When filmmaker Christian Monroe runs into fiery-and frustrating-Elise Templeton at a party, the night quickly becomes the hottest one-night stand of their lives. But then her boss hires Christian to make a publicity film about Elise, and suddenly they're in each other's space. All day. Every day. And things are getting hotter...
Outside the bedroom, the two have nothing in common. Elise is focused solely on becoming the NBA's first female general manager. And Christian learned long ago that being a work-a-holic-or being with one-is a recipe for disaster.
But the more Elise reveals her deepest desires and fears to Christian-something she's done for no man, ever-the more Christian wonders how much longer he can keep his hands off the infuriating woman who rocked his world...
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Deal with Love
A One-to-One Story
By Jamie Wesley, Tracy Montoya
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Jamie Wesley
All rights reserved.
"Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?"
Elise Templeton almost choked on her champagne. Grabbing a napkin to wipe drops of liquid from her mouth, she swiveled on her stool to stare in horror at the man who'd spoken. "Please tell me that's not your standard pick-up line."
The would-be Casanova shrugged. He looked vaguely familiar. He stood there, all casual-like, his hands in his pants pockets, his amusement plain to see in the mischievous curve of his lips. "What was wrong with it?"
He was tall, damn it, so she had to lift her chin to look him in the eye. "Besides everything?"
He shifted, the action pulling the pants tight across muscular thighs. "You didn't respond to 'hi', so I tried something else."
"Oh." Elise frowned, his impressive physique temporarily forgotten. Had she been that distracted? She bit back a sigh. Yeah, probably. What a day. What a glorious, glorious day ... for other people, namely Brady Hudson and his fiancée Caitlin. And her father, who owned the NBA's Dallas Stampede and had insisted on throwing the engagement party for Brady, his favorite player. The Stampede had won the NBA title last month, and according to her dad, there was no better way to keep the party going than by celebrating the future matrimonial union of their best player in one of the trendiest hotels in the city.
Everyone at the party was in a joyous mood. As for her? At best, she was at meh. Not that she wasn't happy for Brady and Caitlin. She definitely was. It was just that marriage wasn't her thing. Was she opposed to the institution? No. Her parents' marriage had certainly qualified as happy before her mother passed away when Elise was eleven. She'd just never given it much thought. She had other stuff to do. A lot more to accomplish. A lot more to prove. A lot more.
But tons of people acted like getting married was the pinnacle of life. Like nothing one did could ever match — forget top — that. Maybe she didn't get it because she'd never been in love. Never let anyone get that close to her. She'd never seen the point. Revealing all your deepest, darkest secrets. Being vulnerable. Nope. Not going to do it. Work she understood. Work didn't disappear on you — not if you dedicated enough energy to it.
So yeah, she was at meh.
Though the expensive champagne helped her mood. She tipped her glass toward her companion. "I suppose since I was distracted, you can be forgiven for using the cheesiest pick-up line known to mankind."
Shifting on the leather seat, she crossed her right leg over her knee. His gaze flickered down briefly to where a slice of her thigh had been revealed, thanks to the split in her dress. She noticed the small flare of heat in his eyes, though quickly banked. What surprised her was the flickering in her body. Lately, she'd been much too busy to think about her physical needs.
"The cheesiest?" He wrinkled his nose. "I'm sure if I thought about it for a second, I could come up with something much cheesier."
She would not chuckle and encourage him. She didn't have time for any entanglements. Though getting entangled with this guy, whoever he was, between the sheets would almost certainly be no hardship. It was a battle, but she kept the laughter from spilling out. "I'll take your word for it."
He grinned again. "As you should."
She shook her head and studied him, still trying to place him. One of Brady's childhood buddies, maybe? Had he come to a game?
His eyes narrowed. "You have no clue who I am, do you?"
Elise winced. Oops. Busted. "What's the best way to answer that without offending you?"
His lips cracked, revealing even, white teeth. "No worries. I'm Christian Monroe."
That's right. Caitlin's brother. A memory tickled her brain. She had met him once briefly, probably after a game. She must have been too busy with work — the story of her life — at the time to pay much attention to him. Which, if she was being honest with herself, was seriously embarrassing because Christian Monroe had "hard man to forget" written all over him.
