For the next few weeks, we will be previewing titles from our brand new Women of W.A.R. series, available Feb 20. This week, we are featuring Game On, the flirty workplace romance from internationally best-selling author Nicola Marsh.
He laughed, a rich, deep sound that rumbled all the way through me, arrowing straight between those damn ovaries. ‘From the way you handled those dickheads, I may have just fallen in love a little.’
‘Be still my beating heart,’ I deadpanned, enjoying our dry banter all too much.
How long since I’d done this? Swapped witty one-liners with a pro? Try never. The guys I’d dated occasionally in uni had been fellow sports-freaks who viewed sex the same way I did: as a form of exercise. No muss, no fuss fun.
I’d hooked up with exactly three guys, one a year, during my studies. None of them had made me sit up and take notice like this guy.
‘Just so you know, I don’t do love, so I paid you a massive compliment.’ He raised his beer in a silent cheer.
‘Just so you know, I don’t talk to strangers, so the fact I’m sitting here listening to your BS is a massive compliment.’ I clinked my beer bottle against his, unable to stop a burgeoning smile.
Because staring into those mesmerising dark eyes filled with humour made me want to laugh out loud for the hell of it.
‘In that case, I’ll drink to that.’ He took a slug from his beer, the smooth convulsive action of his throat making my fingers itch to reach out and touch. ‘At the risk of reverting to trite jerk status, what do you do when you’re not emasculating misguided men?’
‘I work at a bar not unlike this one.’
I must’ve inadvertently screwed up my nose because he laughed again. ‘And not loving it, obviously.’
I shrugged, not willing to divulge my reasons for sticking around at my father’s bar when he obviously didn’t give a crap one way or the other. ‘It’s a stopgap until I get where I want to be.’
The truth hovered on the tip of my tongue but most guys didn’t understand a woman wanting to make it big in Aussie Rules; why would this one be any different? ‘Anywhere but here.’ I placed my bottle on the bar and gestured around. ‘Seen one mirror-lined, liquor-stocked, den of inequity filled with memorabilia from washed-up sports stars, seen them all.’
‘Sounds like you really love your job. Cheers to that.’ He took another slug of his beer as I bit back a grin.
I liked sarcasm. Go figure.
‘Let me guess. You’re one of those annoyingly chipper people who live for work.’
He held up his left hand. No ring. Not that it meant anything to some guys. ‘Guilty as charged.’
‘Workaholics are good.’ I cast him a sly sideways glance. ‘They end up alcoholics who keep me in a job.’
‘I thought you were only playing bar wench as a stopgap?’
‘And I thought you were just leaving?’ As much as I was enjoying our banter, I should go. I had an early start on the training track tomorrow and another double shift starting at midday.
‘Is that an invitation?’ He eyeballed me, bold and challenging. Damned if I didn’t like it. ‘Would you like to leave with me?’
No innuendo. No sly jibes. A blatant invitation that tempted me more than it should.
If I had a bucket list, sex with a stranger wouldn’t be on it. That was before. Before him.
‘Just so we’re clear, we’re not leaving here to have ice-cream, right?’
‘There can be ice, and cream, involved.’ He leaned closer, a waft of something crisp and expensive washing over me, befuddling me more than his words. ‘If you’re lucky.’
I didn’t pick up men in bars.
I didn’t do one-night stands.
But the longer I stared into his dark, hypnotic eyes, the more I knew without a doubt I was in danger of doing both.
What happens next??
Angelica Bryant has a dream. The only child of a soccer legend, she pays her bills by working at her father’s bar while pursuing her goals: a role in sports management and a place in the newly established Women’s Aussie Rules league. Football is her passion, and she won’t let anything get in her way: including an ill-advised one-night-stand with one of Australia’s most successful agents.
Jaxon Flint thrives on success. His workaholic lifestyle keeps his agency and the athletes he represents at the top of their game – and all of his emotions at bay. Until he meets Angie, W.A.R.’s newest star, who undermines his carefully laid plans and gets under his skin. Is he willing to relinquish his careful control both in and out of the bedroom?
When Angie and Jaxon end up working together, it’s game on!
All three Women of W.A.R. titles release 20 February 2018!