Christian plays for keeps. But Serena won’t be tamed.
Keep reading for an excerpt from Ice Hot by USA Today bestselling author Tracy Goodwin!
It releases March 5th.
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“So, how does it feel to live in a fishbowl? You’re under scrutiny from everyone. First Page Six and now your teammates.”
“Page Six?” I try to hide my cynicism. “You read Page Six?”
“Doesn’t everyone in the tri-state area?” She tips her head to the side, a quizzical expression on her face. She’s sizing me up and it’s annoying, not to mention disappointing. I tap the bar with my index finger. Here I thought she was different. So much for first impressions.
“I didn’t think you recognized me.” I had hoped she’d be interested in the real me. Not the bachelor, the catch, the challenge. Not the Who is Christian Chase dating? persona that I just can’t seem to escape.
The mystery woman studies my fingers, seemingly mesmerized by my rhythmic tapping to the beat of the music. “I didn’t recognize you. Not until tonight. Seeing you, watching the crowd’s reaction to you and your teammates . . . one of my friends Googled you.”
This explains why she’s suddenly so nice. Another woman wanting the famous guy, the hot athlete with wealth. If that’s the guy she wants, who am I to disappoint?
“Page Six only writes half the story, typical for a cheap tabloid.” She smiles. Maybe she’s onto my antics, or not. Regardless, she’s a captive audience as I add, “It’s true that no woman ever says no to me. What they fail to mention is that no woman has ever regretted saying yes.”
Staring at me, she narrows her eyes, sizing me up again. There’s the cynic I met the other day. The woman who suspects I’m full of shit, but there’s a hidden meaning in her bright azure gaze. Her eyes—she sees right through me and I shift uncomfortably, blinking first, which is completely unlike me.
Leaning against the bar, she asks, “Do you want to get shot down?” Her tone is subtle and not the least bit snarky. Like she wants to know my answer.
Words escape me. Women talk to me, but never listen. Or they listen just long enough to reply. They’re interested in winning over the sports star and care about the promise of celebrity that being in my company can bring. I don’t remember the last time a woman asked me what I want. It’s . . . refreshing. Intimidating. Even for a guy like me who doesn’t get rattled often.
“Do I seem like the type to judge a man by a gossip column?” She seems sweet, says all the right things. “You told your team to fuck off, yet they’re watching us. Waiting for you to crash and burn. At least that’s my opinion.”
She distracts me. Her questions, her intense scrutiny, her take on everything. I down a gulp of my drink and grimace. Shit, that’s strong. She’s still staring, waiting for me to answer. “You’re right. One of my teammates struck out. They’re hoping I do the same.”
“But you’re their leader, right?” She makes it sound like I’m an alien in some sci-fi movie.
Scratching the short stubble on my chin, I correct her. “I’m their captain.”
“Okay, Captain. Do you want me to turn you down so you fit in with them?”
Her offer is thoughtful, but I’ve got something else on my mind now. “I’ve wanted your number since the gas station. If you think I’m giving up a chance to get to know you—”
“What’s your number?” She places her thumb against her iPhone, using the Touch ID to unlock the screen. Her cell is encased in a glittery rose gold. Sparkly, but not gaudy. Though I don’t know her, I know enough to deduce that it fits her personality.
As I recite my number, her fingers type at a rapid rate. My cell immediately vibrates in my pocket. “I just texted you. Add me to your contacts. My name is Serena.”
She is so close now that her scent intoxicates me. More musk than floral, it’s a total turn-on. So is she. Especially when she plants her hands firmly on the fabric over my abs, then slowly, methodically, slides them upward, past my pecs, until her warm palms reach my neck. She leans into me even closer, her voice a raspy murmur as her breath fans my cheek. “Let’s put on a show. You’re a virile, hotter-than-hot sports star. You believe that your mere touch will ignite my lady parts, and why not? You’re Christian fucking Chase, right?”
To hear her say the word fucking sends my blood rushing straight to my cock. Her touch, her warm palms against my neck, causes my muscles to tense. My erection swells, in sync with my raspy breaths. Her full lips, so close to mine that I want to kiss them, upturn in a seductive grin.
“You with your brown hair, mesmerizing eyes a rich amber, chiseled jaw, and a rock-hard body to die for . . . who could say no to you, right?” Serena bites her lower lip and it sends a jolt of electricity through to my cock. “I hate to break it to you, baby, but I’m your first no.”
With her last word, her voice bellows through the bar as she shoves me aside. “Let me clarify. I’m saying NO in all caps. Those guys dared you to come over here after your pal was shot down. I know it, and so do you. The only reason my knee hasn’t made contact with your balls is because you have excellent fashion sense. Trust me when I say that Hugo Boss has saved you from a world of hurt tonight.”
Forget Hugo, Serena is a fucking boss. Even I believe her.
Tracy Goodwin is a USA Today bestselling author. Throughout a career spanning a decade, she has achieved both traditional and indie publishing success. She is the author of the sexy New York Nighthawks contemporary romance series for Loveswept. In addition, she pens sweeping historical romances and vivid urban fantasies. Though the genres may be different, each story delivers her unique blend of passion, excitement, poignant emotion, humor, and unforgettable characters that steal readers’ hearts.
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