Welcome to the Minnesota Glaciers professional hockey team, where the play is hot both on and off the ice.
Copyright © 2015 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Publication Date: 05-11-2015
Type: eBook & Audio
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: Novel, 99,000 words
Series: Power Play
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BOOK TWO: BACK IN PLAY
For Minnesota Glaciers captain Scott Walters, skating on a bum knee—and self-medicating to keep skating on it—is all part of the game. That the painkillers he's eating prevent him from having meaningful relationships is just one more sacrifice in a lifetime of them. He’s worked too hard to let his image be ruined by injury or dependency, so he hides the pain and fakes the rest—a girlfriend would only complicate matters.
High school teacher Rachel Fielding never needed a man in her life, but she also never intended to grow old alone. When she meets Scott while visiting her brother, she’s intrigued to find herself wanting him in her bed. For hours at a time, as often as possible. Scott is a giver, and just the memory of his attentions is enough to drive her crazy. Anything long-term is out of the question, though—the pills she finds in Scott's house indicate he's struggling with a lot more than growing older in a young man's game.
When what starts out as a what-the-hell weeklong fling turns into Scott and Rachel exploring each other outside the bedroom, Rachel hesitates. But Scott asks for her support to break his addiction, and hearing him admit his secrets has her ignoring her own rules—until he breaks her heart. With the Glaciers refusing to renew his contract and his future with Rachel uncertain, Scott has some big decisions to make and a lot to prove—especially to himself.
Amazon Editor's Pick - Best Books of the Month: Romance
"The titles that make our Best Books of the Month lists are the keepers, the ones we couldn't forget."
“Aicher’s memorable second Power Play sports contemporary… is both sensual and moving as
Rachel and Scott decide what is most important in their lives and build a future for their relationship.”
– Publishers Weekly
“The romance is touching and the sex scenes are frequent and incredibly hot.” 4 stars, RT Book Reviews
“It really doesn't get much better than BACK IN PLAY.” - 5 stars - Top Pick, The Romance Reviews
“This is a really solid and emotionally packed read that I highly recommend.”
– 5 stars, Random Fandom Nerd
“The chemistry between them is explosive!” – 5 paws, Kitty’s Book Spot
Copyright © 2015 by Lynda Aicher. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.
Music rolled through the room on a beat that had a majority of the drunk hockey players swarming the small dance floor, hips gyrating, arms swinging, hapless of who they were hitting. An overabundance of love flowed through the group. Hugs and sloppy cheek kisses were given freely with more than a few “I love you, man” included.
Scott Walters propped his feet on an empty chair and took a sip of his pop, smirk hidden behind the glass. Most of the inebriated fools had discarded their suit jackets and ties, and a few even had some legitimate moves beside the basic bump and sway. It wasn’t often the team had a chance to let loose like this, not with the grind of an eighty-plus game season.
But the season was over, the national championship out of their reach for another year. The four-to-two series loss just over a week ago had been a devastating disappointment. One that still sucked hard for all of them. A lot of the guys would be heading out soon for wherever they called home. Most would’ve already been gone if it wasn’t for this wedding. This was a last hurrah, a fuck-it-sucks-we-lost and congratulations all in one.
He’d miss this. These guys.
Shit. He looked away. Tightness clamped down on his throat in another surprise attack. It’d happened way too often that day. A day he was supposed to be celebrating. But his duties as best man were officially over and his acting skills were flagging along with his will.
Holden Hauke, right winger and rising team star, had done the impossible and married the stunning PR rep Vanessa Delcour earlier that afternoon. By some feat of patience and determination, the man had managed to break through her renowned Ice Queen shell and in doing so had found a woman who loved him completely like he did her.
Scott caught a glimpse of the happy couple moving together in the middle of the dance floor and forced a swallow through the constriction that remained. With her glossy black hair falling in straight locks against her fitted white dress, and Holden in his black tux, the two were a classic vision of wedding perfection—if that actually existed.
He shrugged off his cynicism, lifted his glass in a lonely toast to the couple and finished off his Coke. The ice cubes clinked in the glass when he shook it in search of the last bit of liquid. Going to the bar for a refill would provide too much of a temptation to get something stronger.
“Hey, Wally,” Henrik Grenick boomed a second before his hand slammed down on Scott’s shoulder. “Why aren’t you out there?” He motioned toward the dance floor, his drink spilling over the edge of the glass.
Scott jerked away just in time to save his tux pants from a dousing of what he guessed was rum and Coke, based on the scent coming from the still-swinging glass. He glanced up at the man looming over him, another pang kicking him in the gut. The lumbering defenseman was gruff, a bit obtuse on some things and one of the most loyal friends he had.
“Probably the same reason you’re not,” Scott said, looking back to the group that was now swaying in disjointed unison, arm in arm in a large circle hug around the wedding couple. Somewhere over the years of almost nightly beatings, daily workouts, muscle strains, pulls, bruises and concussions, hockey had sucked that life out of him. Or maybe it was just the natural progression of age. He blamed both for his lack of energy and inability to let loose anymore.
Mixed in with the Glaciers’ players were friends and family of the wedding couple, ones he mostly knew at least by face if not by name. Family—that was what his teammates were to him. He spent more time with them than his own blood relations. Than anyone else. It’d been that way since he’d gone pro at nineteen and moved to Florida to play for his first professional team.
Damn. He squeezed his eyes closed until the stinging behind his eyelids subsided. What was wrong with him tonight?
Grenick swung a chair around and plopped down heavily into it, his grunt mixed with a sigh that Scott understood. “Those kids have more energy than me,” Grenick said, confirming Scott’s assumption.
“Give them time.” At thirty-four, Scott was practically a dinosaur in the sport. “That was us once.” He pointed at the group that was now doing jumping chest bumps in a disguised challenge over standing vertical height leaps.
“Shit. Now you’re making me feel old.”
“Naw, it’s hockey that did that.”