Match Made (Bad Boys & Showgirls)
From New York to London, the words ‘Gemma Sinclair’ are synonymous with upand-coming fame, and a super-fast rise to success.
Super isn’t how I feel. Between my deadbeat ex and the stress of my parents—sometimes I feel everything is slipping away. Until I crossed paths with Knox Callahan, hot and sexy as hell soccer star—and a total player. But at my lowest, he came into my life, offering what I’ve been longing for A home instead of a place. Care instead of chaos. I know falling for him could be dangerous to my heart And now for the life of me, I can’t remember why I didn’t want to be on his team
“Oh my goodness. This book is incredibly sweet, and sexy, and fun and hot. This is a must-read series. I was completely blown away by the amount of emotons this book elicited. This is definitely not your run of the mill romance—it’s actually too good for words.” Amazon Review
Excerpt from MATCH MADE
“We’re here,” Knox announced, bringing me back to reality.
“Um…yeah. Thanks,” I stammered. “Thanks for letting me stay the night.”
The car turned into the driveway of a two-story brownstone with six sets of box-styled parlor windows and a paved garage at the side. It was lovely. He reached up, pressing a button on the sun visor and the garage opened.
“It’s no hotel,” he replied modestly.
I didn’t answer. My asking to be dropped off at a hotel had been a bluff. I would have gone to an all-night diner until the theater opened and I could sleep on the futon in my dressing room. Calling my friends would only have embarrassed me and worried them. As artists, we all have our ups and downs. I couldn’t put them out, or put Knox out for more than the night. I just needed time to sort it all out for myself.
The garage lit up, revealing a concrete enclosure with a few shelved tools, outdoor utilities, and a variety of sports equipment.
“Do you need help? Or can you walk?” he asked.
I filled my lungs with air before I let my eyes meet his. They shone as much as the double diamond studs in his ears did. Eyeing them both was an intoxicating combination of beauty and seduction. It was so striking that I found myself at a loss for words.
A soft smile appeared briefly on his lips before he stepped back from my door.
I quickly righted myself and climbed out. Nothing on my body could be hidden in my costume, and his piercing blue eyes took in everything. I hadn’t minded the lot at the bar seeing me dressed up like a fetish doll, but when Knox looked, I felt overly exposed and excited at the same time. Turning away, I reached inside the car to get my bag.
“Tattoo,” he said.
I had a phoenix on my lower back. “Yes. I got that when I was eighteen. They actually wrote it into my character in the show instead of having me cover it up.”
His fingers slid sensuously over my bare skin, causing goosebumps to rise to the surface. “Pretty.”
A thrill went down my spine. I shifted on my feet…or was it a wobble? Okay, perhaps those cocktails were still in my system.
He crossed his arms. “Need me to carry you again?”
I grinned. My pulse sped. “Are you flirting?”
“If I were flirting, you’d know it, Gemma.” His tone was deep and enticing.
My lips parted, and a tingle went through me at the sound of him saying my name. He stood there, waiting for my response.
“Maybe I do need to be carried off again,” I teased. I was certainly flirting. I let out a laugh and wobbled again.
“Because you’re drunk,” he said, not disguising his distaste. Well, that had been a quick change.
“I had a few cocktails,” I said, my brows knitting together. “Not that big of a deal.”
“It could have been. You weren’t careful,” he said, moving towards a side entrance door and leaving me to walk behind him.
“I wasn’t that drunk,” I said. Once we got inside, I bent down to unlace my heels on an Asian rug running the length of the hallway. I stumbled. He reached down to help me catch my balance, but I fell back hard on my bum. “Ouch.”
“Sure, you’re not drunk. You’re just fine,” he said sarcastically.
My lips pursed in annoyance. “I fell because of these shoes, not because I’m drunk.”
He rolled his eyes, and I didn’t bother to say anymore. It was obvious he wasn’t listening anyway.
I sat on the carpet and took my time with my shoes, feigning impairment. After all, I was the disoriented drunk, right? When I was done, I peered up at him through my lashes. He glared down at me. Even upset, he looked mighty handsome. He held out his large hands to help me back on my feet.
“Having fun?” he asked curtly. “Let’s get moving.”
