The Thrill of Victory

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Overview

A classic love story by bestselling author Sandra Brown, where betrayal is only a heartbeat away from desire, and love can be found in the most unexpected places.

Stevie Corbett is in jeopardy of losing everything she's sacrificed and worked so hard for — her career, her reputation, her future. Her life. Now she has just two weeks to make a monumental decision, but her fate rides on keeping the truth a secret.

Judd Mackie's job is to uncover ...

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Overview

A classic love story by bestselling author Sandra Brown, where betrayal is only a heartbeat away from desire, and love can be found in the most unexpected places.

Stevie Corbett is in jeopardy of losing everything she's sacrificed and worked so hard for — her career, her reputation, her future. Her life. Now she has just two weeks to make a monumental decision, but her fate rides on keeping the truth a secret.

Judd Mackie's job is to uncover secrets. He's spent the past few years trailing Stevie, determined to expose her as the spoiled glamour girl he believes her to be. Then a chance meeting with Stevie offers him the story he's been dreaming of.

He's waited years for an opportunity like this to fall into his lap. Now he has the chance to scoop the story of the year and let the whole world know the truth about Stevie. All he needs to do is betray her trust . . .

Sandra Brown is a New York Times bestselling author who began her career creating marvelously entertaining love stories. There are close to seventy million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work is published in over thirty languages. She and her husband live in Texas.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551664835
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 1/31/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 4.23 (w) x 6.76 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers - including most recently Smash Cut, Smoke Screen, Play Dirty, Ricochet, Chill Factor, White Hot, Hello, Darkness, The Crush, and Envy. She is the recipient of the 2008 Thriller Master Award from International Thriller Writers, Inc. She and her husband live in Arlington, Texas.

Biography

In 1979, Sandra Brown lost her job at a television program and decided to give writing a try. She bought an armful of romance novels and writing books, set up a typewriter on a card table and wrote her first novel. Harlequin passed but Dell bit, and Brown was off and writing, publishing her works under an assortment of pseudonyms.

From such modest beginnings, Brown has evolved into multimillion publishing empire of one, the CEO of her own literary brand; she towers over the landscape of romantic fiction. Brown has used her growing clout to insist her publishers drop the bosom-and-biceps covers and has added more intricate subplots, suspense, and even unhappy endings to her work. The result: A near-constant presence on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 1992, she had three on the list at the same time, joining that exclusive club of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steel.

Her work in the mainstream realm has taken her readers into The White House, where the president's newborn dies mysteriously; the oil fields and bedrooms of a Dallas-like family dynasty; and the sexual complications surrounding an investigation into an evangelist's murder. Such inventions have made her a distinct presence in a crowded genre.

"Brown is perhaps best known now for her longer novels of romantic suspense. The basic outline for these stories has passionate love, lust, and violence playing out against a background of unraveling secrets and skeletons jumping out of family closets," wrote Barbara E. Kemp in the book Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers . Kemp also praises Brown's sharp dialogue and richly detailed characters. "However, her greatest key to success is probably that she invites her readers into a fantasy world of passion, intrigue, and danger," she wrote. "They too can face the moral and emotional dilemmas of the heroine, safe in the knowledge that justice and love will prevail."

Critics give her points for nimble storytelling but are cooler to her "serviceable prose," in the words of one Publishers Weekly reviewer. Still, when writing a crack page-turner, the plot's the thing. A 1992 New York Times review placed Brown among a group of a writers "who have mastered the art of the slow tease."

Staggeringly prolific, Brown found her writing pace ground to a halt when she was given a different assignment. A magazine had asked her for an autobiographical piece, and it took her months to complete. Her life in the suburbs, though personally fulfilling, was nonetheless blander than fiction. That may be why she dives into her fiction writing with such workhorse gusto. "I love being the bad guy," she told Publishers Weekly in 1995, "simply because I was always so responsible, so predictable growing up. I made straight A's and never got into any trouble, and I still impose those standards on myself. So writing is my chance to escape and become the sleaziest, scummiest role."

