Blog Tour: Play On by Michelle Smith

Title: Play On
Author: Michelle Smith
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.
Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma’s flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she’s also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there’s something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek–he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.
As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything–maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.”

In this scene, Austin and Marisa have been sentenced to Valentine’s Day duty at the flower shop. Once Austin discovers that Marisa is a dance-hater, he proves that not all dates are entirely terrible.
She lets go of my hand. I fight a frown. Come back. “That sounds good. Are you…” Looking down at my now-lonely hand, she clears her throat. “Will you be going to the dance?”
I shrug a shoulder. “Dances are a lot more fun when you’ve got a date to spoil all night, which I don’t. Never thought to ask anyone.” And if I did ask someone, it’d be the girl in front of me.
She sighs and leans onto the counter, putting her chin in her hands. “Well, congratulations. You’ll hang on to your soul.”
Or not. I bite back a smile. “Not a dancer, I’m guessing?”
She shakes her head. “Never been a fan. Formal dances are the invention of Satan.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. You have dances confused with Chem. That’s where Satan focused all his energy.”
She pushes me, smirking. “I’m serious. A girl has to suffer through frilly decorations, spiked punch, and the guy trying to get in her pants afterward, and for what? A corsage, maybe some dinner, and two hours of dancing, which results in foot blisters.” She hops off the stool and grabs the push-broom. “I’m so glad I’ll never have to go to another one again. Homeschooling for the win.”
’Kay. So now I’m really glad I never asked her.
“See, I’m insulted,” I say, moving around the counter. “Guys don’t always try to get in your pants. And dances aren’t that bad.” Maybe a little bad, but not complete torture.
She starts sweeping, huffing a little. “So says Lewis Creek’s god of baseball. Of course dances are awesome for you.” She holds the broom to her chest, throwing her hand up to her forehead like she’s in Gone with the Wind or some crap. “Oh, Austin! I never knew there was a difference between fastballs and sliders, but whisper it in my ear while we dance all night in the bed of your truck.”
I wiggle my eyebrows. “And by ‘dance,’ you mean what, exactly?” She swats the broom at me. I hold up my hands in surrender. “All right, all right! But I will say that, after a few beers, truck dancin’ is a blast. You should try it.”
She rolls her eyes and resumes sweeping, turning her back to me. Okay, then. Challenge accepted. I dig my phone out of my pants pocket and scroll through the music app until I find a halfway decent slow song. You can never go wrong with some Luke Bryan. Girls eat that shit up.
As the opening notes of “Crash My Party” fill the room, Marisa stops. Her head pops up, and she whirls around, cocking an eyebrow. “Um, what do you think you’re doing?”
Grinning, I place the phone on the counter and hold out my hand. “I’m on a mission to prove that not all dance dates are evil. I’ll have you know, I’m a darn good date.”
Her gaze flickers from my outstretched hand to my face. “Are you serious?”
“As a heart attack.” With the way my heart’s pounding, that’s entirely possible. Even though it sounds cheesy as hell, I think I finally know what girls mean when they talk about having butterflies in their gut, or stomach, or whatever. But even that’s not a good way to describe it. The butterflies feel like they’re all over the place.
And now I’m thinking about butterflies. Lord, help me.
She narrows her eyes. “You’ve been drinking moonshine again, haven’t you?”
Maybe the Luke Bryan song wasn’t as foolproof as I’d thought. “Please?”
She opens her mouth like she’s going to argue again, but instead she sighs and sets the broom against one of the coolers. “That’s not fair,” she says, crossing the distance between us. “No one in her right mind can resist that accent.”
When she slips her hand into mine, I pull her against me in one swift movement. She sucks in a breath, looking up at me with wide eyes.
“What?” I ask, resting my hands just above her hips. “Too close?” 
She smiles. Looping her arms around my neck, she says, “I think it’s just right.”
Author Bio:
Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way. Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.
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