He looked good. Exceptionally so. But wasn't a man in a well-tailored suit always a safe bet to capture a woman's interest? Lord knew the style revved her engines. But it wasn't only his clothes that gave him an air of hotness. No, the man was handsome. Confident. Two other things she found damn near irresistible. If for the night only.
She nodded. "Of course. Sorry about that. Nice to see you again."
"Pleasure's all mine."
Good Lord. The man's voice. Deep and rumbly and everything yes. But no, Christian Monroe was off-limits. No matter how much his full lips, dark slashes of eyebrows, muscular thighs, milk-chocolate eyes, and wide shoulders appealed.
Although she had only met him once, the ties that bound were too tight. Almost literally, with his sister being engaged to one of her players. Okay, not her player, since technically her father owned the basketball team. She was the team's assistant general manager, but hopefully soon she would be more. All of her focus had to be on taking that next step in her career — becoming the general manager. The one who made the final decisions about the team — a step no other woman had ever taken in any major professional sports league. But she would.
She was going to make it, and she was going to be damn good at it. She didn't need any distractions. Even if the distraction named Christian Monroe was beckoning her to forget everything she'd just reiterated to herself.
She needed more champagne.
Elise pressed the glass to her lips. This wasn't an official team function, so she could be a little looser. Or so she'd told herself when she'd made a beeline for the bar earlier. She swiveled on the stool to face the bartender, who'd been listening and watching her interaction with Christian far too avidly, if his smirk was any indication. She wasn't surprised when Christian slid onto the seat next to her.
He asked the bartender for a beer before returning his attention to her. "What were you thinking about so intently before I dazzled you with my wit?"
Elise laughed. Damn it. She wasn't supposed to be engaging him. Natural curiosity, and just a tiny bit of interest, got the better of her. She turned her head toward him. "You think highly of yourself, don't you?"
Christian grinned. "If I don't, then who will?"
She tipped her glass toward him in acknowledgment.
"So what were you thinking?"
Add tenacious to his list of attributes.
Elise shrugged. "Nothing much."
She looked over her shoulder. All the effervescent joy sweeping through the room was the reason she was hanging out at the bar. The gyrating masses on the dance floor were having a grand old time without her. Caitlin and Brady couldn't keep wide grins off their faces while they swayed in each other's arms, despite the fact that Montell Jordan's jam, "This Is How We Do It," was blaring.
"You're not here to make trouble for my sister, are you?" Christian asked.
Although he'd said it in a joking tone, shock still swept through her body. Her hand tightened around the champagne flute. Oh God, he knew. Of course he did. No doubt his sister had told him. She didn't blame her, really. It was a juicy tale, after all, and there was nothing people liked more than gossip.
Once upon a time, she'd hit on Brady in some misguided attempt to get back at her father, who worshipped the athlete. The team's general manager had been making noises about retiring, and she'd questioned her father about a possible promotion. He'd kept putting her off, never wanting to discuss it. However, he'd had no problem butting into her love life, warning her away from Brady, who had a reputation as a womanizer, like she was a little girl. So she'd done something stupid, to prove she was an adult who could make her own decisions, and embarrassed herself in the process, especially since she hadn't been interested in Brady. Realizing her actions were the definition of juvenile, she'd apologized to him and tried to forget it ever happened.
Just thinking about it now made her want to dig a hole in the floor and bury herself. But that had been over eight months ago. Her one misstep in an otherwise strong career as AGM.
"No, of course not." Although she tried to control it, she heard the snap in her voice.
He did, too, if his raised eyebrow was any indication. Oh well. Better to be angry at this virtual stranger than let the embarrassment win.
Christian surprised her with a smile. "That's what I thought, but I had to check."
He inched closer, bringing a hit of his scent with him. She would not do something so undignified as sniffing him, but he did smell delicious. Some subtle mixture of leather and citrus. Still, what harm could there be in daydreaming about snuggling up to him and licking the strong column of his neck? As she leaned toward him, she caught his gaze and registered the amusement dancing in his eyes.
She stiffened her spine and cleared her throat. "Why did you have to check?"
His gaze again swept over her figure, missing nothing. Her skin prickled with awareness.
"I'd hate to get my hopes up high getting to know a beautiful woman only to learn she was still hung up on some other dude."
Elise hid her smile at the compliment by taking a sip of champagne.
