Friday, December 20, 2013

Blog Tour: Staying On Top by Lyla Payne

The Whitman University series by Lyla Payne is one of my favorite New Adult series so when the latest book was available for tour, I signed up and hoped I'd get in. I did and today Reader Girls is one of the blogs posting on this InkSlinger PR blog tour. Our stop features an excerpt and I am currently reading the novel. We have participated in tours for the other books in this series: Broken At Love (our review); By Referral (our review) and Be My Downfall (our stop). There's also a giveaway. Enjoy!

Staying on Top (Whitman University #4) by Lyla Payne
New Adult contemporary romance
Published December 10th 2013 (first published December 7th 2013)

Sam Bradford has it all—he’s the #2 tennis player in the world, plenty of girls want to date him, and he’ll never want for money. At least, that’s what he thought until his accountant stole everything and disappeared. Interpol has no idea where to start, and neither does the American F.B.I., so Sam figures he’ll just have to take care of his body and play a few extra years to make it back.

When Blair Paddington, the accountant’s daughter and a friend of a friend at Whitman, shows up and claims she can help Sam get his money back he’s torn between wanting justice and the very real possibility that Blair is just as big a con man as her father. When she promises not only money, but justice, Sam agrees—but only if he can go along on the search.

The two of them set off on an adventure neither rich kid is prepared for—cheap hostels, the same clothes three days in a row, and nothing but a backpack of possessions—so they can fly under the radar as college lovers on a winter break. In spite of Blair’s shady family, her daring and resourceful personality strike Sam’s interest and he finds himself falling for the one girl he shouldn’t.

When they finally find her father, the truths that come to light not only make Sam question his affection for Blair, but could cost him more than money—if they can’t work together one last time, neither of them may be going home. Ever.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

“You came in here and interrupted my massage to tell me we still don’t know shit?”
“Pretty much. And to raid your minibar because mine was empty.”
“Fantastic. Thanks for everything, Leo, as always.”
My phone rang, distracting me from wanting to strangle my manager.
“Hello?” I glared at Leo as he rummaged through my minibar and disappeared through our connecting door with all of my vodka.
“Do you let someone else call you Sammy now? Say it isn’t so!” His voice sounded far away and a little tinny.
I grunted. “Not likely. I believe I’ve made several attempts to get you to stop.”
“If you were better at poker this wouldn’t be an issue.”
“I’m not bad at poker when a guy who’s supposed to be mentoring me my first year on the tour isn’t dumping an entire bottle of whiskey down my throat.” The mere memory of that night made me gag. I hadn’t taken a single sip of whiskey since. “What’s up?”
“Do I need a reason to call my favorite baby pro?”
I rolled my eyes even though there was something different in his voice. It popped sweat out on my palms. “Usually.”
“There was a segment on some gossip show the other night that insinuated that you’re having some financial trouble. Just calling to check.”
I sank down on the edge of the bed and pinched the bridge of my nose. “What do you mean by ‘insinuated’?”
“By that I mean shaky cell phone video of you at the front desk while multiple credit cards get turned down.”
“Fucking fantastic.”
“You know this is going to severely hamper your ability to get laid.”
“Please. I could get laid if I was homeless,” I teased back automatically.
“Probably true. What’s going on?”
Quinn was a good friend—a better guy than most people believed, truly—but this was embarrassing.
I’d let someone into my life who had ripped me off, and instinct and pride begged me to keep my mouth shut.
Then again, if it was going to be picked up by TMZ before the end of the day, there didn’t seem to be much of a point.
“I honestly don’t know yet. Looks like my accountant is shady. Leo’s still trying to get in touch with him.”
“Who are you using?”
“Neil Saunders.”
“Huh. Never heard of him.” He paused, and in my mind, I saw him staring at the ceiling trying to decide what to say. “Well, if you need a friend, I’ll get on the next plane. If you need a loan or anything, I’m good for it.”
“Christ, Quinn, I’m not broke.”
“I know. I trust the prize money from Switzerland is safe—nice job by the way.”
“Thanks.” The conversation felt unimportant to me, as did the idea of playing tennis when I should be figuring out what in the fuck was going on with my financial life.
Then again, tennis was all I had. There was no other way to make that money back, and it was good that my abs were holding up.
“I’ll be okay, Q.”
“What’s the plan?”
“Keep playing. Try to figure out what happened.”
“You know, the same thing happened to Milos Haughlin a few years ago, and call me crazy, but I swear his accountant’s name was Neil.” He paused. “Anyway, I thought you’d want to know about the churning of the gossip mill, and that I’m worried about you.”
“You know me, man. I’ll be fine. How are things with your hot girlfriend? She dump you yet?”
“Amazingly not.” His voice carried the smile on his face right through the phone. “Too bad for you.”
“How’s Toby and . . . everyone else?”
“You mean how’s Blair?”
My cheeks felt hot, which was completely fucking ridiculous. I barely knew the girl. It had to be the fact that she’d shut me down not once but several times that kept me so curious. The denial sat on the tip of my tongue for a second before I swallowed it. Lying to Quinn had a tiny rate of success, thanks to the bastard’s freakish intuition. “Maybe.”
“Sammy, you’ve got to forget that girl. The more time I spend with her, the less I feel like I have any idea what she’s like underneath the man-eating exterior. Not to mention she pretty much thinks you’re a stalker.”
I let another protest go. I’d texted her three times after we’d met in St. Moritz and one of those times was to invite her to the match in Alabama. When she hadn’t shown, I had let it go.
“She’s fine. She was dating some pretty-boy movie star, but that seems to be over.”
“Since when are you up on the happenings of your fellow Whitman Owls? What happened to the standoffish, fuck-the-real-world Quinn Rowland who left me after Wimbledon two years ago?” I paused to heighten my followup, a shit-eating grin on my face that I so wished he could see. “Oh, right. He fell in loooove.”
“You’re a dick.”
“I learned from the best.”

About the author:

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked. 

 In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.

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