Tempting the Playerby J. Lynn
Chad Gamble, all-star pitcher for the Nationals, is one of the best players on-and off-the field. And right now, the notorious bad boy wants Bridget Rodgers. But with her lush curves and snappy comebacks, the feisty redhead is the kind of woman a man wants to settle down with...and that's the last thing Chad needs. When the paparazzi catch them in a compromising position, Chad's manager issues an ultimatum: clean up his act or kiss his multi-million dollar contract goodbye. To save his career, his meddling publicist says he'll have to convince everyone Bridget isn't just his flavor of the week, but his girlfriend. Being blackmailed into a fake relationship with Chad Gamble isn't easy, especially when the sizzling physical attraction between them is undeniable. With a month to go on their arranged pretense, it's going to take every ounce of willpower they have not to fall into bed together...or in love.
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Read an Excerpt
Tempting the Player
A Gamble Brothers Novel
By J. Lynn, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2012 Jennifer L. Armentrout
All rights reserved.
As Bridget Rodgers stared at the old meat-packing warehouse, she kept seeing flashes of the movie Hostel in her head. According to her friend, the invite-only, highly gossiped about Leather and Lace club was the place to be. But from the cemented-over windows and graffiti-sprayed exterior walls, in what were probably gang symbols, plus the dim flickering light from the nearby lamppost, Bridget figured most patrons of this club ended up on missing persons posters or on the evening news.
"I can't believe I let you talk me into this, Shell. We're probably going to become some perverted rich man's victim by midnight." Bridget straightened the thick leather belt around the waist of her dress. The belt was purple, of course, and her sweater dress a deep red. Her signature look was a bit gaudy, but at least it would help the police identify her body later.
Shell passed her a droll look. "You don't even want to know what I had to do to get an invite to this club." She waved the business card — sized paper in front of Bridget's face. "We're going to have fun doing something different. Boo on the local watering holes."
For all the hoopla surrounding Leather and Lace, one would think it would be in a better location than Foggy Bottom. With the creepy, unsightly look to it and the fog rolling in every night, it seemed doubtful the place catered to the rich and powerful in DC.
The club had become sort of an urban legend, and the name probably had something to do with it. Leather and Lace. Seriously? Who thought that was a good idea? Supposedly, it was a sex club. A means of hooking up people with "mutual interests," like Match.com for the sexually wild or something, but Bridget didn't really believe it. And if it was, oh well. In reality, all clubs and bars catered to sex in one way or another. It was why half the single people went out on the weekend.
It was why she used to go out on the weekend.
"Come on, get the sourpuss look off your face," Shell said. "You need something fun and new. You need to de-stress."
"Getting drunk —"
"And hopefully getting laid," Shell added with a wicked grin.
Bridget's laugh sent puffs of small white clouds into the air. "That's so not going to fix my problems."
"True, but they will definitely take your mind off them."
She did need some good old-fashioned stress relief, though. As much as she loved her job and really wanted to go cry in the corner at the thought of finding something else, it wasn't covering her bills — namely the student loans — that were taking a huge chunk out of her monthly income. She'd come to loathe when her phone rang, and it was an eight hundred number.
Sallie Mae was a freaking vulture.
She sighed as she glanced back at the building. That was a gang sign. "So how did you score an invite to this place?"
"It's really not that exciting," Shell said, frowning at the card she held.
"All right," Bridget said, squaring her shoulders as she turned to her friend. The shorter girl was shivering in her skintight black mini and Bridget smiled. Sometimes having extra padding had its benefits. Early October air was chilly, but her knees weren't knocking. "If this place is lame or if anyone tries to pry out my eyeball, we're leaving pronto."
Shell nodded solemnly. "Deal."
Their heels echoed off the cracked pavement as they hurried toward what appeared to be the front entrance. Once they got within seeing distance of the tiny square window in the door, it swung open, revealing a pro wrestler — sized man in a black T-shirt.
"Card," he barked.
