Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cover Reveal: STEELE BROTHERS series


Today we are sharing the brand new covers for Jennifer Probst and her Steele Brothers Series. This series includes the titles Catch Me, Play Me, and Dare Me, but we have a surprise with this reveal! Jennifer has added a new book to the series, Beg Me, that will also be coming soon! Check out the details below for all the re-release dates.


Catch Me 
(Steele Brothers series, #1) - 
Re-releasing October 27th


Rick Steele has avoided relationships since he caught his fiancée cheating, but when his friend refers him to the exclusive agency, FANTA-C to experience the night of his dreams, he's not prepared for his emotional and physical reaction to his date. Tara shows him a raw passion and honesty he’s never encountered. For the first time, Rick wants more than one night, but he needs to catch her first...

Tara Denton escaped a brutal past and needs one night with a stranger to get beyond her sexual and emotional limitations. On the brink of recovering her strength and independence, she wants nothing to do with a relationship. But Rick Steele does more than rock her body…he rocks her heart. Tara has to make a choice, but is she ready to get caught?

Play Me 
(Steele Brothers series, #2) 
Re-releasing November 3rd


Professional gambler Sloane Keller is tired of dating weak willed men and longs to meet a man who challenges her dominant personality and forces her to submit. As the Queen of Cards, she’s used to making her own rules and craves the excitement of Vegas. But her inner heart cries out for someone who can be her match, both inside the casino and in the bedroom.

As the new dealer in town, Roman Steele is burnt out on women looking for a quick penny and a man to follow. He craves a woman with fire in her soul and a keen intellect who can challenge him. When his brother recommends the exclusive agency, FANTA-C to give him one perfect night, Rome is amazed at the complicated woman who challenges both his body and soul. But when the evening is over, will she be gutsy enough to offer him forever?

Dare Me 
(Steele Brothers series, #3) 
Re-releasing November 10th


As a military leader back from the war, and the youngest of his two dominant older brothers, Rafe Steele struggles with a secret. He craves surrender in the bedroom under the controlled hands of a Dominatrix. When his brothers offer him an experience through the exclusive agency, FANTA-C, he jumps at the chance to experience one perfect night. After one experiment, he’s sure he’ll be able to move on. But he never counted on Summer Preston to strip down his walls and make him want more so much more...

An elementary school teacher with a girl next door, fresh face, Summer is constantly barraged by men who want to take care of her, but she longs to meet a strong man who can handle her dominant ways in the bedroom. Trapped in her own storybook life, she books a one-night stand to finally experience her fantasy. But she never counted on Rafe Steele to push her boundaries in both the bedroom...and her heart.
Beg Me 
(Steele Brothers series, #4)
Brand new release coming November 17th


Remington Steele comes to Vegas to be with his brothers and try to get over the one woman he's never been able to forget. As childhood sweethearts, she hadn't been able to handle his Dominant tendencies, choosing to run away without a good-bye. But when he's suddenly face to face with Cara Winters, all grown up and finally ready to be his, Remington needs to make his own choice. To leave the past behind forever, or forgive and be with the woman he's always loved?

Cara wasn't ready to be the type of woman Remington needed in his life, so she disappeared and broke his heart. But she's changed, and is ready to embrace the woman she always craved to be. She begs him to take her for one night, and Remington finally agrees. Will they get a second chance at love, or are the scars from their past too deep to heal?

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at

Find Jennifer at: 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

ARC Review: SHOOTING DIRTY by Jill Sorenson

Shooting Dirty 
by Jill Sorenson

She's his only salvation.

Ace Clemmons has wanted Janelle from the moment he first saw her. Taking her captive while he carried out his last hit as a member of Dirty Eleven nearly broke him. Now that he’s gone straight, he’s back in her life, looking to stake his claim. He can’t erase the past but he’ll do anything to make it up to her.