He continued, "Now that I know that's not the case, it makes things a lot more ..."
She raised her eyebrows. "More what?"
"Pleasant between us."
"Pleasant." Unable to stop herself, she leaned in, catching another hint of his scent. "That's one way to put it."
His eyes flared again with interest — interest she returned even as she told herself not to. Her gaze dropped to his tempting lips.
She considered him over the top of her glass. "Are you flirting with me?"
His lips tilted upward. "Yes."
"Yes?" She was surprised he admitted it so easily. A straight shooter. She liked that.
"Christian, there you are." A man who bore a strong resemblance to Christian offered up an overly eager smile and patted him on the back. "Elise, how are you?"
"I'm doing fine. How are you?" She accepted the kiss on her cheek from Mack Jameson, the head coach of the Stampede, while keeping an eye on her bar mate. Christian's natural smile had died an unnatural death. The atmosphere, which had been fraught with fun sexual tension a moment ago, was now cloaked in awkwardness and stress. His shoulders were drawn in tight like he couldn't bear Mack's touch. His father's touch.
"Good," Mack answered, though he never took his eyes off his son. He hesitated, then cleared his throat. "Christian, if I could have a moment of your time."
Christian kept his gaze trained on the dance floor. "That won't be necessary. We've said all we needed to say to each other."
Elise inwardly winced. Ouch. She knew why Christian felt the way he did, but the emotionless tone had to cut deep for Mack. Years ago, when Christian's mom told Mack she was pregnant with twins, Mack had tried to pay her off. He hadn't acknowledged his children's presence until last year, when Caitlin discovered the truth and forced his hand. Since then, he'd been trying to make up for lost time, but while Caitlin had begun forging a real relationship with their father, apparently Christian wasn't having it.
Mack's gaze flickered to her briefly. "I-I see. It's a busy time for you. Maybe later."
In lieu of a reply, Christian downed a mouthful of beer.
"Oh, okay," Mack said. "Bye." He tilted his head toward her. "Elise."
Elise offered up a small smile and patted the basketball coach on the shoulder. "Hang in there," she whispered in his ear.
He nodded once. "Thanks."
Christian didn't notice the look of longing Mack sent his way as he walked away. Probably because his back was deliberately turned to the bar and everyone — Mack in particular — behind them.
"That was ... something," she said.
He swiveled to face her, deep lines now bracketing his mouth. "What are you talking about?"
She tucked a strand of hair behind her right ear. "Come on. I'm wondering if the real reason you bothered me is because you didn't want anything to do with daddy dearest?"
"I don't want anything to do with him." His tone was matter of fact. Full of conviction.
"Yeah, that was kind of obvious." She shrugged. "But I get it."
His eyebrows rose. "You do? That's a first. Most people are on the 'you need to give him a chance' bandwagon."
"I'm not most people."
He looked at her with new interest. "I can't believe you're being negative about your coach. I thought everyone in the Stampede organization was one big happy family."
Elise tilted her head in acknowledgment. "We are. Kind of. But that doesn't mean we always agree on everything. Mack is a great coach, but that doesn't mean he's perfect. He screwed up."
He nodded once briskly. "He did. Thank you for acknowledging that. I wish others would."
She paused, then finished her thought. "But he is a good man."
Christian sniffed in derision. "I should've known better. You are on the 'give him another chance' bandwagon." He started to rise.
She placed a hand on his arm, stopping him. She resolutely ignored the tingle that shot up her arm at the contact. "Hey, I didn't say that. I'm sure as hell not going to tell you what to do. I was only talking about my experience with Mack."
Christian studied her for a few seconds. "He's not why I bothered you. I never think about him."
She wasn't sure she believed him, but the first part of his statement interested her way more at the moment. "Then why did you bother me?"
"Because I wanted to know why a beautiful woman was sitting here by herself at the bar instead of joining the party."
"Yes," he said, once again straightforward. "You sound surprised."
She shrugged. "Apparently, I intimidate guys. Or so I've heard."
Christian tilted his head to the side. "Is that why you made a play for Brady? You didn't think he'd be intimidated?"
Elise took the boost a sip of champagne would give her before answering. "No, that's not why I did it. I did it for reasons that no longer matter."