Shell stepped forward, holding the card out. The bouncer took it, scanned it over quickly, and then asked for IDs, which he scanned and handed back. When he held the door wider, it appeared they'd passed the popularity and age test.
Then again, both of them were pushing twenty-seven and could no longer be confused with underage drinkers anymore. Sigh. Growing old sucked sometimes.
The entrance to the club was a narrow hallway with track lighting. The walls were black. The ceiling was black. The door up ahead was black. Bridget's soul was dying a little at the lack of color and splash.
When they arrived at the second door, it too opened, showing another big dude in ... a black T-shirt. Bridget was starting to detect a theme here. Shell gave a little squeal as she slid past the second bouncer, giving him a long look, which was returned threefold.
Bridget's first glance around the main floor of the club was impressive. Whoever had designed this place had done well. Nothing inside gave an indication that this used to be a warehouse.
Lighting was dim, but not the shady kind of lighting that everyone looked good in at three a.m. A girl sometimes just couldn't catch a break. Several large tables surrounded a raised dance floor that would be treacherous as hell getting up and down from while drunk, but it was packed with bodies. Large, long couches lined walls painted in blood red. A spiral staircase led to the second floor but there, bouncers were blocking the top landing.
From what Bridget could see, there looked to be private alcoves up there. She bet there were a whole lot of shenanigans going on in those shadowy cubbyholes.
Behind the staircase was a sprawling bar run by eight bartenders. Never in her life had she seen so many bartenders actually working at once. Four men. Four women. All of them dressed in black, mixing drinks and chatting with the patrons.
The place was busy but not overly packed like most of the clubs in the city. And instead of stale cigarette smoke, beer, and body odor, there was a clove-like scent in the air.
This place was definitely not bad.
Shell spun toward her, clutching her black clutch in her hand.
"Tonight is going to be a night you never forget. Mark my words."
* * *
Another shot made its way from Chad Gamble's hand to his mouth. The bite of alcohol watered his eyes, but like any family with a real good alcoholic circling around, it would take an entire keg of this shit to get him drunk.
And by the looks of those at the club tonight, getting drunk instead of laid was looking more and more like the outcome. Not one female had caught his attention. Sure, plenty of beautiful women had approached him and his friend Tony.
But Chad wasn't interested.
And Tony was more caught up in giving Chad shit than anything else. "Man, you've got to calm this crap down. You keep ending up in the papers, the Club's gonna come down on you like a ton of bricks."
Chad groaned as he leaned forward, motioning at Bartender Jim. He wasn't sure if that was his real name or not, but hell, he'd been calling the man that for about two years now and never been corrected.
"Another?" Bartender Jim asked.
Chad glanced at Tony and sighed. "Make it two shots."
The bartender chuckled as he reached down, grabbing a bottle of Grey Goose. "I have to side with Tony on this. Signing a contract with the Yankees makes you a traitor to half the world."
Chad rolled his eyes. "Or it makes me smart and incredibly career oriented?"
"It makes your agent a greedy bastard," Tony replied, thrumming his fingers off the top of the bar. "You and I both know the Nationals are paying you enough."
Bartender Jim snorted.
The Nationals were paying him more than enough — enough that by the time retirement age came around, he'd be more than set. Hell, he had more money now than he even knew what to do with, but at thirty, he had another six years left in his pitching arm, maybe more. Right now he was still in his prime. He had it all — God-given skill with a wicked fastball and precise aim; experience with the game; and, as his agent put it, a face that actually drew women to baseball games.
But the money and the contract offers rolling in weren't the problem with the Nationals.
Chad was — or his "hard partying lifestyle" or whatever the gossip column had called it. According to the Post, Chad had a different woman every night and while that sounded damn fun, it was far from the truth. Unfortunately, he had enough relationships that whatever was written about him was believed by the masses. His reputation was as well known as his pitching arm.
But when fans were more concerned with whom he was screwing instead of how the team was playing, it was bad news.
The Nationals wanted to keep him on, which was what Chad wanted, too. He loved this town — the team and coaches. His life was here — his brothers and the Daniels family, who had been like parents to him. Leaving the city meant saying good-bye to them, but the team demanded that he "settle down."
