Mar 18 2017 12:00pm
Hot on Ice Sampler #4: Hockey Romances by Katie Kenyhercz, Lena Hart, and Kim Golden
The New Orleans Cajun Rage professional hockey team just won the Cup. No one thought they’d do it: they were a team of shoulda beens, never coulda beens and a star or two. They’d only been in the Crescent City for three years before this year’s Cinderella run that had them skating off the ice with the championship. Over the following summer, each player gets to keep the Cup for a day. Nobody knows why, but whoever has the Cup falls in love.
USA Today Bestsellers Robin Covington, Kimberly Kincaid, Nana Malone and Virginia Nelson, Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Angi Morgan, along with Xio Axelrod, Christi Barth, Andie J. Christopher, Avery Flynn, Kim Golden, Lena Hart, Desiree Holt, Robin Kaye, Katie Kenyhercz, Heather Long, Kate Meader, Susan Scott Shelley, and Misty D. Waters bring you 18 romances with smoking hot heroes—both on and off the ice.
Get a sneak peek at Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology (available March 21, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene from three books in the collection.
Bear Naked by Katie Kenyhercz
Still holding the Cup but now at chest level, he skated to her. “Do you remember that game we won against St. Mary’s?”
We won. She hadn’t been on the ice that night, but she’d cheered hard and yelled more directions than the coach. The funny thing was, the guys had actually listened to her. She might not have been able to play on an all-boys team, but she’d still been a part of it, even had a jersey. He was asking about a specific moment from that game, and she laughed. “Not a single injury in three periods and you separated your shoulder jumping into the boards celebrating the victory.”
After all this time, apparently he could laugh about it, too. “Most embarrassing moment of my life.”
“Oh, come on. The time La Fleur put a laxative in your pre-game shake doesn’t rank higher? You made it to the middle of the first period. I’d never seen someone sprint off the ice so fast.”
“Yeah, well you’re lucky you didn’t see what happened after. It takes a long time to get out of hockey gear. Too long.”
“Okay, okay, I get the picture.” She grinned, squeezed her eyes shut, and shook her head to get rid of the picture.
“But now that you mention it, yeah, that might take first prize. I had been repressing that one, but thanks for the replay.”
“My pleasure.” She met his gaze, couldn’t look away. It seemed he couldn’t, either. It was a moment. These moments were starting to add up. If she wasn’t careful, they might stretch into a day. A week. A year.
He broke the trance by taking the Cup back to Edwin. It gave her a few seconds’ respite before he returned and picked up her hand, lacing their fingers. “Skate with me?”
That had been the agreement. And unfortunately, she never went back on her word. She nodded and glided beside him. They went slow, maintaining momentum by shifting side to side. This time the silence was comfortable, familiar. It felt right in a way that nothing had since the last time they’d been here together. “I missed you.” The words fell out without permission. Stuffing them back in wasn’t an option. Sweat broke out at the back of her neck and slid down her spine. Her only hope was that he hadn’t heard the confession over the soft shhhh-shhhh of their skates.
“God I missed you. Every day.”
She lost an edge going around the corner almost went down, but he hauled her back up with a smile that melted some of the ice around her heart.
“Does that surprise you?”
“Well … yeah.” To say the least. She’d simultaneously hoped he both missed her like hell and didn’t think of her at all. The latter had made it easier to move on. Or so she’d thought. Did moving on always involve lying to yourself until you believed it? Or had she lied to herself about moving on?
Courage by Lena Hart
“Why don’t we begin by talking about how you two first met?”
Mason was surprised by the question, and glanced over at his wife. Jules met his gaze, and it was obvious from the softness of her expression that she was remembering that night too.
“I was in Atlanta for a game,” Mason began. “Which had turned out to be a gongshow.”
“Lot of fights, penalties,” he explained. “Basically, one thrill-fest of a game that spilled into our hotel. A couple of my teammates and I were headed to another after-party, I think. I can’t remember. What I remember was being in one of the longest elevator rides, and that’s when I saw her.”
“I was visiting from Texas that weekend for one of my pageant sisters’ wedding,” Jules added. “I was out with some of my girlfriends. I think we were on our way up to the hotel rooftop or something. And as soon as the elevator doors opened, I noticed him.”
“So it was love at first sight?”
Mason turned to her, and she arched a brow, amusement dancing in her eyes.
“You fell in love with me on sight?” she asked.
Mason shrugged. “Well, maybe it was more like lust at first sight.” He turned to Dr. Kahn. “She had on the sexiest, classiest yellow dress. My favorite color, so it was hard not to stare, which didn’t make for a very good first impression.”
“Actually, I didn’t mind the staring,” Jules said, her lips still curved into a small smile. “He had this huge bruise under his eye, but I thought he also had a cute smile.”
