Spotlight & Giveaway: Love and Other Games
Love and Other Games is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and Kara Leigh Miller.
I asked each of the authors what was their Favorite scene from the book:
TROUBLE WITH GOLD by Melinda Dozier
One of my favorite scenes from Trouble With Gold is when Nadia and Ty (aka Trouble) meet for the first time. Ty is a well-known troublemaker and prankster. Since he’s the Winter Olympics virgin on the US Snowboard team, his teammates play a fast one, convincing him to run around naked in only his boxers in the middle of the Switzerland Olympics Village. Freezing! His two best mates shackle him to a post where he has to find a way out. In comes a Swiss Olympics volunteer, Nadia, who’s all about business. These two have a lot of fun throughout the novella. Here’s a little glimpse of how it starts:
“Thank God you’re here,” a male’s voice groaned, in English.
Nadia looked across the path toward the stairs ahead of her and saw a very well built, tall man, light brown hair curled around his beanie, with a chiseled chest and tight thighs. Wait a minute. Why could she see his chest and thighs? It was zero degrees Celsius. Why would a man be standing in nothing but his underwear? Her mother always warned her about sickos.
She dug into her purse, searching for her mace – something she carried since her internship in New York last summer. It settled somewhere at the bottom. Great. When she finally needed it, she couldn’t find it.
“Do you mind?” He said, a little louder. “I could use some help.”
“I have mace.” She answered, still searching. “Stay where you are.”
“Not a problem.” He laughed, a deep laugh that sent tingly sensations from head to toe. God, sleep deprivation must be worse than she thought if she had these thoughts about a sicko.
She shook her head and finally held the mace up. The man remained in the same spot. He had a fabulous smile and a few wrinkles at the side of his eyes, from smiling or being out in the sun. He must be an athlete with that tight physique. “Who are you and what are you doing?”
Instead of answering, he let out a laugh all while his teeth chattered. An ache sat in her throat. Poor guy. If his blue lips and frosted hair was any indication, he was beyond cold.
“Are you okay?” She slowly approached the stairs, not sure what the handsome man would do. But, he looked like he was in trouble.
His eyes perused her from top to bottom and then he looked back into her face. “Better now.” He smirked.
ICE GOLD by Kara Leigh Miller
One of my favorite scenes from Ice Gold is the plane scene. It’s the first time Cole and Brenna meet. She’s uptight, cynical, and bitter about having to go to the Olympics while Cole is laid back and all about having some fun. Brenna’s fully aware of Cole’s playboy attitude, but he knows absolutely nothing about her, which leads to a lot of fun for both of them.
“It’s Cole, ma’am,” he said with a slight incline of his head.
Was that a southern accent she heard? It was faint, but unmistakable. Ma’am, a subtle nod … yup, Colton Campbell was a southern boy. Huh, who knew? “Right, Cole.” She cleared her throat. She was so totally screwed. There was only one type of man on this earth that made Brenna weak in the knees—a southern man.
“So, you’ve heard of me, huh?” Cole said with a smirk. “Wish I could say the same about you.” His gaze lingered on hers for a moment before lowering.
Brenna rolled her eyes. “Well, you do have quite the reputation.” She stood.
“Yes, I’d like to go use the restroom. Now, if you’ll please excuse me.”
“Don’t let me stop you.” Cole remained seated, his long legs bent at the knees, touching the seat in front of him, making it impossible for Brenna to get by him—unless she were to climb over him, and she refused to do that.
Brenna crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him. “Do you mind?”
“No, not at all.” He laced his fingers together and rested them on his stomach, settling deeper into his seat. “I’m used to women staring at me. Go ahead, get your fill.”
“Uh!” she huffed. Brenna knew Cole had a playboy reputation, rivaled only by his arrogance, but for the love of God, was he serious right now? One look at his handsome features and she knew he was teasing her. Well, she’d be damned if she let him get the better of her. “For your information, Mr. Campbell, I’m staring at you because I can’t wrap my mind around your complete lack of manners.” Brenna cautiously stepped over him.
“A complete lack of manners would be doing this.” Cole lifted his knee and bumped her ass, causing her to lose her balance and fall forward.
It happened so fast all she could do was put her hands out and grip the back of Cole’s seat. Her hands were on either side of his head, her legs straddling his, and their faces were inches apart. Christ, did he have to smell so good? She started to push herself away, but Cole shifted his legs just enough so she couldn’t move. Damn him and those tantalizing lips—they were so close, she could almost taste them.
“I don’t find this amusing,” she said.
The corners of his mouth twitched, and he cocked a brow. “Arousing?”
Cole leaned forward and put his mouth to her ear. “Five minutes says I can change your mind.”
WORTH MORE THAN GOLD by Ana Blaze
When Amy Pierce and Erik Andresen meet at a crazy party just outside the Olympic Village, they are both startled by the enormity of their instant mutual attraction. Erik really only went to the party to keep an eye on some of his younger team members since they have an important event in the morning. Amy, never a fan of the party scene, was dragged out by her best friend and is about to make her exit when their eyes meet. Sparks fly and they both get a bit carried away that night. For me some of the most fun scenes happen later as they find out that there may even be more to their connection than heat.
In this scene we see Erik has the rare ability to get Amy to relax a bit and have some much-deserved fun.
“How can that be? Every kid makes a snowman.” Erik stood a few feet away. His breath made puffy little clouds as he spoke.
