Gambling on the Bodyguard

Gambling on the Bodyguard

by Sarah Ballance


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Ski instructor Ellie Montgomery hits Vegas during a romance convention to meet the man of her dreams...only, the man of her dreams isn't the cover model she's there to see. He's the hot-as-sin bodyguard who catches her sneaking in the back door of a meet-and-greet, and he seems more than ready to do what it takes to prove he's twice the man her pretty boy crush could ever be. Jax Mathis couldn't resist snagging a date with Ellie, but he didn't count on the attraction being more than physical. They connect on a level he didn't think possible-and he can't run fast enough. She makes him want things he thought he'd never have, and maybe, just maybe, they're within reach. But to have it, he'll have to face the one mountain he swore he'd never climb...and with no guarantee she'll be waiting on the other side.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943892716
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 09/24/2015
Pages: 190
Sales rank: 1,149,475
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Gambling on the Bodyguard

A What Happens In Vegas Story

By Sarah Ballance, Tracy Montoya

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2015 Sarah Ballance
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-418-8


Ellie Montgomery's entire life had just disappeared down the toilet. Literally.

A once-in-a-lifetime event. Exclusive access. Gone.

She'd traveled hundreds of miles to meet Willie Focker, the hottest man to ever grace the cover of a book. It had been lust at first sight, right there in the romance section of Barnes & Noble. She'd religiously collected books featuring him on the cover but never dreamed that filling out the little card between the pages would result in her winning a ticket to meet the man in all his glorious flesh at the eighteenth annual Romance Novel Convention. Taking a few days off work and flying alone to Vegas was probably the craziest thing she'd ever done, but if she was going to do something crazy, Vegas was the place to do it, and Willie Focker the reason.

At least he had been.

She stared at her dripping wet hand. Had she really stuck it in the toilet? Fortunately the bowl appeared pristine, but that didn't relieve the urge — scratch that, the need — to take a bath in sanitizer. When the ticket first landed in the water, she'd required a good second to process what was in the bowl, at which point she made a frantic grab for the paper only to have it disappear, courtesy of the auto-flush. Long after the invitation to meet the man of her dreams was lost to the sewers, she stared into the bowl, praying the darn thing would show some mercy and regurgitate the envelope, but luck did not prevail. She contemplated going in after it, the urge tempered only by the fact that she'd be in no shape to meet anyone if she drowned in toilet water.

"Un. Freaking. Believable."

With a sigh, she threw her too-small-to-hold-a-damn-thing bag over her shoulder and cursed it for not having a pocket that fit the gold embossed invitation, then for good measure she cursed the invitation for being too big for her bag yet inexplicably not too big for the hole at the bottom of the toilet. Torn between denial and utter devastation, she eased from the stall, casting a final desperate look into the bowl before the door swung shut after her.

It freaking figured. The odds of her landing one of ten tickets to what was promised to be an intimate affair were off the charts, statistically lingering somewhere between winning one of those cars at the penny slots and getting struck by lightning while spelunking in Carlsbad. That the sewer would claim her chance was just her luck.

She'd been inside the Masquerade Hotel and Casino for all of an hour, and she'd already lost her heart and soul to Sin City.

One of ten tickets.

She straightened.

Intimate affair.

There had to be a record of invited guests. Surely all she had to do was show up and give her name, and she'd be in. Buoyed by that one last shred of hope, she scrubbed her hands, then straightened her dress and her spine and headed for the venue. A concierge named Perry with a Trump-quality comb-over and a store-bought smile directed her toward the conference room that promised Willie Focker.

Outside the door, a dozen or so women jostled one another, yelling the cover model's name. A dozen voices insisted they were on the list. A dozen excuses flew to the return of a dozen nopes.

Each and every one was told it didn't matter.

No ticket, no entry.

Ellie held back. Sure, she had a ticket, but she wouldn't be saying anything the rest of them weren't. If a list existed, short of her being an A-lister or a runway model, she'd be hard pressed to get anyone to consult it. She appeared to be at another dead end, but desperation squandered defeat. Security clearly had their collective hands full, so all she had to do was find the back entrance to the room. So what if she didn't have a criminal bone in her body? The real crime would be to miss this chance to meet Willie. Rumor had it he would pose for mock covers with the attendees, which meant he'd probably be shirtless. And she'd be in his arms. It would be the closest she'd come to a relationship in ages.

