The Heart of the Game

Publication Date: March 13, 2015

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From USA Today bestselling author Pamela Aares comes THE HEART OF THE GAME, the sixth book in the Tavonesi family series featuring passion, mystery, and well-won love!

When Cody Bond, the Giants’ hot new catcher, agrees to ride in a benefit polo match to help heiress Zoe Tavonesi, he falls hard for the Italian beauty.
Cody’s determined not to screw up his career with relationships, especially when Zoe and the loving, tight-knit, aristocratic Tavonesis remind him of everything his dysfunctional American family isn’t. But while he may be a master of control on the baseball field, Cody’s iron will can’t shield him from the desire Zoe awakens.
Zoe wants nothing to do with her family's new home and vineyard in the California wine country. Every day spent in exile from the world she loves in Rome feels like an eternity. Her heart's set on returning to Italy and opening the art gallery her late mother always wanted. But the passion Cody fires has her second-guessing her plan and her dreams.

Just as they open to love, Zoe's family is caught up in a dangerous web of Mafia crime. To protect her, Cody must swallow his pride and turn to an ex-CIA operative for help—his estranged father—even as he suspects that Zoe's family is involved in foul play.
But will Zoe’s stubborn determination, Cody's inability to trust, and the criminals threatening the Tavonesi family kill any chance for the world-altering love they’ve discovered?

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Pamela Aares is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance novels and also writes about fictional romance in sports with her new Tavonesi Series. Get ready for Alpha male All-Stars and the strong women they come to love!
Her popularity as a romance writer continues to grow with each new book release, so much so, that the Bay area author has drawn comparisons by readers and reviewers to Nora Roberts.
Pamela Aares writes romance books that she loves reading, particularly those that entertain, transport and inspire dreams while captivating and tugging at the heart. She takes her readers on a journey with complex characters in both contemporary and historical settings who are thrown in situations that tempt love, adventure and self-discovery.
Before becoming a romance author, Aares wrote and produced award-winning films including Your Water, Your Life, featuring actress Susan Sarandon and NPR series New Voices, The Powers of the Universe and The Earth’s Imagination. She holds a Master’s degree from Harvard and currently resides in the wine country of Northern California with her husband, a former MLB All-Star and two curious cats.
If not behind her computer, you can probably find her reading a romance novel, hiking the beach or savoring life with friends. You can visit Pamela on the web at http://www.PamelaAares.com

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Read an excerpt

It was hard to hold his control around Zoe.
But the one tool he trusted most was his ability to control his emotions, his environment and his actions. That ability had been his escape route out of the misery of his family and his ticket into the world of baseball, the world that kicked him to life again after some seriously dark days. But the power he’d tapped into when kissing her had no regard for his need for control.
“Spend enough time with animals and they start talking.” He laughed halfheartedly. “Makes me sound crazy, I know.”
“No, I know exactly what you mean. I just had never put words to the practice before.”
She shook out her hair, and the sun sent dashes of gold streaming through the strands falling near her face.
If he spoke the words warring in his mind right then, she’d likely be shocked. Kissing her was one thing, but taking their physical relationship to that of lovers? Now that he knew her better, she didn’t strike him as a woman who would cross casually into that territory.
“I spent some time with Monty Roberts,” he said, fighting for more familiar ground. “Have you heard of him?”
“Only that the Queen of England presented awards to polo trainers who had used his methods to train their ponies.”
“I didn’t know about that.”
“It was some years ago. I wanted to meet him, but he never came to Italy.”
“Monty was originally a rodeo guy. But what changed him were the years he spent watching wild mustangs.”
“I’ve had some experiences like those you speak of.” Zoe took up a handful of sand and watched as it trailed through her fingers. “I’ve often thought they were the closest I’ve ever come to knowing magic.”
“The real magic isn’t in taming the wild, it’s in entering the wild world, body and soul.”
“Body and soul.” She stopped moving. “Entering the wild...”
A buzz of self-consciousness zipped through him when she repeated his words.
He picked up a rock that had fallen from the cliff behind them and threw it toward the shoreline. It landed two feet short of the mark he’d intended to hit. In his peripheral vision he saw her get up and walk over to where the horses were tethered.
It really was time to go. If he sat there any longer, he’d be baring his soul—if he had one. Some days he wasn’t so sure.

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