Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Jamie Beck | Players in More Ways than One

January 28, 2015

Jamie BeckIN THE CARDSThere’s something inherently sexy about poker. Unlike many forms of gambling, poker requires skill, knowledge, and instinct. You need confidence to pull it off, and confidence is always a turn-on.

Levi Hardy, the hero of IN THE CARDS, uses his poker skills to change his life. His con artist father introduced him to the game in grade school. Then, while living on the run with his dad, time and practice honed Levi’s skills. Good thing, too, since his father’s lifestyle robbed him of a proper education. But Levi ultimately uses his intelligence, discipline, and determination to break away from his dad and build a stable life for himself.

How? Poker tournaments, of course. If that sounds far-fetched, consider the fact that twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Robl’s lifetime poker earnings are already approaching four million dollars, while forty-year-old Daniel Negreanu has earned thirty million at the tables.

Luckily, like those real players, Levi is exceptional. Once he banks a few million dollars, he leaves Vegas and moves to Malibu, which is where he runs into Lindsey for the second time in his life. Then the girl with a big heart melts his cynical one, and falling in love teaches him a thing or two about high stakes.

Of course, Levi isn’t the only fictional poker player plenty of women could love. The list might not be long, but it certainly is distinguished.

For those who like classic good looks and old-fashioned appeal, you need only think of Henry Gondorff (played by Paul Newman) in The Sting, or Jack Weil (played by Robert Redford) in Havanna.

Looking for a more contemporary poker hero? How about Mike McDermott (played by Matt Damon) in Rounders, or Huck Cheever (played by Eric Bana) in Lucky You?

Lethal bad boy more your type? Who better than James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) in Casino Royale?

If fictional players don’t satisfy you, what about real life poker studs? Hollywood hottie Ben Affleck has won several hundred grand at the poker tables. And although there are other celebrity players, let’s not overlook a few hardcore tournament players who have a unique brand of sex appeal.

For example, Canadian Daniel Negreanu’s talent is sexy, as are his friendly smile and eyes. Finland’s Patrick Antonius has Hollywood good looks, while Sweden’s Martin Jacobson probably intrigues those who appreciate a kind of nerdy sex appeal (especially one with sensual lips). Then we have American Phil Ivy’s gigantic smile, which is typically one of my favorite features of any man.

Do you play poker, or know of any sexy players I’ve failed to mention? If so, please share!


Lindsey Hilliard flees her charmed life in New York, searching for answers after her fiancé’s betrayal fills her with self-doubt. Unfortunately, her rented Malibu home is next door to Levi Hardy, the sexy but insufferable man who humiliated her years ago.

Hardened by a grim past he keeps concealed, Levi prefers maintaining a comfortable distance from folks, especially a nosy princess like Lindsey. But then a motorcycle collision brings him to his knees, forcing him to accept her assistance with his recovery. Sparks begin to fly when the woman who doesn’t believe in herself teaches the cynic how to have faith in others. Levi realizes his body will recover, but his heart won’t if Lindsey returns to the ex who wants her back.

In the biggest gamble of his life, Levi teaches her to trust her own voice, and hopes she’ll use it to say good-bye to her past and hello to a future with him.

About Jamie Beck

Jamie Beck is a former attorney with a passion for inventing stories about love and redemption. In addition to writing novels, she also pens articles on behalf of a local nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth and strengthening families. Fortunately, when she isn’t tapping away at the keyboard, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

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