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Rush (EBOOK)

Rush (EBOOK)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 11,498+ 5-Star Reviews Across Retailers

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A one-click, ooh they’re cute, best friends-to-lovers romance and delicious love story with the yummiest tight end in the NFL.

From USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Lang Blakeney comes a new contemporary football romance between a strong and silent tight end and the carefree woman who has always had his heart.

I unexpectedly lost my job
And am in debt up to my eyeballs
Until my best friend a.k.a. my lucky charm– Rush
Gets me my dream job working for the NFL

We’re best friends so this will be fun and easy
At least that’s what I thought until I actually started the job
And one of his teammates asks me out on a date
Then Rush starts acting strange

Now our friendship feels like it’s totally changing
And I think we’re both in over our heads
Drowning in feelings and desire that can no longer be ignored
But clearly frightens us both

Um, you see where this is going, right?

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I unexpectedly lost my job

And am in debt up to my eyeballs

Until my best friend a.k.a. my lucky charm– Rush

Gets me my dream job working for the NFL

We’re best friends so this will be fun and easy

At least that’s what I thought until I actually started the job

And one of his teammates asks me out on a date

Then Rush starts acting strange

Now our friendship feels like it’s totally changing

And I think we’re both in over our heads

Drowning in feelings and desire that can no longer be ignored

But clearly frightens us both

Um, you see where this is going, right?

Chapter One Look Inside

University Of Miami

There’s something about the golden crackle of an enormous bonfire that I’m drawn to yet also frightens me. Perhaps it’s the dazzling flicker of the flames or the powerful feeling that grows inside my chest as I watch the luminous flames grow in height with each log thrown on the pyre. Something about it seems so ominous.

Maybe in a past life I was a witch who danced in the moonlight in nothing but her birthday suit, but tonight I dance with all of my teammates around the flames in joyful anticipation of our playoff game tomorrow against our rival, Florida State. 

It’s so much fun to let loose after two weeks of intense preparation for one of the most important volleyball games of our lives. Not only do we want to win, but there will be a scout at the game for the US Olympic team and playing in the Olympics has always been my dream.

 “You’re like a Wiccan minus the flowy white dress spinning around the fire like that.”

I spread my arms even wider as I twirl around the bonfire in my bare feet, laughing boisterously at my teammate, Pearl.

“You know I love to dance. This is the best stress reliever before a big game.”

I grow dizzy and almost fall to the moist Miami sand beneath my feet when my best friend, Rush, catches me just in the knick of time.


I grin goofily when I see his stern face looking down at me while many of the other girls around the fire swoon. Rush is a big deal at our university. He plays tight end for the Hurricanes and is one of the more popular players to fantasize about.

“All those nights at the gym are paying off,” I say impressed. “You caught me with one arm and it’s not even shaking.”

Pearl plops herself into the sand and gawks at my unassuming friend like most girls do here at school whenever Rush is around.

“You’re going to break your neck one day,” he fusses. “Where are your sneakers?”

“Ha, you sound like my paw-paw.”

“You need to be careful. You could step on a cracked seashell or a freakin’ beer bottle and put a hole in your foot. Then there’ll be no playoff game in your future.”

I ignore my curmudgeon of a friend. He’s a worrier by nature and isn’t the best with social graces and niceties, but I know he means well.

“Isn’t the fire magnificent?” I ask him.

“Yes, yes, the fire is big,” he answers dismissively.

“I can totally feel my ancestors sending me bountiful vibes tonight, Rush. We’re going to kill it tomorrow. We’re going to crush Florida State!” I say loud enough for everyone to hear.

“Yeah!!” My teammates collectively holler back. “Woo-hoo!”

“Of course you’re going to win,” Rush affirms. “You’re the best team in the region.”

“You’re going to be at the game, right?”

“I have my own game to get ready for. I have to practice.”

“Rush Bacchetti! I can’t believe you.”

“What do you want me to do, Mia? You know coach doesn’t make exceptions about practice, even when it comes to you. He’ll bench me if I don’t show up.”