“We don’t get a lot of snow in South Carolina, and when we did I guess we were just busy.” When she was young, before her mother died, she was always heading to skating practice or exhausted after practice. Later she was more worried about helping with Lexi than playing in the snow. Amy picked up the branch they’d chosen for an arm and made a starter hole with her finger.
“No snow? I guess that means you don’t know how to do this either.”
“Wha—” A snowball splattered against her shoulder. Gasping, she looked at Erik. He waved another snowball and flashed a white grin. “Oh. You’ll pay for that, mister.”
“How?” He tossed the snowball in her direction.
Amy ducked, smiling when it sailed over her shoulder. “It’s on now.” She bent and gathered a pile of snow, scowling when it didn’t hold the shape.
“I’m still waiting,” Erik taunted. “I guess you can’t do it.”
Incredulous, she peeked back over her shoulder. The man had a small pile of snowballs already prepared and waiting by his feet. Fine. There was another way to play this. She stood up straight, pasted on a flirty pout and took a step in his direction. “You’re right.” She took another step. “I guess I’m just more used to bikinis than snowballs. I’ll bet you could teach me.” She placed her hand on his chest, locked her gaze with his, and lowered her voice. “Maybe you could teach me how to make snowballs and I could … I could—steal yours!” She bent, scooped several balls up and ran.
Erik caught up in seconds, tackling her so they both tumbled onto the ground. “Tricky girl. Maybe I’ll steal something too.” He kissed her hard and fast and, for a few seconds, even her fingertips forgot about the cold.
He lifted his head. “I win.”
“No,” She poked her finger against his hard chest. “You cheat. You gave me no warning and—and I’m wearing high-heeled boots because you’re ridiculously tall. You’re like a giant.”
He laughed. “Nice try. But you are a burglar, and that is much worse.”
THE GIRL BEHIND THE GOLD by Aria Kane
Is it weird that one of my favorite scenes in my ‘sexy romance’ is one where the main characters have lots and lots of clothes on? I love the banter between them and this exchange while they’re looking for the torch outside of the athlete dorms was fun to write. Lia doesn’t really trust Brandon’s motivations, but she’s still drawn to him.
“Brandon, I have to ask. Why are you helping me? Don’t you have a thousand other, more important things to do?”
He shrugged. “Not really.”
She was not letting him get off that easily. Except for athletes who had already competed – and lost – no one at the Olympic Games had time to kill.
She crossed her arms across her chest and did her best impression of Del’s no-nonsense face. “I don’t believe that. You don’t even really believe in the lucky torch; I can tell.”
Brandon held up his hands in supplication. A hint of a smirk and the low light of the security lights transformed his face into that of a dangerously handsome rogue. “Alright, alright, I confess. A beautiful, smart, funny, talented woman asked me to leave a party with her. That’s the kind of invitation I’ll never turn down for work.”
Lia’s stomach did so many flip-flops, it could have tried out for the summer Olympics in gymnastics. She wondered how much of his compliment was the charmer she’d glimpsed earlier in the night and how much was truth. It didn’t matter. She had to focus on winning, no matter how much those sapphire eyes set against brown skin made her want to forget everything else.
“Hey, you asked me to leave the party!” she objected. She didn’t point out that she’d agreed before he even had a chance to complete the question. Details.
His smirk exploded to its full strength and he winked at her – actually winked. Who even winked at women anymore? “Oh, did I? That’s not how I remember it.” His voice was false innocence and teasing.
Laughing, Lia punched him in the arm. “This torch better exist. It better not be some cheap trick you used to get me alone.”
“Cheap trick?” He put a hand over his heart, feigning injury. “Honey, look around you. It’s thirty-two degrees and dropping rapidly. I don’t even have proper snow boots or a jacket on. If I just wanted to get you alone, I’d tell you the torch was in my hotel room underneath my bed covers.”
“I wouldn’t fall for that.”
“I know.” He punched her back, though it was more like a caress than anything else. “That’s why I like you so much.”
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About the Book:
Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze
Amy Pierce, the klutzy sister and manager of America’s Skating Sweetheart, is used to being invisible. But when a friend drags her to a party near the Olympic Village, Amy catches the eye of a sexy Norwegian ski jumper. It’s a magical night, but an awkward next morning has her running.
Everyone knows Erik Andresen’s best shot at an individual medal was back in 2010, before an injury pulled him from the competition. He’s there for his team, but a hot night and a remarkable final training session have him wondering if a gorgeous good-luck charm could give him another chance at the podium. With a little bit of luck, these two might have a shot at something worth more than gold
Trouble With Gold by Melinda Dozier
US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers.
Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she’s not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way. A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult.
Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?
The Girl Behind the Gold by Aria Kane
Greek aerial skier Lia Milonas’s parents are about to lose the family farm. Saving it means medaling and landing a huge sponsor. While her no-nonsense attitude has her well on her way to a medal, it hasn’t won her a place in fans’ hearts.
“Come back with a story that will make readers cry, or don’t come back.” This is what Brandon James’ boss told him before he left New York to cover the Winter Games for Moment Magazine. With a wink and a smile, he can charm his way into any invite-only party, but that career-making story is nowhere to be found – until he meets Lia.
The two strike a deal that should get them both what they want – but neither would have guessed they’d also find what they need.
Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller
Colton Campbell thrives on the fast paced, adrenaline rushed lifestyle of being an Olympic hockey player. Despite Brenna Jessup’s abhorrence for the games and the athletes, she’s hand-picked as the official photographer for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. When a faux pas by Brenna almost costs Colton his career, she owes him. Too bad for her, Colton doesn’t want apologies — he wants retribution! And he knows just how to get it — and her — in the process.