Now’s The Time (The Ladies Who Brunch #3) Read Online Harlow James

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: The Ladies Who Brunch Series by Harlow James

Total pages in book: 123
Estimated words: 115456 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 577(@200wpm)___ 462(@250wpm)___ 385(@300wpm)

“Let me experience all of you tonight, Penelope…since this is all that we get.”
That was the agreement between me and Maddox Taylor, the NFL’s most notorious playboy and mega-talented quarterback who happened to be out in California for one night—one night in which I broke all of my rules and gave in to the undeniable attraction I felt for the man.
He wooed me with dirty jokes, 80s musical references, an obsession with Steve Harvey, and a very specific piercing. How the hell was I supposed to fight that?
However, I should have listened to my gut because my reaction to him wasn’t just physical—it was more, something I hadn’t felt since the last man I let in left me all alone, and I vowed never to fall in love again.
Six weeks later, I find out I’m the new PR spokesperson for The Los Angeles Bolts football team, a team that just signed Maddox Taylor to their roster in hopes of a winning season.
With his signature cocky swagger, he corners me in my office, intent on rekindling our connection, but the tables had turned—I was now working for his team which created a conflict of interest, and put my job and both of our reputations on the line.
TW: loss of a loved one, themes of grief



Age Eighteen

“And what did the coach say?”

“He said I need to report the first week of July so I can start training with the team.” Jacob reaches over, grabs my hand, and lifts it to his lips as he continues to drive. And every time he does that—kisses the back of my hand—I fall a little bit more in love with him.

Riding in his truck, one of my favorite places to be, I look over at my boyfriend. He’s driving me home where my parents are waiting on us for dinner. It’s just a few weeks before graduation, and the anticipation of our future together is making my heart race every time we talk about it. “It’s all happening, babe,” he says. “Everything that we want and have worked for is coming together.”

Shifting my body in the seat so I can tuck my legs under me and turn in his direction, I study his profile the same way I’ve done for the past two years. “This was the plan, Jacob. This is your dream. You know just as much as I do that hard work pays off, baby—you and I are living proof of that. And the support of our town has only pushed you to make your dream come true. Soon, everyone will know who Jacob Peterson is.”

“It’s our dream, our future, Pen. Ohio State is one of the top seeds in the nation for college football. It’s my gateway to the NFL. And the fact that you got in and we won’t be apart for four years is just the cherry on top.”

I clear my throat. “And don’t you forget that I’m giving up UCLA for that,” I tease, even though I don’t feel salty about that at all.

He smirks, glancing over at me before shifting his eyes back to the road. “I won’t. But I also don’t want you to hold it over my head, either.” Brushing a hand through his light brown hair, he exhales heavily. “Are you sure you’re still okay with giving up that school, Pen? Because if you really want to go there, we can make this work.” The cool spring air blows right through the open windows of the truck, making my hair go wild while I try to catch his gaze again. “I don’t care if we have to do long distance. I don’t want you to give up on your dreams for me and then resent me down the line. But—”

“Jacob, stop.” He leans back in his seat while clenching his jaw, silence descending on us for a moment. “It’s just a school, and I know that if I were that far away from you, I’d regret it. I’d be miserable. Wherever you are is where I want to be, too.”

That blinding smile of his is back as he exhales, his whole body relaxing. “You are the only thing that matters to me, Penelope. Well, you and football.”

“I was gonna say . . .” I laugh out loud, my eyes drifting out my open window and over the residential roads of our small Ohio town, soaking up the distant sunset that’s painting the sky in hues of oranges and pinks. Watching the sun rise and set is one of my favorite things in the world, and it only reminds me to soak up this precious moment even more.

“Sure is a beautiful one tonight, huh?” Jacob asks when he catches me staring at the colorful sky.

“It’s funny how it happens each day, and yet, no two skies are the same. I can’t get enough of them.”