I met Rush my freshman year. While we were both recruited to the university on athletic scholarships, let’s just say he has always been a lot more precious to the college than I ever was. Football players are like gods to this place and are treated as such. It only took me a second to understand the athletic hierarchy once I stepped inside the football team’s athletic dorm. It was like a damn Four Seasons Hotel compared to our accommodations, which looked more like a tidy Motel 6.

I was invited over by another ballplayer, an older sophomore, who probably wanted to get inside my pants that day, but once I started raising hell about the differences in the dorms and the privilege I was seeing (like free vending machines for them while ours were coin-operated), he was completely turned off. He shook his head and walked away, wanting no parts of my equality for all hissy fit.

Rush, on the other hand, was interested. 

“What’s wrong with your dorm?” he asked, genuinely curious.

“Do you want to see the hovel they’ve got the volleyball queens of this university staying in?”

“Sure, I’m down.”

From that moment forward, the two of us became friends and kindred spirits. We would grab lunch often and go to each other’s games for support. We’d often sit on campus and talk about our favorite classes or our least favorite professors. We were an unlikely pair; sort of like The Odd Couple. He was quiet and focused, and I was bubbly and all over the place. He came from a solid two parent family and I was from an emotionally unavailable single mom. He seemed to ace his classes with little effort, and I had to study throughout the night just to pass a chapter quiz. He held people at a distance and I always gave people too much credit, but something about our friendship works.

People have never understood it, but I’m smart enough to know that you don’t meet many people like Rush in a lifetime which is why I have always valued our friendship and definitely depend on it. And while I’d never say this out loud, because I know it would make him feel guilty, it makes me nervous that Rush won’t be at one of the most important games of my career. 

He’s my good luck charm.

When Rush comes to our games, I know there will be lots of loud claps and cheers for us because when anyone from the football team attends our matches; the groupies are sure to follow. That means we’ll have a large crowd of spectators, which is always fuel for an athlete’s motivation. More importantly though, Rush is my biggest fan. If he’s not going to be there tomorrow, it will feel like an essential part of the team will be missing.

I grab a bottle of 100% cranberry juice out of the cooler of beer and hand it to him.

“You thirsty?”

“Wow, I thought, there’d only be beer here. You volleyball chicks are drunks.”

“You know I wouldn’t forget that you’re the most disciplined football player in the entire university, so I bought you some juice.”

He knows that using disciplined is my code word for describing how regrettably predictable he is. Throughout our years here on campus, he’s been known to be the fun police. He’s pulled me away from more frat parties than I care to remember and away from school clubs that in his words “were nothing but a distraction”.

“Only the disciplined players get into the pros, Bird.”

“I know, I know, but you only live once and if I want to drink a beer before the game, I’m going to have one. It ain’t going to kill me,” I retort. “I’m sure plenty of Olympians drink a beer or two.”

“Why do you call her Bird?” Pearl asks Rush with the goofiest grin across her face. I forgot she was even there for a moment.

“She sings all the damn time,” he tells her.

“Just like a bird,” I say, imitating one by flapping my arms as if they were wings.

One of my other teammates changes the song on the portable bluetooth speaker and it’s a Black Eyed Peas classic. I can’t help myself and start dancing around the bonfire like a possessed woman. 

“You can’t possibly be drunk yet,” Pearl comments, laughing at my dance.

“She’s not,” Rush tells her. “That’s her totally sober.”

“I drink beer because I genuinely enjoy the taste and not because of any way it may alter my state. A girl like me is drunk on life.” 

Everything I said was true. Regardless of my crappy home life, I’m just a genuinely cheerful person. I was born that way.

I stop in front of Rush and try mimicking a dance I saw a little boy doing in a viral video. I do it because he thought the video was just as hysterical as I did. 

“Seriously?” He cracks a smile and slides his hand through his thick mane of chestnut-colored hair. “You look like a zombie in a hip hop dance class.”

“This song reminds me of the sixth grade,” I say as I continue to exuberantly dance. “My Grandmom bought me the album and didn’t pay attention to the parental warnings. She just assumed they were a squeaky clean group.”

