September 30, 2014

RELEASE DAY!: Beautiful Illusions By, Addison Moore

Today is the release day blitz for Addison Moore's newest release BEAUTIFUL ILLUSIONS. This is the 2nd book in the Beautiful Oblivion series. Make sure to check out the blurb and contest details below.



Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you—in the most heartbreakingly beautiful way.

Gavin’s story.

I fell in love hard and fast as lightning. As quick as she came into my world she was gone. Demi said she has secrets—that she’s done horrible things. Who hasn’t? I’m not going to let the past determine our future. Sometimes love lays forever at your feet and sometimes you need to fight for it. Demi is worth every damn battle we’ll have to go through. I’d burn down the world just to keep her safe. And, after what I’ve discovered, I just might have to. All I need with Demi is one more night to convince her we’re worth it. And that one night is going to cost me everything

Addison Moore's Bio:

Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. Previously she worked for nearly a decade as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit. She resides with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs on the West Coast where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she's not writing, she's reading.

Author Links:

Feel free to visit her blog at;

RELEASE DAY!: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy Book #2) By, Ann Aguire


We are absolutely ecstatic to bring you the Release Day Launch for Ann Aguirre's AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME! AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME is the second novel in Ann's New Adult Contemporary Romance 2B Trilogy Series, published by Harlequin HQN! If you haven't already read I WANT IT THAT WAY  buy it NOW. We can't wait for you all to read it so you can dish with us about it!

As Long As You Love Me


Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

ALAYLM Teaser 2


Mom was asleep, so I checked my email. I had the usual spam, plus notes from all my former roomies, which made me happy. I missed all of them, even Max, though things were unspeakably awkward between us at the end. I opened Nadia’s first:

LB! You know I miss you like crazy, right? Courtney’s in your bed right now, and she has completely alphabetized my books. I’m pretty sure there will be a lending library program implemented the next time I get home from work. So how’s Nebraska? Did you find a job yet? Have you started applying to any schools? I have like ten more questions but you’ll get grumpy if I dump them on you all at once. Hug and kiss my family for me, okay? Write back soon or I’m sending my brother to track you down.

She didn’t mention the hot single dad she’d broken up with right before I left. Mr. Hot Ginger had dumped Nadia for her own good, which would drive her quietly crazy. I’d felt horrible about the timing, but there was little I could do about it. I hadn’t gotten to know him well before I left, but Ty seemed like a good guy. He was only a few years older than us, but already had a four-year-old. That was the crux of the conflict.

Writing back, I didn’t quite nail the tone, talking about Rob too much and inventing interesting anecdotes because there was so little going on. I could’ve mentioned Krista, but Nadia had never been as close to her, and there was some tension by the time she moved. Mostly I didn’t want Nadia to worry; things would be fine once I got a job and had less time to fret about whether I’d made the right decision.

I opened Angus’s email next:

Hey, you. Got your check. It appears not to be rubber, but I said you didn’t have to pay me back. I hate you for leaving. Come back right now. I’ll wait. This is me, waiting. It’s been at least five minutes. You’re shattering my faith in humanity, Lauren. Take responsibility for it! Not sure what you’ve heard from Nadia, but she’s such a hot mess. I can’t believe you abandoned us. All the light has left my life. All of it! Okay, enough drama. I’m working on getting over Josh. Classes suck but I will survive. (You’re singing it now, aren’t you?)

“Damn you, Angus Starr. You know me too well.” I got up on my bed with a hairbrush and sang two verses before reading on.

In all seriousness, there is a Lauren-sized hole in my life. Please don’t lose touch. Write soon. Love and hugs, Angus.

It was simpler writing back to Angus; our friendship was sweet and uncomplicated. Briefly I considered deleting Max’s email without opening it, but that seemed like an asshole move. In the end, I read it, two lines only:

I’m sorry about everything. Take care of yourself.

Grab the whole series today! 

2B Trilogy

Author PhotoAbout Ann Aguirre:

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

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RELEASE DAY!!!!!!!!!!: All The Pretty Things (Pretty Book #3) By, M. Leighton

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We are so stoked to bring you the Release Day Launch for M. Leighton's ALL THINGS PRETTY! ALL THINGS PRETTY is a Contemporary Adult Romance and the third novel in M. Leighton’s Pretty Series. Sig's book is here!

All Things Pretty

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo


Pretending to be something they’re not, afraid to trust anyone completely, destined to tear each other apart– this is the story of unlikely love and unbearable consequences.

