Games of the Heart

Games of the Heart August 2009
 > Amazon   > B&N

The most passionate game of all

When it comes to love…

Überfab, up-and-coming celeb manager Sage Collins is ready for the big time. About to land her first big client—a teenage athlete who could be the next Michael Jordan—Sage is determined to make her mark. The immovable object in her way? Marshall Grant, the kid’s father and manager—over six feet of sexy, take-charge ex-military male. No matter. Big-city chick Sage isn’t leaving small-town Indiana without a contract—even if she has to seduce Marshall to get it.

There’s no contest

Sage is all wrong for Marshall. So why is the single father finding the Vegas glam girl so irresistible? Marshall never thought Sage would trade her stilettos for sweats and sneakers, or her thrill-a-minute life for the frigid temps of Indiana. (Maybe the romantic firelit dinner or midnight sleigh rides had something to do with it?) Is the ultimate city girl playing a game neither of them can win? Or are they about to become partners in a new game, where love calls the shots?


“Come on, you stupid thing,” Sage Collins grumbled, huffing vigorously. “I gave you my change, now give

me my damn Kit Kat!” Forgetting that she was at Indianapolis’ illustrious Westchester Academy, and that

impressionable young children were milling about, she smacked the glass powerfully with her right palm.

“I want my chocolate bar and I want it now you good for nothing piece of—”

“What’s going on here?” demanded a voice behind her.

Sage didn’t bother to turn around. She had a score to settle with the vending machine from hell.

Her eyes were fixed on the chocolate bar, held captive between a jumbo bag of Cheetos and a can of roasted peanuts.

“I asked what you’re doing. Do I need to get security?”
Now the man had her attention. Sage tossed a look over her shoulder and regarded the taller-than-average brother. He was a giant of a man. Built like an NFL line backer, but without the giggly beer belly and evil menacing stare, he had extra-wide shoulders, ripped forearms and a pair of strong, sturdy legs. Staggered by his height, but not the least bit intimidated by his harsh tone, she expelled a breath. “This machine sucks,” she told him, sweeping her bangs off her forehead. “If I had matches, I’d torch it.”

“Ever stop to think that maybe it’s the customer and not the product?”

“No, because it robbed a six-year-old of his allowance five minutes ago.”

His furious scowl matched the heat in his eyes. “You’re acting like a deranged psycho and I’m supposed to believe you? Are you on medication or something?”

It was the first time in her twenty-eight years that Sage felt like smacking someone upside the head. Hot with anger, but refusing to lose her cool, she scrutinized the burly stranger with the aggressive wide-legged stance. His plaid shirt should be in a box on its way to Goodwill and his jeans were a minute too short. In Las Vegas a man would never be caught dead in public wearing last season’s shoes. They dressed to the nines or not at all. But up here in Indianapolis, dressing casual took on a whole new meaning. The stranger needed new shoes and most importantly, a new attitude.

“Are you from around here?”

“No and I don’t have a name or phone number either.”

Snorting, he shrugged dismissively. “Don’t flatter yourself. I’m not interested.”

“Sure you aren’t. That’s what all the rejected guys say.”

His lips tightened. “Move out of the way so I can take a look at it.”

“No thanks.” Turning around, she bumped the machine with her hips. The Kit Kat fell, along with a jumbo bag of Doritos and several sticks of gum. Bending down to retrieve her goods, she donned an arrogant smile. “I told you I didn’t need your help.”

“You didn’t pay for those things!” He took a step towards her. “What you’re doing verges on theft.”

“So what are you going to do, make a citizen’s arrest?” she asked, the absurdity of her words mocking him. His cologne, like his shirt, screamed for attention but Sage wasn’t going to give him another second of her time. Turning away, she quipped, “I wish I could stay and continue this riveting verbal exchange, but I have a game to watch.”

Grinning, she ripped open the bag of Doritos and popped a chip into her mouth. “Mmmmm, delicious!” Deaf to his threats, she continued down the hall, and ducked inside the gymnasium.