Skip to product information
1 of 4

The Midseason Fakeout

The Midseason Fakeout

★★★★★ "Five stars? Nope! I'm giving it ten!★★★★★

Regular price $20.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $20.00 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.


  • Sports Romance
  • Older Brother's Best Friend
  • Fake Dating

Brother's best friend?

Fake dating?

Yes, please!

Grab this signed paperback now!


Prefer ebook? THE MIDSEASON FAKEOUT is available on Kindle!

About Book

The star quarterback of the Bulldogs was supposed to be my ticket to a normal life, but now I’ve fallen for him…again.

He’s my brother’s best friend. The perfect person to fake a relationship with. No feelings involved. Just pretend.

He helps me. I help him.

We both agreed.

Except, things get real…and quick.

It turns out my brother’s best friend just can’t help being his charming self, and even though I haven’t seen him in years, he has me shivering
in his arms in no time.

The worst part? This was all my idea. …and I know there’s no way a guy like that could fall for a girl like me.

Or could he?

The Midseason Fakeout is a spicy brother's best friend fake romance! The Warner University Bulldogs series is comprised of standalones that can be read individually.


Chapter One


Even with my eyes closed, my traitorous brain keeps showing me the game clock count down to zero in the fourth quarter. Watching it is a slow, painful death because I know what’s going to happen. And when it does, I still reel from the hollow ache in my heart. The despair that grips me in places I didn’t even know could feel at all.

The worst part about the loss? My ass hurt from riding the bench. I wasn’t sweaty. I wasn’t even wearing the Bulldog-blue uniform. I couldn’t help save anything.

An overwhelming pang of disappointment rings through me again when the memory of the buzzer sounds in my head like a morbid knell.

Our first L of the season. Our first L at home all year.

I was wrong about the worst part, though. What hurt more was seeing the dejected faces of my team as they jogged off the field. Most wouldn’t even look at me. Some did, and judging by the accusing glares they sent my way, not looking at me would’ve been better. For me, at least.

It was West who broke the mold and walked up to me, gave me a short nod and knuckles. Sweat poured down his face. Hair plastered to his forehead like he’d been in a war, but even The Hulk couldn’t pull this one out.

Do you see now?” His earlier words reverberate through me while I sit at my usual booth at the diner, my leg jumping up and down. I’d called for an emergency offensive meeting at Richie’s, but none of the guys are here yet. I don’t even know if they’ll show, but that’s old insecurities talking. Hopefully.

The waitress at the counter peers over at me, and I quickly look away, reminding myself that all the guys had to hit the showers after the game. That’s why I’m still sitting alone. Everything’s fine. Everything’s good.

They’ll be here.

I drag my fingers through my hair. The last few months have been a whirlwind. I was too far into it until there I was, a girl on each arm, beers dangling from both fingertips. Everyone wanted a piece of QB1, and I gave it to them like forfeiting pieces of my soul. Gave so much of myself away, I didn’t have any parts left for football.

Asking myself for the hundredth time how I got so off track isn’t going to help. That’s not the issue now. It’s getting back on track before Coach Thompson kicks me from the team permanently, and I have to go home a failure, a feeling I know all too well.

My stomach tightens as I have to bat away thought after thought.

Football is the only reason you’re lovable, and you’ve failed at that.

You’re discardable.


They’re not going to respect you now. They’re going to drop you.

The bell above the door rings, and my head snaps around to see West and Kenna walk in.  I breathe out a sigh of relief as he gives her a kiss on the forehead, and she strides toward a booth in the corner. My roommate blocks most of my view until he slides into the booth across from me. “Well, that was—”

“Fucking horrible?” My fingertips buzz with restrained energy as I peer behind me to see if anyone else is coming. I can’t even begin to describe how shitty it felt to ride the bench while my team was struggling. West eyes me, and I snap my mouth shut. “I mean it was horrible for me. You guys did everything you could. Everything,” I assure him.

“TT’s too young. Inexperienced. He was scared more than anything.”

My fingers clench and unclench. The backup QB did look a little pale, but I’d been too busy glaring at him all night to really notice. He was in my spot, even though the fault was totally mine. “I fucked up,” I say, more to myself than to West. Misguided anger doesn’t do me any good. TT stepped into my shoes when I wasn’t good enough. I shouldn’t be pissed at him. I should be thanking him.

