Novels

Published books and works–in–progress

All’s Fair in Love & Baseball

Follow the exploits of the Arizona Condors semi-professional baseball team.

Diva in the Dugout

Diva In The Dugout | Arlene HittleArizona Condors shortstop Dave Reynolds faces the toughest test yet: fatherhood.

After a successful stint in drug rehab, Dave is still trying to outrun his bad boy reputation. When the team’s new owners tell him to shape up or be fired at season’s end, he vows to change. He doesn’t count on fatherhood playing a part in his transformation.

Melinda Cline makes a rash decision: take solace in the arms of a sexy-as-sin ballplayer whose name she insists she doesn’t want to know. Big mistake. Now a single mom to a four-year-old, Mel strives to live as quietly and cleanly as possible. But fate intervenes and she comes face to face with the man who insists on being included in their daughter’s life. The attraction between them is still strong, but it may not survive Dave’s reputation or his attempts to do the right thing.

Can the Condors’ bad boy step up to the plate and knock out a home run for fatherhood? And if he does, will his daughter’s mamma be ready?

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Beauty and the Ballplayer

2011 Golden Heart Finalist (Contemporary Series) and 2010 FCRW Beacon winner

 

beautyandtheballplayer-ARLENESpunky, independent graphic designer Meg Malone finds herself pregnant soon after her no-good boyfriend abandons her for the professional poker circuit. Glad to be out of that mess, she swears off relationships. Then she meets Matt Thatcher, a solid, stable man, who throws her plans a curve.

Matt, an up-and-coming minor league catcher burned one too many times by women who see him as their ticket to the good life, carefully guards his heart against “baseball babes.” He’s drawn to Meg for many reasons, chief among them she has no clue what he does for a living.

Will it be game over when their secrets come to light? Or is their budding relationship strong enough to win the World Series of love?

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Sliding into Home

 

slidingintohome-ARLENEWill a sexy attorney help the Condors’ rebel first baseman outrun his father’s shadow—or merely strip him of his illusions?

More than anything, Arizona Condors first baseman Greg Bartlesby wants to make his own name in the big leagues. Too bad being the son of MLB legend Jake “Big Man” Bartlesby makes that impossible. Even worse? His attempts to differentiate himself from his old man more often land him in legal trouble. His latest brush with the law brings him in contact with an attorney he’s met before—as a dancer at the club where he was arrested…for protecting her.

Jenn Simpson isn’t a stripper—not that she can convince her bonehead client her twin is the one doing the dancing. When Greg offers her sister a job at his father’s Foundation, Jenn is the one who accepts, at her sister’s urging. She soon discovers she likes the work—and her new boss. As she and Greg forge a friendship and more, she knows it’s time to convince him she’s not who he thinks. But when his father’s hospitalization compels Greg to fast-track his leap to the majors by capitalizing on Big Jake’s fame, it might be too late for her to expunge the record.

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Ogling the Outfielder

Arlene Hittle romanceFresh from a social media scandal involving two women and the locker room showers, outfielder Sam Sloane has sworn off women — especially ones who show too keen an interest…like Condors intern Alexa Brandon. But Alex’s sights are locked on Sam, and she won’t take “no” for an answer. Will their one night together explode into the next media sensation or turn into a real, lasting love?

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Stealing the Southpaw

Stealing the Southpaw | baseball romance

A potentially career-ending injury sends Arizona Condors pitcher Luis Castillo home to Miami to rehab and recuperate. He hasn’t even unpacked the rental car when he runs into his ex-best friend’s kid sister. She’s not a kid anymore, but she remains the main reason he ran as far and fast as he could six years ago. A successful college baseball career and two good years on the mound with the Condors did nothing to change what they did, or help him forget its consequences. He doesn’t deserve Randi’s warm welcome—and she sure as hell shouldn’t still look at him that way.

Miranda Vega sets out to convince Luis to take a chance on their relationship, which came to a premature end the night her brother found his baby sister in the arms of his best friend. The discovery sent Ricky into a vehicle, a near-head-on collision and ultimately a wheelchair. To get the boy—now man—she started crushing on at puberty and still loves today to believe Ricky’s accident wasn’t his fault, Randi needs a game plan. With any luck, she, Ricky and a Little League team in serious need of coaching will be able to notch the win.