“Rookie Grandmom mistake.”

“Yep, it was awesome!”

I pump my fists to the rhythmic beat of Boom Boom Pow as Rush sinks down to the Florida sand and watches me in complete wonder. 

“You’re going to be completely wiped for the game if you keep this up.”

“Never!” I say, panting. “Remember, Bacchetti, I won our last two mile race.”

“I gave you a head start.”

“Not by much!”

My favorite part of the song comes on and I start pop locking my joints like I’m in a 1980s hip-hop video.

“Damn, you’re like the energizer bunny,” Pearl comments.

“Did your parents tell you about MTV when they were young?” I ask them, slightly out of breath. “It was like the only place they could see their favorite artists perform when they were kids. Isn’t that nuts?”

“My parents didn’t watch cable,” Pearl says.

“Rush?” He doesn’t answer at first. “Isn’t that wild?”

“Yeah, yeah,” he finally replies, totally ignoring me now and paying more attention to the texts coming in on his phone.

“Who’s that?” I ask him.


“Ooh, that’s the pretty girl from California in the school of business, right?”


“She sending you dirty texts?”

“Nah, Bird, she’s not like that.”

“I bet.” I give him the side eye. 

All girls are like that when it comes to Rush. I once saw a girl wait forty-five minutes to say hello and hand him a greeting card on Valentine’s Day. It was the cutest yet saddest thing I’ve ever seen. Rush prefers words over cards. He thinks greeting cards are a waste of money.

After the song ends, I plop down next to him totally exhausted yet oddly invigorated.


“Gross, you’re sweating.” 

He pushes my head off of his shoulder.

“It’s the heat of my ancestors calling to me.”

“It’s because you were jumping around like your pants were on fire.”

“It’s called dancing.”

“If that’s what you want to call that. You’ve got like fifteen more minutes and then we need to leave. I’ve got curfew and so do you last time I checked.”

“Alright, paw-paw.” Then I stand again. “But just one more dance.”


On game day, I complete all of my usual rituals. I brush my teeth for exactly four minutes. I wear my lucky pair of sunshine yellow panties. I lay naked on my bed for exactly ten minutes and meditate with four crystals in the center of my chest. And finally, I make my pre-game phone call between me and Rush.

The call is even more important today because I know I won’t get to see his scowling face in the stands. When he calls, he only has to say a few words. I know what they mean. We’ve been saying them to each other since we met freshman year.

“World domination greetings, Mia.”

“World domination greetings, Rush.”

“Talk to you after you beat their asses?”


Then we hang up, and all is right with the world. 

This game is going to be epic.


Your life can change in moments… even seconds, and no one ever told me. I probably wouldn’t have believed them if they had.

Our game against our conference rival is going fantastically as we knew it would. Our team is stronger and faster and we have insane chemistry, but as I leap high to spike the ball like I have a million times before, my left ankle buckles when I land. 

Then my left knee pops.

And then the most intense pain radiates throughout my body.

And I cry out for God.

I already know what I’ve done. I’m in my senior year of physical therapy school. I’ve completely torn my ACL. No doctor has to tell me. I can feel it. It’s the injury every athlete most fears.

The small crowd of spectators grows quiet as I lay in the sand writhing in pain and watching my entire future disintegrate before my eyes. The smoke and ashes of a promising Olympic career, up in flames just like the beautiful bonfire I attended last night.

I’ll have to go back home to Philly.

To a mother who won’t be happy to have another mouth to feed in her home.

Even worse, I’ll be going back to a life of musicless, colorless, cold mediocrity.

And for me, that’s no life at all.

Series Information

Dive into this sweet and sexy sports romance series (all standalones) about 8 different NFL football hotties on The New York Nighthawks. You will laugh. You will swoon. You will wish you had one of your very own to play with!

About The Author

Lisa Lang Blakeney is a USA Today Bestselling author of sexy contemporary romance featuring alpha hot antiheroes and athletes.

She is the wife of one alpha, mother to four girls and two labradoodles.

Momentarily forget the day's problems and read a romance by Lisa for the ultimate escape!

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