Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Release & Giveaway: FOREPLAY by Shelly Alexander (Checkmate, Inc #1)-Includes Excerpt!

ForePlay by Shelly Alexander 

“She wants to play. Game on.” —Leo Foxx

Giving a woman what she wants is my business. I’ve built a career on 
it. I mean, is there anything more beautiful than seeing a woman get 
exactly what she wants, exactly the way she wants it, with exactly the 
man she wants it from? Nothing I’ve ever seen comes close.

 just one little catch. Sometimes women go looking in the wrong places. 
Sometimes they need a little help figuring out what they want in a man. 
That’s where I come in. I’ve spent years studying what women want. I 
mean what they really want.

Sounds like a great job for a guy, 
right? A dream career. Especially since it’s become so much more. It’s a
 multimillion-dollar corporation called Checkmate Inc., and I’m the CEO.
 One of the youngest on record. Except a few feminist groups have gotten
 the wrong impression and are starting to make noise. Something about 
how Checkmate helps give guys an unfair advantage over women. And the 
one woman who can help me can also sink my company to the bottom of the 
Hudson—and drag me along with it.

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 event photographer my assistant hired corrals me and Checkmate’s other 
two founding partners for a photo op. Dexter Moore, in charge of our 
retail division, flanks my left side looking metro-stylish, having 
traded his coveted white socks and flip-flops for expensive Italian 
shoes to look the part of his job. Unlike in our college days, he now 
manages to brush his dark hair and wears a neatly trimmed 
mainstream-hipster look. Oscar Strong-Oz, as we call him-head of 
Research and Development, takes the spot on my right, dressed more 
comfortably in jeans and a trendy blazer. He’s also mastered the uses of
 a brush since our punk-ass-kid days are over, but he goes for a looser 
flow-and-comb look for his light brown hair. Khakis are a thing of the 
past for all three of us, seeing as how that was our standard uniform 
when we were members of our college chess team.

But all three of us kept the glasses. Sort of a pact between bros, so we never forget our roots and what it took to get here.

“Let’s make this quick. There’s a problem in the lab, so I gotta go,” Oz says. Really, he just hates getting his picture taken.

 sister just walked in.” Dex is the opposite and loves smiling for the 
camera. The flash goes off once, twice, three times in quick succession.

My eyes trek to the entrance of the rotunda. Since I’m six-two, I
 can see over most of the crowd. My little sister is a full foot shorter
 than me, and it’s impossible to find her in the ocean of guests all 
talking, eating, and drinking. But a path parts in the crowd, heading in
 our direction, and even though I can’t see her, I know it’s Ava. She’s 
determined and far too bold for her own good. Which makes me batshit 
crazy when it comes to protecting her from douchebags who will take 
advantage of her and break her heart.

The photographer tells us to strike a different pose, and we do. Oz 
grumbles under his breath. Dex strikes a pose worthy of a GQ fashion 
shoot. I sigh and smile and watch for my sister as she makes her way 
toward us.

The path weaves left then back right, and finally Ava 
reaches the fringe of the crowd. She’s five years younger than me, and a
 protective instinct surges through me because I’ve been her guardian 
since our parents were killed in a car accident eight years ago. That’s 
right: I’ve been her brother, father, and mother all at once, since I 
was twenty-one. I’m told the family resemblance is unmistakable since we
 have the same vivid blue eyes and honey-blond hair that has a natural 
wave to it—physical description courtesy of my personal life-stylist at 
Checkmate’s anchor retail studio on Fifth Avenue.

Okay, fine. Wardrobe, haircut, and really cool Armani glasses courtesy of the personal life-stylist too.

 waves, smiles, and then I see her. Not her, as in my little sister. 
Her, as in the brunette trailing behind Ava, trying to keep up. And I 
remember that Ava said she was bringing a friend who works in public 
relations. Thick dark brown hair is pulled into a ponytail that brushes 
over one slender shoulder. Her clothes are elegant and professional with
 a subtly chic edge to them. She’s looking down, like she’s making sure 
not to step on any toes. Then she breaks free from the crowd too, and 
her head darts up to look around just long enough for me to glimpse the 
stark contrast of cobalt eyes.

Cobalt. My favorite element on the Periodic Table.

 they approach, Ava opens her arms wide to give her big brother a hug. 
But I’m not actually looking at my sister. I’m looking over her 
shoulder. Her friend’s gaze lifts to mine, locks on, and holds me 
mesmerized. The way she carries herself tells me she’s confident and 
self-assured. Probably smart as a whip. And then it happens. Everyone 
else around me melts away as she pulls a plump, red lip between her 
teeth. Long black lashes flutter downward to break our eye contact, and I

I’ve never met her. I don’t even know her name yet. But 
that small gesture with her lip and the downward brush of her long 
lashes tells me she’s not sure what she wants from a man. She’ll figure 
it out, though. The women who are confident in every other area of their
 lives always do. I also know that when the light bulb finally switches 
on, she’s going to ask me to f*ck her. And I won’t be able to say no.

About the Author

 2014 Golden Heart® finalist, Shelly Alexander grew up traveling the 
world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in the 
business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers, she 
watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team 
instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie 
Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her 
own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance 
novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing 
steamy contemporary romances while tending to a miniature schnauzer 
named Omer, a tiny toy poodle named Mozart, and a pet boa named Zeus.

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1) Multiple Gift Cards. Three winners will each receive a $15 Amazon gift card.

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 of IT’S IN HIS TOUCH from my Red River Valley series.

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