Sig Locke is a cop. He was raised by a cop and all his brothers are cops. He bleeds blue, believes in right and wrong, and sees in black and white, never in shades of gray.

But that was before he met Tommi.

Tommi, with her long legs and bright green eyes, she captured Sig’s interest from the moment he saw her. Even after he discovered who she was–the girlfriend of a drug dealer, the beauty behind a criminal–he still found her utterly irresistible. What Sig doesn’t know, however, is that she has a secret even a cop can’t uncover.

Tommi Lawrence hasn’t had an easy life, and it only got more complicated the day she met Sig. She learned long ago that she can’t trust anyone. Her gut tells her that Sig is no exception, her heart tells her that he is. But that was before she found out his real identity.

Can love be forged in a fire of lies? Or will the truth destroy them both?

Her lips are still curved when she turns her attention back to me.  Something about the moment hits me like a punch to the gut.  I think for a second that I could stand here and stare at her, just enjoy her smile and her happiness for hours.  Days, maybe.  But I can’t.   We can’t. So, instead, I brush a clump of mud from the end of her nose. “Have fun?”

“I did. Thank you. This was so good for him.”

“And you.”

“And me,” she concedes.

“You can be the real you around me anytime.  I won’t tell a soul.”

“So you prefer this?”

“Oh, hell yeah!  I don’t need glamorous. Or proper.”

“I’m not proper.”

“You forget that I heard your…expressiveness that day on the side of the road.  And it didn’t consist of ‘darn’ or ‘golly gee’.  But I haven’t heard anything like that come out of your mouth since then.”

“Ladies aren’t supposed to talk that way, according to Lance.”

“I don’t want a lady. I want a woman.  One who knows her own mind. One who wears what she’s comfortable in, one who says what she’s thinking.”  I take a step closer. I can’t help myself. Her scent draws me in.  Even covered in mud, she smells like sexy sunshine.  “I want the woman who kisses like she’s on fire and makes me feel like I’m the only one who can put her out.”

“Sig,” she begins.

I break in to cut her off.  I know her objections.  And I know how much I don’t want to hear them.  “I’m just being honest.  I’m not even touching you.”

Her eyes are glued to mine, a damn near irresistible gravity pulling us together.  “It’s not like you can anyway.  I mean, we’re in public.  With my little brother.  What could you possibly touch?”

I reach down and smear my hand in mud.  With her eyes locked on mine, I reach between us and flatten my palm on her chest, right over her heart.  “This.  I’d touch this.”

M. Leighton Bio:
Author Photo

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, M. Leighton, is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, M. Leighton finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, these days M. Leighton enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.
A note from M. Leighton: I love coffee and chocolate, even more so when they are combined. I'm convinced that one day they could be the basis for world peace. I also love the color red and am seriously considering dying my hair.

September 29, 2014

BOOK BLITZ: Stronger (The Unit #2) By, Sarah Greyson

Stronger by Sarah Greyson 
(The Unit #2) 
Publication date: September 26th 2014
Genres: Erotica, Romance
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Haunted by the loss of his beloved fiancée a year and a half ago at the hands of a terrorist cell, ex-Green Beret Rob Fabik doesn’t know how to let go. The sounds and sights of her death replay in his mind, and he tortures himself with the guilt he feels over not being able to save her life, distracting himself with alcohol and women.

Attending Harvard University, Lola Sardeson is a down-to-earth, rich girl who is tired of living under her father’s thumb. One night out with friends quickly turns into a nightmare as she is kidnapped from a busy Boston nightclub. Her nightmare intensifies as she learns that the Ortiz Cartel sells young, innocent girls into the sex-slave trade.

The Unit’s mission is to rescue Lola from the nefarious clutches of the Ortiz Cartel. From the instant Rob sees Lola, she touches something deep inside him, drawing out his protective nature. These feelings only serve to intensify the guilt he feels over losing his dead fiancée.

Forced by circumstance under the same roof, Lola inspires Rob to grow stronger. Can he suppress his feelings for Lola, or will guilt consume him alive? Can he forgive himself for not saving his fiancée? Can Rob save Lola and protect her from the greedy hands of the Ortiz Cartel?

Intended for mature audience 18+ for sexual language and violence.

This book can be read as a standalone.