“Well, I guess you know now that showing up late to practice and acting like a pompous ass will get you benched.”

I drop my head low. QB1 at Warner University holds celebrity status on and off campus. Anything I want, I can get. I didn’t understand that when I was backup for Reid Parker because he was a good dude. He didn’t party. He didn’t sleep around. He had his girlfriend, his close friends, and that was it. His goals were in play all the time. He never lost sight.

Mine got buried in a fog of alcohol, women’s perfume, and the toxic magnetism of being the “it” guy.

As stupid as it sounds, everyone wanted me at their event. All the sororities, all the fraternities, local galas. They took pride in knowing I showed up.

They all wanted me, and when you grew up the way I did, it was a siren’s call I couldn’t turn down.

“Hey,” West’s even-keeled voice says, tugging me out of my thoughts. “What’s done is done. You can turn this around.”

I wish I was that confident. “Coach is pissed.” I think I can still feel the spittle on my cheek from when he chewed me out, ending in him telling me I was sitting today’s game out while I stood in horror, sure I was on some other planet. I thought I was everyone’s favorite person right now.

West chuckles, and I glance at him. He’s a changed man since Kenna. He talks more. He seems looser, more carefree. To think he overcame everything with the bad press and his dad…

If he can do it, so can I. Coach pulling me from the game was a wake-up call.

“You show him respect, he’ll give respect back to you. He’s not petty, man.”

I know all this, it’s just the embarrassment of having to crawl back to where I was.

The bell over the door rings again, and I peek behind me to see an older couple walk in. Turning back around, I slump deeper into the booth, my heart hanging heavy.

“They’ll be here,” West assures me. “They’re not petty either.”

I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t show. We were headed for an undefeated season. What happened out there today was like watching a train wreck. The crowd was as quiet as I had ever heard them in our own stadium. At times, you could hear a pin drop. Observing the whole thing made me sick. And not being able to do anything about it? That was like digging my own grave.

“Yo, QB1!”

I nearly jump, my gaze shooting up. A man behind the counter with a grease-stained apron waves at me. “You sick or what? We missed you at the game tonight. We could’ve used that magic arm.”

My stomach tumbles over. I sit there, unable to form words. Finally, West turns around. “Don’t you worry. He’ll be back in no time.”

I blink at West. Since when does he talk for me? Somehow, we’ve switched places, and it doesn’t feel great. “Thanks,” I mutter as the guy gives us a smiling salute and walks back through the kitchen doors, yelling “Go Blue!”

That chant usually sets a fire through me, but now, it’s only a reminder of my fuckups. Behind me, the welcome bell rings again, and I twist in my seat to find Zo and Colt saunter in. Both of them look grim, and it’s like a hammer driving a nail into my chest.

They pull up chairs to the end of the table while Cade enters. He forces me to move inside, and I rest my back against the cold, damp windows so I can see my team finally coming in. These guys put their trust in me on the field all the time. I’m the play-caller. I’m their leader. I’m the damn QB1, and I let them down.

The rest of the starting lineup arrives. Some sit in the booth behind us, and some sit behind West and Jackson. Others have dragged up chairs like Zo and Colt until it looks like our huddle out on the field. I’m surrounded by my team who’ve been more like my family than—

I give myself a shake, avoiding that particular dark rabbit hole.

Instead, I focus on them. Nerves skate through me as they watch and wait.

“Listen,” I push out. “I fucked up.” I open my hands wide. “I let you all down, and I hope you realize that I get that. I’m pissed at myself, and I take full responsibility for tonight’s loss. It’s not on you guys, it’s on me.”

“No shit,” Cade snarks. He gives me a teasing smile, but there’s none of his usual easy air about him. For fifth year seniors like Cade, this was his final chance to go out with a bang—his last attempt at an undefeated season. And I’m the one who messed that up for him.

“We just want to know where your head’s at now,” Zo says.

“No more late to practices, I can guarantee you that,” I tell him, voice firm.

“And the partying?”

“What parties?” I shrug, already done with them. They were messing with me anyway. The alcohol made me feel like shit. They screwed with my sleep schedule. The girls were fun but didn’t fill the part of me I thought they would.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking.

The guys start to look up. They give me nods as I stare at each and every one of them. “I’m sorry.” I reach my hand up and hold it over my heart. “It won’t happen again.”

