Authors: Melissa Foster
The Remingtons, Book One
ove in Bloom Series
Smashwords Edition, Copyright 2013, Melissa Foster
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy.
This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book.
GAME OF LOVE
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2014 Melissa Foster
This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the express written consent of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Cover Design: Natasha Brown
WORLD LITERARY PRESS
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A Note to Readers
When I met Jack Remington and his family in
Bursting with Love
(The Bradens, Book Five), I wasn’t really sure what to expect from them, but I knew that each family member resonated with me for different reasons. I was excited to write about Dex Remington, a twenty-six-year-old PC game developer, and delve into a world vastly different from the rest of the Love in Bloom characters. Dex and his love interest, Ellie Parker, took me on an exciting, passionate, and unexpected journey. I hope you fall in love with them and the rest of the Remingtons just as I have.
Game of Love
is the tenth book in the Love in Bloom series and the first book of The Remingtons. While it may be read as a stand-alone novel, for even more enjoyment, you may want to read the rest of the Love in Bloom novels.
For all of us to remember that our circumstances do not define us. Our choices do.
PRAISE FOR MELISSA FOSTER
“Contemporary romance at its hottest. Each Braden sibling left me craving the next. Sensual, sexy, and satisfying, the Braden series is a captivating blend of the dance between lust, love, and life.”
—Bestselling author Keri Nola, LMHC
(on The Bradens)
“[LOVERS AT HEART] Foster’s tale of stubborn yet persistent love takes us on a heartbreaking and soul-searing journey.”
“Smart, uplifting, and beautifully layered.
I couldn’t put it down!”
—National bestselling author Jane Porter
SISTERS IN LOVE
“Steamy love scenes, emotionally charged drama, and a family-driven story make this the perfect story for any romance reader.”
—Midwest Book Review (on
SISTERS IN BLOOM
“HAVE NO SHAME is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness, with an outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening.”
—Midwest Book Review
“TRACES OF KARA is psychological suspense at its best, weaving a tight-knit plot, unrelenting action, and tense moments that don't let up and ending in a fiery, unpredictable revelation.”
—Midwest Book Review
“[MEGAN’S WAY] A wonderful, warm, and thought-provoking story...a deep and moving book that speaks to men as well as women, and I urge you all to put it on your reading list.”
“[CHASING AMANDA] Secrets make this tale outstanding.”
“COME BACK TO ME is a hauntingly beautiful love story set against the backdrop of betrayal in a broken world.”
—Bestselling author Sue Harrison
DEX REMINGTON WALKED into NightCaps bar beside his older brother Sage, an artist who also lived in New York City, and Regina Smith, his employee and right arm. Women turned in their direction as they came through the door, their hungry eyes raking over Dex’s and Sage’s wide shoulders and muscular physiques. At six foot four, Sage had two inches on Dex, and with their striking features, dark hair, and federal-blue eyes, heads spun everywhere they went. But after Dex had worked thirty of the last forty-eight hours, women were the furthest thing from his mind. His four-star-general father had ingrained hard work and dedication into his head since he was old enough to walk, and no matter how much he rued his father’s harsh parenting, following his lead had paid off. At twenty-six, Dex was one of the country’s leading PC game designers and the founder of Thrive Entertainment, a multimillion-dollar gaming corporation. His father had taught him another valuable lesson—how to become numb—making it easy for him to disconnect from the women other men might find too alluring to ignore.
Dex was a stellar student. He’d been numb for a very long time.
“Thanks for squeezing in a quick beer with me,” he said to Sage. They had about twenty minutes to catch up before his scheduled meeting with Regina and Mitch Anziano, another of his Thrive employees. They were going to discuss the game they were rolling out in three weeks,
World of Thieves II
“You’re kidding, right? I should be saying that to you.” Sage threw his arm around Dex’s shoulder. They had an ongoing rivalry about who was the busiest, and with Sage’s travel and gallery schedule and Dex working all night and getting up midday, it was tough to pick a winner.