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Chapter 13

Lola sat in the SUV with Rob right next to her on the way back to Blackrain’s office. She was very conscious of where Rob’s leg was because it kept brushing against hers. Each touch would heat her stomach and make her feel longing deep in her core. She felt butterflies at just the sight of Rob. She had never experienced anything close to this before. Sure she had guys rubbing up against her when she danced, but never in her life had she ever felt this emptiness mixed with fluttering in the pit of her stomach, this longing for a man to be inside her, filling her up, like she felt for Rob.

They pulled in front of a small, non-descript two-story brick building that housed Blackrain Security. High-tech security cameras followed them. The inside was much like she expected. The downstairs had a few fake plants in a few corners and there were cubes that each held desks. She walked past the kitchenette on her way to the stairs. The kitchen contained a small table and three chairs, a microwave, a stove and oven, a refrigerator, and a coffee pot. It was a complete setup. Often, the men stayed overnight; they needed a working kitchen. The staircase was on the outside of the wall and led to a closed glass door. She imagined the upstairs was where they held their meetings. She didn’t see any conference tables in amongst the cubes. They made their way up the metal staircase and entered through the glass door. The upstairs was much more modern, with Impressionist paintings adorning the walls. Again, she saw the same fake plants she saw downstairs. 

Someone liked their greenery. Rob stopped outside of another door, this one frosted glass. The name on the door read ‘Tyrrell Greenwood.’ Rob knocked twice and heard, “Come in.”

Rob placed his hand on the small of Lola’s back and led her into the office. Lola’s father was seated at the large conference table. He stood and rushed to hug her. She hugged him back with all her might. She was happy to see the relieved look in his eyes. As soon as they finished with the embrace, Mr. Sardeson stepped back to look at his daughter. She was still wearing the white negligee and coat from the previous day.

“Can someone get her some clothes for Christ’s sake?” Mr. Sardeson bellowed through the office.

“Of course, sir. Aaron, please get Ms. Sardeson some clothes from the locker room.” 
Tyrrell motioned for Aaron to move quickly.

Rob found Mr. Sardeson in three long strides. He grabbed the man by the collar of his expensive suit and bunched it up at the neck. “How could you?” Rob spat into his face. He was so close to Mr. Sardeson he felt the huffed breath from the man on his face.

“What are you talking about?” Mr. Sardeson accused acting tougher than he felt.

“You could have gotten her killed. All over money,” Rob yelled. “They came after us. Your guy, who pulled the money, didn’t wait long enough. You know what? Forever won’t be long enough. They want her. She is worth three hundred and seventy five grand to them. You think they are just going to let her walk away?”

“I only provided three hundred and fifty thousand. Where did the other money come from?” Mr. Sardeson’s only question.

“That’s not your concern,” Rob responded. He really didn’t want Lola to know he put up the remaining amount.

“Wait just a second. What do you mean he pulled the money?” Tyrrell asked looking to Rob.

“He gave us about a twenty-minute window from the time the auction closed to the time he pulled his money. Thank God we were already in the SUV when Ortiz’s men started after us. We barely made it back alive. We had a good, old-fashion shoot out in the streets of some Mexican town.” Rob looked directly at Mr. Sardeson. So much for Lola’s father liking him.

“Mr. Sardeson, is this true? Did you pull your funds?” Tyrrell asked moving to pry Rob’s hand from his expensive collar.

“There was no way I was paying some criminal for the return of my own daughter. That is what I hired you to do. And I see I made the wise choice.”

“Mr. Sardeson,” Tyrrell said in his most patronizing voice. “Rob is right. They consider 
Lola their property. They are going to come after her.”

“I plan on having her back under my protection this afternoon. She will no longer be attending Harvard. She will have around the clock body guards . . .”

“I’m not going back with you, Daddy,” Lola interrupted in a low-pitched voice. “I will continue to go to Harvard. I will continue to have my own life.” She raised her chin and met her father’s calculating eyes. She stood solidly waiting for his tirade. Surely, he wouldn’t cause a scene in front of people. Nevertheless, she stood rooted to her spot, spine straight, eyes focused on her father’s.

“You, young lady, will be coming home with me.”

“I will not. I will find my own protection.”

“With what means? I will cut you off so fast . . .”
Inhaling deeply through her nose, she responded, “Good. I’ll use what I have in my trust fund. I’ll find a job like everyone else. I don’t want you to hate me, Daddy. I just want to have my own life. I’m tired of you controlling me.”

