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His game…her rules.
Hockey star Jackson Knight has a hundred reasons not to return to Promise Harbor, but none of them are good enough to get him out of attending his best friend’s wedding. Even with a career-ending knee injury, every puck-bunny in town will be gunning for him.
Worse, getting a pair of cuffs slapped on him at the bachelor party could ruin any chance of getting back in the game, even as a coach. Unless he can convince the arresting officer to smooth things over—by going to the wedding as his date.
Hayley Stone figures posing as Jackson’s girlfriend is the least she can do to salvage his reputation. Plus, having a man with a toe-curling smile on her arm will keep her ex off her back.
What starts as a simple plan to deflect small-town pot-shots unexpectedly becomes a sizzling night that hits Jackson like a full-body-check to the heart. Now he’s determined to prove that she’s the best of reason of all to come home—for good.
Warning: Contains a fiery powerplay both on and off the ice, skin-tingling forced intimacy, interfering grandparents, bear costume hijinks, a haunted house and the kind of game-changing chemistry worth fighting for.
Her eyes flew open, but she didn’t bother to move an inch. “Another felony to add to the list, I see.”
Lounging against the doorframe, Jackson propped one arm overhead, a key in his hand. “Coach still hides his spare key under the mat. Didn’t think people still did that.”
“So you decided to let yourself in?”
“Well, I knocked first.” He crossed to the radio on the ledge by the window, and turned the volume down. “Guess you didn’t hear me. Funny how that works.” His gaze roamed the bubbles barely hiding her from view.
She resisted the urge to sink lower in the tub. Barely.
“Plus,” he continued, “I had hoped to catch you in the shower. This is actually much better.” He grinned.
Grabbing a chair, he turned it around backward and straddled it. “I have a proposition for you.”
“Do the words time and place mean anything to you?”
His only response was a lazy, once-over, his attention lingering just a beat longer at where her breasts were buried in bubbles.
“You need to go.” It was a pointless demand, and she knew it. Everything about the plain white T-shirt, faded jeans—the knees almost worn out—and the arms crossed over the top of the chair said, when I’m good and ready.
“We need to stay together.”
“It’s a mutually beneficial situation.”
“Just while I’m still in Promise Harbor.”
“Absolutely not.” When his gaze fell to her chest, she realized she’d risen a few inches above the bubbles. She slid back down, sloshing water over the edge of the tub. “No,” she repeated, more firmly this time. God, she had enough on her plate without throwing a fake boyfriend into the mix.
Admittance time again…This is my first Sydney Somers book. *ducks* I know, I know, its sad. I really should get out more. Expand my horizons, I know. I will fix that in the next coming weeks.
There is so much of this book that I loved and enjoyed. For whatever reason, I thought this book would focus more on the wedding but to my utter joy, it didn’t. It was about the groom’s (Josh *sigh*) best man and the sister of Jackson’s best friend. Yes, it started off with the wedding that didn’t happen but this story was so much more than that.
It was about two people who were at a crossroads in their lives and trying to figure out what they wanted. The secondary characters in this story from Matt, Gramps, Bernice, Cody, Kyle, the haunted house and even Hayley’s truck play a very important part in the book. Ms. Somers made the hockey shed an important part of the story. What I’m trying to say is that the attention to the little things in the book stood out for me. It enhanced the story and I don’t think I will look at a bear costume the same way again.
Also, most people don’t realize that I worked for the Dallas Stars Hockey Club from 1999-2004, so the underlying hockey theme was great for me. I really understood what Jackson had gone through and was still going through in his career. Also the scene with the Zamboni reminded me of Hank Azaria in the movie Mystery, Alaska.
Another thing that stood out for me was Hayley’s job. Ms. Somers did an outstanding job of explaining why Hayley was a cop and the side plot of the thefts was brilliant once the perp was caught. That was a great but sad twist in the book. It was also Hayley’s defining moment in the book for me. Hayley was a great heroine for me but that one moment will always stand out for me.
Jackson was so messed up in the head when he came for the wedding. He never expected to stay as long as did but he sure was glad that he did. He wasn’t the Uber Alpha male that we are used to reading. Instead, he didn’t really know why he was attracted to Hayley, the prospect of coaching in the NHL, the possibility of staying in Promise Harbor and then is ultimate decision. He was real, sexy but also tender and loyal.
I do want to caution you on something (it’s not bad 🙂 )…it’s about the smexiness. Don’t expect Jackson and Hayley to fall into instalove and jump each other at the first opportunity. Their relationship has a bit of history (and its sweet and funny at the same time) and it starts off as a friendship that turns to love. Yes, are they attracted to each other? You bet but it’s not rushed. Their smexy scenes are spicy but also emotionally charged and perfect for the couple. I appreciated it from Ms. Somers that she took the time to build them up for me and it made for a more enjoyable read when they finally did come together. A beanbag chair was involved and Hayley’s line afterwards had me laughing out loud. 🙂
If you want to read a story about a totally swoon worthy couple that hits all the right spots in a great contemporary romance, do not miss out on Busted.
Best book of 2013….
A born and raised Maritimer, Sydney Somers fell in love with writing when she finished her first story, Jenny and the Glowing Green Mittens. After attempting her first book in high school, she set writing aside to focus on school. While getting her degrees in psychology and education, Sydney tried her hand at journalism between part time jobs before finally returning to her love of writing.
Twenty-five novels and novellas later, Sydney is thrilled to spend her days slaying demons, running with shape-shifter packs and making the people in her head fall wildly in love. When she’s not writing or curled up with a good book, Sydney can be found chasing after her herd of kids, talking her way into a gourmet meal, exterminating rogue dust bunnies or joking about the pending zombie apocalypse. She loves hearing from readers and invites them to contact her anytime.
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