Introducing End Game, a romantic comedy about two gamers who meet in a virtual online world, and whose relationship crosses into real life.
Last year, I polled readers with a list of book projects I had lined up. One which received a lot of readers votes was End Game. Now Unscripted is released, I’ve finished End Game and have a release date! I’ve also included a short excerpt… see below.
END GAME: A Gamer Romance
Release date: June 19th
If you think geek heroes can’t be hot, think again…
He’s my knight in shining armour, but not the romantic kind a girl dreams about. This one invaded my online world and threw everything into chaos.
My sorcerer can kick his ass in the game, but real life kicks mine. Gaining experience points online is easier than in reality, and when I play, I know where my quests lead. In the real world, the storylines confuse me, and I don’t know which direction I’m heading in.
In the game, I’m in control.
Or I was until he arrived.
This guy never shares anything about himself, and I only know him as ‘Thorsday’. My Aussie gaming nemesis can’t be a blond haired, blue-eyed god in reality.
There’s something about this enigmatic man that intrigues me, and the more we play together, the bigger my desire to meet him. And I know he feels the same.
The problem is, if I allow my game world to merge with reality, I could die standing in the fire.
Romance meets LitRPG in this steamy romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author, Lisa Swallow.
Evie and Aaron first meet in real life when they’re cosplaying:
I stare at the artwork prints on the wall behind the stall, and the artwork folio in front of me. There’s an ethereal style to the watercolour fantasy creatures, and a strange innocence in the human faces in fantasy worlds. Sucking on my liquorice, I weigh up between buying unicorn artwork or the badge.
“There’re some amazing images here.” I turn to the voice; Aaron smiles at the girl sitting behind the desk, who’s drawing outlines of a new work. She looks up and her reaction mirrored mine earlier. God like man talking to her. Complimenting.
“Thanks.” Pink, matching the unicorn badge currently stabbing my palm, spreads across her cheeks.
He smiles and turns to the folio of work in front of him, as I stand, green liquorice gluing my teeth together.
“Candy and unicorns, huh?” he asks, not looking up. “I learn more about you everyday.”
I proffer the bag and he shakes his head. “Not a candy fan.”
At least my full mouth excuses my inability to respond.
“You missed the end of the cosplay competition.”
I swallow. “Who won?”
“Not sure. I missed it too.”
Aaron turns to me and takes the badge from my hands. His warm, soft fingers set an electric charge I swear matches the thunderbolts Sinestre used on Thorsday when we duelled. The touch jolted my heart because it’s beating a hell of a lot quicker than before.
No, please. I don’t need this.
“Sinestre, the pink unicorn girl. That doesn’t add up.” He turns the badge over in his broad palm. “Not very kickass.”
I pull the liquorice between my teeth and it snaps. His eyes focus on my lips, as I lick the escaping part into my mouth, and they darken.
No. Double no. “I like unicorns.”
Way to sound twelve years old…
I pay, and the stall holder tucks the badge into a paper bag. She watches Aaron as I attempt to ignore the fact his large frame overshadows everything right now.
“Why did you miss the end of the competition?” I ask and step to the next stall. Jewellery, the cogs and clock faces intricately set into bronze settings on long chains. Black and gold letters above the guy in a top hat and a cog-like monocle.
Steampunk. Not my thing. I sidestep to the next stall.
“I wanted to find you.”
The paper bag creases as I grip it tightly. What the hell? “I told everyone I was going to the bathroom.”
“But you’re not in the bathroom anymore.”
“Astute. Why look for me?” His intimidating effect on my senses needs dealing with as I focus on his eyes, searching for any hints something lies beneath—which I’m a hundred percent sure does.
“I wanted to take a photo with the guild before we all go our separate ways; I think Erin and Cole are leaving soon, so we need you to come back to the group.”
“Aren’t you coming to the party?”
“I haven’t decided yet.” Aaron crosses his arms over his chest which is no mean feat considering how much extra the armour adds to his body.
“You should. Tyler will be upset if you don’t. I swear he’s hero-worshipping you.”
The smile reappears. “You mean he wants to be me when he grows up?”
“How old are you?” I blurt.
“You want to start with the personal questions now?”
“Your age is hardly a big thing. Or is it? You don’t have to tell me.”
Aaron sighs and gestures towards a quieter corner. He rests against the wall, voices echoing around us still, but somehow locked in our own space.
“The thing is, Evie, I could tell you anything and it could be a lie. I could catfish you all.”
“You’re Tyler’s cousin’s friend. His cousin must know you.”
“Not really. We’re from the same guild—well, we were—I’d never met him in person either. He knows nothing about me.”
“Apart from what you share in game?”
I smooth my robe with perspiring palms. “Tell me one true thing about yourself, then. And one lie.”
He rubs his long fingers across his mouth, those gorgeous blue eyes drawing me into trusting him. I’m such a sucker for men’s eyes and look where I usually end up – their bed. “And I don’t have to tell you which is a lie?”
“No. As long as one is true.”
“Hmm. I was arrested once, and I’ve never been in love,” he says.
“Wow, okay, I didn’t expect things that personal.”
“Go hard or go home, you know me.”
I run my tongue along my bottom lip. “I never said I’d…” I sigh. “Okay, but it’s not fair because you can ask Tyler.”
“There has to be things he doesn’t know about you, Evie.”
I clear my throat. “I cheated in my Year 12 finals, and my first kiss was a girl.”
Aaron splutters out a laugh. “I’m not sure I want either of those to be true.”
“I guess you’ll never know.” I stand, relieved we’re talking the way we do online, but mind blown by the conversation. Sure, we have these strange chats in game, but face to face? Weird. Does he read me? “Why aren’t you coming to the party? Scared you’ll get drunk and reveal too much of yourself?”
“Ah. I don’t know. Maybe I will come. I wasn’t planning to, but you’re tempting.”
“The guild. Spending some reality with you all.”
My spirits drop. But did I really want to tempt him? And I don’t care what he says, the glint in his eyes is telling me temptation isn’t far.
“You can talk game at the party, no need to talk Aaron.”
He pulls himself from the wall and nods at me. “But if I want to talk to Evie, I’ll need to talk Aaron, won’t I?”
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