“It wasn’t that big.”
She snorted. “Yes, it was. But it didn’t bother me. What really set me off was the grabbing.”
Dr. Kahn’s eyes rounded into large saucers. “Grabbing?”
“It wasn’t Mason. One of his drunken teammates got a little ballsy, and handsy, and decided to grab my butt.”
“And before I could knock some sense into him for it, here comes this sexy lady in this sexy yellow dress taking a swing at me,” Mason said.
Jules winced. “It was a mistake. They were both standing behind me, and I just reacted. I hadn’t even noticed his creep of a teammate until it was too late.”
“That’s one big misunderstanding,” Dr. Kahn said. “How did you find out the truth?”
“One of my girlfriends saw him and confirmed it. I was so embarrassed.” Jules shook her head, as if she was reliving the moment. “I had on this ring when I hit him, and it sort of did some damage.”
“I think it cut me.” Mason couldn’t remember if it drew blood, but he did remember that it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch.
Jules’ brows turned down. “I tried apologizing like a hundred times, but you wouldn’t accept.”
“Because you had just sliced my chin open for something I didn’t even get to do.”
With another small wince, Jules reached over and lightly stroked his chin. “I know. I’m sorry.”
The touch was spontaneous, but Mason didn’t care. He missed these causal caresses, her impulsive touch. The air between them suddenly shifted, and she became aware of her brief show of affection. A hint of pink flushed across her brown cheeks, and she let her hand drop back onto her lap.
Under the Midnight Sun by Kim Golden
Saying her name again after all these years took Jonas Magnussen back to those desperate days of longing. Would she even remember him?
“Just a second.” She reached for her suitcase without looking over her shoulder to see who'd addressed her. She gave it a tug, but it was too heavy for her to budge. Jonas rushed forward then, ignoring the quizzical looks of his minders who were only interested in making sure the Cup made it to its destination without any incident, or the star struck fans lingering by the baggage belt. He grabbed hold of the handle before the bag got too far and lugged it off the belt. Wow, it was heavy. How much had she packed? He extended the handle and set the bag on its wheels, then brought it over to her. His shoulder complained at the exertion, but he ignored it. He waited for her to look up now from her handbag...
Anything for a few moments with her.
Ten years may have gone by since the last time he'd seen her, but he was certain it was her.
It had to be her. Why else would just a glimpse of her jolt him so much? And the voice...it hadn't changed. He missed how she pronounced his name...a little of her Eritrean accent still tinging some of her words even after so many years of living in Sweden. All those years ago, when she'd sleepily whisper his name as though she were still caught between dreams. He'd dated so many women since then and none of them had made him feel so...undone.
Around them, other passengers streamed into the reclaim area. Some took stole looks at Jonas. He was used to it now, but sometimes he longed for the old days when he was just another hockey player and not the Iceman.
He shielded her too from the photographers waiting to get shots of him and shushed Edwin Motz, the Keeper of the Cup who was rattling off a list of things for Jonas to remember. None of that mattered—not if this really was Mariam Kidane standing before him.
She finally stopped searching her leather handbag and looked up, already thanking him without really seeing him. He smiled at her and she stopped mid-sentence. He said her name again, this time using her full name. She flicked a glance at him and then he heard it—the quick gasp of recognition.
“Oh my God—it's you! Oh my God, Jonas...” Mariam's voice trailed off and she pressed her full lips together. The sleek mane of dark hair was new to him. Jonas always remembered her with her wild, natural curls spiraling in every direction and her constant exasperation that her hair never did what she wanted it to do. Mariam Zadik Kidane hadn't changed.
No, that wasn't really true.
Mariam had changed, but he would have recognized her anywhere.
Copyright © 2017 by Katie Kenyhercz, Lena Hart, and Kim Golden
Learn more about or order a copy of Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, by Katie Kenyhercz, Lena Hart, Kim Golden, et al., available March 21, 2017:
Katie Kenyhercz lives in Seattle with her Air Force hubby, and writes hockey romance. She played one season of roller hockey when she was fifteen—it hurt enough that she decided she liked it better as a spectator—and it's been true love ever since! Her fictional team is the Las Vegas Sinners, and her real-world team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. She likes strong, capable heroines who bring out the vulnerability in their tough guys.
Lena Hart is an author of sensual romances with alpha heroes and smart, sexy heroines. She's a proud member of Romance Writers of America, busy writing more happily ever afters. A Florida-native, Lena currently lives in New York City with her two calico kitties, Duchess and Daisy. When she is not writing, she's reading, researching, or conferring with her muse.
Kim Golden was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1995, she left the US and moved to Sweden for love with a capital L. When she isn't writing fiction, she writes copy about perfume for a Swedish cosmetics firm. She writes stories for people who know that love comes in every color.