He'll do whatever it takes to win—on and off the ice.
Luc Richard is the hottest player in the NHL—and it has nothing to do with hockey. His racy relationship with his supermodel ex set the tabloids on fire but nearly put his career on ice. To avoid being traded, Luc agrees to take a break from the spotlight—and from women—and spend the off-season at home in Silver Bay, Maine. It's the perfect plan... until he reconnects with Rose.
Rose Caplan is tired of being shy, sweet, and safe. She's ready for passion, romance—and Luc. Having loved him longer than she can remember, she's finally ready to prove she's not the same innocent little girl he once knew. Off the ice Luc doesn't do games, but this new Rose makes him feel like playing a little dirty. If he's really got a shot at her heart then he's not just playing to win. He's playing for keeps.
Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.
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Luc is out back when we get there, positioning Adirondack chairs around the crackling firepit. The weather is slightly cool, with a strong breeze off the lake. He’s wearing a black v-neck t-shirt with a pair of beige shorts and a dark plaid shirt tied around his waist. He looks like a hipster model or lead singer for a grunge band from the 90s and as usual, it’s fucking hot.
He smiles welcomingly as we all pile onto his deck, but as his eyes land on me they flare and I swear to God I see a little spark there. The smile vanishes than reappears a little softer, a little darker.
Jordan speaks, breaking the moment into dust. “So! Be a good host and get me a beer.”
“Get it yourself, bitch,” Luc snarks with a smile and Jordan gives him a playful punch on the shoulder as he walks back into the house to retrieve his beer.
He comes out with beers for everyone and we settle in around the fire and start planning. Luc takes notes on his iPad balanced on his knee. We decide which NHL players and alumni to invite, which weekend to have the event, when to put tickets on sale and what to sell them for. But with every detail that’s decided comes a bigger list of everything that needs to get done, and Luc’s sexy face starts to turn into a grimace of stress. And the one thing none of us can help him with is picking the cause.
“It has to come from you, bro,” Jordan says. “You have to pick something that really means something to you.”
He nods and I catch a glimpse of his tongue resting on his bottom lip as he thinks and I feel that hot tingle of lust between my thighs. I shift in my chair.
“I have to think about that one,” he admits and his voice is low, like it’s some kind of failure.
Jordan gets up to grab another beer and Jessie leaves to use the bathroom. I lean over from my chair and place a hand on his. “It’s okay. We can book the venue and the arena and figure out the cause after. You’ve got a little time.”
He smiles at me gratefully and then he glances down. He runs his fingers over my forearm. “You’ve got goose bumps.”
He stands up and unties the plaid shirt from his waist and then walks around my chair and drapes it across my shoulders. He rubs them gently as he places it there and leans down to whisper in my ear. “You look beautiful tonight, Fleur.”
I tip my head and gaze up at him. KISS ME! I silently beg him. Jessie comes bouncing down the deck stairs and Luc pulls away and the moment disappears into the dark night.
Still, I feel a little flutter of victory inside my heart. There was a glimmer of something in those light brown eyes that I’ve never seen directed at me before. He looked at me like I was something new he hadn’t seen before. Something special. Something desirable. I swear it’s not just wishful thinking.
After two and a half hours of planning and an hour of just goofing off we call it a night. As we drive home Jessie keeps giving me curious glances in the rear view mirror. There’s a smirk on her lips and I know she’s got something to say so when we get inside the house and Jordan heads into the living room I stop her in the kitchen. “Say it.”
“Whatever it is you’re thinking.”
She smiles again. “I’m thinking that you’re making a play for Luc.”
I feel defiant and self-conscious at the same time and can’t seem to look her in the eye. “So? Is that bad? And… is it that obvious?”
She shakes her head, auburn hair swinging. “Not incredibly obvious but I know you and normally you’d leave the house in overalls and a sweatshirt for a night drinking beers in someone’s backyard.”
I blush, embarrassed at having my plan exposed, and she walks over and gives me a hug. “All I have to say is good for you.”
“Rosie, it’s now or never,” she tells me giving me a tight squeeze before pulling back and holding my by the shoulders. “You’ve finished college and you’re trying to figure out your future and I’ve known forever that you see Luc in your future. So take the shot. See if it works. If it doesn’t, then at least you can move forward without wondering.”
She walks to the fridge and grabs a bottle of water and then heads towards the living room. She stops in the archway and smiles at me encouragingly. “For the record, Rose. I think it’s going to work.”
I drop down in one of the chairs at the kitchen table. Oh God, I hope she’s right.