I handed the judge the file he'd requested.
A silent Carly perched on the arm of a chair that was as far away from Judge Whiting as she could get without being in the next room, rubbing her thumb into her palm over and over as she studied her shoes.
Pale and tear-streaked--why had she been crying?--she was still lovely, her sun-bleached hair curling up around her face in messy layers, her green blouse setting off her hazel eyes above her Cupid's bow of a mouth that looked too perfect to be real.
Although it had certainly felt real several weeks ago, when Carly had made one of my fantasies come true. Well, almost. My forbidden daydreams about kissing that luscious mouth involved both of us being willing and sober. God knows I'd been willing. But she hadn't been sober.
And that, for me, was an absolute deal-breaker. My jaw tightened as I thought about my broken mess of a brother. On every possible level.
I'd been pretty cold to her afterward. But that was because I was furious with myself, not her. Getting suckered in by her bad girl appeal--ridiculous. I knew better. Shouldn't have allowed it to happen. Shouldn't have wanted it to happen. Headstrong, reckless, unpredictable Carly was the opposite of what I needed to have around.
Well-practiced routines made my life run just the way I liked it. Classic clothing that functioned as both uniform and armor. Pleasant women whose appearance in my life was welcomed, but whose disappearance made scarcely a ripple.
Not jacked-up, cocky skiers whose kisses left me rock hard and dangerously close to losing control.
Title: Winner Take All
Author: Mary Rodgers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hot shot skier and unrepentant party girl Carly Carrington is on top of the world until a disastrous crash destroys her championship dreams. Can she lower her guard long enough to trust the one man who might be able to heal her body…and her heart?
When it comes to sports doctors, buttoned-up Paul Blackburn is the best of the best. But when Carly upends his carefully ordered little world, will Paul fight his one chance at true love, or go for the gold in… WINNER TAKE ALL.
A career performer and storyteller, Mary was the keyboardist and lead vocalist in an all-female rock band for a number of years, and has acted in leading roles in plays and musicals across the globe.
Her first screenplay, Common Ground, was a finalist in the Moondance International Film Festival competition, and she is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild/AFTRA and the New York chapter of Women in Film and Television.
An avid gamer and unrepentant nerd, Mary’s been a fan of romance, science fiction and fantasy novels since she was old enough to hide them between the pages of her textbooks during geometry class in high school. She is delighted to introduce the first book in her new contemporary romance series, Winner Take All.
Twitter – @mb_rodgers