After a crumbled marriage leaves Sadie Turner as a single mother of two, she is determined to succeed on her own. Armed with a PhD, the smart businesswoman—and owner of a small company—has a huge deal on the horizon. She travels to Monaco to meet with a potential investor to close a career-changing deal, but that's where things veer off course.
Though she's sworn off men since her divorce, Sadie meets Mac, a playboy billionaire, while in Monaco, and figures there’s no harm in having a little casual fun on her trip. But Mac isn't what she expected, and now a major business venture and the promises she made herself are on the line. Will she take a chance on love—even if it means risking everything?
Told from alternating viewpoints, Debbie Flint's Take a Chance on Me is filled with funny banter between the two whip-smart main characters. This passionate and gripping story will have readers glued through the last page.
Sadie hovered outside the front entrance to the bar, unsure what to do. She bit her lip. Through the window she couldn’t see anyone in the foyer who looked remotely like the man she thought she’d met this afternoon. Damn. Do I go in and act nonchalant? Or do I wait here till I spot him? What if he doesn’t show? What if …
‘Hi, seen any good boats lately?’
‘Oh, hi!’ Sadie relaxed the tension in her stomach. Then immediately sucked it back in again, remembering she didn’t have her Bridget Jones knickers on.
‘No, I haven’t. Nor cruisers. Nor power-yachts!’
‘Superyachts!’ he corrected.
‘The difference obviously matters to you, so superyachts.’
‘That’s better. Coming inside? I’ve taken the liberty of ordering already.’
‘Ordering what?’ she asked, a bit taken aback.
‘Wait and see,’ he said, and showed her to their table – a side booth, relatively private, subdued lighting, but music blaring a bit too loud. They shuffled close, to hear each other.
On the table in front of Sadie were a beer, a water, a juice and a cocktail.
‘Four drinks? That must cost an arm and a leg in here,’ Sadie said. ‘Sorry – it’s an old habit. Saves time standing at the bar, and … Can I tell you a secret? It usually impresses the “laydeez” if you guess their drink.’
‘And what if none of them are right, Mr Moneybags?’ she teased.
‘Well, are they?’ he winced.
‘Actually, I could murder the juice! All that window-shopping and sea air’s built up a thirst.’
‘Phew! Thought I was losing my touch. I always used to be able to guess what a girl drinks, back when I was in college.’
‘You must have a long memory.’
He poked her arm for being cheeky and slid the juice over to her with its garish umbrella and half a glacier of ice.
‘Here you go, Sam. Cheers.’ For a split second Sadie wondered whom he was talking to, then remembered what she’d told him this afternoon. Game on. ‘Samantha’ it is. It was only one date, after all.
‘So what brings you to Monaco then – apart from the yacht crawl?’
‘Right. What kind of business?’
Sadie was mid-sip and hesitated. She looked away. Even telling him the short answer would bring on nervous palpitations. She downed the lovely cool juice in one, looked him in the eye, and leaned closer.
‘Mac, can I ask you something?’ she said, huge doe eyes looking up at him from under long, dark lashes.
‘Mmm, you smell delicious. What?’
‘A favour? Would you do me a really big favour?’
‘Depends if it involves getting wet,’ he joked, but a flash of unease had crossed his face.
‘Don’t worry, it’s nothing like that. It’s this …’
He furrowed his brow, awaiting her next words.
‘Tonight,’ she said, ‘can we please not talk about work? At all?’
‘Oh, sure! ’Course, no problem.’ He let out the breath he’d been holding. ‘It’s just that, for a minute there, when you said a favour, I thought you meant money.’
‘What kind of girl do you take me for, buster?’
‘No, I mean … favours. When people ask me for favours it’s usually money.’
‘What the …!’
‘Erm … Not you, though – obviously.’ Trying to change the subject, he back-pedalled. ‘You know – sponsor me for this, lend me that, or asking me to buy your silence in return for not reporting me … to the snog police.’
She looked thoughtful, then laughed, shaking her head incredulously. ‘Idiot!”
Mac laughed too, and also took a sip of his drink, turning his head away from Sadie. She didn’t see him mouth to himself in disgust – ‘the snog police!’.
‘The thing is,’ she explained. ‘You see, this is the thing.’
‘What’s the thing?’
‘It’s all been really intense lately, and … I’d rather have a night off from thinking about business.’
‘That’s the thing?’
‘That’s the thing.’ Sadie looked at him hopefully. It would mean she could totally forget about everything else and just let her hair down – literally and metaphorically. She tossed her hair and her blonde silky tresses played over her bare shoulder.
‘Mmm, well, I’m not sure,’ he replied. She felt a flash of nerves, wondering if he was going to quiz her all night long about her trip. ‘After all, that’s my whole repertoire gone if I can’t do my “a funny thing happened at the office” routine!’ he said.
Sadie nudged him playfully.
‘No, seriously,’ he continued, picking up his drink. ‘Great idea. Wonderful idea. Deal. No job talk, then. No moans. No anything relating to the daily grind. Tonight we can be whoever we want to be.’
‘Yes, absolutely!’ She beamed, picking up the iced water.
‘In fact, let’s go the whole hog. No last names. Just Sam and Mac. And one night in Monaco. How ’bout it?’
‘Well, mystery can be very exciting.’ She smiled at his enthusiasm for her suggestion to make it all incognito. It’s like he understood her …
‘Mystery, eh. Sure, why not. Cheers to mystery!’ he said, and raised his glass.
Mystery it is, she thought, right down to the mystery of whether I’ll be strong enough to end this ‘one night’ early enough to be fresh for tomorrow.
‘Cheers!’ she said, clinking glasses. Then she sipped through the straw and smiled.