Even with a bum left arm, Luis is a skilled opponent, adept at getting in his own way. But Randi grew up stubborn. And this time, she’s playing for keeps.

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The First Three Innings

This boxed set puts the first three Love & Baseball books — Diva in the Dugout, Beauty and the Ballplayer and Sliding into Home — in one convenient collection. Get all three for what two would cost if you buy them separately.

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Don’t forget the free, related short stories … 

Contempt of Love

Arlene Hittle romanceAttorney Peter Cline would rather be anywhere than at the wedding of his sister, Melinda, and the father of her child. Perhaps bridesmaid Merri Baldwin can help him readjust his attitude.

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Baring It All

Arlene Hittle RomanceBy day, Jess Simpson is a grad student in biomedical engineering. At night, she’s exotic dancer Jade. She’s always managed to keep her two worlds from colliding — until the night hunky lab partner Scott Maxwell shows up at the club.

Jess is the identical twin sister of Jenn Simpson, Sliding into Home’s heroine. This free short story is intended to give readers a peek into her life. She may or may not get a full-length novel of her own.

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Geek Love

Breaking All the Rules

Breaking all the Rules | Arlene HittleFaced with compliance of a ridiculous new Arizona law, by-the-book mental health care facility administrator Allyson Cunningham must find an interpreter who speaks a made-for-TV language. Prime candidate Donovan Marshall has the language skills she so desperately needs, but shows a disturbing disregard for all rules and restrictions. While Allyson struggles to secure another perfect rating for her facility, convince Donovan to conform and control her inappropriate attraction to an employee, Donovan makes it his prime directive to persuade starchy Ally it doesn’t hurt to break a few rules.

Not currently available. Coming back soon!

…and they lived Happily Ever After

Fairy tales, re-imagined …

Just Right

Just Right | Arlene HittleAmerica’s Sweetheart, Callista Gold, needs an escape from Hollywood—and the scandalous photos hackers leaked to the tabloids. She buys a cottage in northern Arizona, sight unseen, and heads for what she thinks will be a mountain retreat. But like her now-tainted reputation, Rosewood Cottage needs some major fixing-up. Contractor Tyler Behr—one-third of Behr Construction—is just the man for the job. Problem is Ty had other plans: buy Rosewood and flip it. He agrees to work for the frosty beauty, with thoughts of delaying the project long enough for her to get bored and go back to wherever she came from.

But Callie is no prissy miss. She jumps in to help with the renovations, perfectly at home with construction—and one particular construction worker. Sparks ignite between them with every swing of the hammer, until a photo of Ty and Callie in a compromising position creates another scandal for her and a dilemma for him. He’s never been big on sharing, not even something as simple as loaning power tools to his own brothers. How can he share the woman he loves with the movie-going public?

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The Women of Willow’s Grove

Welcome to Willow’s Grove, Indiana.  In this small northwestern Indiana town, three roommates have big dreams of success in their journalism careers — and love. Each of these stories is complete at between 50,000 and 60,000 words, but most of them have yet to be published. The exception is my Thanksgiving-to-Christmas novella, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

Operation Snag Mike Brad

Book 1

Life is what happens while education reporter Erin Mannering is making other plans. While she plans to snag smokin’-hot sportswriter Mike James, using the tips in a man-hunting book she got for her birthday, she ends up snagging sexy social studies teacher Brad Kingston instead … which would be fine with her except for one tiny problem: Brad may be involved in a grade scandal she and Mike are investigating in his school. Will she stifle the story of her career?

Daring to Love

Book 2

Sparks fly when police reporter Cassie Quinn meets FBI agent  Dustin Collins. Everything about the man — from the way he keeps trying to tell her how to do her job to his temporary status (he’s working a kidnapping case) … even his smug smile — infuriates her. And with her mood swings and crazy hair, Cassie’s everything Dustin’s always avoided in a woman. When he ends up in her bed, can she trust that he’s there to stay?

Overexposed

Book 3

Flirty sportswriter Mike James, who moonlights as a dancer at Willow’s Grove’s only strip joint, the Sword and Stones, finally meets his match. When he and photographer Breanne Garvey get caught in a freak March snowstorm and have to share a single hotel room, neither one of them is prepared for the fallout. Mike’s horrified to discover (after the fact) that Breanne’s a virgin — and she can’t believe she threw away the gift she’d been saving for her husband (never mind that she’d carried a torch for Mike forever). The fun really begins when he suspects Bree’s pregnant.

