The Name of the Game has just been released by SirenBookStrand and to celebrate, I’m giving a copy away. Just leave a comment on this blog and your name will go into the hat. Good luck!
This is my first effort at writing romantic suspense solely from the heroine’s point of view. Ashley believes her boss when he says his marriage if over. They enter into a steamy affair and Ashley works her butt off to prepare the company for amalgamation with a rival so that she and Matt can go public with their relationship. But the bottom abruptly falls out of her world when Matt’s ‘estranged’ wife appears at the office, heavily pregnant.
Ashley breaks off the affair but Matt won’t let up on her. He convinces her that he isn’t the father of the baby but must stand by Eve until the amalgamation goes through because she owns a vital five per cent of the company’s shares that could swing the deal in either direction.
Someone is trying to sabotage the amalgamation. Ashley delves into the Templeton family’s affairs, uncovering deeply buried secrets that someone will go to any lengths—even murder—to protect. As she fights to save the man she loves from the brink of ruin, Ashley finds that she’s placed her own life on the line…
This is how Ashley discovers the truth about Matt’s wife’s condition -
“Did you wish to see me about anything in particular, sir?”
“Yes, gorgeous, I want to know where you’d like to go for dinner this evening.”
Ashley didn’t attempt to hide her surprise, or her elation. They hardly ever dined out together, just in case they were seen. If they did, it was always in small, out of the way places of Matt’s choosing.
“Anywhere I like?”
He smiled that alluringly sexy smile of his, the one that never failed to make her feel weak at the knees, and nodded. “Anywhere at all.”
“And what are we supposed to be celebrating?”
Ashley held her breath, instinctively understanding that they’d reached a defining moment in their relationship. She said nothing more though, determined to make him put into words exactly what was in his mind.
“Well—” He paused, the expression in his silver-gray eyes meltingly gentle, full of tender affection. “There’s a certain event that we should be celebrating on Thursday, but since I have to be in Southampton for the rest of the week, we’ll just have to bring things forward by a day.”
Ashley dropped thick curling lashes over her eyes as she attempted to disguise her disappointment. She had allowed herself to hope that he had something far more life-changing in mind that her thirty-fifth birthday. But now wasn’t the time to broach that particular subject. It was enough that he was prepared to risk being seen in public with her—a huge step forward.
“Why, Mr Templeton, I do believe you’ve remembered by birthday.”
“How could I forget?” He chuckled, a soft throaty sound that was so uniquely him. “And good girls can expect to receive special presents.”
“Ah, but therein lies a problem.” She chewed pensively at her lower lip. “You don’t like me when I’m good.”
“That depends upon your definition of good. I don’t, for instance, much care for girls who have good-looking young men in and out of their office all the morning, asking needless questions.” His eyes bored into her profile. “Are you going to tell me who he is?”
“What?” she asked, with wide-eyed innocence. “Surely you don’t mean Gordon, the new dispatcher I just employed? The one with the deep blue eyes, a cute dimple, sexy smile, and hunky body.” Matt growled at her. “Is he good-looking? Can’t say I noticed. Anyway,” she added, enjoying the sexual buzz she got just from flirting with him, “I’m almost old enough to be his mother.”
Matt fixed her with a disbelieving gaze. “Baby, the way he was looking at you when I walked past this morning sure ain’t the way a guy looks at his mother.”
“Isn’t it?” She could detect tension beneath his flirtatiousness. “What is it, Matt?” she asked, her smile fading. “Has something happened?”
He sighed. “Yes, another iffy death claim.”
“No, that makes three now.” She shook her head. “Same pattern as the others?”
“Yes, I asked claims to contact me direct if another one came up. I heard just now. A woman in her early sixties. She didn’t disclose any pre-existing conditions, but died from a heart attack.”
“And let me guess, it wasn’t her first.”
“It was, but she suffered from hypertension and took blood pressure medication for some years.”
“My sentiments entirely.” Matt’s phone buzzed. “Damn, Excuse me, Ashley.” Matt pushed the speaker button. “What is it, Lorraine?”
“Your wife’s here to see you, Matt.”
His expression of concern for the business gave way to a wild look of panic. He stared at Ashley without speaking. Although she was seated directly in front of him, he didn’t appear to see her, causing a frisson of alarm to spiral through her. It was awkward, but Matt’s reaction seemed way over the top. Ashley was well able to maintain a professional stance in front of his wife. Did he imagine that she’d go all girly on him and drop him in it by giving herself away? Really, he ought to know her better than that.
Before she could ask any questions, the door opened, and Ashley was treated to her first ever sight of the woman she’d heard so much about over the past eighteen months but had so far managed to avoid meeting. She examined her critically, disguising her acute interest beneath a cordial smile, and ruthlessly suppressed the gut-wrenching jealousy that wormed its way through her insides.
Matt’s wife was petite, well groomed, and extremely pretty. He’d got that bit right. Oddly enough though, there was one tiny little insignificant detail he’d forgotten to impart.
Eve Templeton, the woman Matt claimed not to have slept with for over a year, had to be at least five months pregnant.
The Name of the Game by Wendy Soliman – Available now from SirenBookStrand $3.39 http://www.bookstrand.com/the-name-of-the-game
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