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How high does the pressure get inside the friend zone? This goalkeeper is about to find out…

Moving to America forced Liam Daley to leave almost everything behind in Ireland – his family, his team, and his dreams about what might have been. Now on a mission to prove that he’s more than second string as a member of the Atlanta Rising Football Club, there’s only one thing distracting him: the team’s charming and quirky physical therapist, who just happens to be crushing on the hotshot rookie Dash Lazaro.

Avery Houghton is living her dream working for the Atlanta Rising. In fact, life would be perfect if she could just score a date with her dream guy. But overcoming her natural awkwardness is unlikely, and her insecurities aren’t doing her any favors either. She’s desperate for help, and who better to teach her how to attract a football star than another football star?

As Avery’s reluctant partner in crime, Liam hopes to show her that she doesn’t need to change for any man. But simply telling Avery how he really feels seems impossible. While Avery gets closer to everything she thinks she wants, Liam starts to feel the pressure. Will he be forced to pass when he’s finally ready to make a play for her heart?


I have five brothers. I don’t know anything about girl stuff like clothes and makeup and all that.” 
“But you have a penis. One I assume works, so you can tell me if something is hot or not, right? Like, if it stands up, then I’ll know I’m on to something!” 
“Well, it does work, right? Because if not, I am technically a doctor. I could help!” 
“It works fine,” he muttered, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. Nothing about this conversation should be turning him on, but just Avery mentioning his dick made it come to life and his mind start to wander to all kinds of ways he could show her just how well it worked. He had no worries about it coming to life in her presence. The bigger concern was making sure it—and he—behaved in a way that didn’t ruin their friendship. Although maybe I shouldn’t turn down your help… 
“See, then it shouldn’t be an issue!” 
He rolled his eyes, careful not to let her see. He really needed to steer this conversation away from dick. Hell, away from him in general. 
“Can’t you just ask Felicity or Talia?” 
That was it, Felicity and Talia. One of them would have the answer. 
“No! I only met Felicity Sutherland for the first time ever last night as she was educating me on womansplaining. Not to mention she’s the owner of the team! I can’t go to her and be like, ‘Hi, could you teach me how to seduce one of your players?’ And Talia…” she trailed off.
“Talia…” he prompted.

“She’s the competition.”

“Competition? Competition for what?”

“Dash. He’s all kinds of interested in her.” Her eyes fell to where her hands were resting in her lap, her thumb scratching at the chipped polish on her nails. Liam watched as she shrunk into herself, and once again, he had to fight the urge to hold her. Even if he thought her crush on Dash was dumb, he hated to see her hurting like this. He wanted to take all that hurt away and replace it with something, anything, that would make that smile of hers reappear.

“She’s not interested back,” he offered, hoping that his insider information might help cheer her up.

“Whether she is or not, she’s still what he wants. She’s…she’s pretty.” Her voice was resigned, her eyes still focused on her hands. She swallowed hard and then looked up at him. Her eyes were glassy, like her emotions were starting to take over. “And that’s all I want. To be able to find that in me. I want to be pretty.”

“You are.”

“No, I mean like pretty. Really pretty. That’s not me. I mean, I guess I’m not totally hideous. But some girls you simply look at and go ‘they’re pretty.’ And now I’ve said pretty, like, seven hundred times. I’m not that. I’m not someone you see and immediately think about how good I look. All I want is for someone to look at me across the room and think that I’m beautiful.

Her words were like a sucker punch to the gut. He hated that she felt like that. And hated even more that he couldn’t tell her exactly what he was thinking.

I look at you like that, Avery…

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