Blurb: Book One in the Jayne Series
Jayne King lived in a world of players. She’d been groomed by her father to win, taking no prisoners in her quest to reach the top. But, it was never enough. She wanted out, and just when she finds her escape, she’s pulled back into the underground crime world of Las Vegas. One phone call spins her life out of control and she once again has to live her life behind a mask of lies.
Her body is for sale, but her heart is off limits.
Flynn Maguire, professional gambler and notorious ladies’ man always wins. Always. As the heir to the Maguire Grand Hotel and Casino fortune, he’s always had his desires delivered on a silver platter. When he crosses paths with Jayne King, he will stop at nothing to have her. Nothing has ever stood between him and what he wanted, and there wasn’t any amount of money too high to pay to own her. He realizes too late that money can’t buy her heart and finds himself in a place he never thought he’d be. Out of luck.
A few hours later, I’d spent way more money than I’d intended and hurried home to get ready to meet Flynn. Since he wanted to meet me at the club, I chose a slinky little number and a hot pair of heels. Red. All red, of course.
Thankfully, red was a great color for me. I had natural auburn highlights in my hair, so the rich color looked good against my pale skin and dark hair. Lord knew I was happy he wasn’t into yellow or something equally disgusting.
I was running late after spending so long at the mall, so I gathered my things and sped out of the house as quickly as possible. There was a ton of traffic, typical for a Friday night, but my little race car easily swept in and out of it like a pro.
I pulled into the valet, once again greeted by a handsome young man, eager to help me out of my car.
I liked practicing on them. Putting on the Jayne mask was never a difficult task, but when men looked at me the way they did, I remembered who I was and what I was about to do. So, I gave them my smiles, put a wag in my step, and pushed forward through the casino toward Flynn.
The place was bustling with laughter and people milling around at every turn. I was confident and sure as I walked past them, knowing that every head turned my way. My heels tapped against the marble floors and then silenced as I hit the plush carpet that led to the nightclub.
It, too, was remarkable. Everything about The Maguire was lush. It reminded me that Flynn was so unbelievably different than I was. He’d grown up in excess, where I’d only had a taste of it, and it was usually while I was on my back. I had to admit that I enjoyed the high life. I craved it. Bits and pieces of it were introduced to me as a child, but as quick as we had them, they were gone again. That was the way it was, and so I learned not to get too attached to things—or people.
A hostess with a shiny uniform and a delightful smile met me at the entrance of the club, and I told her who I was and who I was there to meet. She gave me a strange smile and then had me follow her toward the back of the room. The lights were flashing, the music blaring, and not unlike most nightclubs, patrons were dancing and grinding and drinking. I’d always hated that scene. In my youth, it was all I had. My escape. I drank too much, fucked too much, and played too much. It was insane that at twenty-five, I already felt old and over it all.
As we moved closer to a table tucked away in the corner, I craned my head, looking for Flynn. I wanted a few moments to take him in before I sat down. He truly overwhelmed me, and I wanted my wits about me once I was sitting with him.
But, instead, she led me to a table hidden from the rest, and Flynn was not alone.
The blonde he’d had with him at the poker party sat next to him, her tits spilling out of her tacky halter top and her pink painted claws all over him. When he looked up and saw me, his smile was wide and mischievous. My skin positively burned. My hand was begging to smack the shit out of him and his smug, evil smile.
He was playing with me once again, and instantly my instincts went into overdrive. He may have had the looks and the money, but that man had no idea who he was messing with.
“Hey, Flynn,” I purred. “I’m glad you called.”
I set my bag on the table and slid myself into the booth, pushing as close to him as possible. He couldn’t take his eyes off me, and I knew he was dying to get a better look at me in the dress. He could play games with me all he wanted, but I knew his weakness—it was me, and it was me in red.
“Excuse me, bitch, but we’re having dinner here,” Blondie snapped, glaring at me and then looking at Flynn. “Tell her we’re busy, baby.”
He said nothing to her, and as badly as I wanted to throw a fit and walk the fuck out, I stayed in character, held my shoulders firm, and smiled as sweetly as I could.
“You’ve been ignoring my calls.”
I gave him a small pout and leaned forward. “I’m sorry, but I’ve been a busy girl. I’m here now, aren’t I?” I then looked at his other guest and sighed. “It doesn’t look like you’ve been lonely, though, sweetheart.”
His eyes darkened. “You ran out, and your friend was giving me the fucking runaround.”
God, he was such a spoiled brat. He was obviously finding kicks somewhere, which honestly didn’t make me happy in the least, but who was I to question his choices? Who was I to be jealous of the girl? No one. That’s who.
“Flynn,” she whined.
I stopped myself from rolling my eyes and shifted so I was facing him in the booth. He was wearing a fitted black t-shirt, and it was the first time I’d seen him so casual. It looked good on him, made him look more human. The man could wear the hell out of a suit, but it was so pretentious and stuffy. The t-shirt made him look more his age.
“Where were you?”
I smirked. “Worried about me, handsome? You shouldn’t be. I take care of myself.”
His nostrils flared. “Jayne, I called. I needed to see you, and I was told you were unavailable.”
