X-Treme Love Series, Book 1
A wounded woman.
A defeated athlete.
Can two broken people make each other whole?
For attorney Hindley Hagen, life is all about staying one step ahead of the game. Avoiding surprises and keeping people at a distance is the only way she can protect herself from the painful scars of her past.
As legal counsel and sports agent to some of the world’s top athletes, Hindley’s always ready for a challenge. But when her new client struts in, his familiar eyes bore through her facade and threaten her well-planned life. Keeping all his secrets is now her new profession, but if he discovers hers, she might lose everything.
Pro extreme sports athlete Rory Gregor knows what it’s like to be on top. But after two years of bad decisions and one-night-stands, he’s forced to make a comeback he never anticipated. His team may think a new sports agent will rebuild his career, but what if she costs him his heart in the process?
Just when Rory is poised for a comeback, secrets from his past threaten to ruin his chance for gold and a new love. In the world of extreme sports, sometimes risking it all is the only way to win.
Extreme Risk is not a stand-alone book. Find out the dramatic conclusion to part 1 of Rory and Hindley’s story in Extreme Devotion, X-Treme Love Series, Book 2, available now.
Read an Excerpt
The throbbing in my head was relentless, growing stronger with every beat of my heart. The synchronized pounding brought with it wave after wave of nausea. My body was spinning out of control and I couldn’t right myself. I was on the Merry-Go-Round from Hell.
What was happening to me? Was this real, or was I trapped in a horrific nightmare?
I shook my head to jar myself out of this fog, but instantly regretted it when another round of nausea hit me hard. Pushing down the need to vomit, I tried to swallow the saliva pooling in my mouth.
Don’t puke. Don’t puke.
My throat felt like I’d ingested an entire package of cotton balls soaked in Elmer’s glue, which thankfully would have made the act of up-chucking impossible.
I opened my mouth to speak but my voice was absent, choked by the stench of cigarette smoke. I tried to cough, to rid myself of the offensive smell, but my thick, dry tongue gagged me.
If I could just open my eyes, maybe I would be able to figure out what the hell was going on. It was impossible though. They were swollen and sealed shut with goo. I probably looked like I’d gone ten rounds with Muhammad Ali. This was definitely a nightmare.
What the hell happened last night? Come on Hindley, think.
Startling images flashed through my mind—pole dancing, tequila shots, Gap Boy, vomiting—lots of vomiting. This wasn’t a dream. Oh, shit.
All of a sudden, my door flew open with a bang as the doorknob hit the wall.
“What the fuck is going on in here?” Dana exclaimed, each syllable she uttered shooting another dagger through my throbbing brain. “Holy hell. You got laid.”
Dana Di Grazio was my best friend and I could always count on her to be as blunt as a sailor, with a mouth like one too. She’d stuck by me though, for better or for worse, through some of the most traumatic times of my life, even when others walked away.
Dana and I met in second grade when Ms. Alferia paired us together for badminton during gym glass. Despite countless moves, different colleges, feuding boyfriends and more, we’d still managed to stay best friends through all these years. She was my one true confidant in life. I could trust her, with my life. If someone was taking advantage of me, she’d stand up for me, something I had a hard time doing myself. And if I needed a shoulder to cry on, she’d come, no questions asked.
One time in college, when Chris Putman broke my heart by dumping me at his fraternity’s Valentine’s Day dance in front of half the student body, Dana left her college two hundred miles away and drove four hours one way just to bring me ice cream and hold me as I cried my eyes out. She understood that my tears were more from humiliation than lost love.
We were polar opposites in every way. Where I was tall, lean, and quiet she was short, curvy, and boisterous. I was a fair skinned German with long blonde hair and generic brown eyes. She was a dark skinned, saucy, Italian dynamo with curly jet black hair and arctic blue eyes that could stop traffic. She was the Yin to my Yang. We were a natural fit. Always had been, always would be.
I stretched my arms above my head, feeling every muscle in my body scream in agony. “What the hell are you talking about, Dana?”
“That hottie next to you.”
I stared at her in disbelief.
“Look,” she said, pointing to the other side of my bed. Oh, shit.
I turned my head to see what Dana was pointing at and gasped in horror when I discovered a man’s face less than a foot away from mine. I shot straight up in bed, wrapping the covers around me to hide my body. Scurrying to the opposite side of my bed, I nearly fell off the other side when I hit the edge of my full-size mattress.
“Holy hell!” Dana laughed. “You finally screwed some random dude from a bar.”
“I did not,” I fumed, mortified by her accusation.
“Dana, stop!” I held the blanket tighter. Slowly lifting the covers, I peered underneath, petrified at what I might find. I blew out a loud sigh, relieved to find I was at least still wearing a tank top, thank God.
Obviously, not pacified by my examination, Dana grabbed the blanket from the bottom of my bed and gave it one quick yank. She jerked it from my grasp, completely exposing me and the mystery man lying by my side.
My face flushed red at the realization I had no pants on, but at least I was still wearing underwear. Not very sexy ones though. Too nervous to peer over at the man lying next to me, I turned my attention to Dana instead to gauge her reaction.
Her lips curled up into satisfied smile, revealing two massive dimples on either side of her face. Her eyes glowed with pride and desire.
