USA Today Bestselling author Jami Davenport presents another Seattle Sockeyes hockey romance and the fifth book in her Game On in Seattle sports romance series showcasing alpha male heroes of football, baseball, and hockey.
Brimming with attitude and broken beyond repair, Isaac “Ice” Wolfe has a heart as cold as his nickname, and he likes it that way–until he meets his neighbor Avery Maxwell. Avery is unlike any woman he’s ever known. Her smile thaws his frozen heart. Being with her heals his broken places. She makes him feel, and for Isaac that’s not always a good thing. Isaac has burned every bridge in his professional hockey career. When he’s traded to the Seattle Sockeyes halfway through their inaugural season, he knows he won’t get another chance. He’s never been a team player, yet he needs to become one–and fast.
Avery has only wanted one thing in her life–to train and show horses. Her decision to drop out of college to pursue her riding career causes a rift with her big sister, but Avery is tired of following everyone else’s dreams. Now she’s following her own, and no one is going to distract her from her passion–until she meets a dark stranger and his cantankerous dog.
When Isaac is warned away from Avery by the team’s captain, who happens to be Avery’s future brother-in-law, Isaac sees the writing on the wall. It’s Avery or his career. To Isaac, a life without hockey wouldn’t be a life worth living. But what about a life without Avery?
Do Isaac and Avery sacrifice their life’s passions for their mutual passion for each other, or do they fight to have it all, even if by doing so, they might lose everything in the end?
The dickwad who’d scared the crap out of poor Tiffani grinned at Avery. She suspected he used that very grin to disarm a woman while getting back in her good graces and her bed. This clueless bastard would get neither from her, despite his rugged good looks, deep blue eyes, and sexy dark stubble that added emphasis to his strong jaw line. Avery flexed her fingers without thinking. She itched to trace a finger along that very jawline.
He darted a quick look at her hand. For a brief moment the smile slipped off his face. He probably thought she was going to throw a punch. She’d let him keep thinking that. This wasn’t about her and her misplaced desire, this was about Tiffani.
Like a mama bear defending her cub, Avery stopped in front of him, hands on her hips, and glared up into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen in her life. The man was oh-so yummy, and he most likely knew it. Avery was tall, standing five-foot-ten in her boots, but he had to be at least six-foot-two and built like an athlete. He wore ratty jeans, a rattier T-shirt, a faded hoodie, and he was an absolute stranger to her.
She glanced around for backup, just in case the man might not have the best intentions. Tiff would call 911 at the first sign of trouble, and Eduardo should be back any second with a load of hay from the hay barn.
She turned back to the sexy stranger and took a deep breath, gathering the nerve she’d need to properly dress him down. “What the hell right do you have scaring Tiffani like that?”
He stopped smiling, but one corner of his mouth quirked in an amused smirk. “Sorry, I didn’t realize she was deaf. I didn’t mean to scare her.”
“She’s not deaf,” Avery said, not offering any further explanation. Tiffani’s issues were none of his damn business. “And this is private property.”
“Sorry, I’m looking for my dog.” He didn’t look the least bit contrite.
“Dog?” She frowned even harder, as it all started to make sense. She’d bet next month’s training income he owned the drooling boxer which had just chased Sam’s expensive show horse all over the paddock before Avery could corral the unruly beast and drag him by his collar into an empty stall.
“Yeah, a boxer.” He tilted his head, and gave a small shrug, his blue eyes wide, but his innocent act looked all wrong on him.
Without a word Avery motioned to him and turned on her heel. She heard his footsteps behind her. She stopped before a stall and peered in. “This dog?” she said as she pointed at the fat, winded dog lying flat on his side on the clean shavings.
Mr. Hot and Sexy moved closer to her, so close she could smell the soap he used in the shower and feel the heat from his big body. He peered in the stall at the panting dog. “That’s the one.”
Damn, he was attractive in a bad boy sort of way—just the kind of guy Bella went for but not usually Avery’s type, if she even had a type. His shoulder brushed against hers, and she bit back a gasp. His touch scalded her and sent all kinds of happy signals to her female parts.
Avery found her tongue and managed to squeak out the next sentence. “We caught him chasing one of the horses. You need to keep your dog confined. These horses are valuable, and we can’t afford to have stray dogs injuring them.”
“Sorry,” he said again, not sounding sorry. “He got away from me. I didn’t know the fat, little sucker could run that fast.”
“Now you do.” Avery scowled, letting him know she wasn’t amused. “Do you have a leash?”
The man held out a pair of big hands, palms up, and shook his head. “No, I’m afraid I didn’t take the time to grab one.”
“Fine, use a lead rope.” She handed him one from the nearby stall.
“Thanks, I’ll return it.” He reached for it, and his fingers brushed hers. Avery inhaled sharply, and she swore she heard him do the same. She raised her head to meet his intense blue gaze and almost collapsed in a heap right in front of him. He was too damn sexy for his own good. Her pulse sped up and her throat closed up, rendering her speechless. He smirked again, as if he knew the effect he had on women. It was enough to slap her out of her momentary lapse.
With a shrug, he approached the dog, who sat up and snarled at him.
“Are you sure this is your dog?” She watched the two interact with skepticism.
“Absolutely.” He made a move to grab the dog’s collar.
Still growling the boxer ran to her side and glommed onto her, leaning against her leg. Avery frowned, wondering if the guy was abusive or something to this poor animal. “He’s afraid of you.”
“Trust me, he’s not afraid.” Again that sexy smile showing double dimples on each cheek. “He just hates me. He likes women, not men.”
Avery was confused, as she took the lead rope from him and snapped it on the dog’s collar. She handed the end of the rope to him. “But he’s your dog?”
For a minute his guard dropped and she saw deep pain cross his handsome features. It disappeared so fast, she wondered if she’d imagined it.
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling Author Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.