Besides, she was on the list.

She eased around the corner from the melee and searched Google for the hotel floor plan. The conference room in question, together with its neighbor, could be converted from two single rooms into a spacious double room, and the door to the second half was off an out-of-sight corridor. She wasn't sure how the two rooms connected — probably one of those accordion walls that would be impossible to sneak through — but she'd bridge that gap when she got there.

She scoped out the hall and compared it to the diagram on her phone. Only one corner stood between her and international perfection.

"Just. Act. Casual." And breathe. Minor detail, but a deal breaker if she lost sight of that particular goal and passed out on the floor. But calm was a joke. She was just as worked up over the idea of standing face-to-face with Focker as she was by the loss of the ticket. Her emotions ran in circles, no idea which direction to take, so it was no surprise her attempt to be discreet failed. Nothing made a person conspicuous like trying not to be, but she made to the second entrance without being tackled. Brief second thoughts assaulted. She had no idea what would be on the other side of the door, but worst case, she'd play utterly confused and end up escorted to the corridor where she started. If she could just tell her story, they'd all have a good laugh and she'd be in. Willie Focker would pose for that cover with her, she'd leave with photographic proof, and it would keep her warm at night.

With her pathetic wreck of a love life, it would have to.

The short back corridor was well lit, but the inset door was thrown into deep shadow. At least if she failed miserably and video evidence made the rounds on YouTube, she could pull the Not Me card. But the risk was worth taking.

Here goes nothing.

She eased open the door, expecting all hell to break loose. But other than the muffled noise from the adjacent conference room, silence reigned. Well, okay then. She turned to shut the door, then back around and ... hit a wall.

A wall made of man. One who smelled like soap and was built like Wolverine. She was mildly aware of the latter even as the impact sent her reeling, her breath stolen by the shock. He was so hard she'd have ricocheted into the wall behind her if he hadn't caught her with an arm that had to have been made of bedrock. The detail of his dark hair was lost to the dim light, but the same could not be said for his eyes. A striking ice-blue, their cool assessment left her skin pebbled, and her nipples wasted no time following suit, despite the ridiculous heat and rampant fear coiling through her.

Please let him be one of the good guys. He stood a head taller, an easy six foot something sexy, and was a little rough around the edges. As her eyes adjusted to the dark, she made out the beginnings of a five o'clock shadow that paired richly with chocolate-hued, bedroom-tussled hair. His hand slid along her forearm, his calloused fingers dragging out her inhibitions. Oh, sweet Jesus. He had the come hither glare down to a science, and she didn't think he was even trying.

"Can I help you find something?" he asked. His gaze again traveled the length of her body, lusciously slow. "Or someone?"

She swallowed. "I'm here for the Willie Focker affair."

At one time the wording had made her giggle. You are cordially invited to experience an affair with Willie Focker.

"That event is by invitation only. And generally accessible via the front door." A hint of bemusement tinged his otherwise firm words.

"I have an invitation," she said, though not as firmly as she would have liked. In such dim light, she had a hard time getting a read on the guy, which made her attraction to him all the more maddening.

In a voice as smooth as honey, he asked, "Would you like me to have someone escort you to the main entry?"

Disappointment frittered through her. Not you? But of course not. He likely had to keep his post to prevent people from sneaking in. Unauthorized versions of herself. "Look, my ticket fell into the toilet and was flushed away from me. Don't you have a list or something?"

He cocked a brow. "There's a list. At the front door. Which begs the question — if you're legit — of why you're sneaking in the back."

She hugged herself against a sudden chill. "Have you seen the mob in the hallway? I don't stand a chance out there."

He shook his head. "They're supposed to keep the door clear. If the group out there is anything like what Focker usually inspires, I don't blame you for not wanting to fight your way through. His groupies tend to be a bit ... enthusiastic."

The final word ended with a wry upturn of his lips that left her flushed. She was one of those groupies, although looking at him made her wonder why. Focker was utterly perfect, at least as far as appearances went, but he had nothing on his bodyguard, whose tough guy exterior softened behind the play of a smile on his lips and the heated curiosity of his appraisal. Her earlier concerns about him being the bad guy eased. He didn't seem angry or tense, but amused. And not entirely at her expense, although she wasn't sure if sneaking in the back made her more or less manic than the screaming throng in the hall.

"You have any identification?" he asked.