Janelle Parker needs a new start, far away from the trailer park and the strip club. A down and dirty affair with a tattooed criminal is a step in the wrong direction, but she can’t resist Ace’s deliciously commanding touch, which has haunted her dreams for months. Soon they’re both in too deep, falling hard and fast—until an old feud with a rival motorcycle club explodes into an all-out war. Dirty Eleven's enemies won't hesitate to hurt Janelle to get to Ace. She has to fight to survive… and for the fiercest love she’s ever known.

There is something keenly harsh about this series. It starts with the stark landscape.  Having been to Indio, there are parts of that area that seem like a desert wasteland.  Amidst the casinos and resorts are run down mobile home parks with rusted out homes covered with tarp.  Jill Sorenson’s writing paints a very distinct picture of poverty and hopelessness.  But it is more than just the environment; the characters are gritty as well. 

As much as I like Ace, I really admire Janelle.  Janelle is a product of the area, and she has dreams of escaping. Working as a stripper at night, she is takes classes and tries to make a better life for her and her son.  What’s interesting to me is her attitude about her work and how she could put it into perspective. 

As much as she hated certain aspects of the job, performing at Vixen had made her a stronger person. She knew who she was in this setting. She knew exactly where the lines were, and how to stay behind them. There was no touching, no grinding, no nudity in the VIP room. Those professional boundaries were comforting.
Still, constantly running into obstacles can be discouraging: "She was tired of failing. She was tired of trying. Tired of caring." Loss of hope is the real struggle in Coachella Valley.

Ace is on the road to redemption.  Leaving the Dirty Eleven is a huge risk, but he is not the same person as he was when he joined.  Fatherhood changes him.  Love can change a person: 
Without Skye, he might not have been capable of romantic love. Becoming a father had softened him, just a little. It had made a tender place inside him, and allowed for another seed to take root. This seed had grown , against all odds, like a desert flower in stony sand.
His quest to have his daughter brings him to his moral boundaries.  What is he willing to do get custody of his daughter? And if he chooses to cross lines, will he be able to look her in the eye?  Will his actions taint the only pure and innocent thing in his life?

For me, the weakest part of the story is the relationship between Ace and Janelle.  They meet under dubious circumstances – actually, he kidnaps her and kills the father of her son in an earlier story. I may be a little too cynical here, but I’m not quite certain that Janelle would be so willing to forgive Ace for what he did to her.  I understand that their attraction is highly physical at first and it grows with time.  I’m still a little skeptical.  Nonetheless, for me, the appeal of this book is in the characters themselves.  They are multi-layered and just plain interesting.  Jill Sorenson is the master of portraying both quiet and elevated levels of desperation.


Conveying both dark desperation and bright hope, Jill Sorenson gives us an interesting character study. I’m really enjoying this different spin on the MC romance genre.  It’s out of the mold. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for this series.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own and I was not paid for this review. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Release, Review, Giveaway and Excerpt Tour: HARD AS STEEL by Laura Kaye

Hard as Steel - Review & Excerpt Tour - banner  

Are you suffering from Hard Ink withdrawal? Are you ready for the Raven Riders?  We excited to be able to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Laura Kaye's HARD AS STEEL!! HARD AS STEEL is a Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Series Novella brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

Hard as SteelHARD AS STEEL: A Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Novella

by Laura Kaye

About the Book: 
After identifying her employer's dangerous enemies, Jessica Jakes takes refuge at the compound of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. Fellow Hard Ink tattooist and Raven leader Ike Young promises to keep Jess safe for as long as it takes, which would be perfect if his close, personal, round-the-clock protection didn't make it so hard to hide just how much she wants him—and always has. Ike Young loved and lost a woman in trouble once before. The last thing he needs is alone time with the sexiest and feistiest woman he's ever known, one he's purposely kept at a distance for years. Now, Ike's not sure he can keep his hands or his heart to himself—or that he even wants to anymore. And that means he has to do whatever it takes to hold on to Jess forever.  

Amazon eBook Amazon Paperback

If you are a fan of Laura Kaye's Hard Ink stories, you will not be disappointed. You will recognize Jessica and Ike. They both work for Jeremy and are beloved like family.  Ike is also the a member of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club.  When Nick and the rest of gang get in over their heads, Ike offers help from the MC.  

