Until You're Mine (Fighting for Her)(111)

By: Cindi Madsen


The five-minute buzzer sounded, Liam’s unwavering focus on his training broke, and slowly—like serious slow-motion-type shit that you see in romance movies—his eyes scanned the area and landed right on me. My heart stopped for one second. Two seconds…

A grin curved his lips, and then my feet were propelling me forward and he was rushing down from the caged-in training area, and a floaty, fuzzy sensation took over my body.

Right when the hugging I desperately wanted to commence was finally within my reach, Liam stopped short. His arms dropped to his sides, and he frowned as he glanced down at himself—since he was looking at his muscles, I figured that made it okay for me to follow suit. You know, in case he had any questions. Why, yes, your abs do look crazy amazing and I’ve thought about licking them. I thought you’d never ask.

“I’m all sweaty from training.” He glanced over his shoulder, in the direction of the locker room. “I’ll hit the showers real quick and then—”

I flung myself at him, not caring. Needing my arms around him, and his arms around me, because conflicted feelings or not, I’d missed him with a nearly-consuming longing that begged to be appeased. “You look… I mean, training is obviously… And I’m so happy to be…”

Great. Now I was the babbling idiot in his presence, something I hadn’t been since I was twelve. Guess that was karma, paying me back. In addition to being a bit flustered by his hotness, it went deeper than that, though. This was my Liam, my rock, my friend who’d always been there for me. The guy I could have fun doing absolutely nothing with.

He tightened his grip, hugging me so tightly my toes left the ground. “Damn, I missed you.” His deep voice rumbled through me, sending a swirl of heat through my gut, and just like that, my goals turned hazy all over again.

He’s my best friend, he’s my best friend, he’s my best friend…







Acknowledgments

I had the idea and setup for this book in my head for almost a year, and it was so satisfying to finally get it down on paper. I was wrapping up my hockey series, wondering what I should write next in the sports romance/NA genre, and my fabulous editor Alycia Tornetta said she thought MMA fighters would be a fun group of guys to center a series around. Just like that, a story immediately started taking shape. Then, after I wrote it, she helped me whip it into even better shape. Thanks, Alycia, for being so awesome to work with and for speaking my language, even when I skip words and focus on the important details, like how sexy the hero is. LOL.

Huge thanks to Gina Maxwell and Rebecca Yarros, who keep me laughing and sprinting through the day, and are always there when I need them, whether it’s to talk fictional plots, real life, and everything in between.

Thanks to MMA fighter Peter Straub from Easton Training Center for answering all of my questions. I laughed when afterward he asked if it was okay to ask what the book was about, especially after all the personal questions I’d asked him. I gave him a quick rundown, of course, and his excitement for the ending I had planned made me even more eager to write it. That interview and visit to the gym inspired me and solidified the Team Domination Gym in my mind, and if I made any errors regarding the MMA world, it’s totally on me. You know how we writers like to embellish for the sake of a good romance. Hehe.

To everyone at Entangled Publishing, from editors, publicists, fellow authors, cover artists and all the other people there who help get my books from my brain to reader, thank you so much. Especially to Holly Bryant, Riki Cleveland, Debbie Suzuki, Heather Riccio, Jessica Turner, Kate Clapsadl, Stacy Abrams, and Liz Pelletier. Sorry if I left anyone out, but just know I think the world of all of you.

Thanks to my readers for being excited and for supporting my books. Thanks to my fans and for the people in my FB group, Cindi Madsen’s Banter Babes, for keeping me company online and for being so enthusiastic about teasers and inspiration pics. Thanks to Allison Martin for the bar name the Fainting Goat. As soon as you posted it, I knew it was a perfect hangout for my MMA fighters.

Last but not least, my family deserves all the praise for riding the writer rollercoaster with me. They are my constants, my biggest support system, and even better, they’re funny to boot! I love you guys!

And thanks to you—yes, you—for picking up my book.

Until next time, xoxo!