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: 02-16-2015
Type: eBook & Audio
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: Novel, 95,000 words
Series: Power Play
Buy the eBook
Buy the Audio Book
BOOK ONE: GAME PLAY
One night, one time, nothing more. That's all it was supposed to be. They'd agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates's merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.
One night, one time, nothing more. Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers' brawny hotshot. She couldn't get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn't expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they'd gotten down and dirty.
When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and "one night" falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan's quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he's healed?
"If you’re looking for something to warm you up while you wait for spring to arrive,
this is definitely the book for you.” – 4 stars, RT Book Reviews
“GAME PLAY, the first book in the upcoming Power Play series, was so hot I needed a break to let the
Kindle cool down.” – 5 stars - Top Pick, The Romance Reviews
“Game Play is so much more than your typical sports romance. Simply put, it's romance at its finest!”
– 5 stars, Life with Two Boys
“I'm a hockey romance reader and this one is one of the best I've read. I HIGHLY recommend it!” – A+, Smitten With Reading
“I strongly recommend this one!” - 5 stars, To Each Their Own Reviews
“Game Play is a sexy, emotional story that will appeal to most romance fans, not just us sports romance junkies!” - 4.5 stars, Save Your Money For Books
“This book was a great love story between two people who had a lot in common but were so very different.” - 4.5 stars, Lustful Literature
“This was totally different than other hockey romances because the heroine is also a kick-ass hockey player.” – 4.5 stars, Jen’s Reading Obsession
“I really understood Sam’s grief…and following her emotional journey from being angry to loving the sport again was as uplifting as the romance.” – B, Dear Author
“Game Play is one of those romances that stayed with me… It made me think - and think some more.”
– 4 stars, Romance Novel News
Copyright © 2015 by Lynda Aicher. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.
“And the puck goes wide. Branchek picks it up, passes to Nueburger, who sends it up the boards to be picked off by Craig.”
Dylan Rylie muted his tablet to cut off the drone of the announcer and concentrated on the players flying over the ice. The camera tracked the puck as it was shot into the offensive zone, three men chasing it down. His focus stayed on the goalie. The man was squeezed tight to the bar, stick on the ice, glove raised and ready. But his shoulder dropped—there—when he leaned in to prepare for the shot.
Yes! Dylan jabbed a finger at the screen, a satisfied smirk tightening his lips. Triumph lit him up better than the caffeine from the cup of coffee sitting at his elbow. He jotted down the note in the worn spiral notebook, attention still on the game that continued to play.
The offense fired off a slap shot that was low and easily caught by the other team’s goalie. Of course it would be. The setup had been hurried, the shot rushed and ill aimed, but the lines were tired and the whistle allowed fresh legs to take the ice.
Movement across the room jerked his mind from the game. A disheveled blonde strutted across the great room, strappy heels dangling from her fingers as she shoved a lock of hair away from her face. She gave a double take to the passed-out form on the couch before picking her way around the pillow-littered floor.
The open layout gave Dylan a view of most of the ground floor, except the three bedrooms down the hall. It was one of the reasons he’d bought the house. That and the lake view off the huge back patio that was perfect for summer parties.
He paused the game and popped his earbuds out, crooked smile in place when the woman finally caught sight of him. He was sitting on the far side of the kitchen bar—a great vantage point for exactly this. She faltered, her expression flashing from shock to indecision before settling on forced confidence.
“Morning, Cowboy.” The low purr she tried to insinuate into her greeting was mocked by her faded lipstick and the wrinkles creasing her silk blouse.
He gave her a full-watt smile and tipped his cowboy hat in a down-home Texas greeting. “Morning, darlin’.” He pulled the words out in a slow drawl that he’d dropped from his normal speech pattern long ago. “Hope your evenin’ was memorable.”
Her throaty laugh was part seductive, part embarrassment. Chances were she’d forgotten much of it. Two years of sitting in that exact spot to catch the morning-after parade had trained his ear to the varying innuendos. If he remembered right, she’d been latched to Feenster’s lips when the ball had dropped at the stroke of midnight and had stumbled down the hallway with him not long after.
“You need a cab?” He picked up his phone, the number already queued up.
“I drove, but thanks.”
“Your coat should be in the room by the front door.” The woman looked vaguely familiar, like she’d been to one of his parties before, but he honestly couldn’t be certain. He slid off the bar stool and sauntered down the hall to hunt down her jacket. “It’s damn cold out this morning. You’d better bundle up before heading out.”
Her steps were silent on the hardwood as she followed him. There was a small pile of coats spread over the leather love seat, and he looked to her for direction.
“It’s the long black one, there.” She pointed to the quilted down coat draped over the back. Given the crotch length of her skirt, he guessed she entrusted the calf-length coat to keep her warm. She slipped on her platform heels, and he double-checked out the window to ensure his walkway was free of snow and ice. “It was a great party.”
“I aim to please,” he drawled, crooked smirk in place as he helped her into her coat. “Happy New Year.” It was January first—a brand-new start to another year. And with his contract expiring with the Minnesota Glaciers at the end of the season, a critical one for his pro career.
She paused at his side, the frigid air blasting through the open doorway to chill him instantly. His thermal shirt was a useless barrier against the winter freeze. She ran her red nails down his bicep. “Let me know when you have another party.” She pressed a piece of paper into his palm then rose up to brush a kiss to his cheek. “Good luck at the game tomorrow.”
“Thanks, sweetheart. Drive safe.” He straightened his hat and watched her teeter down his drive. There was one precarious slip that had him shoving away from the doorjamb, but she got her footing and somehow made it to her car without falling.
The sky was gray and heavy with clouds that warned of snow better than any weatherman. His granddad had taught Dylan to read the sky around the same time he’d taught him to ride a horse. A deep inhale froze the lining of his nostrils and brought the dank weight of the pending moisture through the dry air.
He sent a final salute in the direction of the car as it pulled away from the curb, identified the remaining vehicles in his driveway then finally shut the door on the insufferable cold. A harsh shiver tightened his nipples into stony pebbles. What the hell? He’d spent half of his twenty-four years living in the northern climates, far away from the baking Texas heat where he’d been born. He should be more than used to the weather by now.
It didn’t mean he had to like it.
If he had any luck at all, he’d be traded to a southern team and get the hell out of the devil’s perverse version of a frozen hell. His derisive snort echoed off the high ceiling. That red-horned bastard had been laughing at Dylan since he’d been granted his wish at the age of twelve and left Texas to train in Massachusetts. And he’d thought he’d hated the heat…
“Is she gone?”
He jerked around up to see Justin Feeney peeking around the corner to peer into the great room. Dylan crossed his arms over his chest and gave an exaggerated look toward the front door. “Depends on which she you’re talking about,” he answered, dropping his southern drawl. There’d been three shes since he’d taken up his station at the bar over an hour ago.
Feeney scrubbed his face and took a tentative step into the room, gaze swinging over the area in a scattered search for the puck bunny he was trying to dodge. “About this tall.” He held his hand to midchest. “Long hair, blond—I think.” He scowled when he caught sight of Dylan’s grin. “You’re fucking with me.”
Dylan unfolded the slip of paper crumpled in his hand and squinted at the writing. “Was her name Cindy?” He held up the paper, and Feeney gave him the middle finger salute in answer. “What? I was only asking?”