If Mac’s plan tonight was to get lost in her, he was already halfway into the forest. He swallowed, realising the implications of what he was setting up. No telling her who he really was. Was that a good thing, or a bad thing? She seemed to think it was a very good thing. Maybe she had secrets too …
God her mouth was so kissable.
Seeing her tongue toying with the straw while she watched him, he felt his pulse quicken a little. He was enjoying the anonymity – buying ordinary drinks, paying for them in cash, being in ‘mufti’ clothing, and not having to sit in the fenced-off VIP area being ogled, and occasionally approached for photographs. Keeping totally incognito would make this a night to remember – and a bit of a fantasy. An inverted fairy tale, where it was more fun to be poor than rich. And he was more like Shrek than Cinderella.
‘Cheers to mystery, romance and adventure!’ He raised his beer glass again, and this time she lifted the cocktail glass. ‘Here,’ he said, linking his arm through hers, as they brought the glasses to their mouths. Their faces were just inches apart.
‘Chin, chin!’ She laughed, her face beaming.
Never a sweeter sound than that laughter, he thought. She was enchanting. Ordinarily he’d opt for safe, disposable arm candy with absolutely no chance of reeling him in. But there was something so refreshing about her realness, her womanliness. Her authenticity. It was filling the heart of him with a yearning to get closer. They relaxed back into their seats together.
‘And what else are we drinking to? End of an era you said earlier?’
‘Oh, it’s nothing much,’ he said. ‘Just a decision I’ve been toying with for ages about … a job.’
‘You got a new job? Won’t the Captain be mortified?’
‘No – he’d be going, too. But not even he knows that yet. So that’s all I can tell you, or we’ll break our pact before we’ve even begun!’
‘Well, cheers to new directions!’
They linked arms again and this time the straw got in the way and flicked a little of the cocktail onto her cheek. She giggled and he wiped it off, and then licked his finger. She blushed slightly then reached into her makeshift clutch for a tissue.
‘Did the other bag survive its swim?’ he asked.
‘Bag will live, but can’t say the same for the phone! Strange being without it. My mother will think I’ve run off with some weird man!’
‘Not yet, but the night is young.’ He relaxed back on the bench.
‘It wouldn’t matter – she’s a bit weird too,’ she said, looking up at him expectantly. ‘Yours probably thinks the sun shines out of you.’
‘Actually, I never really knew my mum,’ he replied. She made a ‘poor you’ face. ‘Oops, sorry, we said no personal details, didn’t we?’ he added. ‘It’s sweet that yours cares so much though. Bet she misses you while you’re away.’
‘Yes and my daugh …’ Sadie stopped herself mid-sentence. She corrected herself quickly. No personal info. ‘My door … key – I lost it. Mum might have been needing to ring me to tell me she … found it.’
‘Rrright. Well, you’d better remember to pack your “waterproof mobile” next time.’
‘Thanks so much for rescuing my bag for me. Are you always such a hero.’
‘Of course! Drowning handbags, run of the mill. Damsels in distress, a speciality!’ ‘Well, if I’m ever in distress, I’ll give you a call!’
‘Dis-dress, dat-dress, you look good whatever,’ he said, then cringed. Bad joke. Old habit. He really was stepping back in time tonight.
She whacked his arm. ‘Ha-ha, funny man. Well, thanks anyway. I’m glad you were there or it’d have been me needing waterproofs.’
‘That’s okay. You were the best thing to walk down my gangplank all day.’
‘I’ll bet you say that to all the girls.’
‘Listen, just ’cos I’m a sailor doesn’t mean I have a girl in every port.’
‘Hmmm,’ said Sadie, smiling up at him while sipping her drink.
‘Seriously – too busy – been there done that. You know how it is at our age – you start to want different things. Time to move on.’
‘To a new era.’
‘To a new era.’ They toasted again.
‘And to making your own luck.’
‘And to making your own luck, Samantha Businesswoman.’
They paused mid-toast, and the air sizzled between them. ‘I hope I didn’t disturb you too much today. Did you finish your … erm … What were you doing anyway?’
‘Oh, just a spot of maintenance. Pump problems.’
‘And did you finish mending your pump … thing?’
‘No, my pump thing has had to be replaced. It’s seen too much action in recent years.’
She raised her eyebrows. ‘Has it now?!’
He laughed and leaned nearer to her on the soft seat to continue the banter.
An hour flew by. Quips about Monaco – the place, the people, her opinions about the Grand Prix – or the ‘car race’ as she called it with ‘rich posers flocking in to watch expensive lumps of tin go round and round in circles’. She’d get on famously with Captain Wiltshire, for sure. Favourite foods, sports, pastimes and, of all things, he was surprised to find out they were both board game fans – traditional games, none of the new digital stuff. She shared his love of nostalgia – Boggle, Rummikub, Monopoly. She even seemed genuinely interested in the history behind his precious Tank watch. He’d replaced his usual Rolex with an inter-war, leather-strapped, rectangular timepiece. Battered and unassuming, you wouldn’t realise it was an antique.
‘You should get it valued,’ she joked. ‘You might be a millionaire!’
‘I did,’ he said. ‘And one thing’s for sure – I’m not a millionaire.’
She made a big deal of fake-tutting. ‘Well, seems I’ll have to go find somebody else’s gangplank to walk down then, won’t I?’ She laughed.
He smiled awkwardly. One night, he thought to himself, it’s just for one night. ‘What would you do if you couldn’t find another “gangplank”?’
‘Seriously? Honey, I walk my own,’ she said, sincerely. ‘I’d make my own, just like luck.’
That was the correct answer, he thought, and he found himself relaxing more than he’d done with a woman in a very, very long time.
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