For the Win
Releasing: June 16, 2015
Millionaire bad boy Jordan Fawkes has problems. Big problems.
That molten-hot intern he hooked up with at Comic-Con is now his assistant. No one can know they’re the stars of the cosplay sex tape that broke the Internet.
Business school hopeful April Weiss has drama. Big drama.
Working under the CFO of Draco Multimedia should be the opportunity of a lifetime for her, but Jordan Fawkes is the boss from Hell—a sexier-than-sin boss from Hell who holds all the cards for her future career.
And then there’s the small problem of a certain video…
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Jordan glanced around and then looked at me, eyes wide. “What the hell was that about?”
I turned my head away from him, quickly brushing tears away with the back of my hand. “That was about getting the hell away from you. Too bad you can’t take a hint.”
His eyes narrowed as he watched me, then his thumb brushed across my cheek as if to verify what he was seeing. “Are you crying?”
I gave a sniff and jerked my head away. “No. Go away now.”
He ignored me, of course. “What’s going on, Weiss? Did that bartender say something to you? I’ll go fuck him up.”
“No. I’m fine. He was nice. Nicer than any other guy I’ve talked to in months.”
He didn’t say anything in reply, just scowled. If possible, he looked even hotter when he scowled—it was an intense sort of look, with his eyes narrowing like darts that could punch a hole right through me. Then he cleared his throat and looked away. He pulled a bar napkin from his back pocket and handed it to me.
I took it without a word, blotted tears from my cheeks and blew my nose. “How much have you had to drink?” he asked quietly.
“No alcohol. I do stupid shit when I drink.”
He frowned. “So what’s with the crying then?”
I shrugged. “You’re my boss, not my psychotherapist.”
“Are you going home with that bartender?”
“Is that any of your business?”
He moved in close, standing right in front of me, bracing a hand on the wall above my head. My heart hammered in my chest. He ran a finger along the line of my jaw, giving me that intense look again. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he visibly swallowed.
“I’m making it my business.” Then his finger slipped down the column of my throat, over my collarbone and right to the deep cleavage of my neckline. Where his finger traced my skin, his touch burned. I felt it clear down to my bones. My chest squeezed tight. I couldn’t breathe. He pissed me off and turned me on like no other man could. I froze as his head dipped so that his lips were mere millimeters from mine. I could feel his breath on my face. And I didn’t smell alcohol like I’d expected to.
“You’re a good girl, April Weiss. And those are the worst kind.”
He was kissing me. My boss. The man I loathed. That smoking hot dude in the swim trunks with the surfer’s bod. He was kissing me.
My lips were bruising and swelling from the pressure he put on them as he forced my mouth open and slid his tongue inside. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to resist that all-consuming tingling feeling that was starting at the back of my throat, slithering down my spine, coiling in my center like a traitorous snake. I may have been annoyed with him, but this kiss and his hold on me aroused me in seconds.
Jordan’s arm remained locked around my rib cage, pressing me against him. The other hand traveled down my back, sliding along the silky material of my dress to fondle my ass. A low growl rose in the back of his throat and suddenly I was finding it hard to remain standing.
In my mind, I tried to summon up the memories of all those times he sent me back to the coffee shop. Considering it was almost every damn day, you wouldn’t think it would be that difficult. But his smell—that hint of spice and sage and a salty tang—filled my nose, turning my insides into warm goo.
His breath was coming fast, and that mouth—those lips, that tongue—were doing wicked things to me. All at once I was aching, from my breasts to the dull throb between my legs. Aching with desire, hot, thick and heavy.
There was a fire in my belly that only he could put out. The feel of his solid abs against my rib cage, his hot arousal against my stomach. His mouth teasing mine and never letting up. Everything in my body trembled and everything inside my brain was taking a back seat to this new feeling of pure, seething lust.
“Check that, will you? I want to make sure it’s not the asshole banker backing out on our meeting.”
Gingerly, I picked up his phone and saw the text that popped up on the notification screen. My brows climbed sky high as I read it.
