Rafael Henley, star pitcher of the pro-baseball team Sliders, is a single dad of a six-month old baby girl he loves more than life itself. He likes willowy blondes and women who don’t look to him as their protector. Yet here is, lusting after the complete opposite: petite, raven-haired, Karma Huntington with a rose tat running up her neck, brimming with confidence and fiercely independent. But the dark secret Rafael holds in his heart prevents any serious interest in pursuing Karma.
Baseball is one of Karma’s passions, the others being writing and food. Not only does the order of this change with her moods but she could also be doing two of them at the same time. Like writing with food on her face or watching baseball and eating. Real multi-tasking.
Raised by her father and his gang of friends, Karma’s just getting over the death of her husband. It has been three years but to her it feels like yesterday. Time heals, she’s been told. She’s still waiting. Now she has revenge on her mind. She wants to get closer to Rafael to avenge her husband’s death. He was driving the car that killed him. And what better way to do it than to take away the one thing he loves most in the world?
She gets her chance to get closer to Rafe when he stumbles upon her one moonlit night, meditating on the hill looking upon the lake. They both want this one brief encounter and that would be it: a one-night stand deal, which no one actually wants.
As she’s finishing the pictures for her latest article, Rafael’s nanny calls in sick. As he has to leave for New York for a series of games with the Yankees, Karma volunteers to baby-sit Ali. When Rafael gets back from his road trip, he realizes he wants the deal with Karma to be toast.
Karma’s plan to get closer to Rafael is in the works. Everything comes to a screeching halt when Rafael’s baby girl is kidnapped. Nothing, nothing will stop him from getting her back and beating the crap out of whoever is responsible.
Karma’s father and his friends decide to jump in the fray and do some rescuing of their own. Lily is retired, yes, but a decorated police officer. Flatulent Rosy is a seasoned claims investigator. Cross-dressing Trudie is incredibly fit. If they don’t make a great team, then what use are their talents? Just as the rescue gang tumbles in, Rafael marches into the loft where Ali is kept. Karma keeps out of sight as the rescue effort is underway.
Rafael has words with the rescue team, gives them a piece of his very loud mind. He’ll be happy if he never sees them again.
Relieved it was only a ploy to get him back, Rafael and Declan bond. However, from the PI’s files, Rafael discovers Karma has been hiding things from him. He confronts her and accuses her of wanting revenge for the death of her husband. He plans to stay out of her life.
The team is relocating and Rafael has to decide if he wants to move with them. He’s devastated. This on top of Karma’s betrayal! Just when he was beginning to like her a lot! He quits baseball so he can be with Ali and watch her grow up in the house Linus has left him: the house in the woods. He opens a restaurant, which becomes a hit. Rafael cannot avoid Karma. A chance meeting with her after the release of her latest book put things into perspective for him. But Karma’s head is the clouds. Her latest book, a romance, has hit all the lists. She’s immersed in her writing, dazzled with her success and loving every second of it. She’s not ready to fall in love again. Not ready to be distracted. And she wants none of it.
Rafael’s just thinking of lost opportunities when Karma’s father, Alan, and his gang stop for a bite at his restaurant. Alan tells Rafe about Ben and Rafael admits Linus was driving. Alan tells Rafe to go to Karma and let her know that.
With a bit of strawberry and cream, Karma finally lets the past stay in the past and Rafael puts aside his guilty conscience.