Cover Design: Ben Ellis, BE Designs
Photo: Eric Battershell
Model: Kaz Vanderwaard
years, she’s been Nashville’s darling. She’s pure, sweet, and a positive role
model in an industry rife with scandals, sex, and sequins. Men want to own her,
women want to be her—everyone wants a piece of her, and Stella? Well, she wants
of the spotlight, but he doesn’t much like it either. Despite his reputation as
a player, the NHL’s bad boy lives for only two things: the game, and his
younger brother. That’s why when he comes across a country music superstar
seeking refuge at his home in the Canadian Rockies, he’s not too happy with the
media shitstorm this surprise houseguest brings.
move, producers of a reality TV show baying for blood, and a record label
desperate to see their “good girl” returned safely home, Van and Stella’s lives
are snowballing out of control.
them all how well he handles his er … stick, Stella is no puck bunny. Nor is
she as innocent as she’d have the world believe. With chemistry like theirs, tension runs high on and off the
ice, but the end game is the same for both players: line up the puck, take the
shot, and score. If only their hearts understood the play.
into the room, wincing when my foot hits a creaky floorboard. I still, just
inches from the bed, paralyzed by fear. When he doesn’t move, I slowly pull
back the covers and slip beneath them, easing my head onto the pillow beside
his. Van’s arm automatically wraps around me and pulls me closer. I don’t know
if he’s still asleep, and I don’t much care because . . . cuddles.
It’s toasty and warm in his embrace, and I snuggle in.
deep breath in through his nose. “There she is.”
doesn’t mean anything.”
doesn’t,” he mumbles, in possibly the sexiest sleep-roughened voice I’ve ever
gone out. That’s the only reason I’m here right now.”
want me to come light it again?”
entirely too long. “No. You’re way hotter.”
chuckles. “Than fire?”
You know what I mean.”
really sure I do. I think I’m going to need you to spell it out for me, snuggle
bunny,” he murmurs, his warm breath ruffling my hair. Oh, I’ll spell it out,
alright. I stretch my toes back and poke him with them. He jerks away, and I
plant both of my feet on his warm legs and chortle as he shrieks like a little
closer, my body spooned by his much larger one, and a beat passes in silence.
“Still doesn’t mean anything.”
it doesn’t mean anything, will you shut up?”
it doesn’t mean anything, will you blow me?”
Van.” I attempt to squirm out of his grasp, but he pulls me closer and buries
his nose in my hair. He sighs loudly.
just kidding. Sort of.”
sleep, hockey hero.”
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore makeup addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?
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