I am so excited to introduce LOVEGAME to you :-) Every once in a while in an author’s life, a book comes along that challenges them and tortures them and makes them love it more than anything. For me, LOVEGAME is that book. The story line actually came to me almost three years ago—on my way to a Fresh Fiction event, in fact—and I fell in love with it right away. It also scared me A LOT, which is why, even after selling it, I kept putting it off until Veronica and Ian wouldn’t let me anymore—their scenes started coming to me, fully formed, while I was driving my kids to school and cooking dinner and even when I was working on another book (which was a problem, if you can imagine, lol). Anyway, I’m super proud of the book that long ago idea has become and I am thrilled beyond measure to share an excerpt from it with you today! I hope you enjoy it! And don’t forget,RUINED—the first book in my Ethan Frost series and my very first NYTimes Bestseller, is on sale for $.99 this week!!!
Have a fabulous rest of the week!
Hailed by J. Kenner as an author who “knows how to steam up the pages,” Tracy Wolff delivers a darkly addictive novel of seduction and psychological obsession. The stakes are high in Lovegame, when a movie star with a shattered past meets a man who can either break her or make her whole.
True Crime novelist Ian Sharpe has spent his career writing about serial killers for very personal reasons. For his latest exposé, he is taking on the sadistic madman known as the Red Ribbon Strangler, and when his research leads him to Hollywood’s most private and provocative actress, he will break every rule to uncover her truth.
The daughter of one of Hollywood’s golden couples, chased by paparazzi and treated as a commodity her entire life, Veronica Romero wields her sex appeal like a weapon. She expects Ian to be as easy to control as every other man she’s ever known. But from the beginning, he refuses to fall into line. Mysterious and cool, challenging and just a little bit dangerous, Ian somehow makes her feel safe—even as he digs into the deepest secrets of her life and pushes her to the breaking point.
As raw ecstasy gives way to agonized truths, their dark obsession exposes secrets that have been buried for far too long. Ian wants to tear down her walls and heal the sensual woman underneath. But if Veronica’s learned anything, it’s that the line between pleasure and pain is a narrow one—and when caught between them the only thing that matters is how you play the game.
“I loved Lovegame! It’s a hot, sexy thriller of a book, with so many twists and turns I never saw coming!”—M. O’Keefe, author ofEverything I Left Unsaid
“A true cat and mouse game of two people dodging, evading, and hiding truths they'd leave covered. It's a story packed with passion and edge gripping you from beginning to end.”—TeriLynn, goodreads
“This book had me on edge! I kind of knew where it was going at some point but man the secrets, the horrors! It was just great!” –Crystal Zapata, goodreads
And Ian wonders why I’m wary around him? Why I dance around his questions instead of giving him the direct answers he wants? He’s so good at reading people, at seeing below the surface to who they really are, that I can’t help being terrified he’ll do the same to me. And then where will I be? My public persona is at least as carefully crafted as the Belladonna’s ever was. And my house of cards so much more delicately balanced.
Which is why I wait for him to make the first move. His face is blank, his jaw clenched, and I have no idea what he’s thinking. Just like I have no idea why he brought me out here. If it wasn’t to try to fuck me—and so far it doesn’t seem like it was—then I am at a loss. But I’ve played studio politics long enough to know that, unless you hold all the cards, it’s always better to hang back and wait for the other side to show theirs.
But Ian is as well-versed in power games as I am and so, for long seconds, he makes no move, either. Instead, he just stands here watching me out of eyes that see far, far too much.
We might have stayed like that all night—or at least until I was needed inside again—but a waiter opens the door carrying a tray heavily loaded with champagne glasses. “Would you like a drink, ma’am? Sir?”
“We’re fine, thank you,” Ian tells him, a trace of impatience in his voice for all of his studied politeness.
“I’d love one, actually.” I say, more to contradict Ian than because I really want the champagne. Still, once I’m holding it, I can’t resist the siren’s call of false courage that it brings and so I drain it much the same way I did my first three glasses. Ian just holds on to his, like he’s barely aware he picked it up.
I’m just reaching to put the glass down when Ian makes his move. “I’m sorry,” he says, and though he’s not touching me I swear I can feel the heat of him in my skin.
“For what?” It’s the last thing I expect him to say. Still, I make sure my tone says much more than the question does—namely, that I’m not implying that he doesn’t need to apologize, but rather that he has so much to apologize for that I’d like to know, specifically, which of his many transgressions he is referring to.
His answering smirk proves he’s as smart as I think he is—and that he knows exactly what I’m doing. In response, he touches me for the first time since we came out here, his elegant writer’s hand curling around my upper arm. “For whatever you think I’m guilty of.”
“Blanket apologies are such cop-outs, don’t you think?”
“Absolutely. Almost as much as the habit of answering a question with a question.”
“A girl has to have some secrets.”
“Even from the man assigned to write the definitive article about her?”
“Especially from him.” I reach for the glass of champagne in his hand and knock it back, too. Playing cat and mouse is such thirsty work.
He watches, lips quirked in amusement. But the second I put the glass down, he’s crowding me. His hips pressing against mine. His body squeezing me against the balcony railing.
It should make me uncomfortable—I’ve spent my life making sure I have plenty of wiggle room—but there’s something about Ian being the one to crowd me that somehow keeps me from freaking out.
I don’t trust him—of course I don’t—but the feel of his long, hard cock rubbing against my sex rekindles the fire inside of me. Makes me hotter than I have any right to be. It was only four days ago, after all, that I had been certain a man would never be able to make me come. Now, here I am, ready to drop my panties in the middle of my mother’s birthday party. And enjoy the hell out of every second of it.
It’s a humbling thought. And an arousing one.
That doesn’t mean I’m ready to let him win, though. To the victor goes the spoils and, frankly, after what he pulled this morning, he hasn’t earned me. Yet.
“I should get back inside. Make sure all my guests are comfortable.” I slip out of his arms, making sure to rub my breasts against his chest as I go. Never let it be said that I’m not willing to suffer for my art.
I barely make it two steps before his hand is around my wrist, holding me in place. “I’m a guest.”
“You’re a reporter.”
“Oh yeah?” He lifts my hand to his mouth, presses an openmouthed kiss to the center of my palm. “Is that why I’m here?”
“You’re here,” I tell him as I stroke my free hand along the clothed length of his erection, reveling in the way his breath catches and his hips stutter forward. “Because I wanted you here.” I lean forward, press a lingering kiss to his mouth. “But now I have to go. Good night, Ian.”
He lets me make it to the door, even lets me open it. But then he’s grabbing me, whirling me around, pressing my back into the wall next to the door. “You didn’t really think it’d be that easy to get rid of me, did you, baby?”
Ian might be a worthy adversary, but in the end, he’s just a man. “If I’d wanted to get rid of you, baby, you’d already be gone.”
And don’t forget, RUINED is currently on sale for $.99!!!