Relief sluiced through her — before wariness set in. She may be from a small town, but she'd seen this all over Dateline. She would flash her identification, and he'd show up at her front door wielding a shovel and ... a glass of wine. She could totally see him with wine. Wine and candlelight. He was way too sexy to be hiding in a dark room, and her body still singed from every single point of contact they'd shared. "How do I know you're not some predator?"

He flipped a light switch and held up the ID tag that hung from his neck on a lanyard. Event staff.

"That's a casino security badge," she said. Wariness edged back in. Was this guy back here hoping for the chance to seduce some desperate groupie? If so, he'd just struck out. "Do you even know Mr. Focker?"

Even in the dark, amusement glittered in his eyes. "As of three days ago, yes. I'm a local hired onto his detail for the RNC, but I can't move through this facility without a venue badge. Any guy on the street could make something up and flash it around if that were the case."


She took a closer look at the badge, which he still withheld. Jax Mathis. She tried the name on her tongue, finding the silent utterance delicious. So much so that she couldn't help but wonder how the man himself would taste. Her best friend's pre-flight warning came back to her — something about how neon made people do crazy things. Only Ellie was pretty sure Taylor wanted her to do something crazy. There sure wasn't anything that qualified back home in Minturn, but there was no shortage of it in Vegas. And if what she were thinking about the man in front of her counted as crazy, she'd sure like to dip a toe in it now.

He stared her down, the dance of light in his eyes lending warmth to the most dizzying shade of blue she'd ever encountered. His muscles were a little less tense now, a little less on edge, but he still vibrated on an unfamiliar frequency. She stared at his arms and wondered what it would be like to be held by him.

His gaze promised to eat her alive. "What kind of predator do you think I am?" he asked.

"The kind that hangs out in dark rooms." She rubbed her arms, failing to eradicate the chill. "Waiting for prey."

An easy, bemused smile shaped his lips. "Well, I suppose I'm guilty of that, but if you're worried I'm going to show up in your room tonight, rest easy. I'm not above accompanying a beautiful woman back to her hotel, but not until she begs."

Until she begs. Not unless, but until. "Um, you said you could get me in to meet Mr. Focker."


She withdrew her license and held it out for him, but not too close.

His brow lifted. "Colorado?"

"Actually, it's Ellie. Ellie Montgomery. I'm on the list."

He shrugged. "Which, again, I don't have."

She bit back a frustrated sigh. "Then why did you ask for my identification?"

"Because I wanted to know your name," he said, no trace of humor in his voice.

She tamped down the urge to throw something. He must have countless encounters with women every day, and he'd chosen her to give a hard time? Figured. Maybe if she pretended to lose it — not that she wasn't almost there anyway — he'd put those incredible arms around her. Frankly, she could use a little restraint, and it had increasingly little to with her desire to see what's-his-name. "There has to be a list. Can you ask the guy with the list?"

He grinned, all crooked and sexy. "Let me see if I have this right. Based on the way you came at me, I can only assume you're willing to risk jail time — in Vegas — to get close to this guy. Have you met him before?"

She shook her head, her thoughts still snagged on jail time. In Vegas. Good Lord, if the people roaming the streets made the cut for freedom, she could only imagine who hadn't.

"So how do you know he's not a complete ass?"

She didn't.

"Or gay?"

"I didn't come here to sleep with him."

"That's what they all say."

Oh, hell no. "I'm not them. I'm not ... that. Not at all."

His eyes darkened. Did he believe her? Why did she care? "So educate me," he said. "What is it about meeting this guy that's worth time in the pen?"

"He's ..." Words escaped her, primarily because the few that came to her applied not to Focker, but to the hard hunk of man challenging her. His tux, or maybe it was a suit, fit him like he'd had it tailored. Or sculpted. Or maybe that was just his body. What would a man like that feel like between her thighs? The ache that speared her at the thought would be only the beginning, of that she was sure.

"He's pretty," Jax supplied.

Sexiest man alive. But not the cover model. Not anymore. Not next to Wolverine.

To his pretty assessment, she nodded, though the words rang as mockery. Rightfully so, at this point.

"Look," Jax said. "I can't let you in without a ticket, but I'll make you a deal. Let me take you out. Give me a chance to show you what a real man is like, and afterward if you still want to meet Pretty Boy I'll make personal introductions."

