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Jade's Match, The Jewel Series Book 7: The Jewel Series, #7

Jade's Match, The Jewel Series Book 7: The Jewel Series, #7

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Jade's Match, The Jewel Series Book 7: The Jewel Series, #7

Lunghezza:
204 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 30, 2018
ISBN:
9781681901190
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Two Olympians are matched in a media campaign that turns into something more than a game.

Rio Games silver medalist and social media darling CORA "JADE" ANDERSON is approached by a popular cell phone company to launch a flirty but fake media campaign with ice hockey star DAVIS ELLIOTT. When things get off to a rocky start, Cora and Davis both wonder what they've gotten into and how they'll get through the months until the Korean games.

It's not long until things start to warm up between the athletes and soon this fake romance becomes something much more real. Cora knows just how to work social media and engage her fans, and as the world watches and interacts with them, their love grows. When Davis is selected for Team USA, the opposition starts. As a Korean American, he's already facing odds Cora can never comprehend, but he takes his frustration at the racism to the ice and lets the puck take the beating.

Things come to a head just weeks before the games begin. Can Davis and Cora's very public relationship survive the aftermath of a very public confrontation, or are they going to have to let their love go when the Olympic flame is extinguished at the closing ceremonies?

Pubblicato:
Jan 30, 2018
ISBN:
9781681901190
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy.An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee finally settled in central Kentucky with her family so that she could enjoy the beautiful changing of the seasons. She enjoys the roller-coaster ride thrills that life with a National Guard husband, a teenaged daughter, and two elementary aged sons delivers.A prolific writer, when she's not penning novels, you will find her in the kitchen, which she considers the 'heart of the home'. Her passion for cooking spurred her to launch a whole food, real food "Parody" cookbook series. In addition to nutritious, Biblically grounded recipes, readers will find that each cookbook also confronts some controversial aspect of secular pop culture.Hallee is a member of the Published Author Network (PAN) of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) where she serves as a long time board member in the Faith, Hope, & Love chapter. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the American Christian Writers (ACW) as well as being a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC).Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her. She prays her work here on earth is a blessing to you and would love to hear from you. You can reach Hallee at hallee@bridgemanfamily.com

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Anteprima del libro

Jade's Match, The Jewel Series Book 7 - Hallee Bridgeman

Cora Anderson sat at the large table in VelTech’s dimly lit conference room and watched a presentation covering the expanse of the social media campaign she and her partner Ruby Crosby took part in nine short months ago. As one of the USA’s beach volleyball twosomes, they used the newest and latest phones from VelTech, one of the largest smartphone companies in the world, and carried them to Rio, where they took pictures, filmed short videos, and hosted live feeds. They had coordinated the campaign with the new version of the phones that hit the market two days after Opening Ceremonies.

The campaign, a brainchild of Cora’s mother Maxine and the advertising department of VelTech, turned Cora and Ruby into darlings of the world. The viewing numbers during the Olympics broke records and the endorsements that came after overwhelmed them.

They were known as the Jewels of America with Ruby’s name and Jade’s nickname given to her by her father when she was still a baby after he caught her chewing on a jade chess piece in his office. He saw how close her eyes resembled the color of the stone, and never called her Cora again. He often remarked that her eye color was the perfect blend of his ice blue eyes and her mother’s emerald green eyes.

She watched the screen as she and Ruby battled against Spain. Cora stood two inches taller than Ruby’s six-foot frame, and her Native American heritage darkened her skin in the summer sun, several shades darker than Ruby’s northern European skin tone. They’d refused the skimpy bikini style uniforms popular today and wore a more traditional indoor volleyball uniform with tight spandex shorts and tank tops. That also created a storm of support and criticism from the world, which caused more people to watch, which just increased the viewing numbers.

All in all, VelTech considered the campaign a major success.

As Cora watched the presentation, she felt very proud of the contribution she and Ruby made to the campaign. No one anticipated the massive response the consuming public would have. Maxine guessed that Cora and Ruby had something very special about them that drew the public to them in a way that social media encouraged.

During competitions, the closeness the two women shared as friends and sisters in Christ created teamwork that made them move like a single unit, and they became a force to be reckoned with. If Cora hadn’t wrenched her knee in the final match, they likely would have won the gold medals. Instead, they earned the silver.

