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[New Jersey Ice Cats Series, Book 3] by Anna Sugden
Author's Book Description :
- He's the perfect catch...for now!
When it comes to romance, Tracy Hayden is not looking for a rematch. She's had epic passion—and problems!—with professional hockey player Ike Jelinek. Brilliant on skates and magic in bed, his too-traditional-for-her views were like a bucket of ice water on their affair.
Then an injury takes Ike out of the game, and everything changes. Suddenly he needs her services-providing business—even though he once claimed it was their biggest problem. Tracy's determined to be professional, despite the sizzling attraction between them that won't go away. Maybe they need a second fling to fix that!
Book Series Links :
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About the Author :
Harlequin SuperRomance author, Anna Sugden, loves reading and writing happy endings as much as hockey! When not reading or watching hockey, she loves football, good food & wine, making simple cross-stitch projects, and collecting memorabilia, penguins and fab shoes!
A former marketing executive and primary teacher, Anna lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and two bossy black cats. Learn more about Anna, her heart-warming romances and her shoes at www.annasugden.com. You can also follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/annasugden.romanceauthor), Twitter (www.twitter.com/annasugden) Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/annasugden) and on the Romance Bandits blog (www.romancebandits.com)
Book Excerpt :
Ike swore as he wiped down his sweater and jeans with his handkerchief. From the heat around his zipper, the coffee had got too close to the family jewels for comfort.
Tracy Hayden had been a major pain in his ass from the moment she’d strutted into his life on those killer legs. With a toss of her dark hair and a glint in her brown eyes, she’d challenged him in every way. Still did. Damn woman was as irritating as grit in an oyster, except he never got a pearl. That said, a coffee shower was a first.
“I should apologize.” Tracy’s crisp tone, which emphasized her still-strong English accent, was grudging.
“Why bother, if you don’t mean it?” He stripped off his sweater. Beneath it, his T-shirt was damp but wearable. “I thought the one thing we had left was honesty.”
Her gaze lingered on his chest before flicking up to meet his. Color tinged her cheeks. “You’re right. Your remark was uncalled for, but I reacted badly.”
His conscience pricked him, taking the edge off his anger. It was partly—okay, largely—his fault. One minute Tracy had been cooing over her nephew and the next she was desperately checking her phone. Since she’d just told Maggie that every-thing was under control, what could be so freaking important?
Ike hadn’t deliberately followed Tracy into the waiting room. The cozy family image Jake, Maggie and Joe had presented had scraped on his already raw nerves, reminding him of the life he’d once hoped he could have with Tracy and making the hospital room feel claustrophobic. He’d escaped to get some air. He’d been surprised to find Tracy by the coffee machine and had nearly turned back. But then he’d seen that damn wiggle. That sexy hip-shimmy she always did when she was happy. The one that always fired up his pulse—and his groin.
He’d barely got himself under control when she’d spilled coffee on her hand. He’d wanted to kiss the burn better. The thought of putting his lips on her had sent desire rocketing through his body once more. Frustration had fuelled his annoyance. After all this time, he hated that he was still so pathetically affected by her, while all she felt for him was aggravation. And he’d snapped.
“No harm done,” he said stiffly. “I should apologize, too.”
“Okay.” Tracy dropped her empty cup in the trash and turned back to the coffee machine.
As she tapped in her selection, Ike stifled the urge to offer to buy her a drink. He turned to go when her voice stopped him.
“I know you won’t believe this, but I wouldn’t ordinarily let business intrude on such a special occasion.”
“So why the exception?” He was pleased his question held no hint of his skepticism.
“It was a time-sensitive issue.”
“Aren’t they all?”
“I suppose so.” Tracy smiled ruefully as she collected her drink. “But in this case, it would have been a costly mistake. The Bridgers are a major client.”
He frowned, unsure how one phone call could be that important. Unless she’d been about to lose the soccer team as a client. “Is Making Your Move in trouble?”
“Not at all. In fact I’m trying to broaden the range of services we offer with the new Helping Hands package.” Tracy explained the extra support her company wanted to give players and their families.
Ike obviously had a different definition of emergency. If her company had been struggling, he’d have understood. But how could adding business when her company was already successful be more important than celebrating a new member of the family?
Don’t go there.
What was the point? It would only lead to another fight and he probably wouldn’t survive another dousing unscathed. Besides, all of this only reinforced what he already knew—the two of them would never work. He couldn’t be with someone who put work ahead of everything and everyone else. He sure as hell wouldn’t compete with a woman’s career.
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