Settle the fuck down, like he was some kind of wild college kid. Settle down? Sure, he'd settle what he'd been told was a rather fine ass in this barstool.
Chad took the shot, slamming the glass back down. "I'm not going anywhere, Tony. You know that."
"Good to hear." Tony paused. "But what if the Nationals don't re-sign you?"
"They'll re-sign me."
Tony shook his head. "You better hope they don't get wind of what went down in that hotel room on Wednesday night."
Chad laughed. "Man, you were with me Wednesday night and you know damn well nothing went down in that hotel room."
His friend snickered. "And who's going to believe that if those three ladies say differently? And yeah, I know calling them 'ladies' is stretching it, but with your reputation, the Club will believe anything. You just need to keep a low profile."
"A low profile?" Chad snorted. "Maybe you didn't understand me. They don't want me to keep a low profile. They want me to settle down."
"Hell," Tony muttered. "Well, it's not like they're asking you to get married."
Chad shot him a look. "Actually, I'm pretty sure they want me to find 'a nice girl' and 'stay out of clubs' and — "
"Clubs like this one?" Tony chuckled.
"Exactly," he said. "I need to revamp my whole image, whatever the hell my image is."
Tony shrugged. "You're a player, Chad. Stop being a player."
Chad opened his mouth. Well, he really couldn't argue against that statement. Settling down was not in the Gamble brothers' vocab. His brother Chase didn't count anymore. Traitor. Chad loved his soon-to-be sister-in-law Maddie and she was great for Chase, but Chad and their other brother, Chandler, were not going to find themselves shackled to any female anytime soon.
"If you say 'don't hate the player, hate the game,' I'm going to knock you out of your seat," Tony warned.
He laughed. "You need to screw or something. Get some of that angst out of your ass. Even if I decide to go with another team, I'm not breaking up with you."
Tony flipped him off as his dark eyes scanned the floor behind them. His friend leaned back suddenly, lips pursing. "Ah, I've never seen these two before. Interesting ..."
Chad twisted at the waist, searching down to find what had caught Tony's interest. Must be something pretty damn good because his friend was as bored with the night's offerings as he was.
His eyes scanned over a tall, slender blonde with a leather choker, dancing with a shorter woman. They were staring directly at Chad and Tony, but they were regulars. He checked out a few more women but wasn't seeing anything new. He started to turn back around when he caught sight of hair the color of dark wine.
Damn. He always had a thing for redheads.
Chad turned around fully.
The woman was standing next to a blonde who was placing a drink on one of the high tables, but his eyes went back to the redhead. She was tall — her head would probably come up to his shoulders, and he was a good six and a half feet standing straight. Her skin was like unblemished porcelain, fair and easily flushed. He couldn't tell what color her eyes were from here, but he was betting they were green or hazel. Her lips were pouty, shaped like a bow; the kind of mouth that begged to be claimed and then would haunt men's dreams long afterward.
Chad's gaze dipped and, oh hells yes, his dick, which hadn't been active all night, stirred to life. The red dress ended just below the elbows and above the knees, but he saw enough to know he liked — a lot. The material stretched across her full breasts. Chad wanted to take off the belt around her waist and use it for other things. She was rocking the kind of body pin-up models of the fifties showed off — a true woman's body. One that demanded hands and tongues trace the curves of, if they dared, and, oh yeah, he dared.
"Hot damn," Chad murmured.
Tony chuckled deeply. "The redhead, huh? Saw her first. Bet she could handle just about anything thrown her way."
Chad cut his friend a dark look. "The redhead is mine."
"Oh, simmer down, boy." Tony raised his hands in mock surrender. "I like the blonde, too."
He held Tony's gaze long enough for his friend to get that he wasn't fucking around before he turned his attention back to the redhead. She was sitting at the table now, fiddling with the straw in her drink. One of the regulars stopped by her table — Joe something or another — making a beeline for the fresh meat. Joe worked for the government, doing fuck knows what. Chad never had a problem with the guy before, but it took everything in his self-control not to get up and physically remove him.