The presentation on the screen showed a sampling of all the different times they used social media and highlighted the phones. It ended with a graph visualizing the climbing popularity and ratings until anything they sent out had millions of views and tens of thousands of comments. Cora remained in awe at the level of success of the campaign and how, nearly a year later, they still rode the social media high.

At the end of the presentation, the screen silently rolled up, and the room gradually grew brighter. The lead ad executive, Marvin Collins, stood at the head of the table. Jade, Ruby, we are thrilled with the success of this campaign. We’d like to do it again.

Ruby said, It’s another three years before the 2020 games. Shouldn’t we wait?

True, for the Summer Games. He gestured with his hand, and Cora took note of the man sitting to his right.

The man had Oriental features complete with straight black hair, dark brown eyes, and tan skin. He had very broad shoulders and sat tall and straight on just the edge of his chair. She estimated he stood at least six feet tall. He wore a blue button-down dress shirt that stretched across his wide chest and a thick smartwatch that would have looked too big for most men, but fit him perfectly.

Ladies, I’d like you to meet ‘Dauntless’ Davis Elliott. Davis is the number one favorite to make Team USA’s hockey team. He has agreed to be part of our upcoming Winter Games campaign that will start next week and build for the next several months until the Closing Ceremonies in PyeongChang, Korea.

Cora narrowed her eyes at him. She recognized him but couldn’t quite place him. When he turned to face them fully, she saw her school’s emblem on his shirt and suddenly realized that he attended her school in Virginia. How did she know him? Classes together? Maybe she’d seen him at the gym?

Then she remembered, and her face darkened. Last week, Davis Elliot and several hockey teammates made newspaper headlines because of a drunken brawl in a bar near campus. The newspaper slammed the hockey team as a whole for ending the school year on such a note. Davis Elliot’s face had been clearly visible in the photo published on the front page of the paper.

Ruby lifted her hand in greeting to Davis, and he nodded his head with a brief grin. Cora simply looked back to Marvin and asked, Why start now? It’s May. It’s a long time until the February games.

Davis answered, It’s my schedule. We’re gearing up for training camps and tryouts. In June, I’ll be mostly unavailable, and then in September, the team will go to our training facility in Tampa. The training schedule is going to seriously inhibit a lot of free time.

Right, Marvin agreed with a nod, we need to get the relationship established now, so when the holiday campaigns really pick up speed, the public will buy it.

Relationship? Ruby asked, her eyebrows lowering.

Marvin nodded. We added a twist to this campaign while riding on the coattails of your success. Believe it or not, the first hockey game for Team USA will be on Valentine’s Day. Since the games will be in Korea, and Davis is a Korean American, our focus groups really responded to the idea of a flirty romance between Davis and one of you. Nothing real, of course. The romantic match will be purely for marketing. The public can even be in on the game, kind of wink-wink-nudge-nudge. We think the world will love it.

Ruby raised an eyebrow. Love it and buy your new phones.

Having taken part in such a successful social media campaign, Cora actually admired the cleverness of the idea. However, she could only do that by removing herself from the equation. Could she possibly do something like this and get away with it? Did she want to?

Marvin’s mouth crooked up in a slight smile. Well, of course. And our other products, too. That is the intent of marketing, is it not? He looked at the piece of paper in front of him, then back at the two girls. Our team has built profiles for Davis and concluded that Ruby is the best match for him.

Ruby let out a single burst of a laugh and covered her mouth to stifle another. She took a breath and announced, Well, Marvin, I think that’s for sure a swing and a miss.

Marvin met her eyes. What do you mean?

Through her smile, Ruby explained, Oh, nothing against Dauntless over there, but did your team pay attention to the fact that I’m engaged? The announcement was made last week.

Marvin opened his mouth, then closed it again. Finally, he said, No, actually. That certainly… His voice trailed off.

Cora shifted in her seat, feeling like the entire table suddenly turned to look at her. Her cheeks grew warm as she considered the offer. It would only help her own popularity grow. Thinking about the endorsement contracts her attorney father still fielded on her behalf really made her think seriously about it. To buy some time, she said, Well, I’m single.

It helped. Everyone politely chuckled. Cora’s gaze darted between Marvin, Ruby, and Davis. No one spoke, and she felt the tension slowly mounting again. So, could I possibly have more than fifteen seconds to make this decision? she asked before they could even inquire if she’d be willing to play the part.