When she started writing, her goal was always to break out of the parameters of romance. After about 45 romances, the woman who counts Tennessee Williams and Taylor Caldwell among her influences told The New York Times that felt she had reached a plateau. In fact, she doesn't even look at her books as romances anymore. "I think of my books now as suspense novels, usually with a love story incorporated," she said. "They're absolutely a lot harder to write than romances. They take more plotting and real character development. Each book is a stretch for me, and I try something interesting each time that males will like as well as women."

Good To Know

  • "I hate to exercise and only do so because I absolutely must."

  • "I love to eat and my favorite foods are all bad for the body. Fried chicken and gravy, TexMex, red meat (hey, I'm from Texas!). My only saving grace is that I'm not that fond of sweets. Salty is my thing. Chocolate cake and ice cream I can skip. But a bag of Fritos. . ."

  • "It takes me a long time to go to sleep, usually because I read in bed and hate to put down the book. But when I do nod off, I'm a champion sleeper. I can easily do eight or nine hours a night."

  • "My worst "thing" is mean-spirited people. People who deliberately belittle or embarrass someone really irk me. The people I admire most are the ones who find something good about even the most undesirable individual. That was a quality my mother had, the one I hope most to emulate."

  • "I have a fear of gravity. Recently my whole family went to Belize. We had several adventures. We tubed a river through miles of cave, wearing head lamps so we'd have illumination. No problem. I scaled Mayan ruins. I rode horseback (on a monster named Al Capone) through the rain forest. No problem. But I couldn't zip line. Even though my five-year-old grandsons did it with glee, I just couldn't make that leap."

  • "I and my husband are huge fans of Jeopardy! We never miss it if we can help it. Does that make us complete dorks?"

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan and Erin St. Claire
      2. Hometown:
        Arlington, TX
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 12, 1948
      2. Place of Birth:
        Waco, Texas
      1. Education:
        Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    Prologue

    "Ramsey is out for your butt, Mackie."

    The gopher, who had met the star sports-writer of the Dallas Tribune at the elevator, fell into step behind him as he walked toward the city room of Dallas' largest newspaper. Judd Mackie was unfazed by the threat of being out of favor with the Tribune's managing editor. He made a beeline for the coffee machine. Its brew was so vicious, so black, he'd often joked that they used the leftovers to fill in the cracks on North Central Expressway.

     

    "Mackie, did you hear me?"

    "I heard you, I heard you, Addison. Got a quarter?" The pockets of his slacks — expensive, but hopelessly wrinkled — hadn't produced the correct amount of change for the vending machine. He was notorious for never carrying money. It was ludicrous that he was bumming from a guy whose age and income were a fraction of his.

     

    "Ramsey's fit to be tied," the gopher said in an ominous undertone as he passed his idol a handful of coins. 

    "He usually is." Mackie watched a Styrofoam cup fill with coffee whom only virtue was that it was scalding and as darkly opaque as the sunglasses he still had on, though he'd been inside the building a full five minutes.

     

    As he sipped barely diluted caffeine from the disposable cup, the lenses of his glasses fogged over, reminding him they were there. He took them off and dropped them into the breast pocket of his jacket, which wasn't any more dapper than his slacks. His eyelids were puffy; the whites of his eyes were rivered with red.

     

    "He told me to catch you at the elevator and personally escort you to his office."

     

    "He must really be steamed. What'd I do this time?" Judd asked with disinterest. Michael Ramsey was perpetually steamed at him. From one day to the next the extent of his wrath was only a matter of degree.

     

    "I'll let him tell you. You coming peaceably?" the gopher asked worriedly.

     

    Judd took pity on him. "Lead on."

    Addison Somethingorother was an intern who worked part-time between his journalism classes at Southern Methodist University. During the boy's first day on the job, Judd had passed him a rumpled handkerchief he'd fished from an even more rumpled pocket and jokingly suggested that the eager student use it to dry behind his ears. But when Addison had looked wounded, Judd had slapped him on the back, said he'd meant no offense, and offered the best advice he could give someone who aspired to a journalistic career, which was to reconsider.

    "The hours are long, the pay lousy, the working conditions abysmal and the best you can hope for is that whatever you've written gets read before the dog chews it up or the bird craps on it or the housewife wraps chicken guts in it."

