💞July to August Reviews are Up💞

🎉Check out our new reviews🎉

Another update packed with tons of hot, funny and sexy books out right now.

ALL Top 5 and more are at
https://melenasreviews.wordpress.com/july-august-reviews/

Visit our TOP 10 page to see which author and book made it for the month.

https://melenasreviews.wordpress.com/top-10/

👄👄New Reviews👄👄
All or Nothing by Jennifer Probst
Bad Boys After Dark: Carson
Becoming His by Ellie Masters
Blue Balls by R.C. Boldt
Clipped by Remy Blake
Destined Hearts by K.K. Allen
Enrage (Eagle Elite) by Rachel Van Dyken
Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Free – A last chance love story: A Black Ops Military Romance by Riley Edwards
Hate to Want You: Forbidden Hearts by Alisha Rai
I Do(nt) by Leddy Harper
I Don’t Regret You by Jodie Larson
Irresistible You (The Chicago Rebels Series Book 1) by Kate Meader
Jilted by Sawyer Bennett
King of Clubs (Aces & Eights Book 2) by Sandra Owens
Maybe this Summer by Jennifer Snow
MAXWELL: Brothers Ink Tattoo (Brothers Ink Tattoo Series Book 2) by Nicole James
Mister Hockey by Lia Riley
Savage (The Kingwood Duet Book 1) by S.L. Scott
Skirt Chaser (Filthy Dirty Love Book 2) by Stacey Kennedy
Steal by Rachel Van Dyken
Steal the Day (Thieves Book 2) by Lexi Blake
Steal the Light (Thieves Book 1) by Lexi Blake
Stubborn as a Mule (The Sex and Sweet Tea Series Book 2) by Juliette Poe
Trust by Kylie Scott
Where I Need to Be
Wicked Grind by J. Kenner
Wicked Fall by Sawyer Bennett
Wicked Intentions by J.T. Geissinger
Wicked Wish (The Wicked Horse Vegas Book 2) by Sawyer Bennett
Wrecked by JB Salsbury
Your Fierce Love (The Bennett Family) by Layla Hagen

Release Blast for ONCE UPON A LADY by Addie Jo Ryleigh

All it takes is Fate to entice him with the very thing he never wanted.
ONCE UPON A LADY
The Soul Mate Tree
Addie Jo Ryleigh
Releasing Aug 16, 2017
Soul Mate Publishing
Respectable
Lady Katherine Baxton, striving to meet the requirements of her station, has
become the ultimate dutiful daughter. And now, the Duke of Blackthorn’s
betrothed. Far from a love match, Kate is nevertheless determined to do as
expected and marry. That all changes the night she panics at her impending
future and runs, stumbling upon a private grove, a mysterious tree. . . and a
half-naked man.
 
The
youngest son of a viscount widely thought to have purchased his title, Jackson
Cooper demonstrates his disdain for the aristocracy by affording himself every
luxury available—drinking, wenching, and gambling—while eschewing anything
representing the ton. Jackson has little care for his reputation and no desire
to marry. His escape from London is all but complete.
Until
fate—in the form of a beautiful, mysterious lady—interrupts his plans, enticing
him with the very thing he never wanted.
 
Addie
Jo Ryleigh writes historical regency romances that feature rakish heroes and
strong feisty heroines. 
 
Addie
Jo has lived in the same cold-winter-hot-summer area of Minnesota her entire
life. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her
very understanding husband who endured being dubbed “The Duke” by his
co-workers. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully
loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from her side. And
recently the newest addition to their family, a black lab named Max.
 
Addie
Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in
historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene
McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, she reads any genre that has a great
emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.
Addie
Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not
playing chauffeur for her hockey-playing boys, cuddled up with a good book, or
writing her next story.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ad3e5-tastytoursexcerpt
Kate felt his approach before she saw him. Which wasn’t all that surprising since her body had remained mindful of his presence. Fighting the impulse proved fruitless.
When his tall frame blocked the sun and cast her in shadow, she knew besides giving him a direct cut, she had no escape. If only she hadn’t ventured from her sister’s side. At the time, abandoning Helena had been her singular option since their slow stroll through the gathering had traveled too close to the very man standing beside her. She’d been delaying the inevitable.
Kate was now alone, as she tried to keep her attention on the lawn activities before her, hoping no one would witness what was about to happen.
“Aren’t sprites confined to the trees?” His deep voice washed over her.
She didn’t turn to acknowledge him. “How nice to see you properly dressed for once.”
His chuckle warmed her. “Are you following me?”
An unladylike snort refused to be repressed. “Hardly. You are rather difficult to overlook, being the only unknown face here.”
“That’s not true. You’ve seen my face . . . as well as other, more interesting parts.”
Kate wished she’d listened to her sister and worn a bonnet. Anything to mask the heat flaring in her cheeks.
Thankfully he remained at her side and hadn’t a clear view of her face. “We have not been introduced. I can’t be seen speaking to you.”
“Then let us go where we can’t be seen.”
Her heart raced at his boldness. Why was this man so tempting? She was spoken for, though still unofficially. Proper ladies didn’t follow strange men to private locations, regardless of their marital status. “Absolutely not.”
“Even if I have something of yours?”
Blast! Her ring. Given her luck lately, she would have lost it in the grove of all places. Her aunt would toss in her grave knowing Kate had misplaced her gift.
“A true gentleman would return it.”
His deep laugh caused her pulse to flutter. “I’m no gentleman. Or haven’t you heard?”

Release Day Launch for P.S. I LOVE YOU by Jamie Salisbury

Today we have the release day blitz for P.S. I Love You by Jamie Salisbury! Check out the excerpt and grab your copy today!

About P.S. I Love You:

First love is always better the second time around.