Joe said something and the blonde laughed. The redhead flushed, and now Chad was hard as freaking granite. Man, he wanted to know if that flush traveled down and how far it went. No — he needed to know. His life depended on it.
"Fuck," he said, glancing at Tony. "Have I told you how much I think Joe is an asshole?"
Tony chuckled. "No, but I can guess why you think so."
Nodding absently, his eyes narrowed on the redhead. Whoever she was, she wasn't going home with Joe tonight. She was going home with him.CHAPTER 2
The people who frequented Leather and Lace were ... friendly. Already, two different men and a woman had stopped by their table, chatting casually and openly flirting. If Bridget were into girls, the flaxen-haired beauty who'd been eyeing Shell would've definitely done it for her, but the two men barely sparked any interest, which was weird, because they were good- looking and charming. One of them had showered her with a lot of attention, but she was feeling oh so very meh about it.
There was a good chance her vagina was broken or something.
Sighing, she finished off her drink while Shell practiced her seduction technique on some dark-haired guy named Bill or Will. The heady thrum of music easing out of the speakers made it difficult to hear what they were saying to each other, but the odds Bridget would be calling a cab later tonight were high.
Or worse, even using the Metro, which she was convinced was one of Dante's circles of hell.
When she got home, she'd dive into that Reese's pie she discovered in the local market earlier and that book she'd totally stolen off of Maddie's desk when she'd left work. Bridget had no idea what it was about, but the cover was green — she loved the color green — and the dude on the cover was hot. Oh, and she needed to feed Pepsi, the alley cat she'd found in a Pepsi box when he was a kitten.
It was a Friday night, she was at a club, and a good-looking man was currently giving her the I-want-to-take-you-home-and-I-hope-I -last-longer-than-five-minutes look ... and she was thinking about pie, a young adult book, and feeding her cat.
She was so turning into the cat lady at twenty-seven. Sweet.
"I'm heading to the bar," Bridget announced, thinking she could at least be drunk and not care how her evening turned out. "Either of you two want a refill?"
Bridget waited for a response, but after a few seconds, she rolled her eyes and stood. Picking up her mauve clutch, she slipped around the table and headed toward the bar. It had gotten fuller since they'd arrived. Squeezing in next to a woman with short, spiky black hair, she leaned against the bar.
Surprisingly, a bartender seemed to appear out of thin air. "What can I get you, sweetie?"
Sweetie? How ... sweet. "Rum and Coke."
"Coming right up."
Bridget smiled her thanks as she glanced down the bar. Several people were paired off, a few were alone or chatting with those standing by the bar. She caught sight of a guy with dark hair and eyes and thought she'd seen him before.
A tall glass was placed in front of her and she opened her clutch, reaching for some cash.
"I have it covered," a deep and smooth voice intruded. A large hand landed on the bar beside her. "Put it on my tab."
The bartender turned to help someone else before Bridget could politely refuse. Accepting drinks from strangers was a no-go for her. Candy was a different story.
She turned halfway, her gaze following those long fingers to where a dark sweater's sleeve was rolled up to the elbow. The material clung to a thick, well-muscled upper arm, which connected to broad shoulders she found vaguely familiar. Whoever the guy was, he was exceptionally tall. Nearing six feet herself, she had to tip her head back to meet his eyes, and that made her all kinds of giddy.
Though the moment she saw his face, all giddiness vanished, replaced by about a thousand different emotions she couldn't even begin to separate. She knew him. Not just because everyone in the city knew who he was, but she really knew him.
Excerpted from Tempting the Player by J. Lynn, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2012 Jennifer L. Armentrout. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
J. Lynn is a pseudonym for Jennifer L. Armentrout, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Wait for You, the Covenant series, and the Lux series. She lives in West Virginia.
Jennifer L. Armentrout is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Covenant series and the Lux series. She writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance, and she also publishes adult romantic fiction, including the Gamble Brothers series, under the pseudonym J. Lynn.
