Teaser Tuesday: Monopoly Daddy by Skylar Sweeney

After Sarah C. raved so much about the first book in the Blood Brothers series, Heart Thief, I knew I had to share a blurb from book two, Monopoly Daddy which comes out on February 15th...
From the blurb:

Getting the scoop on a criminal mastermind may keep his daughter fed, but will playing lover to an assassin lose Richie his life?


The shot to the head that left me looking emotionless doesn’t make me prime boyfriend material, nor does being a killer who comes from a family with a long history of money and crime. But when my daughter gifts me with a dating service, I can’t say no.

I don’t expect anything to come of it--until I meet Richie. But something is going on behind the scenes, and the mob is involved. When it threatens my little girl and the beautiful man I love, I have to let the killer in me take the lead. But will there be anything left to salvage in the end?


Paying the bills as a gossip blogger isn’t easy, but I’d do anything to support my daughter.

When I find out the world's richest criminal has a secret daughter, it's like stumbling on the story of a lifetime, and I don’t hesitate to cozy up with him for a scoop. There's a lot at stake if Sonny finds out what I’m doing, but that isn’t what scares me most. It’s the falling in love part that has me shaking... but will my new romance survive the reveal of my plans?

Will these two single fathers live happily ever after or will their love be what destroys them?

Exclusive Excerpt:


“I really don’t know why you’re so obsessed with Greta's dad,” Casey complained as I scanned the Bulldogs’ bleachers for the man in the balaclava.  “I told you, he’s just a nice terrorist.  Not the Monopoly Murderer.  Greta would have totally bragged about it if he was.  She’s crazy like that.  You know she’s dating a homeless kid?  Plus, her last name is Griffin, not Wentworth.”

“I seriously doubt she’s dating a homeless kid,” I replied, still scanning the crowd.  It was amazing how many people came to these games.  “As for names… those can be faked or changed.”

I grinned as I caught a glimpse of my prey.  A slim, masked man was at the very top, sitting all alone with a lot of empty space around him, despite the gym being almost full.  He was wearing the neon pink Bulldogs’ t-shirt, which looked laughable with the black balaclava he had pulled down to cover all but the slit of his eyes.  I was fairly sure they were blue, just like Sonny’s, though it was tough to tell from down here.

I could head up, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a little more info before I marched over there and accused him of being the richest (and rudest) man in the world.

I bet some of the other parents had opinions on the subject.  I glanced around, grinning when I noticed my neighbors settling in a few rows above.

“Hey guys, how’s it going?” I called out as I walked up the bleachers, leaving Casey to warm up, and waved to Sally and Miq.  Look at me, making use of my contacts like a real journalist.

“Hey Richie, it’s great to see you here!” Miq replied, licking ketchup off his fingers.  “Going good.  You?”

“Great,” I said.  I nodded to the top of the bleachers, where the man was sitting as straight as a board, staring directly ahead like he was guarding Buckingham Palace from a Brooklyn gym.  “Do you know who that guy in the mask is?  It’s a little creepy, having some dude dressed like that around our girls.”

“Oh, don’t worry about him,” Sally said with a wave.  “He comes to every game and all the fundraisers, too.  Even shows up to the tutoring sessions to help the girls.  Never misses an event.”

“He’s a terrorist,” Miq said flatly, and Sally glared at him, making a sound of annoyance.

“He’s not a terrorist, Miq, he’s just a crazy.  But a nice crazy, the totally safe kind.  He isn’t going to hurt nobody.  Drop it, already.”

“He’s absolutely a terrorist, and they should kick his ass out,” Miq muttered, and I hid a laugh.

Sally rolled her eyes.  “Me and him worked at the same station for the BBQ fundraiser last month—the one Miq didn’t bother to show his ass up to.”

Miq winced, leaning away from his rather rabid looking wife.

“Man didn’t say too much, and what he did say didn’t make no sense half the time, but he was nice enough.  Never said anything freaky.  I kinda wonder if maybe he’s got some scar or messed up face or something?  I dunno, but I wouldn’t worry about him.”  She wagged her eyebrows.  “Oh, and he mentioned he mostly prefers guys, if you’re looking for love…”

“Thanks so much, Sal,” I said, “you’re a doll.”

“No problem, Rich.  Now watch while us Bulldogs kick those Pantherette asses!”  