Promises to football brothers are set in stone. I have no intention of ever going back to the guy who sought to be accepted by people who don’t matter. These guys? They’re the ones who matter.

At that, the conversation turns. Colt calls over the waitress, and everything goes back to normal. For me, though, guilt still hovers. Until I bring this back around, I won’t feel better. I need to nail the next practices, so Coach starts me again, and the game coming up is a must-win. If we don’t, the team will lose their faith in me. And once I lose their trust, I’m out, or as good as.

Goodbye NFL dream.

Goodbye being accepted.

My stomach churns some more, and I order a water and then nurse it for the rest of the night.

A half hour goes by, and West kicks me under the table. My gaze snaps from my water glass to him. He tilts his head, and I shrug.

All around me, the guys discuss the game. They talk about girls. They even talk about classes, but it’s like this life is slipping away from me. Every time they tell a story from tonight, a hammer drives the outcast nail in a little deeper. I don’t have anything to add. I didn’t see the D-lineman up close to notice his snaggletooth nor the huge-ass booger hanging from his nose.

I can tell them what it’s like to ride the bench, though.

By the time our group breaks up, I feel further apart from them than ever.

“You okay?” Cade asks as he scoots out of the booth.

I shrug. “Just feel like shit about everything.”

“The past is the past.” He swallows, gaze falling away from me and landing on the floor. “There’s nothing you can do about it.” Perking back up, he says, “Reid would say: ‘in the grand scheme of things, one game don’t mean shit.’”

He emphasizes each word and slaps me on the back when I stand. “Yeah, man, I know.”

“Practice, bright and early. I’m sure there will be more lines in your future.”

My legs ache just thinking about it. Coach has had me running lines for the last three practices. I’ve been running lines so much I was surprised he didn’t have me running them during the game itself. Give everyone a reason to talk about why I wasn’t playing. I’m sure they’re already speculating. The loss will only make their hypotheses worse.

“Don’t I know it.” I chuckle for Cade’s benefit, and then he’s out, leaving me, West, and Kenna.

West places his hand on my shoulder. “Unless you need to talk, I was going to spend the night at Kenna’s.”

“I’m good,” I tell him. I’d rather be by myself tonight anyway. You know, really make myself feel like shit.

West stares at me a little longer, like he’s trying to make sure I’m telling the truth. Eventually, I walk out behind them, and Kenna gives me a small wave before they climb into the Hulkmobile and I get in my Charger, a gift from my parents when I turned sixteen. Well, my adoptive parents. If my birth mom even remembers me on my birthday—or any other time for that matter—she never reaches out.

The drive to campus is short, made shorter because my mind is too preoccupied. I step out, shutting the door behind me and locking it before walking toward my dorm. There’s a chill in the air, so I pick up the pace.

A girl squeals, the sound like nails on a chalkboard. “Aidan Michaels! Why weren’t you playing?” It’s Friday night, so of course there are drunk students everywhere. Without waiting for me to answer, she and her friend start giggling and talking in hushed whispers. I hear the words he’s a whole-ass snack and smirk despite being annoyed. Before, that would’ve been enough of an invitation to waltz over and put the charm on her. One of them would’ve been in my room within half an hour. Or we’d end up going to some party where we’d find ourselves in an upstairs bedroom. Or, hell, there was an instance in a dark conference room at one of the nicer hotels in town during a community event.

That Aidan had a lot of fun, but he didn’t have his eye on the prize, and it was unfulfilling as hell.

I keep my head down and walk on, ignoring both of them. When I come around the side of the building, I spot two figures waiting at the front entrance. I groan inwardly. One’s a girl—a beautiful one at that. And the other is…

Oh shit.

“What the…” I start.

“Hey, bro!” Darrin calls out. He walks forward, and the girl walks up with him. I give him a short hug with a handshake, my gaze sliding over the girl briefly. She’s even prettier up close.

Lucky bastard.

“What’s up? What are you doing here?” I ask when we step away.

The girl comes up then. She throws her arms around me, and I nearly stumble. Placing my hands on her hips, I try to push her away, but she has a viselike grip on me. “Please go with whatever I say,” she whispers in my ear.

I finally get her off me, and she stands before me, hands on my arms. Now that she’s so close, I can’t believe I didn’t recognize her. This isn’t one of Darrin’s girlfriends, it’s his younger sister, Bailey. She flutters her lashes at me, a stricken look on her face. Her hair is in waves down to her shoulders, spun like gold and kissed with honey. In the air between us, her perfume still lingers, its blend of provocative flowers nearly drawing me closer. I haven’t seen her in a few years, and she’s…gorgeous.