Kaleo Griffith, who has been called "powerful, with the presence of a young Timothy Dalton" by the Hollywood Reporter, has won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. He holds an MFA in acting from Rutgers University, and his film and television credits include Oliver Stone's Talk Radio, Law & Order, and All My Children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The sequel to Tempting the Best Man does not disappoint. There is so much to love about this book it's hard to really pin-point where to begin. The premise of this book is so fun. In the public eye, Chad is this bad boy player, but in reality, most of that is fiction. He's told he needs to clean up his image to get the contract extension he wants. The way this goes down is comical, but I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything. Here's what you need to know...Chad is a hottie! As a professional baseball player, he can have any girl he wants. He's confident and successful with lots of wit to spare. Bridget is fun to cheer for. She's a few pounds overweight, but not winey or annoying about it. Oh, and I love that the fact that she isn't stick-thin is part of Chad's attraction. The sexy scenes in this book are off-the-charts-HOT! J. Lynn is a master at the sexual tension! I cannot wait for the next Gamble Brothers book. Bottom line, go buy this book immediately. You will stay up all night reading it and all the next day talking about it! Highly recommend!!!
I loved Tempting the Player. I loved how we got to see glimpses of Maddie and Chase and the rest of the Gamble/Daniel brothers. I loved how the chemistry and the wit between Bridget and Chad. I loved how the plot moved along and the problems that each character faced. The reactions to the conflicts was predictable, as was the ending, but it didn't make this book any less enjoyable to read. I highly recommend to anyone who likes hot, smart contemporary romance.
GREAT BOOK! Perfect length, awesome lead characters, steamy loves scenes, great storyline. Very excited for the next Gamble brothers story, you did it again J. Lynn!
Can you say Scorching Hawt!! Thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing a copy in exchage of an honest review. Tempting the player (Gamble #2) is fantastic. A book that will leave you aching for more while fulffiling all your wicked fantasies!!! Here is a little background on why I'm completely crazy about this release. When I read Tempting the Best Man (Gamble #1) I loved the story and fell in love with the characters, Chase and Maddie where amazing and sweet and sexy as hell and I loved them but I also went crazy over Chad and Chandler. Even though I didn't know them I was intrigued and I wanted to know so much more. Obviously, the first thing I did once I finished that book, was to contact the author and almost begged for a second book and I wasn't the only one, lots and lots of fans wanted that too. So once the author announced that Entangled's Brazen imprint was going to release Tempting the Player I was ecstatic. It was like an early Christmas present. I crossed fingers and prayed to get an ARC of this book, yeah I'm crazy like that =D, one day I opened up my email and there it was SUBJECT: Tempting the Player ARC the best morning I've had in long time. I squealed, jumped and called a couple of friends(happiness needs to be shared) anyway once I settle down enough, opened up my ARC and the first thing I though was... What if I don't like it? I've been dying to get this title and waiting for it so much that, I was scared. But then I read the first chapter and I was a goner. Chad is my kind of guy, bad boy, with a sinful body, totally sexy and he knows it and owns it. He's also the super star pitcher for Nationals; he just have one problem, he doesn't know how to play by the rules, ohh and he's a self-centered arss... did I say one problem??? .. I meant two LOL!!! Bridget is one of a kind; she has a weird fashion sense, the most heart stopping green eyes that completely match her beautiful red hair, she's completely loyal, witty and trust worthy, but she has one problem she doesn't see herself as the beautiful curvier woman she is. One Night chance or fate decided to play games with this two and OMG!!!! This couple is perfect; they both have the perfect amount of snark and wit, they call it as they see it, and to make things more interesting they have a smashing chemistry. As the plot thickens, Chad and Bridget get caught up on a charade that could end up costing a lot more than their works it could cost them their hearts. This book is flawless, J. Lynn is the Queen of Sexual tension, and the buildup on this one was so magnificent that when the time came I was drooling my way through it. I love Alpha males and she has the male persona nailed (yes Nic I stole your phrase LOL), I have yet to read one of her books where I don't fall head over heels for the male character. Chad and Bridget are such a sweet couple but they have this strenght when they are together... well and Chad ohhh Chad. Where can I place an order for one like him? *drools a bit* Cant wait to read Chandler's story and for what I saw here, his book is going to be pretty interesting. God have Mercy on him LOL!!!! I adored that we get to see a bit more about Chase and Maddie and how the brothers interact. So, if you guys are looking for a sizzling hot romance that promise to keep you up at the wee hours of the night;with amazing characters and a beautifulled weebed story, search no more Tempting the Player is what you are looking for.