“And how are you going to afford protection? You need me.” He was looking straight into her eyes begging her to defy him. “Around the clock protection isn’t cheap. It will eat through your trust fund in a couple of months.”

“I will be her protection, sir.” Rob moved to stand beside Lola.

“See, Daddy. It’s settled. Rob will protect me.”

“I forbid it.”

“You don’t have a say, sir,” Rob’s steel grey eyes met dark, menacing ones. “Your daughter is an adult. If she doesn’t want to go home with you, she doesn’t have to. But rest assured, I will die before I let anything happen to her.”

“Lola,” Mr. Sardeson resorted to begging.

“I’m sorry, Daddy, but my mind is made up.”

“If I provide funding for this protection, can we make sure he has backup.” Mr. Sardeson could never refuse his daughter anything. It was his fault she was still in danger.

“We can work something out.” Tyrrell looked at Rob. “Care to tell me where the additional funds came from?”

“I’d rather not,” Rob responded.

“That wasn’t really a question.”

“Fine. I put in the twenty-five grand, or we would have lost the auction,” Rob said lowering his head embarrassed.

Lola’s mouth dropped open. “Why?” she whispered.

“I couldn’t lose you,” Rob said looking into her beautiful sea-foam colored eyes. All of the men in the room exchanged glances. What did he mean?

“I will pay you back,” Mr. Sardeson said reaching into his breast pocket and removing his checkbook.

“Lola, do you mind if I talk to my boss and your father for a minute, alone?” Rob asked aware that damage had been done, aware that he had revealed too much.

“Perfect timing. Aaron, will you show Ms. Sardeson to the ladies’ room so she can change?” Tyrrell asked.

Aaron opened the door for Lola, and she followed him down the hall. When Rob could no longer hear footsteps, he spoke. “I do not want my money back. I don’t want payment for this job. I’m protecting her because I want to. If you want to pay the company for the other men’s involvement, that’s fine, but I will not take a penny of your money.” He looked at Tyrrell, and Tyrrell knew he was serious.

“If you aren’t doing this for the money, son, then why are you doing this?” Mr. Sardeson asked cutting through the bullshit.

“I care for your daughter. Nothing will happen to her. No one will touch her, not as long as I am around. That’s all you need to know.”

“Tyrrell, I guess that leaves you and me to talk business,” Mr. Sardeson said, dismissing Rob and turning his attention back to Tyrrell.
Rob waited outside the Ladies’ restroom for Lola. He wanted to be the one to tell her the good news. She would get what she wanted. She could go back to Harvard. But he also had to explain his new role in her life. She exited the bathroom dressed in men’s jeans at least two sizes too big for her and a man’s plain white V-neck undershirt. She had to keep a hand on the pants or they would fall down.

“Thanks for that. With my father. No one has ever stood up to him for me before.”

“You don’t have to thank me. You deserve to live your own life. I do need to talk to you though,” Rob said, trying hard to avoid looking at her perky breasts covered by the thin fabric.

“Sure,” she said joining him in his walk down the hallway.
When they reached his cube, he pulled out his chair and offered her a seat.

“Thank you.”

Rob leaned against his desk and crossed his arms over his chest. “Listen, I know we just met, but this detail I signed up for means you and I live together - twenty-four seven. You are never out of my sight.”

“What about classes?” she inquired anxious to get some resemblance of her old life back.

“I will escort you to your classes, and I will be waiting for you when you leave.”

“What about your life?”

“Until this is over, you are my life.”

“What about your girlfriend?” Surely he had to have a girlfriend, a man as gorgeous as he was. She let her eyes wander down his toned neck, over his Adam’s apple, down to his broad, muscular chest. Her eyes traveled further still, subconsciously, down to his narrow hips and his strong, powerful legs to the tips of his work boots. She liked everything she saw. She took her time working her eyes back up his body while she waited for his response.

He felt it. He felt her eyes as if they were a soft caress. Her eyes pierced his body and heated him. His groin pulled. She wanted him. His heart actually fluttered in his chest. She made her appreciation of his body known. He liked that. She was bold and brave. He admired that about her. She was also honest. He thought about it and realized he had been completely honest with her about everything. Even with how he was feeling, although under the guise of protecting her. He told her she was his life, and he meant it.

“I don’t have a girlfriend,” he said suddenly feeling sad. His thoughts were turning back to Lizzie. He started to feel the guilt of forgetting his Lizzie for as long as he had. 