My Fair Fianceé

(loosely related to the Women of Willow’s Grove)

Brad’s brother, Kenny Kingston, enlists grad student Kristi O’Malley in a scheme to get his matchmaking mother off his back for good: Pretend to be his totally unsuitable fiancee. Kristi relishes the role, which allows her to let her repressed wild side out to play. But their ploy works too well. When they realize they really do want to be together, Kenny’s family — especially his Ma — can’t stand Kristi. So they launch a new plot to “reform” Kristi into a model fiancee. Will Ma come around?

Home for the Holidays

(Loosely related to the Women of Willow’s Grove, since the hero and heroine are graduates of Langdon High in Langley, Ind.)

Home for the Holidays | Arlene HittleRising country-rock star Cheryl Stanton’s forced return to her tiny Indiana hometown — at Thanksgiving time, no less — has her singing the blues. But with her band’s hectic tour pace pushing both body and voice to the brink, much-needed rest trumps her vow never to return. Where better to escape the demands of fame than the place that knew her before she rocketed to stardom? Her plan to disappear into the Indiana cornfields works just fine until a fender-bender puts her in contact with high school crush Derrick Mullins, the one guy who never spared her a second glance — or so she thought.

Derrick looked, all right. But with his plans to stay put in Langley and Cher’s to leave town right after graduation, he never saw the point in starting something she wouldn’t stick around to finish. Older and wiser now after dropping out of med school because he couldn’t hack the stress, the paramedic lives for the present instead of a future he may not survive to see. He wastes not a second letting Cher know he’s interested and soon they’re making up for lost time.

They still have one big problem: Cher can’t stay in Langley and Derrick has no plans to leave. It’s not insurmountable if Cher can only believe the song Perry Como made famous is right … there’s no place like home for the holidays.

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Reality (TV) Bites

Well-intentioned or not, national cable network Romance TV has a unique way of bringing couples together …

Blind Date Bride

Blind Date Bride | Arlene Hittle1 shy accountant + 1 outgoing veterinarian + 2 meddling friends = 1 marriage of decided inconvenience

Longtime losers in love Kari Parker and Damien Walker finally win. The prize? A blind date-wedding, courtesy of Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest. The problem? Neither of them entered the contest. Their friends put their names in for them.

Scarred by past relationships, Kari isn’t looking for a man — especially one as tall as a Windy City high rise. Damien, on the other hand, is convinced Kari just might be the antidote to his dull existence. They plan to ride out the contest’s three-month “cohabitation period” in separate bedrooms so they can secure the prize money that will let Kari save her parents’ restaurant and Damien upgrade his veterinary practice. But when they accept the network’s offer of a cool million — each — to let cameras chronicle their 90-day marriage, Kari cedes the spare room to the camera crew. As she and Damien share close quarters, intimate meals and — gulp — his bed, Kari realizes she doesn’t stand a chance of resisting his considerable charms for three whole months. Scarier still? She might not want to.

But building a real future out of their sham marriage will be tougher than baking a wedding cake from scratch … with no flour … in a broken oven.

Find BLIND DATE BRIDE at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and in print at CreateSpace or Amazon.

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Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise | Arlene Hittle“Does your love life have more fizzle than sizzle? Worried your significant other finds you less than significant? Here’s your chance to find out. Romance TV is seeking eight committed couples to put their relationships to the ultimate test. Contestants will spend a month at an island resort, enjoying all it has to offer. Warm, sandy beaches. Games on the water. Sumptuous buffet spreads. But beware: A tropical paradise offers plenty of opportunities to accept an … ‘Invitation to Sin.’”

Bethany Lincoln hears that ad on her favorite cable channel and decides it’ll be the perfect test for her seemingly cooling relationship with Cody Jackson. The pair hit it off at their best friends’ blind date wedding and got more wedding night action than the bride and groom. After the mess the network nearly made of his friend Damien’s life, Cody is reluctant. But he caves to make Beth happy, reasoning that Romance TV lightning won’t strike their circle twice. It does, of course, and soon they’re  in Bora Bora cavorting for the cameras. But the show isn’t at all what Bethany expected. Instead of testing Cody’s commitment to her, she ends up testing herself.

An indie release coming soon.

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