A real man. Had Wolverine really just asked her out? "You can do that?" Her mind flashed bedroom porn — her clutching sheets for dear life while he drove into her. The image, painfully brief, sent need tearing through her. She was in Las Vegas. Things like that totally happened here. Her clit happy-danced. She quaked. A little over the top, but considering the vision in her head, it was a miracle she hadn't dissolved entirely. "You can ... introduce me to ...?"

What the hell was his name?

"As we previously discussed," he said with a hint of humor, "I'm his bodyguard." He withdrew his wallet and presented his identification. Jax Mathis, take two. It matched the photo ID around his neck, but this version offered a Vegas address. "Google me. I'll wait."

Wariness forced some of the adrenaline from her veins, but the adrenaline pushed back. This was Vegas. If she couldn't do something crazy here, and with this man, she should probably just give up. Go home. Collect cats by the dozen — her mutt would just love that. Besides, a man who managed to look gorgeous in his driver's license photo was not to be trusted. That had to be a rule somewhere.

But what did that matter? This was Vegas. Rules didn't apply.

She swallowed her indecision, hoping courage would somehow take its place. Rational thought edged through. "If you're his bodyguard, shouldn't you be ... guarding him?"

"He's got security in there up to his eyeballs courtesy of the venue. They thought it was enough."

"And he didn't?"

His heated gaze scorched a trail down her body and back up again. "Was he wrong?"

She shot him her best death glare, but he didn't flinch. Instead, he smiled. It was pure devastation, and not because he was keeping her from her cover model. "So what's it going to be?" he asked. "Me or hotel security?"

"That's blackmail."

"I prefer to think of it as a reprieve. Time off for good behavior — or bad, if that's your preference."

His tone — the suggestion in his words — made her thighs quake. It took all of two seconds to find her phone in the teeny little handbag that had sent her ticket to swim with the fishes. Jax Mathis. Thirty seconds later, she had reasonable proof the man in front of her was legit.

He cocked an eyebrow. "Well?"

"I have a better idea."

"What's that?" he asked, humor threading his tone.


Excerpted from Gambling on the Bodyguard by Sarah Ballance, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2015 Sarah Ballance. 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.