“Thrive!” Mitch hollered from the bar in his usual greeting. Mitch used
to greet Dex in bars the way others used,
He lifted his glass, and a smile spread across his unshaven cheeks. At just over five foot eight with three-days’ beard growth trailing down his neck like fur and a gut that he was all too proud of, he was what the world probably thought all game designers looked like. And worth his weight in gold. Mitch could outprogram anyone, and he was more loyal than a golden retriever.
Regina lifted her chin and elbowed Dex. “He’s early.” She slinked through the crowded bar, pulling Dex along behind her. Her Levi’s hung low, cinched across her protruding hip bones by a studded black leather belt. Her red hoodie slipped off one shoulder, exposing the colorful tattoos that ran across her shoulder and down her arms.
Mitch and Regina had been Dex’s first employees when he’d opened his company. Regina handled the administrative aspects of the company, kept the production schedule, monitored the program testing, and basically made sure nothing slipped through the cracks, while Mitch, like Dex, conceptually and technically designed games with the help of the rest of Thrive’s fifty employees—developers, testers, and a host of programmers and marketing specialists.
Regina climbed onto the barstool beside Mitch and lifted his beer to her lips.
“Order ours yet?” she asked with a glint in her heavily lined dark eyes. She ran her hand through her stick-straight, jet-black hair.
Dex climbed onto the stool beside her as the bartender slid beers in front of him and Regina. “Thanks, Jon. Got a brew for my brother?”
“Whatever’s on tap,” Sage said. “Hey, Mitch. Good to see you.”
Mitch lifted his beer with a nod of acknowledgment.
Dex took a swig of the cold ale, closed his eyes, and sighed, savoring the taste.
“Easy, big boy. We need you sober if you wanna win a GOTY.” Mitch took a sip of Regina’s beer. “Fair’s fair.”
Regina rolled her eyes and reached a willowy arm behind him, then mussed his mop of curly dark hair. “We’re gonna win Game of the Year no matter what. Reviewers love us. Right, Dex?”
Thrive had already produced three games, one of which,
World of Thieves
, had made Dex a major player in the gaming world—and earned him millions of dollars. His biggest competitor, KI Industries, had changed the release date for their new game. KI would announce the new date publicly at midnight, and since their game was supposed to be just as hot of a game as they expected
World of Thieves II
to be, if they released close to the release for
World of Thieves II
, there would be a clear winner and a clear loser. Dex had worked too hard to be the loser.
“That’s the hope,” Dex said. He took another swig of his beer and checked his watch. Eight forty-five and his body thought it was noon. He’d spent so many years working all night and sleeping late that his body clock was completely thrown off. He was ready for a big meal and the start of his workday. He stroked the stubble along his chin. “I worked on it till four this morning. I think I deserve a cold one.”
Sage leaned in to him. “You’re not nervous about the release, are you?”
Of his five siblings—including Dex’s twin sister, Siena, Sage knew him best. He was the quintessential artist, with a heart that outweighed the millions of dollars his sculptures had earned him. He’d supported Dex through the years when Dex needed to bend an ear, and when he wasn’t physically nearby, Sage was never farther than a text or a phone call away.
“Nah. If it all fails, I’ll come live with you.” Dex had earned enough money off of the games he’d produced that he’d never have to worry about finances again, but he wasn’t in the gaming business for the money. He’d been a gamer at heart since he was able to string coherent thoughts together, or at least it felt that way. “What’s happening with the break you said you wanted to take? Are you going to Jack’s cabin?” Their eldest brother Jack owned a cabin in the Colorado Mountains. Jack was an ex–Special Forces officer and a survival-training guide, and he and his fiancée Savannah spent most weekends at the cabin. Living and working in the concrete jungle didn’t offer the type of escape Sage’s brain had always needed.
“I’ve got another show or two on the horizon; then I’ll take time off. But I think I want to do something useful with my time off. Find a way to, I don’t know, help others instead of sitting around on my ass.” He sipped his beer and tugged at the neck of his Baja hippie jacket. “How ’bout you? Any plans for vacay after the release?”