I gave her a high five then climbed up the bleachers to where the man was sitting, his eyes trained on the Bulldogs warming up on court.

“Hello,” I said cheerfully as I sat beside him, my popcorn in hand. 

The man looked over, not seeming disturbed by my sudden appearance but obviously surprised I was speaking to him.  I had a feeling that didn’t happen a lot.

“You mind if I sit here?” I asked, giving him a flirtatious smile, and he shrugged, returning his gaze to the court.

“It doesn’t bother me.”  His voice sounded flat and lifeless, like responding was hardly worth the effort.  

Wow.  Way to have the ego slapped.  I knew I wasn’t exactly hot stuff, being a thirty-six year old single dad and all, but it was a bit of a downer that he didn’t even look my way.  Especially considering how nice his biceps looked in that pink t-shirt.  The man had some muscle.

“Would you like some popcorn?” I asked, holding out the bag.  He glanced at me then shook his head, facing front once more.  Was he sitting at attention or something?

“No.”  A long pause, then: “Popcorn isn’t healthy.”

Okay… Wentworth was known for being a health freak—on all things but alcohol—however, he was also a highly successful businessman, and surely he had a bit more social skills than this?  But then he was also considered a highly talented jerk-wad, so…

“My name is Richie, by the way,” I added.

“Harry,” he replied, and I nodded, eyes lighting up.  

Harry, huh?  “Harry… any chance that’s short for Harrison?”

He didn’t even twitch, and I frowned.

We sat in silence for a moment, him refusing to answer, then I finally said, “I saw the strangest thing on the internet the other day.”

The man turned toward me again, blinking vivid blue eyes through honey blonde lashes.  Exactly like Sonny’s eyes.  “I’m sorry, I don’t watch porn.”  He turned away, and it took me a moment to realize that was a response to my internet comment.

“I wasn’t talking about porn!”

The man shrugged.  “I assumed you were, since most strange things on the internet seem to be related to porn.”

Thanks to the monotonous tone of his voice, I honestly couldn’t tell if he was joking or being utterly serious.

“No, I meant an article where Sonny Wentworth was wearing a Bulldogs shirt and a pickup band.”

“Who?” his voice was flat, and he didn’t sound like he cared one way or the other.
“I think you’re him,” I said, lifting an eyebrow, and he shrugged.

“I don’t know why you’d think that.  You’re one of Casey’s fathers, correct?”

I blinked, surprised he knew that.  “Yeah, I am.”

“I haven’t seen you here before.  You don’t come to games, do you?”

My temper flared a little as he returned his gaze to the teen girls racing their way around the court.  Greta Griffin was running alongside my daughter, dribbling like a pro, her honey blonde hair bouncing in a high ponytail.  It was the exact same shade as Sonny Wentworth’s.
Was the Monopoly Murderer really implying I was a bad father?  Because I had to earn a fucking living and didn’t have anyone in my life to help me support the daughter I’d adopted purely out of love so she wouldn’t have to live with the asshole that was her biological father?

“Do you have a point to make?” I said, forcing my voice to remain calm.

Those pale blue eyes turned back toward me, staring out through the mask, completely unreadable.

“No.  It was merely a statement.”

I pursed my lips, not believing that for a second.  Apparently, Sonny Wentworth was an even bigger ass than I realized.  The guy was so rude he came off as crazy.  But that was okay.  I could handle rude if it would win me some sweet stories for Janis.  And hell, the bigger the jerk he was, the less competition I would have trying to get him to go on a date with me—and dating was totally a man’s best tool when attempting to pry information from fellow lovers of men.  Well, technically it was sex, but I wouldn’t go that far quite yet.  I was a journalist, not a prostitute.

“You’re sitting here all alone.  My daughter says you always do.  I thought you could use some company,” I dropped the “are you Sonny?” line of questioning for now, and he shook his head.

“Being alone doesn’t bother me.”

“So… you want me to leave?” I asked, and he shook his head again.

“I don’t care.  You seem friendly enough.  Stay if you want.”

I seemed friendly enough?  Gee, thanks.  “So why do you wear the mask?” I asked.

“No reason.”

“It’s okay if you are Sonny, you know.  It doesn’t bother me.”

“Are you a journalist?” The question nearly made me abandon the mission, but I managed to keep my cool.