I nodded slowly, like you would when you were trying to get your point across to a small child. “I was unavailable. I told you. I’ve been very busy.”
He sat back and grinned again, and his little honey snuggled into his side, wrapping her hands around his bicep. And then he ignored me. Completely ignored me for the next ninety minutes. He took his girl on the dance floor, brought her back to the table and made out with her, ignored me some more, drank like a fish, and totally pissed me right the fuck off.
I tried to roll with it for a while. It was money, plain and simple. If he wanted to pay me five grand to sit and chaperone his date with possibly the stupidest girl on the planet, I was more than willing, but it started eating at me, that familiar pang of jealousy I got where he was concerned. I wanted to shove it all away, I wanted not to care, but he was under my skin. I was interested, I was intrigued, and God help me, I was attracted to him.
Even when he was acting like the biggest jackass in the world.
Then I finally figured it out. He was pissed off. He was proving a point. Somehow, I’d insulted him, bruised his ego, so he was going to make damn sure I read him loud and clear. He could get and have anything he wanted. He’d wanted me, and I’d declined. He wanted me to know he could replace me, and he had.
Funny thing was, he just didn’t understand that I wasn’t his to play with. He was mine. I was using him to pay a debt, using my body to lure him in, and eventually he’d figure out that the joke was on him the whole time.
Finally, I’d had enough. It was going on eleven o’clock, and my two hours was officially up. Aside of that fact, his friend was fumbling around trying to give him a hand job under the table, and I’d had enough.
“Well, Mr. Maguire, I’m afraid it’s time for me to call it a night.”
I downed the rest of my watered down whiskey sour and slid the glass to the end of the table. When I looked up, his eyes were fuming.
“I don’t think so,” he said calmly.
I gave him an indulgent smile and touched his forearm with my fingertips. My eyes never left his, and as lost as I was in them, I didn’t drop the act.
“It was a lot of fun, sweetheart. As always. But, I have other obligations, and our time is up.” I let my finger draw a figure eight along the muscles of his triceps and lowered my voice. “You just give me a call if you’d like to visit with me again.”
I pushed away and slid myself through the booth, making to stand up.
“Finally she gets the hint,” the tragic blonde huffed.
I shuffled my bag over my shoulder and leaned across the table, both palms firm against the wooden surface and my face close enough that she could feel my breath.
“Darlin’, I think it’s about time you get the hint. That pathetic attempt at a hand job you just gave him is what he paid me for, so once you figure that out, I’m sure you’ll understand why I feel fucking sorry for you.”
I let my eyes slide to Flynn, narrowing them when I saw the smirk on his face. I scowled. “Good to know you can at least get it up. I was worried you had a lift issue. Now I know you just have issues, period,” I hissed. I slammed my hand on the table, smiled a smile full of teeth and glossy red lips, and walked the fuck out of The Maguire.
Queen of Hearts #2 Jayne Series
(Cover//Blurb Not yet Released)
Sleep was hard to come by. As the weeks went on, things between Jack and me had fallen into a routine of evading and comfortable avoidance. He hadn’t pushed for me to move in with him again, or even mentioned it for that matter. He just somehow understood that I needed time to figure out my issues.
I used that time without him. I dug deep and ticked off all the pros and cons and analyzed my reasons for running off after my dad and Vince died, and came to terms with my decision to stay with him as long as I had.
My conclusions weren’t easy to take.
I was a coward and a liar. Simple as that.
Jack had become my cushion; my tiny dilapidated motel room became the fortress that held my demons on the outside. The small town was a Mecca for all the things I thought I was missing out on and wanted in my life.
But it wasn’t. It was as solid of a trap as my previous life had been. I’d fallen into the same pattern, only a different outcome. I’d settled on a dismal job because it was easy, a hole in the wall motel because it was cheap, and a false relationship because it fed my insecurities and my fear of being alone.
I still had no idea where I fit in. I still wondered where I belonged, what I wanted. That mask I’d donned for as long as I could remember was still strapped to my skull, embedded into my skin with a grip so tight I thought I’d suffocate.
Coming to terms with the cold, hard facts was a blow for sure. I knew I would eventually go back to Vegas. It was inevitable. I wasn’t sure I’d stay, but I had to return and deal with the aftermath of what went down. The death of my family, the deceit from Flynn, my business, and most importantly, to face the ghosts that wouldn’t leave my mind.
That man had to pay, one way or another.
I could just picture that rat bastard sitting on his throne with a big shit-eating grin on his face, satisfied that he’d taken us down.
He had, to an extent. My father withered and died at his hand, he’d chased me off, and taken everything Vince had, including his life.
But, he was in for a surprise. I still had some fight in me. The more I pulled back the curtains and looked out the window of my mind, it was coming back. I was stronger than I gave myself credit for, and running off with my tail between my legs had never been my style. I’d slithered away, snuck off with the excuse of starting over, but in reality, I’d never stood my ground the way I should have.
It was time to bolster the courage to take the jerk to war.
About the Author
Jami Denise is a romance writer from Southern California. While she waits for the next felon to come along and sweep her off her feet, she writes about swoony bad boys and sassy gals that make them squirm. She also loves cats, cars, cupcake flavored lip balm, and cherry limeade.
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