Bet on Ice (Boys of Winter #9) - S.R. Grey

Wanna Bet, Sweetheart?

Smiling smugly, I flip my cards over.

I have two jacks—that’s twenty.


I beat the dealer. She has only seventeen. And my teammates, who are playing blackjack with me tonight, are out of the game, having just laid down their shitty hands.

Brimming with confidence, I reach for the mountain of chips in the middle of the gaming table.

But as I move the pile an inch or so closer, the pretty woman on my right, the very one who’s been handing me my ass all night, clears her throat.

I pause, my arms outstretched, still on my loot.

Glancing over at her annoyedly, I say, “Yes?”

“Uh, uh, uh,” she tsks, waving her finger. “Not so fast there, Blondie.”


Who in the hell does this chick think she is?

For starters, her hair is far blonder than mine. I’m dishwater; she’s honey and sunshine.

Her hair is also much longer.

And so damn shiny too…


Shaking my head, I tear my gaze from her pretty locks.

It shouldn’t bother me that she’s been calling me Blondie for the past hour, ever since my teammates and I first sat down at this table.

Never mind I’ve told her twice my name is Landen.

She obviously doesn’t care.

Fine, whatever.

She clearly has no idea she’s playing cards with three of the best players on the Las Vegas Wolves hockey team.

I actually kind of like that, though.

It’s better than the alternative—getting fawned over for being a professional sports player, having to sign autographs, plastering on a fake smile for selfies, and on and on.

You get the picture, right?

So yeah, anonymity is refreshing, especially since we’re playing in a back room of a well-known casino on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

Lying low is of paramount importance, even though it’s not real busy tonight in the private VIP area.

That’s a bonus.

And it makes me think…

How did this pretty woman next to me, the one who insists on calling me Blondie, end up here tonight. This room is reserved for high rollers and premier card players. My teammates and I come here because we like that they play a version of blackjack where both cards dealt to each player remain down.

It adds intrigue to the game.

Maybe this chick likes that too.

She was seated at the table already when Nolan Solvenson, Benny Perry, and I first arrived.

As we took our seats, she was chatting with the dealer. There were no other players at that point, so it wasn’t like she could play.

Speaking of the dealer, she’s cute too. She has dark brunette hair, cut in a pixie style, and deep brown eyes.

I noticed her as soon as we sat down.

But my attention was quickly averted to my card nemesis.

She is fucking hot as sin.

I’d be a lot angrier losing to her if she wasn’t so damn sexy. The short, siren-red skintight dress she’s wearing is unbelievable, and her toned long legs might be the death of me before this night ends.

I look up at her from what I think is a sly perusal only to realize I’ve been busted.

“Shit,” I murmur.

My card nemesis raises a perfectly arched brow, and it’s then that I notice her eyes are as stunning as she is.

They’re this cool blue, azure like the sea.

While I’m drowning in their depths, the gorgeous woman smirks.

She then makes a show of flipping her cards over.

Fuck, she has a jack and an ace.

“Twenty-one,” the dealer with the pixie cut declares, like we can’t all fucking see that.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, what-the-fuck-ever,” I grumble as I push the chips over to my nemesis.

“Why, thank you, Landen,” she coos, stacking her take alongside her already formidable pile of chips.

“Ahh, so you do remember my name,” I say, chuckling.

“Of course, I remember, Landen.”


“Could’ve fooled me,” I mumble.

She hears me and laughs.

Good, laugh now.

This battle is on.

When I glance her way again, she’s peering over at me curiously, her brow furrowed, azure eyes troubled.

Have I been had?

No, I don’t think so.

This feels more like she’s deciding on something.

Or maybe she knows some tidbit I don’t.

Yeah, like what cards are coming up next.

This chick is that damn good.

It’s like she’s the dude from Rainman or something.

Though I guess she’d be Rainwoman, right?

Ah hell, it doesn’t matter.

Suddenly and surprising the shit out of me, she holds out her hand and says very nicely, “I’m Cricket, by the way.”

This is the friendliest and most genuine she’s been all night.

Too bad I can’t help but laugh in her face.

Her eyes flash in anger.

There goes our tentative truce.

I’m in for it now, so I may as well head straight to