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Gambling on the Bodyguard 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it !!
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Ellie is a ski instructor who had won a ticket for an intimate meeting with her favorite romance book cover model. So Ellie is on her way to Vegas for a romance convention to see her crush. Jax worked as a bodyguard in Vegas. Ellie accidentally flushes her ticket into the convention and tries to sneak in the back door as she knows her name will be on the list inside but Jax catches her. Jax says he will let her in if she will go out with him.Once Ellie was in the room with Willie- the model Ellie wants to return to Jax so then Ellie and Jax spend the rest of the weekend together but then Jax pushes her away and says they are to different to be together. So Ellie leaves on Sunday. Jax had some tragic memories of his last skiing session and wants nothing to do with ski slopes.Than five weeks go by with no contact between Jax and Ellie until Ellie’s dog gets hit by a car and she texts Jax about it. Jax comes to her. Loved this story definitely a different take on a bodyguard story. But I loved it. The plot was good, the story was very well written. It had some action in it so had a little of everything that was needed to make this a well rounded story. Just felt was a little rushed as no contact then Jax rushes to Ellie’s side and was more lust than love but got past that. The characters were great loved Ellie and Jax and all the twists and turns they went through. I highly recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
onlyminordetails More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts: These What Happens in Vegas stories are the best! I picked this one up after enjoying Sarah Ballance's Five Things I Love About You and expected another cute story. What I got was so much more! Ellie went to Vegas with one man in mind, book cover model Willie Focker, and ends up finding Jax, Willie's bodyguard, instead. There's something so enchanting about Jax and Ellie. Neither one of them was expecting the other, and yet, there they were in the right place at the right time. Ellie and Jax get to know each other over the course of her trip, falling into a lust and bacon filled haze that can only happen in Vegas. Just when it seems like they might be on the same page, Jax falters. You know deep down how he must truly feel, but something is holding him back. Gambling on the Bodyguard is no gamble--it's a win! Sarah Ballance brought us a sweet story with a lot more depth than I anticipated. This book grabbed my attention from the very start. I mean, it's funny, sexy, romantic... it was already a recommendation in my book before I was halfway through it. My Rating: Exceptional
TheSassyBookster More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually a fan of insta-love stories but have been known to enjoy one that's well done and GAMBLING ON THE BODYGUARD was. But then again, I enjoy Ms. Ballance's writing so I may be biased. Ellie Montgomery is in Vegas at a romance convention to meet her dream man, romance novel cover model Willie Focker, but a bathroom accident results in the loss of her prized ticket - one of very few - to a private party with the model. Ellie is determined to not miss this opportunity and what's a girl to do? Sneak in through the backdoor, of course. Unfortunately for her, the hulking bodyguard at the door is quick to put the kibosh on her plan and ensnare her attention. Ellie is very sweet and reserved and her instant attraction to the bodyguard takes her by surprise but she's in Vegas and open to new experiences for the duration of her stay. Jax Mathis can't resist the beauty trying to sneak into the ballroom and very uncharacteristic of him, he elicits a promise from her to spend time with him in exchange for entry into the ballroom. I enjoyed Ellis and Jax's characters because together they were cute and sweet, and their connection was intense. Even though they knew that their time together was short, it didn't stop them from enjoying each other's company, especially considering that they both came with a lot of emotional baggage. They gave each other reason to deal with their baggage and reach out for a chance at an amazing relationship, even though it took Jax a bit longer to get there. GAMBLING ON THE BODYGUARD is different from the other books I have read from the author because it's more emotional but it was still a great read. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
GloriousBooks More than 1 year ago
I don't really know what to say about this one other than that it was an okay read. It had enough to keep me interested but it wasn't something I would go back to again. Ballance has a good writing style in my opinion. I enjoyed her writing and it really made the whole romance between the characters something special. It wasn't as simple as two characters making eye contact and then non stop gushing over how hot they both are. The romance meant something and it was believable. Unfortunately that was where it ended for me. I just didn't understand the ending - it was so disappointing. The story takes place over a couple of days so the characters have no more than a full day and a half together - why did it end like that then? I won't say what happens, but trust me when I say if it ever happens to you…run the other way. I get that it's a book. It's just a story. But why can't it just end in a way that makes sense with the addition of great writing that the author is capable of? It was like taking the whole book and flushing it down the toilet…not unlike Ellie's ticket in the beginning of the read. If you enjoy cheesy romances just for a quick read with likeable, well done characters then I do recommend this one. Ballance has a lovely style of writing that makes this book better than most clichéd, fast romances.
LightningCityBookReview More than 1 year ago