Darrin sighs. “Dude, you don’t need to act. I know you guys are seeing each other.”

Seeing each other?

“I’m sorry, what?” I ask, my gaze dropping to Bailey in confusion. Her full lips mouth a silent “Please?” Her perfectly manicured hands come up in a prayer position while she gives me doe eyes.

I don’t know what this is about, but my hero complex rears its head. I can never stand to see someone in trouble. Especially not someone like Bailey.

“It’s okay,” Darrin forces out. “I only hate you a little for not telling me first.”

My mind whirring, I stand there speechless. I wish I knew what was going on. And how the hell Bailey grew up looking that fine in a simple sweater, her chest filling it out perfectly. The color on her lips matches. She looks like she stepped out of a beauty magazine.

Bailey moves next to me and grabs my hand. “Darrin, can you give us a few minutes? I didn’t tell him you knew, so he’s probably in shock. And he, you know, probably wants to talk…alone.”

Her tone implies more than just talking. My brain is screaming no, no, no. That’s not what we do with our best friend’s sister. But my body says something completely different.

Where the hell did all that resolve about swearing off of girls just go?

“As long as you don’t ever say it like that again.” Darrin gives us both a disgusted look, then peers down at our joined hands, shaking himself like he got a chill.

He walks off in the opposite direction, and my mouth nearly comes unhinged when he disappears from view. I turn to Bailey. “What the fuck was that?”

“I have a teeny, tiny favor to ask you.”

She grins at me, hopeful, and I already know I can’t say no.

Lucky me, the universe drops the perfect representation of my spank bank right in front of me.

I shake my head. Good thing she’s off-limits because staying away from her might be a problem.

View full details

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐"This was super stinking cute!" ~Amazon Reviewer

With hopes of breaking out from under her parents' gilded cage, Bailey decides she needs to experience the real world by attending college.

Naturally, the only way she can do that is by pretending to date her brother's best friend and quarterback of the renowned Warner football team, Aidan Michaels.

What happens when pretend turns into so much more?

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
love love love

Love this book and the story line. I was always trying to figure out what would happen next. Love this


Amazing story as always. Her books always hooks me in. Love the characters and the story. Very much highly recommend to be read.

Petey Bailey
All the Feels

I already loved Aiden as his roll of fun-loving best friend to West in The Comeback, so I was super stoked for his book and looking forward to getting to know him better. My heart breaks for him continuously as he battles his inner demons. One would never think that the one always with a smile is the one most tortured on the inside, but that's usually the case and it's exactly the case with Aiden. And, yet, no one sees it.... except Bailey. Bailey was a splendid surprise. She's tough as nails, yet has this innocence about her because she's been sheltered her whole life. Everyone thinks she has it made because she's wealthy, but we all know that money doesn't buy happiness. Their chemistry is off the charts from the moment they cross paths in this book and you are constantly on the edge of your seat waiting for them to finally cave to their feelings. And when they finally did? IT. WAS. SO. SATISFYING. I laughed a LOT reading this book because of the quick wit and banter between the characters. I also found myself sobbing at certain points. As always with Erin's books, the side characters were phenomenal and there are a few I'd like to get to know better if that ever enters the cards.

Beth K.

The Midseason Fakeout is amazing! I mean, I fell for Aidan in West and Kenna's book, and he is just so swoony! I just love the growth of his character from when we were firdt introduced and how he handles his relationship with Bailey. Bailey, I instantly liked her. She is fiery, independent and just has the best personality. I loved the Insta chemistry with Aidan and let's face it we all knew the fake dating was going to lead to something else. There were a few twists and turns in the book that were unexpected, but they tied into the book nicely! Well, I still don't like Mrs. Covington and I don't think that will change anytime soon. Baidan for the win!! My only complaint/wish is a little more background on Aidan's bio parents. I kind of felt like we were going to get a smack in the face with it, but we didn't. And I am a little needy and need more from them?? Overall, great book. I highly recommend!

Amanda Kintner

This was a cute read to end the year with. I really enjoyed Aiden and Bailey's relationship. No cheating, nothing major happened but it honestly was a nice fun read.