Tag Archives: ice hockey

New Release Blitz: Lighting The Lamp by K.R. Collins

Lighting the Lamp | K.R. Collins

Sophie Fournier #3

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 25, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 100,100

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo

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Blurb

Entering her third season, Sophie Fournier has almost everything she wants. She’s the captain of the Concord Condors, she’s roommates and linemates with Elsa Nyberg, the elite Swedish winger she’s wanted to play alongside since the Zurich U-Tourney.

There are two major things she’s missing, though. She doesn’t have her next contract lined up, and she still hasn’t won the Maple Cup, hockey’s most coveted prize. If she wins the Cup, she’ll have leverage going into her contract negotiations.

And, in case she needed more motivation, this is Benoit Delacroix’s final season as a Concord Condor, and she’s determined he won’t retire without lifting the Cup.

Excerpt

Lighting the Lamp
K.R. Collins © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The 2013 draft in Orlando, Florida marks the third one Sophie’s attended. She made history in 2011 when she was the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Last year, she was given the honor of selecting Elsa Nyberg for her team, the Concord Condors.

This year, Sophie’s responsibilities are fewer, but she’s still here representing the League. Unlike other players, who watch the draft from their couches or receive alerts while on the beach or touring wine country, Sophie is here in a crisp black pantsuit, a red pocket square her only flash of color.

She’s here so the Commissioner can lay a heavy hand on her shoulder and lean in for pictures to prove how progressive his league is, as if one woman among hundreds of men is progress. Well, it is progress, but it isn’t nearly enough.

There will be more women drafted today and tomorrow, and Sophie’s confident at least one of them will play against her this season. She refuses to hope Elsa will keep her promise and make the jump from the Swedish Hockey League to the NAHL this year, but she has high expectations for Alexis Engelking.

The American is slated to be drafted high. Lenny Dernier, infamous for his rants on The National Sports Network, is already wringing his hands over her upcoming inclusion among hockey’s best. Once, forgetting she was mic’d up, Engelking dropped an f-bomb on live television. Dernier accused her of being “a terrible role model for our Canadian children” as if every Canadian who has played the game is an angel.

Indianapolis files on stage to make the first selection of the draft, a long procession of middle to upper-aged white men in suits. The TVs behind the stage show Engelking sit up straighter in her seat as if she’s anticipating her name being called. Her hair is chopped short, jagged angles as sharp as her cheekbones.

A different camera shows Chad Kensington, another American, slumped in his seat. His blond hair is parted to the side and slicked to stay there. His mother elbows him, and he makes a half-hearted attempt to sit up straight.

“Thank you, Orlando, for hosting us today,” Indy’s owner says. The crowd, predictably, cheers. When he thanks the Commissioner, the crowd boos, also predictable. Sophie doesn’t remember the Commissioner facing constant heckling when she was younger, but he’d made himself no friends when the League ground to halt during the 2010-2011 season.

Indy’s owner steps aside so his grandson, a cute kid with chubby cheeks and a Renegades ball cap on his head, can step up to the mic. They have to lower it for him, and the boy checks the cards in his hands before he looks over his shoulder. His grandfather smiles encouragingly. “Um, first overall, the Indianapolis Renegades select Chad Kensington.”

Kensington stands up and shoots the nearest camera a pair of finger guns. His smile is as greasy as his hair. Sophie’s seen enough tape to know he’s talented, but he struts up to the stage as if he thinks the League should be grateful to have him. His suit is too big in the shoulders and too long in the leg as if he expects to grow into it. He’s dwarfed by the men on stage; the only ones he’s taller than are the owner’s two grandkids. He taps the brim of the grandson’s hat. The owner’s granddaughter hides behind the man who Sophie assumes is her father.

Sophie discreetly checks her phone as she waits for all the hoopla to finish. Being at the draft always brings back memories of her own. She wasn’t sure she’d be invited until a few months before and, even once she was there, it wasn’t a guarantee a team would select her. In case being the first woman to try to play in the NAHL wasn’t enough of a barrier, the Commissioner required teams to apply to be co-ed.

The Concord Condors were the only team able to draft her, and she sat in the stands as they made selection after selection, never calling her name. It took two hundred and twenty-four names until hers was called. Instead of being drafted first, or even first round, she was dead last.