I closed my hands around his and felt a sizzle on contact. His hands were warm and unexpectedly soft. They enveloped mine and helped me to my feet, though he was quick to release me the second I was upright again. He shook his head and walked on through an archway that, from a glance, I could tell led to a large kitchen. He reached a polished, carpeted staircase and motioned for me to follow him up, giving me a nice view of his firm arse.
Once we reached the second-floor landing and moved around the polished banister, he stopped at one of the two doors along the left side and turned on the lights, revealing a queen-sized bed with a gray and white duvet and a side table with a lamp. I immediately walked over to the table and placed my handbag there. Knox launched into an explanation of the room set-up and told me where I could find the bathroom and towels. All the time he had a stern expression on his face like he was annoyed at me…perhaps still from my behavior at the bar. Whatever the reason, I decided to say something about it.
“You know, I’m twenty-four years old and not new to the city. I can handle myself at the bar and anywhere else.” I plopped down on the bed.
He folded his arms. “Maybe, but there are women who get hurt every day thinking they are so clever. They yell and carry on to get men’s attention, too.”
My face warmed, and I frowned. Oh, so his problem wasn’t just my intoxication, but with my behavior at the bar altogether. “I’d call it having a bit of fun—blowing off steam. But I’m in control of what happens. Even here with you.”
“You don’t have to worry about me,” he said as if the idea hadn’t occurred to him. “I’m offering the bed. That’s it.”
“That’s all I’ll take,” I replied and shrugged. Whatever.
“Like I said, that’s all I’m offering. Anyway, I have a game tomorrow.” He moved to leave, and I called out to his back.
“Maybe I’d like to come to that game,” I said, half-joking. I did enjoy the sport and his American team, though I was more of a Arsenal fan. Still, I had been following their team since Brooke had started going out with Dylan.
He turned back, and I thought I caught a glimpse of his face lighting up, but his expression now looked skeptical. “You know anything about soccer?”
I snorted. “I’m British. Of course, I do. You and your team have been playing well, though not as good as last season, no offense. You did dominate possession of the ball against Red Bull, though your keeper, Jace, hasn’t really been tested too much. That could change today against L.A. Galaxy since they brought in Cole from Everton.”
Now he was looking intrigued. “I stand corrected. You can come if you want to.”
I chewed my lip. Him looking at me like that had me wanting to say I would go. Sure, I had to either go back to my old place, settle into a new place the second I got paid, or swallow my pride and ask every friendly acquaintance I had left, but I had time to entertain myself.
“Actually…” I felt fresh tears spring to my eyes. I quickly turned away.
“Hey,” he said softly. He walked over and placed his hands on my shoulders and gently squeezed. “Why are you crying? You got something going on at home? You can stay here for a couple of days if you like.”
I shook my head. “I can’t do that.”
“Why not? I mean, I’m not cooking or anything like that,” he teased. He was sexy when he was playful.
“I can cook,” I said hoarsely.
He eyed me curiously then frowned. We didn’t speak for a few seconds.
He rubbed the space between his brows. “Seriously, if it’s unsafe where you are—”
“It’s not your problem,” I snapped. My words came out harsher than I meant.
His jaw tightened. “Whatever you say,” he replied. His tone was irritated.
I took a deep breath and tried again. “You don’t need to get involved.”
“Alright,” he said and turned and moved away from me. “You’ll need to get up at 8:00 a.m. I’ll drop you off at home, or you can come to the game.” He didn’t sound like he believed I’d choose the latter.
“Thank you,” I called out to his back as he swiftly closed the door behind him.
I fell back on the bed. Why was I rude to him? Or better yet why did I carry on that way at the bar?
I just made an arse of myself with him and at Fuel. That was my problem though. Always seeking a rush. Cheap thrills. Excitement. My mum used to warn me that my craving for dramatics would one day cost me. Of course, being a know-it-all teen—cough—brat, I didn’t listen. I kept jumping in and looking for the landing spot later. And every time my life would crash harder than the time before. My craving for drama had led me to a career in acting and my first taste of success as a lead character on Broadway. It also led me to the disaster that had become my life. This time, the crash may have cost me everything. That, I couldn’t deal with for tonight.