Genre: Adult Commercial Fiction
Word Count: 82,000
Gemma Lennon is breathtaking, but the only breath she wants to take away is that of her opponents on the tennis court. The twenty-one-year-old British star has tried for five long years to shed her “more celebrity than athlete” stigma without success. No Grand Slam championships and sub-par performances during key matches, mean that as far as her critics are concerned, she is more Kardashian than Navratilova. She must win to prove them all wrong… but first, she must silence the noise of doubt inside her head.
After another Grand Slam loss, she leaves Paris to escape the media chaos. At the airport she sees Andre Reyes, the gifted American technologist whom she had met—and inadvertently scorched—a few days earlier. Gemma has learned to trusts no one, but during their eleven-hour flight to Los Angeles, her well-managed public persona drops. Like her, he also has dedicated his life to his innate gifts, always focused on the futile pursuit of bigger-better-faster. With him she feels safe and alive. With him, she feels loved.
Just when it looks like she can finally have a normal life, news about them spreads like wildfire. As Wimbledon begins, the paparazzi go on a frenzy. Personal details about their relationship and skeletons of her past leak to the press—details that only their inner-circle could know. After each match, new rumors spread. And when Gemma is blackmailed with allegations that implicate Andre, questions and doubts surface. Because in the high-stakes game of love, anyone can be the enemy within… even those who are in love.
ACES is endorsed by New York Times bestselling author, Michael Levin, and by award-winning author and editor, Laura Taylor.
Six seconds before the coffee went flying, Andre Reyes heard a woman shout across the restaurant, "Bedric, move the bag!”
A lanky, older man sitting a few tables away perked up. Must be Bedric, Andre thought. When Bedric looked down, so did Andre. An oversized bag lay blocking the path between tables. A waitress was coming their way fast, tray held high, blocking her view. She was intent on her customers, a wealthy, demanding crowd.
In that instant, Andre pictured how the scene would play out in a movie: The damsel trips; the hero executes an elegant leap to save her; his feline quickness saves the day.
But before Andre—self-proclaimed hero—could utter a sound or move, the waitress tripped and the stainless steel carafes of coffee flew off the tray like bullets—nailing Andre dead-on.
One container exploded against his chest, the other on his shoulder. A third mercifully hit the table first, then sloshed the boiling contents onto his lap.
Andre leapt from his seat. The next few moments were surreal, full of muffled screams…
… and commotion.
Is he okay?
After the instantaneous cold paralysis, boiling pain howled through his skin. He wanted to scream, yell, pull off the suit that must have been smoldering. He shut his eyes. The erratic rhythm of his heartbeat danced with his pulsating jaw and twitching neck muscles.
“I sorry, monsieur,” someone said. He opened his eyes. It was the waitress.