She shakes the memory aside as Seattle comes on stage. Sophie quits feeling sorry for herself. Barrett Corderman is the one who deserves her pity as Seattle drafts him. She’s making a name for herself in Concord, pulling her franchise from the depths of the League and turning them into a real contender. Seattle, on the other hand, is where players have their love of hockey sucked out of them.

Indianapolis makes another appearance for the fourth pick, gained in a trade last season. This time, the owner ushers his granddaughter on stage, and Sophie has a good idea of where this is headed. When the girl calls out Alexis Engelking’s name, Sophie allows herself a smile. Engelking marks the fourth woman drafted into the League, and the highest selected of them all. There’s a tightness around Engelking’s eyes as she accepts her jersey as if she felt she deserved to go higher.

Welcome to the club.

*

Concord drafts a defenseman with the first of their first-round picks. With their second, they select Tanner Bechtol. He’s small like Kensington, and his hair falls into his eyes, only for him to shake it back out of his face. He looks overwhelmed by everyone on the stage, and it takes two tries for him to pull his jersey over his head.

It isn’t exactly a promising start, and she expects a lot out of him. This is one of the picks which came from trading their captain, Matty, at the deadline last year. Bechtol stumbles off the stage. He would’ve tripped and face-planted in front of the cameras if Mr. Wilcox didn’t steady him. Sophie keeps her expression tranquil in case anyone is watching her, but inside, she scowls. This is who they gave Matty up for?

About the Author

K.R. Collins went to college in Pennsylvania where she learned to write and fell in love with hockey. When she isn’t working or writing, she watches hockey games and claims it’s for research. You can find K.R. on Twitter.

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Lighting the Lamp Now Available

The latest Arou-Kalinski instalment puts you through the wringer!

50962394._SY475_Final Shot by V.L. Locey

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This book really ploughs through the emotions, both good and bad, as we continue the catch-up with the Arou-Kalinski families 10 years after we last saw them settled and happy.

Each time I come back to this pairing, I’m struck by just how real VL has made them as characters, I feel like I know them inside out.

I know how Vic will react to the disturbing news which comes from down South, where his son is off living with his mum and stepfather, I know he will be the solid rock his husband Dan needs as he comes to terms with another ice hockey injury and some home truths about his own behaviour.

This book is a hard emotional one, but it’s not without humour and I almost snorted my drink at the Shameless reference to Mickey Milkovich’s partner preferences 🙂

There are good times as well as the bad, there’re hard truths to face, there’s a plot line which, when I think about it was likely to come in some form or another to move the series onwards, it felt inevitable.

But over all, there is love, so much love, and I can’t wait to see what happens in book three as Jackie Blue Kalinski grows up ❤

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

Review Tour: Guarding Garrett by RJ Scott

Guarding Garrett | RJ Scott

Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 40,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

A hardworking, competitive, and skilled hockey player, Garrett is the cornerstone of the Burlington Dragons hockey team and one of the league’s most popular playmakers. Blessed with a face that delivers millions in endorsements, he has a legion of fans, and a future so bright that he is the envy of many.

When his internet fame puts him in danger, and a stalker threatens his life, the team hires Jason, a quiet but deadly former marine, to protect him. Danger is always close, but forced proximity means sparks fly, attraction burns, and somehow, resentment turns to love.

When Garrett’s stalker ups their game at a charity bachelor auction, there is a real chance it could mean the end for Garrett, but Jason refuses to leave his side whatever the risk.

These two stubborn men will have to fight to walk away from this alive, but their newfound love is worth every sacrifice.

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Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid Series

Hot hockey players on the auction block…

Win a date with a professional hockey player during All Star weekend in Chicago. From leading scorers to fan favorites to guys you love to hate, watch the players strut their stuff in support of the Hockey Allies charity.

Place a bid. You just might find someone to keep you warm.

Loving Layne – V.L. Locey

Keeping Kyle – Jeff Adams

Scoring Slater – Susan Scott Shelley

Absolving Ash – Chantal Mer

Copy of 1

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ rj@rjscott.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Pinterest

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Review Tour: Loving Layne by V.L. Locey

Loving Layne | V.L. Locey

Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid #2

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 36,500 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Sometimes the last thing you expect to happen might turn out to be what you needed all along.

Roman Kennedy’s first trip to the Windy City isn’t going quite as planned. Mysteries intrigue him, and his best friend Dillon seems to be sitting on a whopper. So, with his grandfather’s favorite hat on his head and his notebook in hand, the journalism major starts digging. Sadly, getting his bestie to spill the beans on what the secret is isn’t as easy as Roman had hoped.