Love at First Sight Vegas style. "Gambling on the Bodyguard" is a quick paced spicy romance between two vulnerable main characters who have only have a few days together, before they have to go back to their real lives. Sarah Ballance creates main characters that captivation from the get go. The heroine is endearing - normally sensible and levelheaded the hero is compelling enough for her to throw caution to the wind for a few days. The hero is charming and adorable with a need to protect those he loves because of a secret he carries. The romance that the author creates is carefully crafted step by step and intimately it is sexy hot. But even though all of the pieces were there, the novel didn't grab me and stay with me, despite the fact I enjoyed reading it. "Gambling on the Bodyguard" is a sweet romance with white hot spice. Sarah Ballance creates characters you care about and genuinely like. Although the hero does do - or rather he doesn't do - something that I thought was pretty low, he is still likeable. The heroine is effervescent and the hero is almost a modern day knight gallant and protective. The "meet cute" was a little skeevy to me but pulled itself up and became solidly "cute". The sex scene were definitely hot and the love story was romantic. I don't know why this novel didn't grab me, all of the elements were there - I really should have loved it, loved it! I've enjoyed Ms Ballance's novels in the past so perhaps the off day was a "reader issue". To read the entire review please visit: This novel was provided by the Publisher for a honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the steaminess and getting to know the characters a little bit more than what this series usually lets you. At the very beginning you could tell that Jax and Ellie had some amazing chemistry between the two. And it also proves to be true through the rest of the book. Ellie’s had a better life than Jax, but I wouldn’t say it has been perfect for her. At a young age Jax lost one of the most important people in his life and still to this day he hasn’t gotten over it. Jax doesn’t want nothing series. Nor does Ellie. But you know things don’t go the way they are planned and for Ellie and Jax they don’t. I really liked Ellie’s character. She wasn’t one of those one’s that are whiney and complained about everything. Nope, she done things herself is something needed done. Jax is most definitely an alpha. Which is what I loved about him. I hate the little sissy prissy guys that need more maintenance than a freaking woman. Overall, it was a quick and steamy read with some cute romance, a set of great characters and a good plot line.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Wow this was a great book! It was the perfect combination of romance and Las Vegas. Ellie and Jax's chemistry practically jumps off the page. From the first meeting to the end I was hooked. My only complaint is that it was a novella and not long enough in my opinion. I have added a new author to my autobuy list. I was given a free copy for my honest review by
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Have you ever held your breath while reading a book and not really realize it? That was me during several places of this book. It is a story of two people who quickly get together and fall hard. But for me, the difference from others like this, was the intense feel of it. The way it was written was simply beautiful that their coming together didn't feel rushed or strange. The first moment Ellie met Jax and his oh so naughty words were heartstoppingly good. Right off the bat he captures your attention and keeps it throughout the story. Ellie and Jax were so similar in their vulnerabilities that your heart aches for them. She is much more open to being with him, for wanting him to heal and in turn, this would help her heal. But he uses his own pain to push her away. The scene outside the hotel broke my heart. Their story does have a HEA and getting there is very sweet. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
SummerSnowFalls More than 1 year ago
Ellie Montgomery’s love life is stagnated, caught up in the fantasy of finding Mr. Perfect like the heroes in the romance novels she reads. When she wins a ticket for an “intimate affair” with her favorite cover model, she’s off to Las Vegas and the local romance novel convention. But when her ticket to excitement goes down the toilet – literally – Ellie is determined to still meet her cover model hero. Instead, she’s met with a wall of muscle while attempting to sneak in the back door – Jax Mathis. With a little blackmail, some bacon, and a lot of false confidence, Ellie and Jax soon create an intimate affair of their own. What happens in Vegas, right? Wrong! This novel was a fun-filled fantasy from start to (a very sweet and satisfying) finish. The plot is engaging, the characters witty, and the romantic sizzle an absolutely perfect balance between lust and love. Ellie and Jax connect suddenly, but deeply and though their love develops in about three days (this is a suspend-your-belief-and-enjoy-the-fantasy type novel), it’s clear they are soul mates whose love will last a lifetime. Ms. Ballance does an excellent job packing a lot of drama, action, and romance into one short, entertaining novel. I’m excited to see what she comes up with next! Plot Twist Reviews [dot] Com I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Linda_RochesterNY More than 1 year ago
*I received an ARC from Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest review* Jax has closed himself off emotionally but something about Ellie has him feeling things for the first time in a long while. Although Ellie is in Vegas to attend an event and meet a romance novel cover model, a few minutes with bodyguard Jax completely wipes everything else from her mind. What follows is a sweet and sexy story that I liked a lot. The characters are likable and while the story follows a common plot line in romance novels, it is still an enjoyable read.
Crystal_Yawn More than 1 year ago
Ellie goes to Vegas to meet heartthrob cover model Focker. Instead she finds she lust after bodyguard Jax. Both characters are well described and developed. each with a past that takes some getting over. the sex is steamy and fast, the drama is plentiful. only issue is parts of the story drag. The rest is captivating with some sizzle and humor mixed in.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