One of the things I like most about this story is that Ike and Jessica have an established relationship.  In too many cases with novellas, insta-love abounds. However as co-workers and friends, it doesn't requires much imagination to see that these two beautiful, edgy people would find love. Unlike the previous Hard Ink books, there is more emphasis on the relationship between Ike and Jessica and less on the suspense. The biggest obstacle to this couple's relationship is their own inner turmoil and rightly so. Guilt, fear, pride can be the biggest hurdles in relationships. 

With the precision of a tattoo artist, Laura Kaye has a beautiful way of articulating the small truths that hit home: 
Funny thing about having choices taken away from you—it tended to make things all kinds of crystal clear. You either felt relief all the way into your bones because it was the right decision even if you hadn’t made it, or every cell inside you cried out in rebellion and loss and regret because you learned—too late—what it was you really wanted.
She also amps up the bedroom scenes.  This is as racy and explicit as Hard to Be Good. Whoa, just whoa. 

Hard as Steel seeks to establish the bridge between the new characters in future Raven Rider books and the old Hard Ink folks. Giving us just enough to tease our interest, we know that we will be seeing more of Doc, Bunny, Rodeo, Slider, Scooter, Blake, Jeb, and Bear. It's thrilling and exciting to see where Laura Kaye will take us next. 

   Fashinable muscular man with tattooes on grey background               


I’m thrilled to be here celebrating the release of my 21st book, HARD AS STEEL! After a midnight break-in at her apartment, close friends and Hard Ink Tattoo co-workers Ike Young and Jessica Jakes are forced into hiding—and forced to confront the feelings they’ve always denied for one another. I have always adored friends-to-lovers and forced proximity stories, and HARD AS STEEL delivers that and more, including a taste of both my award-winning and best-selling Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series! Check out this excerpt:

“Any better?” Ike asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

Jess peered up at him. “A little.”

His eyes narrowed. “You’re still cold now, aren’t you?”

She shivered and pulled the cover tighter around her shoulder. “Yeah.”

“Fuck.” Ike scrubbed a hand over his bald head and mumbled something she couldn’t quite make out. “Maybe I shouldn’t have put you in the tub after all.”

“I think it was the right thing, Ike. I was so out of it. It is better than it was before.” She worked at a small smile. No matter how bad she felt, the last thing she wanted was to make him feel bad given everything he was doing for her. As if he hadn’t already gone out of his way in giving her a place of refuge and his personal protection for as long as she needed it, now he had to play freaking nursemaid to a sicky. Which, on top of everything, was super attractive.

The only upside to that ice-cold bath was that Ike had gotten wet and tossed his shirt, and Jess thought she might be willing to be sick more often if it meant getting to see him shirtless. Because, holy bad-ass tattooed biker on a stick, he was so freaking hot. Cut muscles, ink everywhere, two insanely delicious indents low on his waist. And scars Jess had never seen before and had no idea how Ike had gotten. 

All that goodness and Jess couldn’t even see the big Ravens tat that she knew covered Ike’s broad back. But she’d seen it before, back at Hard Ink when Jeremy occasionally did a new piece for Ike. She’d seen it enough to know that she’d love to have a good reason to dig her fingers into that tat… 

Oh, for fuck’s sake, even sick she couldn’t stop fantasizing about what it would be like to be with Ike. Just once.


Her gaze snapped to his eyes. “Huh?” Hopefully the warmth crawling up her cheeks would pass for a fevered flush. Because she was so busted.

“I, uh, asked if you thought it would help if I got in with you.” The expression he wore said he was dubious about the idea.

And as much as Jess loved the idea, she didn’t want him doing anything with her that he didn’t really want to do. “That’s okay. Why don’t you go get some sleep now? It’s gotta be almost morning.”

He looked at her for a long moment, and then he tapped his hand against her arm. “Scoot over.”


“Damnit, scoot your scrawny ass over already.” He cocked an eyebrow, humor sliding into his eyes.

“Well, I’ll scoot over,” she said as she made herself move. “But you and I both know there ain’t anything scrawny about my ass.”