Now, through no fault of his own, he’s stuck in an expensive hotel attending a bachelor auction of all things. He’s surrounded by lumbering jocks who, he’s sure, are just waiting for the chance to poke fun at the skinny, gay Jewish guy. Imagine his surprise when one of the big lugs sits down with him and talks Bernstein and Woodward.

Layne Coleman is sexy as sin, smart as a whip, considerably older, and has the same passion for investigative journalism as Roman does. His deep blue eyes and dark hair make concentrating on anything but the soft kisses they’re now sharing difficult.

Roman’s keen instincts are understandably clouded by romance, so when Dillon reveals his secret in a highly public way, it’s hard to say who is more stunned—Roman or Layne, the man at the center of it all.

series banner

Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid Series

Hot hockey players on the auction block…

Win a date with a professional hockey player during All Star weekend in Chicago. From leading scorers to fan favorites to guys you love to hate, watch the players strut their stuff in support of the Hockey Allies charity.

Place a bid. You just might find someone to keep you warm.

Guarding Garrett – RJ Scott

Keeping Kyle – Jeff Adams

Scoring Slater – Susan Scott Shelley

Absolving Ash – Chantal Mer

About The Author

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USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Doctor Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.)

She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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A delightful bunch of ice hockey bachelor romances

Guarding GarrettGuarding Garrett by R.J. Scott

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A really solid romance from RJ with a stalker plot that, while I guessed from the out who would be involved, still had enough of a twist to surprise me in the execution.

Personally though, I was lacking a bit of steam to cement the hot chemistry, with only a couple of blow jobs and hot make out sessions on page.

All the other sexual intimacy happens off page which was a shame with all the very present on page UST that was built up.

The forced proximity bodyguard falling for client aspect worked well and I loved the humourous bits which were thrown into the narrative

I liked both MCs and I’m looking forward to seeing them appearing in the other books in this shared world series.

***

Loving LayneLoving Layne by V.L. Locey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Vicki’s offering in this new shared world ice hockey series is an age gap romance with added complications.

As a former journalist, Roman’s dedication to his craft had me smiling a lot as he navigated his way into the realisation that staying neutral when reporting isn’t always easy.

His best mate Dillon was an absolute arse, sorry but I don’t care how much he was hurting, that was some seriously shitty behaviour!

The plot mostly worked for me, it felt like a realistic possibility given the situation but I’d have liked to see a bit more of the fallout when the truth came out.

Loved the Epilogue.

***

Kyle_600x900Keeping Kyle by Jeff Adams

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Another really cute ice hockey romance in this shared world series. This one features two guys who just can’t seem to get a break when it comes to their schedules – and their personalities.

Kyle can’t stand lateness while poor Austin is a workaholic welded to his business but they both see the potential for a lifetime’s happiness with the other.

I loved that these two used to go to school together but never knew each other back then as Austin was a nerd with a desperate desire to do well so his family wouldn’t have to struggle while Kyle was a jock dealing with the loss of his father and an overwhelming pressure to be the “man of the family”.

The narrative at times became a bit clogged up in the minutiae of them failing to communicate – literally rather than as a plot device! because of how busy Austin was with his company dealing with a savage hacking which exposed.

But I liked how Jeff brought them back together in a way which felt organic to the plot and not a convenient device and I loved how supportive all the other characters were for their relationship to succeed.

Another wonderfully sweet Epilogue too!

***

Slater 600x900Scoring Slater by Susan Scott Shelley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first book from this author and I really liked it.

I felt completely justified in cheering for Slater all the way through and wanting to give Noah a wee bit of a shake.

However, I also could understand and sympathise with Noah for his fears and was cheerfully willing him to get his head out of the proverbial and see that he needed to make changes for his own benefit.

A great bunch of secondary characters helped give some depth to the team both men played for and I’ll probably look out for the rest of that series of books later.

Really sweet Epilogue and decently steamy narrative gave me all the feels.

***

Ash jpg Absolving Ash by Chantal Mer

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Another new author for me and another entertaining read.

I liked the strength of character that Isiah showed in knowing what he wanted and how he’d changed so much from the unhappy man he was.

I also liked Ash, even while his martyr complex drive me nuts!

Together they sparked and their sort of second chances romance was a delight.