When Ellie comes to Vegas intent on meeting the romance book cover model of her dreams, to her surprise it's his bodyguard Jax that captures her attention and gives her a weekend to remember. But while a sexy weekend of 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' might be something some people can do, for Jax and Ellie it becomes a lot more complicated when they discover that they they could be the right fit for a future together - if they can trust that their feelings for each other are worth exploring further. I really enjoyed this story! It's high on the sex quota, as Jax and Ellie share an instant attraction and Jax is determined to show Ellie a good time 'wink wink'. But while they have the sexual chemistry necessary for a quick connection, they also share a deeper emotional one, a unique understanding of each other that goes beyond skin deep - and one that scares Jax as it could mean the end of his self imposed hiatus on caring deeply for anyone since the death of his sister and the estrangement of his parents as a result. There's the obvious problem of the fact that they are from different places - Ellie from Colorado (Jax's nickname for Ellie too, which was a cute touch) and Jax from Las Vegas and that there's going to have to be a compromise from one of them if they're going to end up together. But everything was handled in such a way that the result is a sweetly satisfying happy ending to go with the steamy romance. There were lots of laughs too, and it was a fun story that was hard to put down. The city of Las Vegas is well represented and made for a great background setting. 4.5 stars!
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
This is the eighth ‘What Happen in Vegas’ story but works well as a standalone. A chance win to meet the hot romance cover model who appears on so many of the books she loves is just too good to resist for ski instructor, Ellie Montgomery but when she literally flushes her winning ticket she’s in a real quandary. Deciding to sneak in, her first rebellious action, she bumps into the man who really will be the man of her dreams in future, bodyguard Jax Mathis! Now he’s a real man, much hotter than the pretty boy model and their attraction is mutual. Major problems ahead though as he’s a desert man whilst she’s a mountains girl . . . his last ski session is one he’ll never forget for tragic reasons and ski slopes are somewhere he doesn’t want to go. Can this Colorado lass and the Vegas bodyguard ever have anything together after all? This story has a great plot, well formed characters, attempted murder, brilliant settings and lots of action to keep the reader enthralled. It is a dramatic tale where what happens in Vegas is full of indecision, turmoil and trauma. It is an adult contemporary romance, with instant-love and, for me, a few too many detailed steamy sex scenes – it read more Brazen than Lovestruck to me. The author is brilliant at describing settings and characters, bringing them to life in the reader’s imagination – oh, and just wait till you read the cover model’s name!!! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too for provided an ARC for me to read in exchange for this, my honest review.
ToniSheldon More than 1 year ago
Sarah Ballance does an amazing job burning up the pages in this book. What I really liked was that there was more to the story than girl meets hot guy in Vegas and has amazing sex, the end. The author develops the characters and their back-story over the course of the book that kept me turning pages to see where the story would lead. Of course, the smexiness was great too! I love Vegas and it was fun to relive it as a first time visitor as seen through character Ellie’s eyes. I’ve never had the pleasure of going outside of the main strip and downtown area, but after reading of the beautiful State park areas around, I think a trip to Vegas is in order! This book had me laughing, hot flashing, and tearing up! The perfect romance trifecta of emotions in my rating book! Ellie Montgomery is a by the book good girl from Colorado who wins a contest to meet the romance cover model of her dreams in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, luck is not her friend upon arrival and she must try an alternate method of entry to the exclusive meet and greet. Letting Vegas throw her cautions to the wind, she tries to sneak in the backdoor and winds up getting caught by bodyguard Jax Mathis. Jax Mathis has been asked to protect the lead romance cover model while in town for a convention. Jax has long since separated from his family and personal life, so he has nothing to lose by accepting a high profile job that includes his boss receiving death threats. Of course, he has no idea, the girl sneaking in the back door of the meet and greet isn’t a threat to his boss, but Jax’s heart. After an interesting back and forth proposition, Ellie is finally face to face with the cover model of her dreams. So, why can’t she get hottie bodyguard Jax’s face out of her mind? Is she crazy to accept a date with a man she just met?? Ellie isn’t used to gambling with her mind, heart, or her body. But, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…right? Jax doesn’t get involved, so why did he ask Ellie on a date? Why can’t he get her out of his head? Why does he want to show her his world. He is a Vegas native, he doesn’t gamble with his mind or heart. But, maybe some gambles as worth the risk?
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Ready to meet the "man of her dreams" Ellie Montgomery can't believe her bad luck when her invitation to the invite only get together falls in the toilet. She's lusted after the man gracing the cover of her romance novels forever and now it seems her only chance might have literally just gone down the drain. So what else is a girl to do than sneak her way in!! Unfortunately, the super hot bodyguard guarding the door doesn't see it that way! Loved this one from the very first page. Their hilarious first meeting is only the beginning between Ellie and Jax (the bodyguard). Their chemistry is sizzling, and their connection seems soul deep. This is a quick light read but the author packed a fabulous story on to the pages. This is one I highly recommend.
CherubsLibrary More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I was chuckling as soon as I started reading. Ellie’s luck was unbelievable and reminded me of the old line – if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all! But things changed once she met Jax and the story gets really interesting as the sparks fly between them. I found this book to be very entertaining and worth the “gamble”. It’s fast paced, HOT & Steamy. This one stays on my keeper and re-read shelf. Gets 4 ½ stars from me.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Sarah Ballance writes lovable characters that are little bit awkward. On the verge of meeting the man of her dreams Ellie couldn't be more excited. But a series of mishaps and a sexy bodyguard have her questioning her choices. With Sarah Ballance there is always a story that makes you sad to see it end and for me wanting to make the journey all over again. I received an ARC of Gambling on the Bodyguard in exchange for an honest review.