Love love love it ! I need #3 now!!!! DOES ANYONE KNOW WHEN #3 IS COMING OUT?????
This story shows a guy who has a bad reputation and needs a new image. A sweet woman enters his world, gets stuck in a compromising position and then a fake relationship happens. The fact that it ends in a HEA is so cool
Both Tempting the Player and Tempting the Best Man brings you into the story and you get so caught up in the characters that you can't stop reading!
## I couldn't stand this book. The hero ruined it for me. He was insufferable. Cocky and arrogant and just awful. Why do authors insist on making heroes such man-sluts? And then we're supposed to believe and be grateful that he only wants the heroine from now on? And the resulting proposal sucked, too. The heroine was ok, although I didn't think it was necessary to bring up her weight quite so often. Don't bother with this book.
I really enjoyed this one. Lots of steamy scenes and very likable characters!
Jennifer Armentrout is the best <3 I love everything she writes.
In love ith this book.!
Tempting the Player is the story of Chad and Bridget, who me met briefly in Tempting the Best Man. This story is awesome! So far I've loved everything Jennifer L. Armentrout (J. Lynn) has written, but her adult fiction is my favorite. This book is one you don't want to miss. Especially if you loved Chase and Maddie's story as much as I did!! Chad is such a fun character, and Bridget is his perfect counterpart. Their story is so fun!!
I'm a huge fan of romance with a good plot and this author never fails to deliver, whether it be an adult novel or YA. I enjoyed this book even more than the first, couldn't stop reading it until I reached the end. If you enjoy a good steamy romance you seriously need to pick this book up! :)
I loved Tempting the Best Man, and Tempting the Player was even better! I think Chad is even better than Chase. Love how he knows what he wants, and doesn't care what anyone else thinks about how he runs his life. Though when he has to put up with Ms. Gore, I laughed my butt off. She is the perfect publicist for a player like Chad. This book was unbelievably hot! And done in a great way! Love the sexual tension the J. Lynn can create between her characters! If you have not read this book or Tempting the Best Man you are missing out! The only way to rectify the situation is to read both immediately!
Absolutely fabulous. You have to read this book. Amazingly hot story by an amazing author.
Great characters, great plot. Loved the intensity between all the character. Scenes were incredible!
Loved this book! The characters were great! Chad is cocky but so sweet! Bridget is great....perfect combination! Great read!
The best one so far!
Such a great read!
Bridget Rodgers was out for a good time when her friend takes her to a private club she encounters Chad Gamble, the pro-ball player. Realizing he is her best friends fiancee's brother, Bridget keeps her knowledge to herself and embarks on a night of passion...in which Bridget makes a door dash, hoping to never see Chad again. Unfortunately for Bridget their paths do meet again and this time there is no escape. Top pitcher and all around bad boy, Chad Gamble, is in desperate need of some positive publicity. When he is issued an ultimatum from his team and given a PR babysitter, drastic decision are made. The PR rep. sees an opportunity with Chad becoming involved with Bridget and blackmails her into having a fake affair with Chad...fake relationship in name only. The chemistry between them makes it nearly impossible for them to stay apart and detached. If they survive their arrangement what will happen once they return to their old ways. Tempting the Player is a fun, easy and entertaining read. No mind blowing revelations, just a pure, unadulterated contemporary romance which is exactly what you sometime need. Check out Tempting the Player for a steamy romance between hot blooded pro ball player and a spicy museum coordinator.
this series is amazing i loved them.