“Jessica?” Ike said as he got in next to her wearing only his jeans.

“Yeah?” The minute he was down, she nearly dove into the crook of his body, her forehead against his neck, her breasts against his ribs, her bare legs intertwined with his denim-clad ones. She wasn’t sure where to put her hand, because the not-sick part of her brain wanted to touch him everywhere right now oh my god I’m in bed with Ike! But she settled for resting it on his chest, the hair on his pecs ticklish against her fingers.

“Shut up and go to sleep.” He took the edge off the words by clasping her hand in his and pressing it more firmly to his skin.

“Be nice to me. I’m sick,” she said, burrowing in further.

Ike wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her tighter against him. God, he felt good, warm and hard and strong. “Woman,” he said, his voice full of gravel. “This is me being nice.”

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Laura Kaye’s HARD AS STEEL – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
September 23rd
The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt
What I'm Reading – Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt
JB's Book Obsession – Excerpt
Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt
September 24th
Coffee-Books-Life Blog – Review & Excerpt
East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt
Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review & Excerpt
Blushing Reads – Review & Excerpt
Krista's Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt
Kelsey's Corner Time – Review & Excerpt
Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt
A little fiction of every flavour – Review & Excerpt
Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust – Review & Excerpt
September 25th
Naughty Book Eden – Excerpt
Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt
Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt
mignonmykel : reviews – Review & Excerpt
Adventures in Writing – Excerpt
Hot Guys in Books – Review & Excerpt
JordansBookReviews – Excerpt
Books According to Abby – Review & Excerpt
September 26th
Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt
I Heart YA Books – Excerpt
Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt
Ashleyz Wonderland – Excerpt
Those Crazy Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt
September 27th
Connected by Books – Excerpt
Ripe For Reader – Review
Inner Goddess – Review & Excerpt
Cocktails and Books – Excerpt
Ticket To Anywhere – Review & Excerpt
My Favorite Things – Review
September 28th
Echoing Books – Review & Excerpt
Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt
Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt
The Book Reading Gals – Review & Excerpt
My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt
September 29th
Obsessed With Myshelf – Review & Excerpt
Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review & Excerpt
Feeling Fictional – Review
Alleskelle Blogs – Review & Excerpt
Becky's Book Bytes – Review & Excerpt
Teatime and Books – Excerpt
September 30th – Review & Excerpt
Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt
Booklover Sue – Excerpt
Renee Entress's Blog – Review & Excerpt
Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt
We stole your book boyfriend – Review & Excerpt
October 1st
Books Need TLC – Review
The Book Junkie – Review
Bitten By Love – Excerpt
Sweet Reads: You're In For A Treat – Review & Excerpt
Sofia Loves Books – Review
Confessions of a Bookfreak – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
October 2nd
Somewhere Lost in Books – Review & Excerpt
Cupcakes and Vodka Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Grownupfangirl – Excerpt
My Book Snack – Review & Excerpt
Talking Books Blog – Review & Excerpt
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt
Once Untold – Review & Excerpt
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Monday, September 14, 2015

ARC Review: Claimed by the Warrior by Savannah Stuart

Claimed by the Warrior 
by Savannah Stuart

Held captive against her will…

When Leilani travels to the mountain region of her new planet, Lumineta, she discovers the remote mountain clan has a law stating that any unmated female in their sector can be forced to live there for one moon cycle. At first she’s livid—until she realizes that being held captive means that the warriors bring her gifts and simply try to impress her as part of their courting rituals. But she’s not interested in anyone except the sexy leader—and living under his roof makes her feel nothing like a captive. He has her rethinking everything she thought she knew about Luminet males.

The last thing he needs in his life is a complicated human female…

Con has never thought much about taking a mate. As leader of his clan, he’s too busy and females are too complicated—especially those mysterious humans. But the longer he’s around Leilani, the more he realizes she’s worth fighting for. Despite his planet’s tradition that says two males mate with one female, he has no intention of sharing—or ever letting her go.

Short enough to read in one sitting, this little novella packs a spunky punch.  To me, this reads like an episode of a television series. Having not read the previous books,  it’s enough to complete a storyline and peaks enough interest to make me want to go looking for more.

