THE PLAYER’S GAME
by Alice Gaines 
A Players’ Pact Novel 
Publication Date: July 13, 2020 
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary, Romance, Second Chance, Reunited Lovers


SYNOPSIS

I’ve got to admit, life is sweet these days. As a starting NFL quarterback, I do okay, and I haven’t been lacking for female companionship. But I’d give it all up in a heartbeat if I could get back the woman I loved and lost—my ex-wife, Katy.

Now I’m at a wedding, watching one of my best friends tie the knot. I’m happy for him—really. I just wish things had turned out better when I’d taken that walk down the aisle. Still, those days are over.

I’m on my way up to my room when I run into my ex in the elevator. It’s like karma. Has to be. Only she’s with some random guy, who’s getting a little too handsy for my liking. I can’t help myself—I have to say something. Something that ruins her night…and mine, too.

Now, I’m sitting alone in my hotel room, when suddenly, Katy’s at my door, complaining that I ruined her 30th birthday. Her solution—that I give her the night of sexual adventure I’d derailed in the elevator.

I never was very good at saying no to her…


EXCERPT

 

She continued staring straight ahead, but her gaze didn’t seem to focus on anything.  “You didn’t see the bedroom in the condo.”

Just as well he hadn’t.  He really didn’t need to be reminded of everything they’d done in there.

“I re-did it all,” she said.  “Gave the bed away to charity.  New paint, new curtains.  I changed the carpet.”

“I would have done the same thing.”

She dropped his hand and rose.  Then she did the damnedest thing.  She crawled into his lap and rested her head on his shoulder.  What else could he do but wrap his arms around her and kiss the top of her head?  “Katy, Katy, Katy.”

She didn’t talk or make any move to caress him.  She just sat there like a warm lump while the gulls kept calling and the breakers rolled in and crashed against the shore.  He’d arranged for this cottage so they could continue their explorations of uninhibited sex.  He’d reserved it because she’d love the luxury and because she could walk right up to the water from here.  He hadn’t meant for confessions or deep discussions.  He hadn’t expected cuddling.  That sure hadn’t been any part of his sex life since the divorce.

“I still sometimes wake up and expect to find you next to me,” she said.

All right, this had to stop.  If he sat here long enough with her in his lap like a lost puppy, he’d start hoping for things that weren’t going to happen.  He’d go back to thinking everything could work out if only he tried hard enough.  He’d want to protect her from anything that could harm her, including loving him.

But he could show her how much her missing him meant.  He could do it without rehashing their entire relationship, including the pain of separation.  He could enjoy the present she’d given him and make sure she enjoyed it, too.  They could cuddle some more afterward without any of the sadness.

He scooped her up in his arms and rose.  As he did, she twined her fingers behind his neck and gazed up at him out of her deep, brown eyes.  She stared at him with complete knowledge of what they were about to do and what it would mean.  Yeah, they’d have sex, but there were better, more profound, words for it.  Like making love.  Words he was not going to use.

He carried her into the bedroom and laid her on the comforter.  In this space, they had no history, good or bad.  They only had these moments.  They’d be real.  They’d be intense.  But they’d stay behind when he and she had left.

 

ABOUT ALICE GAINES

Alice Gaines lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in a fixer-upper house she never fixed up. Aside from writing and reading hot, hot romance, she loves cooking, knitting and crocheting, and her church. She has a pet corn snake named Casper. She’s insanely passionate about the funky soul band, Tower of Power.


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