Yep, it’s official. You’re a slut. Well, at least whoever was lying next to me had to be pretty good looking to warrant such a sultry expression from Dana Di Grazio. Even though I was somewhat relieved, I still couldn’t find the nerve to turn around and look at him for myself.
“Damn girl. You held out for a fine one didn’t you. I’m completely jealous, you slut.”
“Dana, please give me the blanket.”
“Uhnt uh,” she said shaking her head. “I wanna look at this hottie all day.”
I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to see the mystery man for myself—the man I’d shared my bed with all night.
With great apprehension, I peered over my shoulder, inspecting my one-night-stand. I did a quick, sweeping survey from head to toe, happy to find he was at least wearing underwear. Maybe we hadn’t had sex after all. Or maybe you did and he just doesn’t like sleeping in the nude.
His body was like a bronze god, tanned and lean, and stood in stark contrast to my pasty, pale, white legs. The soft glow of the morning sun made him look like an angel as he slept. But the small smirk on his upturned lips gave me a sense that he probably got into more trouble than I wanted to know about.
His perfectly sculptured cheek bones and strong jaw could have put him on the cover of any top magazine. The throbbing in my head was suddenly moving to other parts of my body. Trying to ignore the tingle in my crotch, I continued my visual appraisal of this mystery man lying next to me.
His light brown hair was streaked with golden blond highlights and cut short. The coloring was natural, a gift from hours spent in the sun. Maybe he works outdoors.
He was lying on his stomach, one arm clutching a throw pillow like it was a life preserver. His clenched jaw and creased brow gave me the sense that demons chased him in his dreams, leaving him fearful and frightened. He looked like a lost boy trapped in a man’s body. My heart stuttered with an overwhelming need to help him find peace.
Where the hell did that thought come from? You don’t even know who this guy is.
His well-defined biceps were flexed around the pillow and his back was rippling with muscles I didn’t even know existed. Dana was right, this guy was super-hot. No matter what I did or didn’t do with him last night, I could bask in the knowledge that I’d at least picked a cute man to spend the night with me.
I’d never had a one-night-stand before, so I didn’t know whether to be ashamed or proud. It wasn’t like I was a virgin or anything, but according to Dana, I hadn’t had as many sexual conquests as someone of my youthful twenty-five years should have by now. I couldn’t help it. I wasn’t into cheap, meaningless sex. When I was intimate with a man, I wanted to at least know his name.
Do you even have the slightest clue what this guy’s name is?
My eyes trailed down his long, lean body, taking in the rest of him. His boxer briefs showed off a perfectly sculpted butt, and his long muscular legs stretched all the way past the end of my mattress. My cheeks reddened as I fantasized about them wrapped around me.
Just as I was finishing my inspection, he rolled over with a soft moan. I jumped back, afraid he might actually touch me. Raising his strong arms over his head, I watched his body stretch long. Oh my. Even more muscles appeared…everywhere. Holy crap, what if he has a hard on? Consider yourself lucky then.
Finally completing his movement, he settled into the mattress on his back, now square in the middle of my bed. Oh shit. I tried to push myself even further away, but it was no use.
Everything inside told me to jump out of the bed and get as far away from him as possible, but for some inexplicable reason, I couldn’t move away. I needed to be near him.
His mouth opened up in a huge yawn displaying perfectly straight, white teeth, then closed again as he settled in to his new position with a sigh. With his eyes still closed and locked securely in slumber land, I continued my deviant perusal of his body.
His chest was broad and muscular like most women fantasize about, and somehow I wasn’t surprised. But what took my breath away was the intricate tattoo taking up almost the entire side of his abdomen.
“Holy shit, he looks even better on his back.” Dana laughed. “And look at that massive ink on his side. That’s awesome.” She raised one perfectly sculptured brow above her iridescent blue eyes, inspecting the massive tattoo.
We both leaned over his torso to study the artwork. The tattoo covered his entire right side, wrapping around to his back and down his hip, disappearing into his underwear. It was a picture of a man skateboarding in some kind of park. The skater was in mid-air, skateboard glued to his feet, the bottom completely visible. The board ran diagonally across his ribs with the words ‘SK8R BOY’ tattooed across the bottom of it.
I normally wasn’t a big fan of tattoos, but I had to admit, this was true artistry. Even though I knew absolutely nothing about him, I sensed the tattoo fit him perfectly. Skater Boy.
Dana reached out her finger to touch Skater Boy’s side. “That ink is bad ass.”
She ought to know.
Dana’s body was littered with tattoos. Most weren’t visible unless she was fully undressed, but that never stopped her from showing them off.
“And look at his chest.” She drooled over sleeping beauty. “You could serve a five-course meal on those rock hard abs.” She flattened her hand, about to rub his bare chest.
I reached over and swatted at her. “Stop it.”
“Stop what?” A deep voice grumbled below us.
Diverting my gaze from his muscular chest, my eyes swept up to meet his. They were stunning. A mesmerizing mix of copper and blue I’d never seen before. He interlocked his fingers beneath his head.
A fiery burn raced down my spine.
His pose showed off every rippling muscle in his upper body and I beat myself up for not remembering being intimate with him last night.
“Good morning, Drunk Girl,” he said in a sexy, sleepy voice. “Enjoying the view?”
His words were sweet and seductive and I wanted to hear him recite War and Peace or some other equally as long novel, but I was mortified he’d caught me checking out his body. Read more…