Playing to Win - An Exclusive Extract
COMING 20 FEBRUARY 2018.
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PLAYING TO WIN
20 February 2018
"Brooks Adams is unlike any hero I have written." - Laura Carter
A high-intensity personal trainer The secret to Brooks’ success as a Manhattan gym owner? Being motivated to disprove everyone who doubted him long ago. He’s not about to let a perky newcomer like Izzy tarnish his reputation. Even if watching her lead a salsa class on his premises is fuel for some very unprofessional fantasies . . .
His beautiful British rival Every time Izzy slams Brooks in her fitness blog, her book sales soar. But when their escalating media feud forces them to be up-close-and-personal for two weeks, she realizes there’s much more to Brooks than that incredible body.
And a competition that’s got their hearts racing… Soon Izzy and Brooks are finding all kinds of creative ways to work up a sweat. A passionate workout is easy, but can their rivalry give way to a lasting partnership?
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PLAYING TO WIN
COMING 20 FEBRUARY 2018
FREE EXTRACT - MEET BROOKS ADAMS
The first gym I ever worked out in was an old warehouse on the edge of New York Bay—the Staten Island side, where I grew up. I was seventeen. I’ve always been a tall, broad guy, but back then I was just a kid who liked to play the guitar in my high school band. The difference between me and the rest of the guys in high school was that I had knocked up my childhood sweetheart, Alice. And I was ready to marry her.
The kicker was, Alice loved me but her parents didn’t. They thought I was a waster. Well, I knocked up their daughter when she was sixteen— of course they thought I was a waster. By comparison to Alice’s private education and her family’s weekend home in the Hamptons, I had nothing. I came from nothing. My mother worked in a bar and my father was a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, as the saying goes.
But I’d have been damned if I didn’t try to prove everyone wrong. I was willing to do everything and anything I could to convince Alice’s parents to let me marry her. She was the mother of my child, and the girl I was crazy in love with.
So, while I finished high school, I started working as a mechanic to earn some cash, and I joined the gym. I wanted to work like a man. Prove that I could provide for my family like a man. And I wanted to build muscle, to start looking like a man.
That first gym I went to was owned by a guy we all knew as Crazy Joe. You don’t have to remember his name but I’ll never forget it. He really was crazy. He served in Vietnam and, by his own admission, smoked too many joints and took too much LSD in the seventies. He was covered in tats. Ready to beat men to a pulp “for exercise.” He was drunk on whisky most of the time. But he’s where it all started for me.
His sanity aside, Crazy Joe was all right. He’d have these moments of tenderness and enlightenment. Who knows, maybe that was just the LSD talking, but he sort of took me under his wing. He got me into boxing every day, running with him on the streets, and lifting weights. Hell, Crazy Joe gave me my first tattoo. Though my arms and chest are covered in ink now, I still have that first tat on my bicep.
What I didn’t realize then was that I would never be good enough for Alice’s parents. No matter how much gym time I put in. Whether or not I worked as a mechanic and still went to school. Despite the fact I went to their house every night to see Alice and Cady, not out of a sense of obligation but because I was desperate to see my girls. None of it mattered to them. They still saw me as nothing but a weight on their daughter, pulling her down. I didn’t want to be a weight but I did want to be an anchor. For her. For our family.
My fight to prove myself and to win Alice started when I was seventeen. It has never ended.
END OF EXTRACT
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PLAYING TO WIN
is the second standalone novel in my romantic comedy series,
BRITS IN MANHATTAN.
Go back to where it all began. Read
BALANCING THE SCALES
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