Allison and Tony had only one thing in common: they were attending the same university. Other than that, they were about as different as two people could be. He was a mixed-heritage bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. She was a Southern belle whose ancestors supposedly sailed to America on the Mayflower.
She’d never dated a bad boy before, but the shy and virginal cheerleader-wannabe was so attracted to the Barracudas’ sexy quarterback that she ignored all the warnings and decided to trust Tony instead of being afraid of him.
As for Tony, he desperately wanted to shake off his past and be a better man for Allison. In Roughing the Passer, Tony will learn that living down his reputation won’t be an easy feat, and covering up the truth could threaten his chance to win Allison’s heart.
She held her bangs down with one hand as the summer wind blew through her hair. On most days, she wore it up in a ponytail, but today wasn’t most days. She had a date and she felt prettier wearing it long—until she caught sight of her reflection in the side-view mirror. Lordy! What a mess! She’d spent so much time crimping and curling to give her waves that tousled, just-rolled-out-of-bed look. Now her long blonde hair was truly windblown, thanks to the top being down in Tony’s used Mazda Miata.
Glancing at her in the passenger seat, Tony tapped her arm. “I can put the top up if it’s bothering you.”
She smiled shyly. “No, it’s nice actually, even if it’s not good for my hair style.”
“Your hair looks perfect,” he told her, drawing a few strands between his fingers.
Allison blushed and stopped fussing with her hair. She turned to look at Tony, his olive skin starkly contrasted against the white polo he had on. His hair was slicked back and he looked almost dangerous. Even his smile had an air of mischief tonight.
He reached over and briefly touched her chin. “What are you thinking?” He appeared amused by her expression.
She shrugged. “Nothin’.”
“Aaaallison,” he teased. “Come on. Tell me what you’re thinking.”
“Just that we’re an odd-looking couple.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Odd? How?”
“Well, ‘cause you’re dark and broodin’. And I’m blonde and blue and fair. You’re tall and muscular and athletic, and I’m small and klutzy,” she chuckled. “We’re just different.” She pressed her forearm against his as he held the steering wheel. “See? You’re ethnic and I’m … well … not. I’m white as snow.” “Ha. Nobody's that white.” He turned his eyes back to the road.
“Okay maybe not, but I am fair.”
He reached out again and touched her chin ever so lightly. “The fairest of them all.”
She felt a tingle run through her body, unsure if it came from his touch or his sweet words. Was he just a smooth operator or did he really mean what he just said?
“Just because our skin tones don’t match, that don’t make us so different,” he said sincerely.
She shifted in her seat to face him a little to the extent her seat restraint would allow. “Okay then. Try this. Rap or rock?”
“Rap,” Tony answered quickly. “You?”
“Rock. Pizza or burgers?”
“Pizza. Dogs or cats?”
“Dogs,” he laughed. “Cats, right?”
“Yeah. Back home, we always had at least three cats at a time when I was growin’ up.” She looked out the windshield. “The ones I remember best were Peaches, Pecan, and Peanut.”
“Sounds like ice cream flavors,” Tony joked.
“Georgia crops,” Allison explained. “Anyways, like I said, we’re different.”
“Eh, differences make life interesting,” Tony answered as he watched the road. “We’re alike where it counts.”
“Like how?”“Like, we both feel things really deeply. And we’re harder on ourselves than we should be.” … “Anyway, I don’t care how different we are. I think we could be amazing together.”
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