Lola had taken his mind and cleared it of everything but her. How could he forget the love of his life? Could he ever forgive himself for forgetting her? Whatever this pull Lola had over him was, he would have to fight it. She was his mission. He would protect her because, if he was being honest with himself, he cared about her. She affected him, relieved his scarred mind. But he would never forget his Lizzie again. She deserved better than that.

“Oh,” she said in surprise.


Sarah is an Amazon Best Selling Author. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two children, and four spoiled animals. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Communications with a concentration in Professional Writing and her Master's Degree in Education.

When she is not writing or spending time with her family, she loves reading sizzling romantic suspense novels that make her blush. She loves a glass of pinot grigio, back-yard barbecues with friends and family, and helping her kids with their homework (in that order).

Her interests span all genres: from Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to Slave by Shari Hayes to The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV. Sarah's favorite genres are contemporary romantic suspense and erotic suspense; the types of novels she crafts. While the concepts are familiar and comfortable, she brings her own unique story and personality to everything she writes. She loves the feeling of crafting a spicy, action-packed novel. Writing is her passion. She wants to leave her readers breathless after experiencing the intense ride that is her novel.
Author links:

BOOK BLITZ: Skating on Thin Ice By, Jami Davenport

Enter to Win

$20 Amazon Gift Card, Swag Pack &

Winner's Choice Backlist Romance

Jami Davenport presents Game on in Seattle, a new series featuring Seattle sports teams, hot men, and strong women.

He trusts his gut, she trusts her numbers, and neither trusts the other, as a billionaire's mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.

Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring a professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city's team, Ethan is anxious to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.

Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team's testosterone-loaded staff. When Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team's weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own--for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level. Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss.

Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions--for the team, for hockey, and for each other. Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts? 

