Foreword by James Patterson
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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 6, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Quarterback Grayson Knight has a squeaky-clean reputation in the football world. So when he’s arrested for drug possession, lawyer Melissa St. James knows that something doesn’t add up. It’s clear he’s hiding something, though he denies it. But there’s one thing he can’t deny: he wants Melissa.
BookShots Flames: Original romances presented by James Patterson Novels you can devour in a few hours Impossible to stop reading
When I first had the idea for BookShots, I knew that I wanted to include romantic stories. The whole point of BookShots is to give people lightning-fast reads that completely capture them for just a couple hours in their day—so publishing romance felt right.
I have a lot of respect for romance authors. I took a stab at the genre when I wrote Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas and Sundays at Tiffany’s. While I was happy with the results, I learned that the process of writing those stories required hard work and dedication.
That’s why I wanted to pair up with the best romance authors for BookShots. I work with writers who know how to draw emotions out of their characters, all while catapulting their plots forward.
This is one of those books that’s guaranteed to draw out your emotions. Sacking the Quarterback is a romance that is charged with sexual tension. Author Samantha Towle does a fantastic job of putting her character, Melissa St. James, in an impossible position—persecuting a famous football player who she not only believes to be innocent, but finds wildly attractive. And if you think that’ll send you on a rollercoaster ride, just wait until Mel gives into her desires.
Something is vibrating close to my head. I force open an eye in my dark bedroom, which is now illuminated by the vibrating phone on my nightstand. Reaching out a tired hand, I retrieve my cell, catching a glimpse of the time as I do—3:00 a.m.—and see my boss’s name lighting up the screen.
Benedict Cross, State Attorney. He became state attorney twenty years ago at the age of thirty-five, youngest ever in the history of Miami. He’s a man I respect and admire greatly, and I want to be in the same position he is when I’m thirty-five, which means I have only four years left to make it.
Benedict isn’t going anywhere, so if I want to achieve my goal, I’ll have to move to a different city. And I’m completely fine with that. I have no ties here in Miami. My career is one of the reasons I keep myself attachment-free. And it’s also the reason I’m working myself into an early grave, answering work calls at three in the morning. It’s nothing new. I’ve always had to work hard to get everything. Nothing has ever come easy to me. And I prefer it that way. It makes success taste all the more sweet.
“Ben?” My voice is scratchy.
“Melissa, I’m sorry to call so late.”
“Yeah,” he says with a laugh. He knows I’m usually in the office by six thirty. “I need you to go down to the police station on 62nd Street.”
It isn’t out of the ordinary for Ben to ask me to go to a police station. Early-morning calls aren’t strange either, but they don’t usually come in at this time. Being a state attorney comes with its perks—the satisfaction of knowing that I put the bad guys behind bars—but these visits to the police station can be tough.
“Okay,” I say, collecting my thoughts. “Who am I going to see?”
That makes me sit up and wake up a little more. “The Grayson Knight?”
“The one and only.”
I’m surprised to hear the name. Grayson Knight, quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, is football’s golden boy and everyone’s favorite player, or at least everyone whose team isn’t playing against him.
He’s also seriously hot—not that it matters.
I run a hand through my tangled hair. “What’s he done?”
My brows come up.
“He was arrested at Liv an hour ago.”
Liv is an exclusive club at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a hotel the rich and famous frequent.
“Grayson Knight is high-profile, and men like him think they’re above the law. We need to show him and the rest of the world that celebrities and sports stars are no different from anyone else who is caught with drugs. We need to make an example of him. I want you to go after Grayson with guns blazing. Getting a charge to stick to him won’t be easy. It’ll take my best. You’re my best, Mel.”
A burst of pride fills my chest at Ben’s compliment. I know he thinks highly of me. I know I’m good at my job—no, I’m amazing at my job—but still, it’s nice to hear it. And bringing down someone like Grayson Knight would be career-defining for me. It could be the case to push me up the career ladder sooner than I had hoped.
“I’ll get down there now,” I tell Ben.
“Call me when you’re finished.”
I hang up. Pushing back my duvet, I turn my bedside lamp on and put my feet on the floor. I take a quick deep breath and then head for the bathroom to get ready.
Thirty minutes later, I’m ready to go, briefcase in hand. I’m wearing a black business suit and a white silk blouse, but my face is free of makeup and my long chestnut-brown hair is tied back in a knot.
I’m not out to impress here. I’m here to do my job: get the lowdown on Grayson Knight before he lawyers up with some hotshot from a big firm.
Leaving my apartment, I take the elevator down to the lobby. Earl, the night doorman, is sitting at the desk. He smiles at me. “Early start, Miss St. James?”
“Too early.” I smile back.
He chuckles. “Can I get you a car?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll flag a cab down outside.”
“Let me do that.” He gets up from his seat, coming around the desk.
I follow him to the front door of the building.
“Young girl like you doesn’t want to be out on the streets at night alone. You never know what kind of crazy is out there.”