"Good to hear." Christian leaned in, bringing that cologne with him. She was going to have to find out its name and invest in the company that made it. Surely their profits had to be off the charts. "Just so we're clear. I don't get intimidated. I only do things I want to do." He stroked her hand resting on the bar, the rough pads of his fingers sending a flash of heat through her.
The fire inside her was quickly doused when she caught sight of her father approaching over Christian's shoulder. She should be a good daughter and speak to her dad, but they'd had an argument earlier in the day — the same argument they were always having lately about her future in the Stampede organization — and going for round three- hundred-and-nineteen wasn't something she was interested in tonight. She turned back to Christian. "There's an amazing view of the city from the roof of the building. Want to see it?"
A spark of surprise flashed across his face.
"Or do you need to stay here to celebrate your sister's big day?" she asked as it occurred to her that he might have duties tonight that didn't include her.
His gaze swept her figure once more, pausing briefly on her mouth. "She can get along without me."
Her lips curved of their own volition. "Then follow me."CHAPTER 2
Elise went to step off the stool, but Christian got there first, offering her his assistance. At the touch of his hand on hers, a wave of heat singed her skin. Her gaze flew to his. Had he been burned, too?
Although his eyes gave nothing away, he didn't release her hand. Nor did he move. She didn't, either, their bodies remaining inches apart. She wore five-inch stilettos because she loved them, and if people constantly accused you of being intimidating, why not give them a reason for their silly thoughts?
Being six-foot tall in heels had its advantages when it came to business, but now it was obvious her altered height came in handy in more personal endeavors as well. While she still came up a few inches short of Christian's height, a rarity for her outside of the team's players and some coaches, her position put her mouth nearly on the same level as his.
Excerpted from The Deal with Love by Jamie Wesley, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2016 Jamie Wesley. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Christian and Elise had some pretty smoking chemistry. They were magnetic. Together they broke down each other's walls. They helped each other with their issues. To the world, she was this tough as nails woman trying to do a man's job. So she felt she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. He was this brick wall of defense, not letting anyone in. But their journey together was fun, sexy and healing. Although hey hit a couple of bumps along the way, I loved their happy ending. It was very sweet. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Elise’s father Dale was the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Stampede and the Stampede had just won the NBA title last month. Elise had never been in love , never let anyone that close to her. Her parents had a happy marriage until her mom passed away when Elise was eleven so it’s not she didn’t believe in love she did. Elise was the Stampede’s assistant manager . Elise was there for the celebration of one of the team’s player Bradley had gotten engaged to Caitlyn. Elise had to show her support as part of her job. Christian- Caitlyn’s brother- had jokenly hit on Eloise when she was at the bar. Eloise was attracted to christian and decided a one night stand would be fine. Eloise kept her secrets close to herself such as she would never measure up. And the fear she would never be able to achieve everything she wanted to because of her gender. Christian was a media teacher for a local public High School. Then Eloise’s father gave her the job of general manager after the one they had retired. There was a lot of controversy so Dale asked Christian to to record a week Of Eloise’s life and Christian said yes. I enjoyed this story. I have read stories like this but it was a woman breaking into the mans world of sports as a general manager of a title winning basketball team and the toughness of being a woman in this position. This was well written and i really liked the plot. I liked the ins and outs of this story. I also liked the ins and outs Eloise and Christian went through. I recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
Elise is the first female GM to a major league sports team--I loved that! Sure, her father owns the NBA Dallas Stampede, but she's worked her way up--originally working for another team and then doing time as the assistant GM first. She gets the job, but she's got a legion of the team's fans to win over, and worse yet, her dad can't seem to trust her to do the toughest parts of the job without his "help". So, yeah. A guy? she doesn't have time for this.. But Christian's not taking "no" for an answer--and when he's asked to spend a week filming Elise on the job for a documentary at NBA,com, he manages to chip away at Elise's determination, especially since their one night stand still haunts them both. I loved Elise! She was a great character, and every time her dad undermined what she was doing just broke my heart. I wasn't sure how she'd be able to get him to stop. Christian was a bit tougher--he had a tendency to criticize Elise for doing her job (because, yeah--sometimes her GM duties are going to have to come before the career day volunteering she promised to do. She a GM! In the freaking NBA!) and to have a "it's my way or the highway" mentality that was frustrating to read, let alone how it must have made others feel. He makes up for a lot of his a$$hattery at the end, but still. This was the third in the series, but it worked just fine as a standalone. It was my first from