Marvin nodded and cleared his throat. Please understand that this is a very time-sensitive situation. So, I’m willing to excuse you from the room, even to maybe go take lunch and come back. But, we’d need to know before you leave the building today. We have other Olympic stars we need to reach out to if you are unable or unwilling to do this. He tapped a piece of paper on the table. Obviously, our preference is one of you which is why we brought this to you first. We’ve already established your brand with a successful audience, and we’d rather not lose the momentum.

Cora met Davis’ stare. She wondered what went through his mind because she got no reading from him at all. She could see the image of his face plastered all over the stories about the controversial brawl. Should she do this? What damage would it do to her reputation if she chose to partner with him in this venture? Would her moral stance be strong enough to counter his bad-boy reputation? Deciding to step forward in faith and hopefully enjoy a few more months of the spotlight, she nodded. You know what? I don’t need more time. I’ll do it.

A couple people around the table clapped, and Marvin let out a breath he’d obviously been holding. As he sat down, the attorney at the table pulled out a thick stack of contracts and took the floor. An assistant placed a stapled stack of papers in front of her, and the attorney said, If everyone can look at page one.

Cora interrupted him. Excuse me. Has daddy reviewed these?

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Davis look down the table at her. Was that a scowl? She briefly met his eyes and saw the question in them. She owed him no explanation and didn’t bother acknowledging. Instead, she looked at Marvin as he answered.

Anderson and Associates prepared them. I’ve just texted my secretary to have her contact them and make sure he knows that you’re the one signing it.

Barry Anderson had represented all the Viscolli companies since day one, including VelTech. Decades earlier, years before he married Cora’s mother, her father had bankrolled a professional football career into a successful law practice with Viscolli Enterprises as his most important client. Of course, the Andersons and the Viscollis had more than business in common. Her father had married Tony Viscolli’s sister-in-law. In a way, every VelTech employee ultimately answered to Cora’s uncle, Tony. Cora nodded, knowing that VelTech knew her and her father well enough not to play any games with the forms. She glanced at Davis again and saw him raise an eyebrow, though he did not speak. Was that a smirk? Or was it a scowl? Was it nothing at all? She couldn’t tell. February and the end of this contract suddenly felt centuries away.

Over an hour later, Davis Elliott stood up from the conference table and approached Cora and Ruby. He remembered watching them play in the Olympics and followed their social media campaign, not understanding as a viewer the level of behind the scenes orchestration that had created it. When VelTech approached him last week about this new campaign, he’d jumped at the opportunity, knowing it would only help him in the future.

He would never admit how disappointed he’d felt at the idea of being paired with Ruby instead of Cora. He’d felt more drawn to Cora while watching them play. Maybe it was because she went to school with him, or maybe he simply found her attractive. Either way, while Cora considered the contract, he’d held his breath, quietly rooting for her to agree to it. The concept, even in pretense, of having a close relationship with her for the next eight months, of actually getting to know her whether the romance was real or not, appealed to him. He didn’t think he’d have any trouble pretending to feel enamored of her.

When he got to their side of the room, he extended his hand to Ruby. Davis, he said, nice to meet you in person. Congratulations on your engagement.

Thank you, Ruby said, her face lighting up with a radiant smile.

He turned to Cora, realizing she stood taller than him by a good two inches. Jade, thank you for agreeing to this. I think it might be fun.

It’s harder than it looks. She put her hand in his but did not return his smile.

I attend Virginia, too. I think that could help sell the romance angle.

I know who you are. She pulled her hand from his and turned to Marvin. I’m assuming you have phones for us.

Davis had no trouble reading her dislike but wondered at the source. They’d never met and as far as he knew, had no mutual friends. Maybe she just needed time to get to know him.

Marvin clapped and smiled from ear to ear. We have phones for both of you. Follow me.

He walked next to Cora through the conference room door and down the hall to Marvin’s office. The assistant’s desk by the door sat empty, and Davis realized that it was well into the lunch hour. Marvin let Davis and Cora proceed him into the office, then stood by the door. Davis could smell spices and meat and noticed the aluminum pans on a covered table against the wall.

If you’ll give me your personal phones, unlocked, we’ll get everything transferred to the new ones. As you know, this is the upcoming technology, so please guard them well. We wouldn’t want them to get into the hands of our competitors before the release date that will coincide with Black Friday shopping. I know we just went over this, but I’ll reiterate that if you lose them, please call the hotline as soon as possible.

Marvin gestured at the sitting area. "Please make yourselves at home, and take some time to get to know each other before we launch the campaign.

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