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Place Your Bet

When a woman says she’d bet on you, you take the gamble and place your bet.

Place Your Bet is a Mafia, Organised Crime Romance from USA Today Bestselling Author, Hanleigh Bradley.

When Jax winds up in the hospital with a knife wound and amnesia, he can’t help but fall for the pretty little nurse tending to his wound.

Problem is the police have questions and some woman called Olivia, or maybe Emily, keeps telling him she’s the love of his life. There’s something important he needs to do, a message he needs to deliver and someone he needs to protect, but he can’t for the life of him remember anything.

When the darkness from his world crashes right into his pretty little nurse Savannah’s life, he has a choice to make and more than one life hangs in the balance.

Savannah or Olivia?

Place Your Bet is the second book in Utterly Betrayed, a Mafia Romance Series.

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My eyes open with a start, and I almost dart right off the bed. Adrenaline pumps through my body, as I push away the person holding me down. Her small hands remain on my shoulders, keeping me planted to the bed. For such a tiny woman, she’s surprisingly strong.

‘Get off!’ I shout, pulling at the needle in my arm. I need to get out of here. There’s somewhere I need to—

‘Stay still,’ she says with more authority than I expect. ‘If you move, you’ll re-open your wound.’

What wound? I don’t know what she’s talking about. Where the hell am I?

‘You’re in the hospital,’ the little brunette nurse says. ‘You were brought in with a knife wound.’

‘Knife—’

What is she talking about? There’s something I need to do. Somewhere I need to be. Someone I need to save. My mind is hazy as I try to remember what I was doing just a few hours ago.

I need to go.

‘The police are here to see you. But the doctor insisted that you wouldn’t be up to answering questions until he’s examined you.’

‘The police?’ Why would the police want to talk to me?

‘Your wound,’ she says, nodding towards my side where there’s a large white bandage. It’s only when I look down and see the bandage that I register the pain. ‘It’s just normal practice for the police to ask a few questions when anyone comes in with a knife wound.’

I’m struggling to process what she is saying. ‘I have somewhere I need to be,’ I tell her, trying to get up again.

‘Not until you’ve seen the doctor, you don’t,’ the nurse replies.

‘I—’ I stop abruptly, unable to recall where I need to go. It’s not just that, though. I can’t remember my—

‘JAX!’ A woman rushes across the ward. I look around for who she might be talking to, but I appear to be the only patient in the room. The bed beside mine is empty. ‘JAX!’

She throws herself at me, knocking my side as she does. With an ‘umphf’ I pull away.

‘I’m sorry, Jax!’ There are tears in her eyes. ‘It’s all my fault.’

This is so fucking confusing. I don’t know what she’s talking about or who Jax is. Suppose it could be me, but it doesn’t sound especially familiar. I would have thought I’d feel something, a stirring of rightness or something, at hearing my own name.

‘Do I know you?’ I ask, shrugging off her hug.

‘Know me?’ She stares at me in disbelief. ‘It’s Olivia. Remember?’

Olivia? Olivia who? There’s something familiar about the name, a warm feeling in my gut, but other than that I haven’t a clue who the woman in front of me is.

‘Are we friends?’ I blink at her.

‘Friends?’ She looks between me and the nurse with a look of evident confusion. ‘No. We’re not friends. We’re—’

The doors open again and what must be fifteen people rush into the room.

‘I told you lot to wait outside,’ the nurse says sternly.

‘Jax, how are you doing, man?’ The guy speaking looks like a thug. His hair is cut short and he has tattoos on every visible part of his body. It’s not the hair or the tats though, that really make him scary. It’s the gash running down his cheek.

I look between all the people in my room, searching for something, someone I recognise. But nothing.

‘Is my name Jax?’ I ask.

‘You don’t know your own name?’ the guy with the gash asks as the others exchange worried looks. All except Olivia. For just a fraction of a second, I think I see a smile on her face, but then it’s gone and she once again looks concerned for my well being.

‘You don’t remember?’ The nurse pushes through the crowd towards me. ‘What day is it?’

I don’t know the answer. Instead of answering, I shrug my shoulders, only to realise that might have been a mistake when a shooting pain goes through my side.

‘What was the last thing you remember before being hurt?’

I shake my head.

‘How did you get hurt?’ she presses.

‘I guess I must have been stabbed.’

‘But you don’t remember it?’

Again, I shake my head. ‘No. Sorry.’

‘I think I better get the doctor,’ she says calmly, although her gentle eyes are anything but calm.

Amnesia? Did I maybe hit my head?

Olivia is fussing with my pillows. ‘You had me so worried, Jax!’

‘What happened?’ I ask gruffly as I try to sit up.

‘We don’t know,’ a young man, surely no older than twenty, pipes up. ‘I found you bleeding in your apartment.’

‘They attacked me at home?’

Nothing about this makes sense. Was it a burglary? And why did Olivia say it was her fault?

‘Do you remember us?’ the lad asks almost shyly.

Shaking my head, I say, ‘Sorry.’

‘That doesn’t matter right now,’ Olivia cuts in. ‘You need to rest, Jax. All of this can wait.’

Wait? I want to know who stabbed me!

‘I want to talk to the police.’

The entire room goes silent. They all stare at me, their eyes wide. ‘What would you do that for?’ one of them asks, eventually.

‘I want to know what happened.’

‘They won’t know any more than we do,’ Olivia tells me. But I have no clue what she means. Of course, they’ll know more than we do. They’re the police, after all. It’s their job.

My mind returns to that thing that I need to do. I can’t for the life of me remember what it is. Or why I need to do it. Or who it is that needs saving. I just know that time is of the essence. I have to get out of the hospital.

‘I need to go.’

‘Go?’ Olivia asks. ‘You’re not going anywhere. Not until you’ve seen the doctor.’

Her eyes are cold as she looks sternly down at me and I get the distinct impression that she’s not used to being refused.

‘The boss is right, mate,’ the guy with the gash says. ‘You need to stay here.’

Boss? I look back at Olivia.

‘Do we work together?’

‘Yeah.’ She gives me a small smile, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. ‘That and we’re—’

‘You and the boss have been best friends your whole life,’ the kid says.

Olivia rolls her eyes. ‘And more than that.’

‘More—’ I begin to ask, but the question falls away when the door opens again and the nurse returns with the doctor.

‘Right. Everyone out,’ the nurse says. ‘Doctor Andrews needs the room.’

Her voice has got that authoritative little lilt to it again. And I can’t help but smile. She’s adorable.

Everyone leaves except Olivia. She comes to stand by the head of my bed, folding her arms across her chest. I wonder what sort of relationship we have. Are we really just good friends? Or are we sleeping together? Or are we in love?

I don’t feel like I’m in love. I don’t imagine that’s the sort of thing I could forget.

Except, you hear all the time about people with amnesia forgetting everything and everyone. Even the people they love most in the world.