Title: Black Number Four
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 4, 2015
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Known as one of the youngest and most ambitious poker players in the country, Skyler Thorne has a reputation to uphold in Vegas this year. Her sole focus for spring semester is to perfect her game and get tournament ready – and have some fun with her sorority sisters, of course. Meeting a care-free pledge with incredible arms adds a whole new element of fun to her semester, but when a shocking discovery about his past surfaces, Skyler finds herself stuck in a game she wasn’t prepared to play.
Kip Jackson is on a mission from his father. His plan was to get in, have a little fun, and then get out – on to bigger and better things. A feisty girl with bright blue eyes wasn’t on his list of things to do, but she quickly moves her way up to the very top. When he realizes completing his dad’s mission means crushing her in the process, he must decide if his dreams are worth the risk – or if he even has the same dreams, at all.
Two secrets. Two hearts. Two hands being played in one twisted game of deceit.
When the cards are on the table, will anyone be left standing?
The perfect poker face can only hide them for so long.
"I want to know your secrets.” I walk to the sink and drop the dishes in, waiting.
Skyler leans against the wall and crosses her arms. “Oh yeah? In poker or in life?”
I tuck my hands in my pockets and shrug, my eyes locked on hers. “Both.”
She stays there for a while, smiling and scrutinizing me at the same time. Suddenly, her face falls, and I feel the same resistance from earlier stretch between us like a tense rubber band. “I should probably go,” she says, lifting from the wall.
I check my watch. “Why don’t we go watch the sunrise? It’ll be up in twenty minutes.”
Skyler chews her cheek, her foot tapping on the floor. “I don’t know, I think this would be a lot easier if I left now.”
I shake my head, walking toward her. “What do you mean by this?”
She goes to back up but hits the wall. “This. Us. I just, I don’t think we should get caught up. I have to focus on poker this semester and you’re pledging. It would just be easier if we didn’t complicate things.”
I keep walking until our chests touch and place my hands on the wall around her head, my face inches from hers. Her breath hitches in her throat, but her bright blue eyes don’t leave mine.
“Baby, you made me lick tequila off you the first night we met. This is nothing if not complicated.”
Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.
Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).
When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.