Abby’s Bluff by Heather Hart


Abby doesn’t gamble. But when her friend’s happiness is at stake,

she risks her own body, betting on one crucial turn of the cards.




Abielle O’Sullivan’s world is turned on its axis when her boyfriend is killed in a motorcycle crash. To break the ensuing months-long cycle of self-destructive grief, her bestie, Miah, buys plane tickets and first class accommodation for a mad-ass weekend in Las Vegas. On their very first night, Abby meets Joel; an aloof but streetwise card sharp who is drawn to the cautious and sad-eyed beauty. He encourages the two friends to try their hands at the poker tables.

When Miah gets out-of-control drunk and loses more than she can pay, Joel offers Abby an unusual way out of the jam. Depending upon who wins one game of high-card, the alpha male will either cover Miah’s losses, or Abby will become his sex slave for the duration of the rest of her stay in Vegas. Desperately wanting to help her friend, Abby is sorely tempted by his offer, even though she is not a gambling woman. Finally, she takes a chance and plays the game.

When she loses the draw, Abby’s once limited sexual horizons are pushed to their limits.

With his understanding and sympathetic nature, however, Joel could prove to be more than a means to heal the hurt from her past. In fact, he might just be the one man she’d always dreamed of. Then again, he could also be a conman. In the end, only she can decide what her limits are.

And what happens after that is anyone’s game.


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“Shit, Abby, mixing this crap can kill you. Is that what you want? Huh? Well, is it?”

“Whatever. What’s the point, anyway?” I looked at my hand. Though he’d never made it home to propose, I wore his ring on my wedding finger. I twirled it about, surprised by how loose it had become already. “Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to do. Join him wherever he’s at.”

In a flash Miah crossed the room and plopped down by my side. “That’s enough! Now you listen to me, Miss Sorry-For-Yourself, this ends now. This is not what Kevin would have wanted for you, and you know it. So get your stinky butt up off the bed and come with me. I’m not leaving until you’re in that shower, sobering up.”

“Fuck you, Miah. I’m going nowhere.”

In all the times we’d been friends, Miah had never once laid a finger on me. But today was different. I wouldn’t say I was dragged kicking and screaming to my bathroom, because there was no fight in me, but I dug my heels into the carpet and passively resisted every inch of the way.

She thrust the shower door open and pushed me inside, pajamas and all. And then I screamed.

“Argh! It takes a few minutes for the water to heat up!”

Miah shrugged and sat down on the end of the bathtub. “Then you won’t have long to wait.”

“You’re totally sick, you know that? I get drunk once in my life, and you morph into Attila the Hun.”

“I’ve been called worse. Get out of those jimjams but leave them in there with you. They’re filthy. We’ll clean them up later.”

“Fine. Whatever.”

And then she left me alone.