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Excerpt (Copyright @Kelsie Rae and all that jazz)
Quincy is shaking like a leaf beside me, her entire body trembling furiously.
I wrap my arms around her in hopes of calming her frazzled nerves. She melts into my chest as her fingers grip my T-shirt tightly.
Her breathing is shallow and I’m afraid she might faint before she even has the chance to jump off the ledge. Soothingly, I rub my arms up and down her back while being careful of the harness straps covering her torso.
“Kitten, you can do this. Everything’s going to be just fine.” I can’t keep the smile from my voice, enjoying the brief moment where I can hold her like she’s my own. I know it won’t last nearly as long as I’d prefer.
“I should’ve peed beforehand… I’m freaking out, Jude,” she mumbles into my shirt. The comment causes a huff of laughter to escape my chest.
“You’re going to do lovely, Quin. It’s almost our turn.” I nod my head in the direction of the jumping platform, Ronny’s lanky body having just disappeared from view. Everyone else has gone with the exception of Quincy and me.
“Would you like to go first? Or would you prefer I wait for you at the bottom?” I ask before pulling away from her slightly so I can get a better glimpse of her gorgeous green eyes.
She’s petrified, but beautiful nonetheless.
I would kiss her right now on her plump lips if it weren’t for the fear radiating off her in waves.
Instead, I patiently wait for her decision.
I can practically see her weighing the pros and cons in her brilliant little head. After a few long moments, she finally chooses. “You go first,” she rushes before pushing me toward the platform.
“Are you certain?” I ask, afraid she’ll back out if I’m not here to encourage her.
I look at her pointedly, silently portraying my reservations about going before her.
She rolls her eyes. Giving me a glimpse of the feisty girl she often keeps hidden beneath her protective armor.
“Yes, I’m sure. I promise I won’t chicken out. I just want you to be there at the bottom. I need to know that I’m jumping toward something, not away from it.” The last of her comment floats away on the gentle breeze, but not before my ears perk up at her confession. My heart skips a beat, and I know without a doubt that I’d do anything for this beautiful lady in front of me. She’d only needs to ask.
Taking a proverbial leap before my literal one, I lean forward and place a gentle kiss on her forehead. My lips linger for a brief moment, though not near as long as I’d like them to.
Pulling away, I stare into her mesmerizing eyes once more. My mind capturing this moment and knowing I’ll never forget it.
“Don’t linger. I’ll see you on the pavement.”
With that, I’m led to the edge of the platform where I get the bungee cord strapped to my harness, and am free falling before I can say “Cheerio.”
I try to look over my shoulder as I fall, only to see the most beautiful girl I’ve ever set eyes on slowly disappearing from view. I’m suddenly very grateful to have jumped first. Knowing that I’d be the one to catch her if she ever needed me to.
***BlueSeal’s review of Jude by Kelsie Rae***
Let me begin by saying that I am not a gamer. No one in my family is a “professional” gamer. (Don’t tell my son that he’s not a professional Fortnite gamer because you will break his 8-year-old heart.) None of my immediate friends are “professional” gamers. With all of that said, I wasn’t sure that I would like this book. However, the gamers in this book played their way into this noob’s heart. This sweet love story was a refreshing break from the more explicit romances that are out.
Quincy, Quin to her friends, is an up and coming gamer, a celebrity in her own right. But this 19 year old, beautiful fiery red head is a noob in almost all aspects of life, except gaming, where she dominates in a mostly male environment. After losing her mother to cancer at a young age, Quin is left to care for her father who developed dementia while Quin was still in high school. She has spent most of her young life working keep a roof above their heads, food in their stomachs, and most of all medical care for her aging father whose dementia has progressed at an unusually rapid rate leaving him requiring around-the-clock care. Quin is an introvert who has recently turned her gaming hobby in to a profession, with an agent and thousands of subscribers who watch her play Gateway Guardians. She has recently been chosen to place a member of Team AFK, who will be playing in the Word Championship of Gateway Guardians. If they win, Quin could go home with one million dollars… as long as she doesn’t get distracted by her drool-worthy assistant coach, Jude.
Jude is a legend. He was a member of the British team when they won the World Championship but has since retired and is now a partner in the second fastest growing company in the state of Utah. Jude is a total nerd. He games. He codes. He wears glasses. He should look like a dork… but he doesn’t. Jude is hot, with mesmerizing brown eyes, a ridiculously handsome face, and a beautifully toned body. Did I mention that he is British? He also has a celebrity crush on his favorite up-and-coming Gateway Guardians gamer, who is none other than the young, beautiful Quincy Phillips. His fantasies become reality when his company sponsors Team AFK, and he becomes the assistant coach.
I give this book 4.5 propellers. The story of Quin and Jude has been told many times before with many different names. It is a story of an older man who falls in love with a younger, innocent, woman and slowly draws her out and teaches her to live life but Kelsie Rae’s story is different. It’s more than a young girl blossoming at the encouragement of the older man. It’s a young girl discovering that she can compete and kick ass in a male dominated world. It is young girl learning to appreciate her own beauty and strength. It’s a young girl realizing that it is okay to dream.
Jude is the third book in Kelsie Rae’s Signature Sweethearts series. I will definitely be going back to read the others and look forward to the fourth.