NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
He’s the bad boy of baseball who’s about to lose everything.
She needs a husband to get custody of her teenage sister.
Suddenly a marriage of convenience doesn’t look so bad.
Pitcher, Jaxon Prescott has a lot on his plate. Major league baseball. Reputation as a Player. And as of this morning? He’s on the verge of losing it all. He didn’t mean to sleep with his general manager’s daughter. Sometimes the paparazzi finds out who’s in your bed before you do. But a sizzling moment went viral and now everything he’s worked for is at risk.
What’s a bad boy to do? Marry his little sister’s best friend to save his image, even if it’s the opposite of everything he wants and believes in.
Macy Walker is the sole guardian of her step-sister until the girl’s mother returns and wants her daughter back. In order to win custody, Macy needs to provide stability and marrying someone would do the trick. Luckily for her, her best friend’s brother needs a wife.
They’re this close to getting exactly what they want — as long as they don’t fall in love.
It’s a Prescott wedding and Macy is determined to have fun in spite of her stepmother showing up and threatening a custody battle. When Jaxson once again finds himself in trouble, this time for supporting a teammate, Macy sympathizes with him and they start talking outside away from the others.
Jaxson is more than a little attracted to Macy, he was hesitant because of her friendship with his sister Bri, now he’s going to take a chance. Never expecting Macy to agree, but she does. A one night event turns to a media frenzy and to top it off, Macy’s step-mother files for custody of her sister.
Jaxson comes up with an idea to salvage them both, they get married. Macy wasn’t sure about that but circumstances lead her to accept that proposal.
This is a favorite scene.
“Macy, what in the world? What is Jaxon Prescott doing here?” the woman asked.
Jaxon lifted their entwined hands, then let go and pulled Macy against him, liking the feel of her soft body against his. “We’re engaged.”
“What?” Hannah shrieked. “I thought that picture meant it was a one-night hookup. Oh, my God!”
Macy leaned into him, playing the role. “It all happened so fast, but that’s what happens with…” She hesitated then said, “Love at first sight.”
Lifting Macy’s hand, he kissed her knuckles. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Hannah. I’ve heard a lot about you. And you must be Hannah’s mother.” He turned to the woman with calculation in her eyes.
“Yes, I’m Lilah.” She extended her hand for a dainty shake.
“Obviously you know all about us. But we know nothing about you. Macy, how could you spring this on your sister?”
“I was planning on sitting Hannah down and introducing them this weekend, but you’re here, and you said you were taking Hannah for the night, so I called Jaxon to come over now,” Macy explained, not missing a beat.
Lilah glanced between Macy and Jaxon, the wheels obviously turning. She was looking for any angle to help herself or figure out Macy’s plan.
“I want to go with Mom.”
Macy was unable to hide the full-body flinch her sister’s words caused.
“And you can’t stop me from taking Hannah.” Lilah pulled her daughter closer to her.
“Actually, I can prevent you from leaving. I have custody.” She glanced at Hannah, her gaze softening. “But I won’t as long as you’re home in time for dinner tomorrow.”
“It’s called compromise,” Macy informed her sister, but Jaxon knew she was communicating with Lilah.
“Fine,” the other woman said through clenched teeth.
“Em, finish packing. Lilah, a word?” Macy tipped her head toward the door, and Lilah dutifully headed into the hall.
Macy shut the door behind her before either of them spoke.
“Lilah, what is it you want? Responsibility for a teenager can’t really be it.”
The other woman paused, and for a moment, Jaxon thought she was going to admit to something beyond wanting her daughter back. But he could see the minute she changed her mind and decided to continue her charade, whatever it was.
“I want my child. And I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but marrying a partying baseball player isn’t going to win you custody.”
“Oh, no? A stable family who can afford to take care of her?”
“Not to mention a safe home with two adults who have her best interests at heart,” Jaxon picked up where Macy left off. “We’ll be meeting with a lawyer and you can expect a fight.”
Ice formed in Lilah’s gaze. “A quickie courthouse wedding isn’t going to convince a judge you’re the right place for Hannah.”
Pulling Macy close, he savored her floral scent before he grinned at Lilah. “Who said anything about a quickie courthouse wedding? My bride deserves the best, and that’s what she’s going to get.”
Beside him, he felt Macy stiffen in shock.
He was pretty surprised himself, but something about this woman pushed his buttons and annoyed him to the point where he was all in on this wedding and everything it entailed.
He hated to use his wealth to pull strings, but money bought anything, including the ability to throw a last-minute show that would convince a judge this wasn’t a quickie, just-for-custody marriage. With Bri’s help and a few phone calls, he could have his entire huge family and all his friends in his house by next weekend, a caterer hired, flowers delivered, and a convincing wedding would happen. It might not be as big as his brother’s last weekend, but it would have every appearance of reality and true love.
Jesus. Who was he? Go big or go home, he guessed.
“Nobody is going to doubt what we have is real.” He’d do whatever he needed to in order to get Macy custody of her sister. Not only did he owe her, she was right. Lilah was a schemer, and he didn’t like her trying to take advantage of Macy and her younger sister. The woman wanted something. What, they’d have to figure out together.
Macy rested her hands on his shoulders and leaned in close, surprising him with a kiss on his cheek before glancing at Lilah. “Watch it, Lilah. Jaxon doesn’t like to lose. And neither do I.”
With a huff, Lilah called out for Hannah, and a few minutes later, they gathered at the door, ready to go.
“Call, text, whatever,” Macy said to her sister.
The teenager rolled her eyes and they walked out the door.
Carly Phillips. Dare To Play (Kindle Locations 738-776). CP Publishing.
Things escalate rather quickly and the whole family is in disbelief. However only a few people know that Macy and Jaxon’s marriage would be a temporary one.
Even Jaxson and Macy believe that, but it remains to be seen if their hearts going to be able to stay out of this arrangement.
Plenty of twists and turns in this delightful and sensuous read.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I love this convoluted sibling series.
5 Contented Purrs for Carly!
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Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.
Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.