“Of course not,” I lied smoothly, rolling my eyes as if the question was ridiculous.

He shrugged, eyes still on the court.  “Then yes, I am Sonny Wentworth.  Or so claims the FBI in the van outside my house.  Please do not spread it around.”

“So Greta is your daughter?” I asked, and Sonny’s head cocked to the side.

“I’m twenty-eight years old.  A little young to have a daughter that age.”

Was Sonny really that young?  Damn, now I really felt like an old man.  Well, it was still possible, and he hadn’t exactly answered the question…

“Was that a yes?” I asked with a grin.  “I promise to keep it to myself.  I’m no gossip.”  Just a gossip columnist.

He was silent for a moment then said, “It was, indeed, a hidden yes.  She’s the love of my life.”  For the first time, there was a hint of emotion in his tone.  “I don’t share that information publicly, however.  I have a very poor reputation, and I don’t want that to leak over to my daughter.  Hence the mask.”  He gestured to his face.  “Better to be thought of as the local odd ball than the rich killer out to steal your property, ruin your stocks, and possibly stab you in your sleep.”

I could understand his worry about his bad reputation affecting Greta.  According to Casey, she was a nice enough girl, if a bit strange.  I’d avoid posting about the daughter thing for awhile.  Maybe I could find something even better?  Hurting young girls was not my intent as a journalist.  I was sure there was plenty of other dirt in the Wentworth household.

“I take it that you’ve met my daughter, Casey?”

“I worked with Casey at the cupcake decorating stand for the Center’s fair three months ago.  She’s a very energetic young lady.”

That was a polite way of putting it.

“It’s nice that you attend so many of the games and fundraisers,” I said, giving him a smile.  “I wish I could, but as a single dad, it’s tough.  My ex-husband—and Casey’s real father—never makes it, though.”

“He should,” Sonny said.  “As a father, he has responsibility.  As for me, it’s easy enough to attend when you have copious amounts of money.  I simply inform those I work with that I’m going out, and they don’t argue.”

I’d heard that Sonny was anti-social and introverted to an extreme, but strangely, I wasn’t finding either of those things to be true.  He seemed perfectly happy to speak with me, and he didn’t seem displeased to have me seated next to him.  He was simply a little… disconnected.

“I take it you’re very close to Greta?” I asked, and Sonny chuckled, a sound that actually made me harden between the legs.  Wow.  I needed to check the BDSM clubs out if men in masks were what worked for me.

“I like children.  Much more so than most adults, to be honest.”

A billionaire who liked kids and went to fundraisers for teens.  If he didn’t wear masks to basketball games and get arrested for murder every other week, he would definitely have a partner.  Hell, he had a secret daughter, he could have a secret wife, too.  Or at least a girlfriend.  Or boyfriend.  Either one would ruin my plans.  Only one way to find out.

“So… do you have a boyfriend?”

* * *


“So… do you have a boyfriend?”

I stiffened as the most beautiful man I’d seen since my iffy brain decided that supermodels weren’t for us flashed me a big smile and asked about my dating life.

“No,” I replied, forcing my gaze straight ahead.  I was sure I seemed like a weirdo to him.  I should say something more than “no.”  Something that sounded… conversational.  Like…  “But my daughter bought me some dates.”

I realized how ridiculous that sounded the moment I said it, and I didn’t miss that what I’d said could be misconstrued as me paying for sex.  Wonderful.  I’d just informed the man of my dreams that my daughter got me whores.  Happy birthday, everyone.

“She… bought you dates?” Richie asked timidly, and the way his pink lips pursed together actually made me harden between my legs.  Considering that it hadn’t happened on its own accord in over a decade, it might as well have been a miracle.

“A dating service,” I said quickly.  “Not actual women—or men.  There’s an overpriced dating service, mostly marketed to old money, that includes a dating coach, personal matchmaking service, and several events.  I have no interest, but I think Greta is getting to an age where she’s eager for me to meet someone.  We live with a man I grew up with, Conner, and all of my friends are men she’s known her whole life.  I think she wants me to bring someone new into her little world.”

“She probably wants to make you happy,” Richie said, and I nodded, lips twitching in the closest thing I had to a smile.  Not that he could see it through the balaclava.  Part of me wished I could take it off—Cindy claimed I was handsome, yes?—but mostly, I was happy to hide behind it.  Surely he knew what I looked like from the media, and this way I wouldn’t have to face an in-person judgement on my attractiveness.  Something I still did not agree was one of my better traits.