“It’s not the banker,” I said.
“Oh? Who is it?”
“Uh…well, you have her in your contacts as Sexilicious Sondra.”
He snorted, but didn’t seem to want to know the contents of the text message. I provided them anyway. Because they were too juicy not to share.
“She wants to know if she left her pink fuzzy handcuffs at your place last time she was there.”
I enjoyed the slow creep of color up his neck from the collar of his dress shirt. Without looking at me, he reached up and held out his hand for the phone. I slipped it into his palm.
“You shouldn’t read it while you’re driving.”
“I’m not going to.” He set it down in its own little cubby specially designed to hold it.
“Sure you don’t want me to reply? You can just unlock it with your thumbprint, and I’ll let her know whether you still have her handcuffs or not. And I can tell her where she left her vibrator while I’m at it.” My cheeks started to hurt from the grin I was wearing.
“That’s okay,” he said between clenched teeth.
“It also showed that you had five other unread texts, but they had scrolled off—”
“All right, Weiss. I get it. You’re amused. Can we move on?”
“Well, you don’t want to keep your lady friends waiting. I’m very concerned that they might feel neglected.”
In truth, the idea of him with another woman made more than a little heat rise under my own collar. I clenched my jaw at that thought. Was I…was I jealous? I promptly told myself I was being silly and forced myself to ignore it.
“And in what way does that concern you?”
I shrugged, trying not to feel the sting those words caused. “It is in my best interests. If you have a lack of regular…companionship, you might get even grumpier than you already are.”
While she tidied up, I packed up my stuff, ready to finish this godforsaken day. When she came out, she quietly leaned on the edge of the doorway, tilting her head and watching me again. This time, her face was easier to read as her eyes slipped down my body, warming parts of me I’d like her hands touching instead. She licked her lips when her gaze met mine again.
Fuck. I was in trouble with this one. Deep, deep trouble. I knew that and yet I allowed myself to get pulled into dangerous waters again and again, either oblivious or willingly ignorant to the pull she had on me. And any good surfer knew you avoided a riptide whenever you could. They were nothing but danger—a massive expense of energy to escape with your life intact.
“Quitting time,” I said, because I honestly had nothing else to say. And I was trying not to remember the taste of her from last night. Trying to push my way out of that dangerous current that was my attraction to her.
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I had the idea for a cosplay sex tape story around the time that I was writing At Any Price and I was dying to get to it. I love taking weird set ups and giving them a geeky spin. I knew I was going to have to wait a few books (because Adam and Mia’s story became a trilogy) before I could write it. When the character of Jordan became fully formed in book 2 of the trilogy, I thought it would be a fantastic set up to put him in so he could learn a lesson about his player ways!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere—in books, TV shows, news stories or just the strange wanderings of my not-so-conventional mind. I figured out a long time ago that I don’t think like everyone else.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time management! It’s very hard to do—to plan a book from beginning to end and know exactly when it’s going to be ready for publication. I’m still working on scheduling each and every little phase. My books require a team of editors and graphic artists working with me to make it the best it can be so coordinating all of that along with my own writing schedule has been a challenge!
What are your current projects?
I’ll be working on the next Gaming The System novel, For The One, as soon as I can start it. But I plan to take a little time off to spend with my family earlier in the summer. And I have some shorter and collaborative projects up my sleeve as well.
Tell us about your first book. What would readers find different about the first one and your most recent published work?
My first book, At Any Price, has been beloved by many readers and I’m so grateful but I honestly do not feel it is my strongest work. I feel like I learn more and progress more in my craft with writing and with storytelling and so each book becomes better than the last one. At least I hope that’s the case!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There is a lot of ground covered in this latest novel—namely sexual equality in the workplace, how women treat other women with regards to their sexuality and issues like slut shaming. The novel explores the nature of power and equality in a sexual relationship as well as the nature of that power balance at the office.
Does music play any type of role in your writing?
