Title: Circuit of Attraction
Entry Nickname: She’s Fast, He’s Furious
Word count: 87K
Genre: Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
MotoGP princess Lorelai Hargrove has battled tirelessly to earn her place in professional motorcycle racing’s starting lineup. Her family raised her to prioritize career before romance, but it’s getting impossible to resist the pull toward her sexy-as-he-is-infuriating rival: Italian racing superstar, Massimo Vitolo.
Massimo spent ten years trying to tease his way into Lorelai’s good graces before accepting one unstoppable truth: racing will always come first for her. But when another rider crashes her out, leaving Lorelai shaken from cracked helmet to busted bike, her losses pile up until a mandate comes down from her sponsors: start winning, or she’ll be replaced with someone who can. Massimo can’t bear to stand on the sidelines as those who worshipped the first woman of moto rush to tear her down, so during a break in the season, he shows up at Lorelai’s Memphis home. Through motocross jumps and moonlit bike rides, he helps her regain her confidence, and a decade’s worth of competitive tension ignites into a sexual explosion. But the respite from their competitive habits is tested the moment the foes-turned-lovers return to the track.
Lorelai’s sponsors are still making noise about her low placements, while Massimo’s are now raising eyebrows at his fraternization with a competitor. Worse, if either of their racing contracts ends up in shreds, the resulting banishment from the circuit will spell the end of their bi-continental romance. For both Lorelai and Massimo, there’s only one way to salvage both their beloved careers and the relationship they’d risk anything to keep: Win the top spot of MotoGP World Champion, or lose it all.
The cool March air screams past me as I downshift in my approach to turn fourteen, a damn near 90-degree right corner on the Losail International track. My Ducati lays deep into the tighter-than-tight turn, putting me closer to horizontal than vertical while my knee scrapes the track rippling by my helmet—my trademark American flag painted across my crown.
I tuck in my elbow and control my breathing. Twenty-one laps down, two turns to go, and then I will fly over the finish line: the first woman in history to win a race in MotoGP. The first woman ever to race in MotoGP. And all I have to do is what I’ve managed for ten years: beat Massimo to the finish line one last time.
Fourth gear. I tilt her vertical and charge toward the sharp left of fifteen. Fifth gear. Sixth. Golden dust flashes on my right, black pavement and gray bailout gravel rushing by my left. The stadium lights of Qatar lead the way, and I fade left, forcing Massimo’s royal blue Yamaha furtherinside than he wants it to be.
I never set out for us to be enemies, but if the Italian know-it-all jerk would’ve kept his distance, it would’ve made the fact that I can’t stop fantasizing about his body against mine so much easier to ignore.
Massimo peeks at me, and I glare back at him over my shoulder. Today is the day I’m going to make history.
Fifth gear. Fourth. Third, and lean.