Ethan Parker came into this world with a silver spoon in his mouth. He would’ve preferred a hockey stick in his hands, but sometimes those were the breaks.
He’d never skate in the pros or hoist the Stanley Cup in victory, but that didn’t squelch his enthusiasm for everything hockey. Two to three times a week, he played for an adult league in a rink minutes south of Seattle, while he dreamed of one day bringing professional hockey to the Emerald City.
And maybe, just maybe, he’d realize that dream in the near future.
Months ago the Sleezer brothers—yes, seriously that was their name—contacted the Puget Sound Hockey Alliance through Ethan’s attorney, Cyrus North, with an offer Ethan couldn’t refuse, so he did what any billionaire with a hockey obsession would do—he wrote them a big check and waited.
And waited.
And waited.
Increasingly impatient, he slid a blank check for expansion fees under the table to the league and waited some more. Nothing happened. Not a damn, fucking thing. So much for money talking. His considerable bankroll wasn’t even whispering to the hockey powers that be.
It’d been months since he’d heard even a peep. While a day didn’t go by that he didn’t wonder what the hell was or wasn’t happening, tonight wasn’t about his frustrations with professional hockey. Tonight was all about immersing himself at the game’s most basic level while getting down and dirty with his amateur teammates. Tonight was about playing the game he loved with a bunch of guys equally as rabid. And tonight reminded him of all the reasons why he couldn’t give up until Seattle had a big-league hockey franchise.
Hockey fans like these deserved a team. The city deserved a team. And the effing Canucks deserved an effing rival. Oh, yeah, he could picture it now. Ethan grinned at the thought of trading trash-talk with some of his Canadian business associates.
Regardless, he forced himself back to the here and now. His team, the Mercer Mets, were playing for the adult league trophy, against the too-many-fucking-time champion Bothell Bombers. He’d looked forward to this game all day long—hell, all week long—and had arrived early to take practice shots at the net until he was cross-eyed.
Both teams traded scores in the first two periods until the Bombers took the lead with three minutes remaining in the third. Ethan skated down the ice after a runaway puck only to have Hal Johnson, a dirty player who’d had it out for Ethan all season, slam an elbow into his face. Skidding on his shoulder, Ethan hit the boards head first, sending waves of pain through his neck and back to all parts of his body. Even his dick hurt. Gathering his bruised wits about him and angrier than hell, he shot to his feet, head down, and rammed into Johnson, lifting the asshole off his skates and catapulting him across the ice.
Whistles blew and striped shirts stepped between them before they could do real damage to each other. Ethan attempted to lunge at the asshole but his teammates held him back. Fighting didn’t go over very well in this amateur league, but that’d never stopped Johnson before, and Ethan had been known to drop the gloves a time or two when absolutely necessary. He deemed this necessary. Obviously, the referee didn’t agree. Within seconds Ethan cooled his ass in the penalty box.
Fine. Whatever. Fuck this.
He pounded his hockey stick against the boards in a futile effort to spur his team on to winning the trophy.
The Mercer Mets’ goalie, a convenience store clerk who spent every spare penny on hockey equipment and fees, pushed up his mask to wipe away the sweat then hunkered down again as Bothell Bombers skated toward his net. Nat, the Mets’ best defenseman and a laid-off Boeing machinist, cut off the Bombers’ center and took a hack at the puck. Not pretty, but it shot down the ice away from the net where Syd, their top scorer and a city cop, sped after it and a hit slap shot toward the net. It missed by a fraction.
Ethan glanced at the scoreboard. Seconds left. Leaping to his feet, he shouted encouragement, but it was too late. The final buzzer sounded. With a heavy sigh, Ethan skated back onto the ice to shake hands with the opposing team like the good sport he really wasn’t. Except for Johnson. Instead he trash-talked the jerk as he walked by and engaged in a pushing match until their respective teammates pried them apart once more. Since he wasn’t going to get any satisfaction, Ethan headed for the locker room, sad to see the season end. It’d been damn fun while it lasted, but there was always next year.
“Ethan.” Cyrus, his attorney, stopped him short as he stepped off the ice.
“Come to watch me skate like crap and blow the game for the guys, Cy?” Ethan managed a grin despite how pissed he was at himself. Sure it was just a game in an adult league, but he hated losing. Hell, it could’ve been a pickup game of basketball in the parking lot and he’d treat it like the NBA finals.
Only Cy was grinning, and Ethan doubted it was because he enjoyed Ethan’s pain—which the bastard usually did.
“They’re ready, E.” He kept grinning, and Ethan could not for the life of him understand what the fuck they were ready for.
“Ready?” Ethan halted and squinted at his friend, not making sense of the words. That blow he’d taken to the head earlier must’ve have done more damage than he’d originally thought.
“All our hard work is about to pay off.” Cy looked ready to pee his pants from excitement.
Ethan went still inside, as Cy’s words sank into his thick skull. His heart stopped beating. His lungs stopped heaving. Nothing moved. Not an eyelash. Cy waited patiently, still grinning.
“What did you say?” Ethan pushed his dark hair off his forehead and wiped his face with a towel Nat tossed his way.
“They want to sell. The league is on board. Everything’s in place but with the stipulation that the sale be kept absolutely quiet as long as the Giants are in the playoffs.” Cyrus, a hockey fan in his own right, hopped from one foot to the other as if he were walking over hot coals. His hips swayed, and he danced to the disco music constantly playing in his head. He wouldn’t win Dancing with the Stars, but Ethan gave him points for enthusiasm.
“Playoffs?” Ethan said.
“Yeah, the Giants made the playoffs tonight by a thread.”
Ethan sat down hard on one of the bleacher seats, looking up at Cyrus. “As late as last week, the Sleezers swore they’d go down with their sinking ship.”
“That was before they lost a harassment lawsuit to a few former employees. Now a couple hundred million in their pockets is looking damn good.” Cyrus checked his watch. “I have the private jet idling on the tarmac at Boeing Field before the flakes change their minds. Again.”
“Did you call Reynolds?”
Brad Reynolds had been Ethan’s best friend since junior high football. The Reynolds family represented old Seattle money. Even if their fortune might be somewhat diminished of late, they still commanded instant respect and brandished major political clout. That political clout was proving to be more valuable than the cash when it came to getting permits approved for the new ice arena. Brad, the middle Reynolds brother, had jumped on board immediately as the family representative, while his two brothers, parents, and a sister came along for the ride as somewhat silent partners. None of them knew a damn thing about hockey, but they loved sports and were more than willing to learn.
“Yeah, Brad’s on his way. He’ll meet us at Boeing Field.”
Ethan checked his watch. Six-thirty on a Saturday. It was going to be a long but profitable night. “Crap. Let me shower, and I’ll be out in fifteen.”
Ethan made it out in nine minutes. The only reason he wasn’t quicker was because of the required commiserating with his teammates over the abrupt end of their season.
Several hours later, Ethan and Brad signed on the dotted line as majority shareholders and main representatives of the Puget Sound Hockey Alliance.
Seattle had a professional hockey team.
Only no one could know it.

Not yet.

An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series.  Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn't have it any other way.