“Have you gone on any of the dates yet?”

I shook my head.  “No.”  I stayed silent for a moment, then realized he was probably waiting for me to say more.  “I have an event coming up in two days.  It’s completely ridiculous.”

Especially considering I’d known most of the people attending my entire life and had no interest whatsoever in any of them.

“What is it?” he asked, looking intrigued—and beautiful.  His green eyes were lovely against his black hair, and his pale skin was a vivid contrast to both.  The slender cut of his long body drew my eyes downward in ways that made it hard for me to keep my eyes on the game, and the light freckles sprinkled across his nose made my heart beat fast.  He was truly gorgeous.  

I reached into my pocket and removed my cellphone, pulling up the e-vite I’d received.
“It’s called the FAQuickie—a combination of speed dating and twenty questions.  Yes, I do know how ridiculous it sounds.  You’re supposed to bring the sort of questions you want to ask on a first date but are never able.  You then have twenty minutes between you to ask them before you move to the next date.”

Richie chuckled, putting his hand on my arm, and I almost choked as I felt myself grow even harder at the touch.

“That’s hilarious.  Can I take a picture of that?  I want to show my friend.”

I nodded, more than willing to give the man anything he wanted at this point.

“Do you have a… significant other?” I asked, after a glance proved he wore no wedding ring.

Richie shook his head.  “No, I haven’t dated since my divorce.”  He paused.  “I might be looking to soon, though.”

I nodded, not sure how to reply.  Was he actually hinting that he might want to go out with a well known criminal hiding behind a mask, or was it simply an idle comment?  My fucked up brain didn’t have the slightest idea.  Damn it.  How was it that I could win international chess tournaments but couldn’t handle that question?  I was nearly as bad as Valentine these days, and the literal psychopath wasn’t even capable of feeling human emotions at all.

“Maybe I should join this dating service?  What do you think?”

“It’s probably too expensive if you’re a single father from this area.”

He made a slight face, and I wondered if that comment had come off as rude.  I didn’t find a low income to be unattractive or distasteful, but I knew that many people did.

“Being a single father is tough,” I added, hoping that would somehow better any possible insult.  “What do you do?”

“I clean townhouses, actually,” he said, looking embarrassed at the admission, though I wasn’t sure why.  Cleaning homes was a perfectly respectable form of employment.

“My housekeeper is the only one keeping me sane most days,” I said, “considering my daughter and Brother do nothing around the house other than leave their things everywhere.  I’m the only one of us willing to get on my hands and knees and clean a toilet or a bathtub, yet my Brother is perfectly happy to drink too much and vomit in either.”

Richie laughed.  “It sounds like you appreciate your housekeeper a lot more than my clients do.  But I’m fairly sure most of them have never cleaned a bathroom and have no idea the effort it takes.  I know my daughter hasn’t.”

“The only chore my daughter is willing to do is clean guns,” I said, wincing a little when Richie’s eyes widened.  I’d forgotten I wasn’t supposed to talk about guns.  “But that’s because she thinks it’s cool.”

“You let her clean guns?” he asked, and I shrugged.

“It’s not as though it’s a dangerous thing to do.  They aren’t loaded.”

He was silent for a moment, and I cursed myself for not listening to Cindy.  I should have studied my list more.  “Don’t talk about guns or shooting” was one of her main points.

The first quarter of the basketball game ended, and I frowned as I glanced down at the court only to see Greta disappear out a side door.

“Wonderful.  My daughter just disappeared out of the gym.  I really hope she decides to return.”

Richie chuckled, shaking his head.  “Everyone acts like newborns are so hard.  Please.  I can stand a screaming baby keeping me up for 72 hours.  It’s teenagers that are tough.”

I nodded my agreement.  “Yes.  It’s the ‘getting minds of their own’ part that does it.”

Richie laughed, then said, “Would you like to trade phone numbers?  Maybe we can talk more sometime.  I know you like being alone, but our talk has been interesting.”

“That would be good,” I said calmly, though my heart was pounding with excitement and a little bit of fear.  “I’ll give you mine now, and you can text me yours.”

“Sounds perfect.”

Kind of like his lips.  And his hips.  And every other thing about him."