    Addison was still around, so apparently he hadn't taken the jaded sports reporter's words to heart. Judd would have continued to rebuke Addison's idealism if he hadn't remembered a time when he himself had had stars in his eyes about a career.

     

    The stars had gone out long ago, but on occasion, usually when he was deep into his cups, he remembered what it felt like to have a burning ambition for greatness. So he let the cub go on dreaming his dreams. He'd find out for himself that life played dirty tricks.

     

    It was midmorning and the city room was a beehive of activity. Reporters at word-processing terminals clicked away on their keyboards. Some had telephone receivers tucked beneath their chins. Messengers hustled among the desks, which were already stacked with packages and mail as yet unopened.

     

    Then there were those individuals simply hanging out, smoking, sipping canned drinks or coffee, waiting for something newsworthy to happen or, short of that, divine inspiration.

     

    ". . . the Arabs. But then Israel — hi, Judd — wouldn't do . . ."  "So I said to her, 'Look I want my keys back.' Hi, Judd. To which she said . . ."

     

    ". . . me a quote. Hi, Judd. Somebody's got to stick his neck out and go on the record about this thing."

     

    Popular with his cohorts, he nodded greetings as he followed Addison through the maze of desks, then down a carpeted hallway toward the managing editor's office. 

    "There you are," his secretary said in exasperation. "Since we don't have a militia, he was about to send me in search of you. Thanks, Addison. You can get back to whatever you were doing before Mr. Ramsey summoned you."

     

    The gopher seemed reluctant to leave just when the fireworks were about to start. But Ramsey's secretary was almost as indomitable as the boss himself. He ambled away.

     

    "Hi, doll. What's up?" Judd tossed his empty cup into the nearest wastepaper basket. "Pour me a cup of the real stuff, will you?"

     

    Propping her fists on her hips, the secretary asked, "Do I look like a waitress?" 

    Judd winked and gave her the leisurely, miss-nothing once-over that rarely failed to make points toward a big score. "You look like a million bucks." He sauntered through the connecting door before she could retaliate against either his blatant sexism or ingratiating compliment.

     

    Inside the door, Judd was greeted by the noxious fumes left by the first two of the four packs of cigarettes Michael Ramsey would smoke that day. He had one cigarette smoldering in an ashtray and another in his mouth when Judd strolled in.

     

    "It's about time." His face was florid with rage.

     

    Judd flopped into a leather chair and crossed his ankles in front of him. "For what?"

     

    "Don't get cute with me, Mackie. You've really blown it this time." 

    Ramsey's secretary came in bearing the requested cup of coffee, brewed in her personal coffee, maker. Judd thanked her with a smile and another suggestive glance that she knew, and regretted, was meaningless.

     

    Copyright © 2003 Sandra Brown

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 7 )
    Rating Distribution

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    Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
    • Posted May 19, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      Tennis pro, Stevie Corbett, suddenly collapses on the court. It

      Tennis pro, Stevie Corbett, suddenly collapses on the court. It’s the opportunity Judd Mackie has been waiting for! Somehow, if he can get close to her and learn the truth, he’ll scoop the story of the decade.
      When Judd breaks into Stevie’s apartment, he finds her angry, bristling and wounded. Something is terribly wrong with her, something with the potential to ruin her career and perhaps end her life.
      Judd becomes an unlikely hero to the ailing tennis pro, stealing her away from cameras and badgering newsmen to the seclusion of his family’s cabin in the woods. There, Stevie must come to grips with her illness and determine the course of her future. What she doesn’t expect is the rare gift Judd bestows upon her, a gift of love and life.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 11, 2008

      Sweet

      A sweet story

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 10, 2003

      Great Reading!

      I thought this was a wonderful book. I was intrigued by it minute to minute. I couldn't tear myself away until I had read the last word on the very last page. Sandra Brown knows how to keep her readers begging for more.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 1, 2003

      Story was good

      I enjoyed the story but tooooo much sex.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 26, 2003

      First book of hers i ever read

      the first that i read and my favorit

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 18, 2003

      Sandra is great!

      I have read all of SB's books and this was a pleasant re-read for me!

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 9, 2003

      Another previously published book

      I hate buying Sandra Brown's books only to discover that I read them years ago. I have started looking at the publishing date before I buy any books by her.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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