This story has all the ingredients of a nice sci-fi romance.  We are on an alien planet populated by humanoids.  The Northern territories are the domain of the warriors – protectors and special ops soldiers.  Being in an inclement weather, the environment is perfect for military training, but not so much for attracting women.  As such, any single female entering the territory is subject to being held hostage for a moon cycle while the males try to woo her, the Ducereco law. The leader of the warriors, Conlaoch,  has no interest in claiming a mate.  He is focused on leading his men to ensure they are the best trained and most prepared unit.

Leilani is one of a group of women rescued from a dying Earth by the Lumenata.  She inadvertently goes into the Northern Territory knowing nothing of law.  She reluctantly agrees to stay because she is inextricably attracted to Con.  Of course, one thing leads to another and soon they are in each other’s arms.

This is no intricate love story and yes, there are some things in which you have to suspend reality.  The insta-love is fast – one moment Leilani is hating life and in the next she is in love.  Yet despite all this, I really did like this story.

In A Nutshell:
It was sweet and short and it is worth your time if you want a one-sitting romance.

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions are herein are my own and not a paid review. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: RYKER by Sawyer Bennett

Ryker has intrigued me and I was looking forward to his story.  Fortunately for me, it went beyond what I expected.  Thank goodness for Sawyer Bennett!

by Sawyer Bennett
Book 4, Cold Fury series

The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure’s on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

Goodreads Series Link
Buy Links:   Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Wow, this is my favorite kind of contemporary love story.  It is the best sports romance I’ve read in ages.  Ryker hits all the right marks – it features infinitely likable characters, relevant hockey passages, and introduces an interesting groundbreaking scenario.

Ryker is the best part of the story.  I love him because he is not only likable, but admirable.  I deeply appreciate his mature approach to looking at the issues and patience in taking action.  I adore his brand of protectiveness.  He is a man who knows his mind:

His dedication and loyalty. The way he loves deeply and surely. His joy and the way he just masters his life as if it’s effortless. He has such confidence in himself and doesn’t waste time on second-guesses once he’s given something careful consideration.

Gray is also worthy of respect.  She is a highly educated, experienced businesswoman with an intense love of hockey.  Her Ph.D. is in statistics and she brings that analytical skill to the front office of the Cold Fury, breaking new ground as the first female GM in professional hockey.  However, because of her early focus and success, she has never been in love…until Ryker.

Ryker is not interested in a one-night stand with Gray.  He’s a relationship man (this makes me swoon).  Yet, their relationship is complicated.  They both know there will be extra scrutiny because she is the GM and female.  Furthermore, Ryker doesn’t want to introduce a new woman into his daughters’ lives until there is a firm commitment.  Smart and mature.

What really seals the deal with Ryker is his willingness to look at the bigger picture and put her needs before his.  At a critical juncture, one of them is going to need to make a change. Given where he is in his career and where she is, he is willing to make the sacrifice: "I’ve reached all my goals and Gray is just starting to seek hers out. She not only deserves this chance more than me, but this team deserves her vision more than they need me.”

I also enjoyed learning more about what happens in the back office, a glimpse into the business end of sports. I have to wonder if Sawyer Bennett ever wanted to be a executive for a sports team.  She certainly knows her stuff!

In A Nutshell
I cannot recommend this story enough. Ryker hit a chord in me with exemplary, honorable characters and an arousing love story.  Best in the series, this one is not to be missed.

My father has never been one for pomp, sugar coating, or long segues. He cuts right to the chase. “I know you all have seen the news stories and I hate that it was leaked before I could talk to you. As of today, I have officially stepped down as the acting general manager of the Cold Fury.”

No one utters a word. Not a sound is made. This tells me that indeed, everyone has already heard the news.

“I’m appointing my daughter, Gray Brannon, in my place.”

And there it is . . . a distinct rustling sound as bodies shift in their seats. My father continues on, making firm and clear statements about my qualifications.

Graduated Princeton when I was nineteen.

Got my MBA from Kellogg at twenty-one.

