he certainly didn’t. She barely knew what football was - just that he played it and was good enough to be on the starting line -  and she preferred sappy romances to action flicks. There would be no second date with this one. Of course, there rarely was. Carter had learned long ago that long term relationships were not in his future. However, if he were honest with himself, he would admit that these one or two date hookups were not fulfilling him either.

“When are you going to find a good woman and settle down?” Jefferson’s words echoed in his head. Ever since he’d proposed to Lucia, that question had been posed more and more often, not only by Jefferson but by the other guys on the team as well. Carter loved playing for the Texas Tornadoes, but he was surprised by how many of the other men were either already married or in serious relationships. Didn’t they realize this was the time in life to taste the different flavors? They wouldn’t be young and fit and famous for long. He’d seen what happened to players when they got too old. IF they were lucky, they went on to be announcers or spokesmen, but most simply faded away, disappearing from the public eye and memory unless they happened to be caught in some scandal or unflattering picture weighing twice what they had when they played the game. Carter hoped he would age gracefully. After all, his father was in his fifties and still looked good.

“Don’t you think so?”

“Uh, what?” The woman’s high pitched voice pulled him back to the date at hand, but he had no idea what she had been talking about.

“Flexibility,” she said, rolling her eyes good-naturedly and flipping her long blonde hair over her shoulder again. “Don’t you think yoga really helps with flexibility?”

“Um, I guess. I haven’t really ever taken a yoga class.” In fact, he’d only attended one and it had been because of a dare. Because yoga classes were generally full of women, his college buddy Jay had once dared him to attend a class. The view had certainly been nice, but Carter had no desire to stretch in weird positions for an hour. He much preferred the stretching the trainers put him through. They felt more masculine and necessary for his job on the football field.

“Oh my gosh, you totally should come to one of my classes one day. I bet I could loosen your hip flexors and have you running and jumping even higher than you already do. I mean you are amazing already, but maybe I could give you that extra edge.” She batted her large and clearly fake eyelashes at him, and he wondered what her eyes would look like without all the makeup. Had he even taken a woman out who didn’t wear false eyelashes lately? He couldn’t remember.

“Yeah, maybe. My schedule is pretty full with training though. At least until the season ends.”

“That’s soon though, right?” The hope in her voice made him cringe. She clearly saw more dates in the future, even though he knew he would not be calling her again.

“Uh, yeah, fairly soon, but then there’s the pro game and then I generally take a few weeks off to rest before training camps begin again. There isn’t a lot of open time in my schedule.” He should just tell her he wasn’t interested in another date, but that had never been his strong suit. No, ghosting them and just never calling or returning calls was his forte.

Her lips, somehow still the perfect shade of pink even after eating, pushed out into a pout. “It’s only an hour. Surely, you can find an hour in your busy day.”

“I’ll try.” The fact that she clearly was not picking up on his signals was just another strike against her in his book. He glanced down at her half-finished meal and chewed the inside of his lip. Would it be rude if he asked if she was finished? He had no desire to take this woman home, but he was getting tired of sitting here listening to her drone on. His own meal had been finished for - he surreptitiously glanced at his watch - twenty minutes. Yep, it was time to hurry this along. “Are you almost done there? I could ask for the check.”

She lifted a flirty brow at him. “Why? Are you in a hurry to go somewhere more private?”

He should be. That was his MO after all. Take the woman out. Show her a good time. Take her back to her house and maybe continue the good time. Leave before morning and conveniently lose her number. It wasn’t a pattern he followed every time, but often enough that it was almost second nature to him. However, he had no desire to do that tonight. In fact, he hadn’t had the desire for the last week. Ever since Jefferson had told him about April and pointed her out, she had been on his mind. He didn’t even know why. Sure, she was beautiful with her fiery red hair and emerald eyes, but she was friends with Lucia which meant she might be as religious as Jefferson. Carter had nothing against religious people, but he had no use for God in his life. He was doing fine on his own.

“Actually, it’s been a long day,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck to make it more believable. “I’d like to just go relax in my hot tub and turn in early.”

Her eyes lit up. “You have a hot tub? I didn’t bring a suit with me, but surely that wouldn’t be a problem, right?” Seduction dripped from her tone like honey as she leaned forward and licked her lips.

Oh geez. Now he’d done it. He never took women back to his place. That was rule number one. Once a woman knew where he lived, it was game over. Not only would they feel like they could stay all night, but they could then show up at any time or stalk him. Nope, he’d learned that lesson with his last team. In fact, that had been one reason he’d accepted the transfer. A new place meant no crazy woman knowing where he lived, and he intended to keep it that way.

“Oh, you know what?” He slapped his forehead and shook his head, feigning stupidity. “I forgot. The hot tub had some issue and I haven’t had it fixed yet. Tell you what? How about we call it an early night tonight and make a rain check. I’ll call around. When the problem is fixed, I’ll give you a call and we can redeem that rain check.”

She mashed her lips together and cocked her head slightly as if trying to decide if he was telling the truth or not. Finally, she shrugged. “Okay, that sounds fine.” 

Her flirtatious tone had flattened, and he couldn’t tell if it really was fine or she’d just realized he was blowing her off and was trying to save face, but it didn’t matter. At least he wouldn’t be spending much more time with this woman. 

After paying the tab, he drove the woman back to her place and put the car in park so he could walk her to her door. He briefly entertained the idea of just  wishing her a good night and staying in the car, but he wasn’t a complete jerk. Besides, women talked and he didn’t need that staining his reputation. Being a “player” was already attached to his name, but while that probably turned off a few women, there were dozens more who clamored for his attention who didn’t seem to mind. Probably they were just looking for their fifteen minutes of fame or hoping he’d lavish them with gifts, but as it was generally a mutually beneficial night, he’d had no reason to change those ways yet.

Her hand touched his chest, pulling him back to the present, and he glanced down as her manicured nails tapped against his pecs. “I can’t wait to see you again. Call me soon, okay?” The large lashes batted again, but they didn’t seem sexy. Instead, they made him think of a fuzzy caterpillar.

“Uh, yeah, sounds good.”

Before he could move back, she lifted on her tiptoes and claimed his lips. Thankfully, she kept the kiss short - probably thinking she was tempting him and leaving him wanting more - and then winked before opening her front door. Carter flashed the obligatory wave and sighed with relief when the door shut. He really needed to figure out what was wrong with him. If it was just that April had taken residence in his mind, he might actually need to take her out, religious or not, just to clear thoughts of her away and allow himself to remember the enjoyment he used to find in taking women out. Otherwise, maybe he needed to take a break from dating at all until the desire returned. He certainly couldn’t handle too many more nights like this one.

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Lorana Hoopes

Lorana Hoopes is a USA Today Best Selling Author and now an Award Winning Author as well. She's had two books earn a Page Turner Award Finalist badge and she recently won the Reader's Favorite Book Award for Romantic Suspense.