#ARCs kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: Absolving Ash by Chantal Mer

Absolving Ash | Chantal Mer

Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid #5

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 48,050 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

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Blurb

For the last decade, successful restaurant owner and chef, Ash Ariti, has worked to make amends for the career-ending mistake he made when he was young and allowed anger to consume him.

Driven to be worthy of the second chance he’s been afforded, Ash built a life centered around giving back to his community, all while maintaining a low profile. When he finds himself thrust into the spotlight of a bachelor auction to help one of his favorite causes, he never expects to come face-to-face with the sexy man who’s career he destroyed.

Isaiah Blake has spent a lifetime proving he’s deserving of what he has. After a hit on the ice prematurely ended his NHL career, he committed to becoming a better version of himself. Now, he’s living an open and honest life.

So, when he has an opportunity to interview bachelors participating in the Hockey Allies auction for the Hockey Network, the only thing he’s hoping to gain is exposure for his non-profit. That is, until his former rival Ash, steps onto the auction block. Isaiah sees an opportunity to make amends for the suffering he caused ten years ago.

Unfortunately, Ash is wary of Isaiah’s motives, and soon Isaiah realizes there is more to Ash’s cautiousness than the history that binds them.

Attraction takes hold as Ash and Isaiah begin to build a new professional alliance and friendship. They must learn to forgive each other, and most importantly, themselves. With outside forces and public opinion hawking, will their relationship be over before it begins?

Or will they discover joy and redemption in each other, and find their happily ever after?

series banner

Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid Series

Hot hockey players on the auction block…

Win a date with a professional hockey player during All Star weekend in Chicago. From leading scorers to fan favorites to guys you love to hate, watch the players strut their stuff in support of the Hockey Allies charity.

Place a bid. You just might find someone to keep you warm.

Guarding Garrett – RJ Scott

Loving Layne – V.L. Locey

Keeping Kyle – Jeff Adams

Scoring Slater – Susan Scott Shelley

 

About The Author

Chantal Mer is an author and optimist. Her stories explore relationships and what it means to be family. When she’s not writing about strong women, strong men, and strong love, she can be found walking her adorable dog, volunteering at her kids’ school (in the library, of course), teaching at the local university, and reading.

Chantal lives outside of Philadelphia (home of the Super Bowl LII champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, woot, woot!) with her husband, kids, Toffee the Wonder Dog, and vicious cat, Gracie.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest 

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Release Blitz: Scoring Slater by Susan Scott Shelley

Scoring Slater | Susan Scott Shelley

Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid #4

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 36,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Slater 600x900

Blurb

Slater Knox is known around the league as the tough enforcer for the Buffalo Bedlam. His popular social media accounts and open relationship with the fans have made him one of the most beloved players in hockey.

They’ve also earned him a spot in the All Star game, and an invitation to be a bachelor at a charity auction. For all his living in the spotlight, he’s hiding a secret… He’s in love with his best friend and keeping quiet grows harder each day.

Noah Alzado is the newest addition to the team, and has spent the last few months joined at the hip with his best friend Slater. Slater is everything Noah wants, but won’t let himself have.

They are best friends, roommates, and teammates, that’s three complications too many. Plus, Noah guards his private life as fiercely as Slater shares his own. His best option is to keep his head down, help his team win, and not do anything stupid… like kissing Slater again.

Everything comes to a head during All Star weekend, where the best in the league compete for ultimate bragging rights, and at the auction, where temptation is hot enough to melt the ice.

The chemistry between Slater and Noah is scorching, but can they lower their defenses enough to make a play for love?

series banner

Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid Series

Hot hockey players on the auction block…

Win a date with a professional hockey player during All Star weekend in Chicago. From leading scorers to fan favorites to guys you love to hate, watch the players strut their stuff in support of the Hockey Allies charity.

Place a bid. You just might find someone to keep you warm.

Guarding Garrett – RJ Scott

Loving Layne – V.L. Locey

Keeping Kyle – Jeff Adams

Absolving Ash – Chantal Mer

SusanScottShelley-headshot2

About The Author

USA TODAY bestselling author Susan Scott Shelley writes stories with heat and heart, where love always wins. Her romances give readers lighthearted and emotionally satisfying escapes into happily ever after.

In addition to crafting stories, she is also a professional voiceover artist and enjoys lending her voice to a wide range of projects.

She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and is an avid fan of her hometown sports teams. Her favorite things include running (honestly, it’s more like jogging), sports (especially hockey), hard rock (but will listen to anything from heavy metal to show tunes), and things with elements of whimsy.

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