Ph.D. in statistics from Berkeley at twenty-four.

Genius level IQ of 142.

Okay, Dad . . . that’s a little much. Get to the good stuff.

As I half listen to my father talk with pride about my two Olympic medals while playing for the U.S. women’s ice hockey team—one silver, one gold—I let my eyes roam over the group. The two front rows are composed of the coaching, equipment, and training staff. The players sit in clique-type groups based on what lines they play on. This isn’t by design, but I’m betting more because they have a unique bond and camaraderie. They almost have a sixth sense that enables them to read each other while on the ice.

My eyes pass over Ryker Evans, our team’s goalie, and then snap right back to him. He’s not watching my father but rather me, and I find myself unwillingly sucked into those silver-gray eyes. It happens every time I look at him, whether it’s in person or he’s giving an interview on TV, which is again proof that I am indeed a woman.

His lips tip up in acknowledgment of me and his eyes radiate congratulations. He gives me a nod of approval and then slides his gaze to my father, who is now lauding my scouting efforts for the Cold Fury. I’ve been the senior scout for the past two years and have scored some great players for the team.

I don’t immediately move my own gaze on, but rather take an unfettered moment to appreciate Ryker’s bold handsomeness. He’s called the Brick Wall in this league because he’s big. I mean really big for a goalie, but he’s still one of the most agile net minders I’ve ever seen. And still speaking as a woman for just a second, he has the face of a GQ cover model. In fact, I think he’s actually graced their cover twice if memory serves me. Dark hair, liquid silver eyes, and a beard of what looks like no more than three days’ growth that never gets shorter or longer, even during the playoffs. I’m quite sure when he’s ready to retire he could have a second career as a model if he was so inclined.

As it stands, however, I am far more interested in Ryker Evans for his athletic abilities than his face and I consider him to be one of my greatest acquisitions as a scout. I thought that even when our playoff hopes were crushed during Ryker’s first game in a Cold Fury jersey when he failed to stop a penalty shot, securing for us a big fat loss. I thought he was still a fantastic prospect even when the organization’s CFO, Bill Bowman, berated me in a staff meeting for insisting on such a pricey acquisition to the team.

I remember that day with actual fondness. Bill got all red in the face as he ranted at me, and my father just leaned back in his chair at the head of the conference room table and let me take it all on my shoulders. My father never fought my fights once I became an adult and I loved him for it. It meant he respected me.

It didn’t matter that it was wholly unfair to put that loss on Ryker’s shoulders. The fact is, the team—as a whole and with our regular starting goalie, Max Fournier—blew a three-game lead in the playoffs against Atlanta. Ryker came in cold off the bench when Max suffered a season- ending knee injury and was immediately placed in the net to face off against one of the best players in the league for a penalty shot.

And when he missed it, he became the pariah of the Cold Fury team.

At least for a little while.

But right now, it’s kind of hard to be the outcast when you have a .936 save percentage.

Yes, now my boy is back. He’s become a team leader—a man the younger guys look up to. He’s killing it on the ice, and I believe nothing is going to stop him this season. I can see it in his eyes, the tilt of his chin, the set to his shoulders. Ryker Evans, the Brick Fucking Wall, is going to lead this team—my team—straight into the playoffs. He has something to prove and that’s fine by me . . . whatever motivates him best.

“—which means that the only one who has to prove herself to you is Gray. I’m not even asking you to give her a chance because I know she’d never ask that of you either. I’m just telling you to watch and judge her on her own merits.”

My dad steps away from the podium and gives me a wink. He sweeps a hand out, indicating that I now have the floor. I didn’t have any expectations that I was going to be greeted with open arms. I didn’t expect applause, wolf whistles, or even metaphorical banging of hockey sticks to welcome me. In fact, I got more than I ever anticipated just from that quick nod of approval from Ryker Evans.

That’s fine by me.

Just makes this all the easier for me as I step up to the podium and prepare to cement my place in history.

Other Books in the Cole Fury Series
ALEX: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo
GARRETT: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo 
ZACK: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

USA Today and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.
Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her third book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, June 2015.

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