The crazy that I fight against every day. The crazy that I’m trying to put behind bars to make the streets of Miami safer for other young women.
I don’t say that out loud, though.
I love being an assistant state attorney. There’s nothing better than putting away criminals and seeing justice served to up-their-own-ass jocks like Grayson Knight who think that just because they have money and fame, they’re untouchable. Yeah, well, I’ll show him just how touchable he is.
How touchable his body is.
I banish the thought from my mind. He is my opponent.
Earl flags down a cab. I thank him and climb into the backseat.
“62nd Street police station,” I tell the driver as I sit back.
I pay the driver, tipping him well due to the hour, and get out of the cab. With my briefcase in one hand, I make my way up the steps to the doors of the police station. Pushing them open, I step inside to find the reception area reasonably quiet. That isn’t strange at this hour. A man and a woman are sitting in the plastic seats off to my left. Cops are milling around in the office behind the desk. I don’t recognize the on-duty officer. She’s a dark-skinned woman in her midforties who looks far too alert.
I approach her with a smile, noting the name on her badge. “Hi, Officer Santiago, I’m Assistant State Attorney Melissa St. James. I’m here to see Grayson Knight.”
She smiles at me. “He’s being interviewed at the moment. Would you like me to take you through?”
Officer Santiago comes out from behind the desk and I follow her through a door and down the corridor that leads to the interview rooms. She stops outside one of the doors. “They’re in here.”
I knock once and open the door. Inside is Sergeant Matt Daughtry.
I dated him for four months and broke it off six months ago, even though he wanted it to continue. And he never makes any effort to hide that fact.
Jason Black, Matt’s partner, is sitting next to him. I really don’t like that guy. Something about him has always set me on edge, and I’m not feeling any differently about him right now.
Sitting across from them, with his back to me, is Grayson Knight.
Matt’s eyes connect with mine. I tip my head back, indicating that I want to have a word with him outside.
“I’ll just be a minute,” Matt tells Jason.
All the while, Grayson, being the arrogant ass I imagine him to be, doesn’t even turn to look at me.
Matt pushes up from his seat and comes out to me. The door closes. I move down the hall and lean my shoulder against the wall. “Melissa,” Matt says, greeting me with my first name.
“Sergeant,” I say, to remind him of what we are to each other now.
“You can call me Matt.”
“And you can call me Assistant State Attorney St. James.”
Laughing lightly, he shakes his head. “Is that really where we’re at now?”
“Where ‘we’re at’ is at work,” I say, folding my arms over my chest. “Fill me in on the night’s events.” I lift my chin again, this time in the direction of the door, the one Grayson Knight is sitting behind.
“We received an anonymous tip that someone had drugs on the club premises. Sergeant Black and I went down there with a few other policemen. We did a sweep and search. Grayson Knight was found with a large quantity of Schedule II drugs on him.”
“Enough to make every person in that club high and happy.”
My brow furrows. “He was the only one carrying?”
“We found some other small quantities on others there. Nothing substantial.”
“Do you think it’s strange that he was carrying so much? It’s not like he needs to deal for the money.”
Matt leans his shoulder against the wall, facing me. “Who knows why these celebs do what they do. Probably doing it for the kick.”
“Hmm…yeah.” My eyes go back to the closed door. “You were interviewing him without representation.”
“He waived his rights. Said he doesn’t want a lawyer.”
I look back at him. “He doesn’t want a lawyer? I guess that’ll make my job easy.”
“Yup. He said he didn’t.” Matt shakes his head.
Interesting. And unusual. The first thing celebrities usually do is scream for their attorney.
“You wanna talk to him?”
“Yeah. Give me a few minutes alone with him. Ben wants to throw the book at him.”
Matt smiles, then pushes off the wall and opens the door. I walk through it. Jason gets up from his seat and, after brushing past me, leaves. I wait for the door to close before I take a seat in front of Grayson Knight.
He lifts his head slowly. My eyes meet the tired but striking green eyes of Grayson Knight.
I’m a professional and I’ve dealt with celebrities before, but Grayson Knight is in a league of his own. It’s hard not to be a little affected. I know football players are big guys. But Grayson is huge. Big shoulders, all muscle. And he’s even more attractive than he is on TV. He exudes confidence and power, even in the tired state he’s in. It’s easy to see why America loves him.
But I’m not here to adore him. I’m here to stick him with a big fine or put him in jail. So I don my work armor and say, “My name is Melissa St. James. I’m the assistant state attorney on your case.”
Grayson stares at me and doesn’t say anything.
“Can you run through the night’s events for me?”
“I already told the officers,” Grayson says. His tone is almost bored, bordering on condescending.
Leaning forward, I rest my forearms on the table between us. “And now I want you to tell me.”
He sighs. “I was in Liv. I had some coke on me for recreational use. The cops raided the club. They found the coke. They arrested me and brought me here. End of story.”
- On Sale
- Sep 6, 2016
- Page Count
- 144 pages