Yes for brainstorming purposes and it also helps me while I daydream about my characters—something that I do a lot of. Every one of my books has a “theme song” which encapsulates the emotion and thematic elements of each couple’s love story. I usually share that with my readers shortly before releasing the book. My play lists and theme songs are on my web site listed on each book’s page. The theme song for For The Win is “The Heart Wants What It Wants” by Selena Gomez.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your life?
Occasionally I’ll pick out elements of a characters’ background or their back-story from my own life or those of people I’ve known but no one character is based on any one person or event. I’m kind of like a knitter who goes to my box of yarn ends to pick something out and incorporate into my design. It might be the leftovers from a baby sweater I once worked on or the last project, a blanket, that I barely finished. Writing is a lot like that only with words—and my “yarn box” is actually my really weird brain.
What books have influenced your life most?
Wow so many to name but the most impactful: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Persuasion by Jane Austen. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.
Are there any new authors that have grasp your interest?
There are so many talented indie authors! I could name a ton of them but some of my favorites are Natasha Boyd, Marquita Valentine, M. Malone, Roxie Rivera… the list goes on and on. Check them out! Their books are sexy!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes! I big huge THANK YOU for reading the books, caring about the characters and for talking about the books to your friends. You are so important to me and I’m grateful for your support. I have the best readers ever
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My website is the best place or they can try some of my work for free. My debut novel, At Any Price is currently free at all vendors. I have a novella available to borrow in the Kindle Unlimited program. It’s called It Was Always You.
Do you have a special time to write? How is your day structured writing-wise?
I work full time so my writing time is whenever I can slip it into the cracks between my work day and being Mom in the afternoons and evenings! I’m usually most productive in the evening after the kids are in bed or on the weekend when I can get it in!
Why did you choose to write Contemporary Romance stories?
I love writing love stories and setting them in the contemporary, geeky world.
What is for you the perfect book hero?
He’s sexy, strong, intelligent and deep. He’s handsome, perceptive and very, very much into his heroine.
When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively?
My stories come to me layer upon layer. I get the groundwork down based on the plot hook, the situation and the barest bones of a background for the hero and the heroine. Upon that scaffold, I build more about them—fleshing out their histories, their attitudes, the why of how those attitudes formed and the protective barriers they erect to prevent them from finding love with the other character. I rewrite my stories at least four or five times before they are ready to polish up and share with the world. With each pass I add more layers, more motivations and more realism to make the characters and their world all the more believable.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing to shut my brain up! People lived and talked and dwelled in there and the voices wouldn’t stop. Yes, it sounds like I am certifiable but that’s actually how a storyteller’s mind works. Before the story comes out of a persons mouth or out through their fingertips, it has lived in that person’s brain for quite some time beforehand.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I’ve always considered myself a writer. It’s a “heart” type of thing. My brain has always drifted into daydream land where stories are manufactured. I’m of the school of thought that says “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.” So…if a person thinks like a writer…
List three books you have recently read and would recommend.
Deep Blue Eternity by Natasha Boyd: Deeply emotional, hauntingly beautiful. The setting, the language and the characters are to die for!
Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Renard: My first book by this author, I loved the take on the forbidden professor-student relationship with the literary elements of classic literature and art interwoven within the story.
Hero by Samantha Young : I love everything she writes—sexy, emotional and authentic.
Tell us something that people would be surprised you know how to do.
I speak fluent French as a self-confessed Francophile. I try to use it every chance I can get
Will you write more about these characters?
I definitely think there is more in store for Jordan and April. Some threads were left open to explore in future books as a secondary storyline, but I think Jordan and April may get another book. They were so much fun to write—their chemistry is explosive and the tension between them electric. Most especially, I loved their banter. They got high marks from me in the banter department!
About Brenna Aubrey:
I’m a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary romance featuring geek culture. My bestselling romance series, Gaming the System, is available in eBook and print format across all vendors.
When I’m not dreaming up people and worlds and writing them down, I’m also a mom, wife, teacher, avid reader, a proud geek-girl, a self-confessed gaming addict, a French-speaking Francophile, lover of nature and beautiful sunsets.