this author, who I'd definitely read again. Rating: 3 stars / C I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Take one young lady determined to succeed in a male dominated profession, add in her father who is also her boss and seems unable to acknowledge her abilities or trust her and than introduce one hot man to whom she is decidedly attracted and you just know there'll be troubles ahead. This is especially true when the man is equally attracted to her but believes her workaholic nature is a big detriment to any chance for a relationship between the two because of his personal experience! Elise Templeton's father owns the Dallas Stampede where she works, hoping to become the first female general manager for the NBA, though she's not certain her father will promote her to the position when the present incumbent retires. She's determined to get the job - and to prove it is because of her knowledge and skills, not nepotism. Fed of feeling like she's banging her head against a brick wall, she hooks up with Christian Monroe at the engagement party for one of the team players and Christian's twin sister. They have a hot and steamy encounter that neither are likely to forget, their chemistry is explosive but it was only meant to be a one night stand... However, her father has other ideas, especially after giving her the much sought after promotion. He sets Christian on making a publicity film about Elise and her new role and the two are now working together on a daily basis and familiarity definitely isn't cooling their attraction to each other! Working so closely together both start to reveal their hidden selves to each other, but as she determines to keep placing her work at the forefront of her life can he resist this workaholic and can she develop a more manageable work/life balance with more room for romance? Don't assume this is a straight forward, if somewhat steamy, romance. There are other threads interwoven into the story and I was especially pleased with how the one relating to sexism was handled, raising it and demonstrating its pervasive influence undermining those striving to overcome it even in contemporary situations. It was one of the particular strengths of this novel, woven seamlessly in with others such as forgiveness, fatherhood and caring. This is a great read which addresses some real issues in a realistic manner whilst still being a fun romance to escape into. Although this is the third book in the One on One series, it works well as a standalone. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for gifting me a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
This is about seeing the true identity through a lens. Christian broke down Elise defenses while filming her but he also broke down his own. It was the true chemistry in which they both had for one another that made them a power couple "scratching an itch". They complimented and enhanced each other doubt and beliefs which allowed the other to see the error and the reality of their actions. There moments apart help solidify a future that has the potential to be so bright. I loved Elise drive and Christian straight shooter personality. This was a quite enjoyable first novel for my by the author.
While at a party, Elise hears the cheesiest pick up line ever and turns to see the guest of honor's brother, Christian. Since she doesn't have time for a relationship, she engages in what's meant to be a one nigh stand. After Elise is named the General Manager for her father's NBA team and the fans are unhappy because they think she's unqualified, her father suggests a documentary to showcase her day-to-day work by none other documentarian turned school teacher, Christian. There was definitely chemistry between these two characters and some serious heat. Elise and Christian definitely have more in common than think and it was interesting to see them finally figure that out. This was a quick read that I finished in a day. *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
I received an eARC, from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. 'The Deal with Love' by Jamie Wesley. This is the story of Elsie and Christian. Elsie meets Christian at a party. While siting alone thinking about Orkney and her lack of a love life..she hears a corny pickup line directed at her. She turns to find Christian who is very good looking. Elsie teases him about his pickup line and this starts them talking. When trying to dodge her fathers at the party she takes Christian away from the party. There they move forward to have what Elsie thinks will be a one night stand. But she soon learns that she and Christian will be working together.
A very interesting fun read. What starts out with the cheesiest pick up line ever quickly turns into a real attraction and what was meant to be one night of fun. Although Christian is great, when Elise realizes she and Christian will be working together, she knows she has to put a halt to everything. She can't do anything that would jeopardize her position as GM of her father's basketball team. She's worked too hard to get where she is and the fans are already up in arms. A very cute read that addresses some real issues. This one was very well done. I definitely recommend it.
The Deal with Love holds a special place in my heart. The romance was heated but was not the big draw for me. Elise was. Being a woman in what is thought of as a man's world is hard for anyone BUT, when trying to break into the NBA and manage a team of athletes it's even more difficult. Jamie Wesley earned a great deal of respect from me for tackling sexism, which is still a big problem in the world today. Elise, although fictional, her journey was an empowering and inspiring example. The moral of the story: "Let no one and nothing deter you from following through on your dreams."