Basil Manning is happy with his life now that he’s given up on love. He has everything he needs…the houses he’s building, the mansion he’s renovating, and his Bernese Mountain Dog, Crash. In spite of his mother’s insistent attempts to see him married, Basil plans on staying a bachelor. That is, until he finds himself face-to-face with the woman who once broke his heart.

Healing from a long-term relationship that turned abusive, Meg Cooper has flung herself into running her eclectic shop, The Pink Moose. She can’t afford complications, and the too-hot-for-his-own-good Basil Manning, her one time almost fiancé, is definitely a complication. But that irresistible pull between them isn’t over…not by a long shot. If she’s not careful, she’ll break both their hearts…again.

Get Your Copy Today:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 ~~Melena’s Review~~

Meg Cooper is a woman who is good at hiding things. In the beginning we saw her as a caring sister to Audrey but inside she is a woman who is scared. Basil is everything opposite of Jake, who she thought was the one, which in a way excites and scares her. The feelings she has for him has always been about friendship but somewhere along the way she is seeing Basil in a new way. The love they have is unlike what she ever felt with Jake because of this she is cautious. Impulsiveness, desire and love is what Basil gives her. Basil have to say is one patient man and boy has he been waiting for his Meg to come to him. The love he has for her is one of those that you see in the movies where the guy waits for his true love. Normally it’s the woman waiting but Jamie Salisbury created such an honest, loving and sexy man for Meg he completes her in every way. All in all it was a good book and love coming to Brighten Cove something about this little town comes to life wraps you with love, romance and a second chance at something a whole lot sweeter.

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

I stood, touching my lips as I watched from the back door of my apartment as Basil’s truck pulled out of the parking lot. He kissed me! He told me he was going to, and my God, he kissed me with enough passion for ten men.

But I spooked or something. It didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do and I asked him to stop, knowing where things would have ended up. The feelings were still there, but somehow different. We were both adults now. We’d both experienced sex on our own and were no longer the two naïve teenagers we once were. Something from that kiss told me once I let him in, he’d be there for me always. Was this what I wanted?

The familiar ping of my phone beckoned me back to reality. I pulled it out of my purse and stared at the screen.

Dinner tomorrow? It’s Saturday. You can meet Crash, and I have something of interest to show you at the old house.

R U texting and driving, young man? I grinned at my comeback as I hit Send.

Not to worry. I pulled over.

You have me curious, and I would love to meet Crash.

I’ll call you after I pick up dog and get him settled at home.

I tapped my nail against the phone, pondering my reply. I’ll be waiting.

Hearts and happy-face images followed.

I wandered deeper into my apartment, setting my purse down on the kitchen table. I still had the bottle of water he’d given me at his place. I took it along with my phone into the living room and sank into the comfy couch.

It suddenly dawned on me—someone had been in the apartment. The lid to my laptop was open, something I never did. But who? Worst yet, were they still here? I grabbed the baseball bat I kept by the back door and tiptoed through the apartment. I opened every closet, peered under the bed and behind doors until I was satisfied I was alone.

My nerves were rattled by the idea of someone being brazen enough to trespass into my private domain. But who? Time to get the locks changed. Better still, time to perhaps consider installing a security system both in the apartment and the shop.

About Jamie Salisbury:

Writing romance stories with passion and sass, Jamie Salisbury has seen several of her books soar to #1 on Amazon. Her books are self published. Music, traveling the globe and history are among her passions when not writing. Her previous career in public relations in and around the entertainment field has afforded her with a treasure trove of endless story ideas.

Connect with Jamie:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Enter Jamie’s Giveaway:

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Cover Reveal of Show Me the Way by A.L. Jackson

Show Me the Way

The first stand-alone novel in A.L. Jackson’s brand-new Fight for Me series…

Coming October 2nd

Cover: RBA Designs
The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .
Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful.
The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times. His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take. The only woman he’ll let into his heart is his little girl.
Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.
She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return. Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.
When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he’s in trouble.
She’s gorgeous and sweet and everything he can’t trust.
Until she becomes the one thing he can’t resist.
One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.
But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide. Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.
Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .
Be notified of LIVE RELEASE on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/liveonamzn
Signed Paperback PRE-ORDER: https://goo.gl/forms/0e1A28nSE5zr2LUN2​

 

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 


 

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for A.L. Jackson’s upcoming novel, SHOW ME THE WAY, the first stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn
Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

Release Blitz of Free A Black Ops Romance by Riley Edwards

 

From best-selling author Riley Edwards comes another, 

heart-stopping last chance military romance.

After the love of Lily’s life and best friend dies in combat, she struggles to move on – until Carter Lenox enters her life. Carter has a secret, one that will destroy Lily. But when a terrorist hell bent on revenge tries to kill Lily, Lenox has no choice but to claim the one woman he should never have.

 

FREE – A Black Ops Romance

Genre– badass military romance

Heat level – Smokin’

Over 18! Bad boy alpha military men use foul language and enjoy dirty talk. 

ON SALE $0.99 –  Until 8/23

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

 

He was my first love…
I wanted him to follow his dreams. I wanted him to escape the life he hated. I thought I was doing the right thing by not telling him how I truly felt. Until it was too late, and my silence turned into my biggest regret.
Twelve years ago, Shane Owings died, taking my heart with him. I was left devastated and broken hearted. Time didn’t heal, as the years went on I only missed him more.

She was my best friend… the only woman I ever loved.
When I ran off to join the Army, I left behind everything I had ever loved. I thought I was doing the right thing, but my good intentions quickly turned into my biggest regret.
Every year on the anniversary of Shane’s death I watched as Lillian Nelson visited Shane’s grave and spilled her secrets to a dead man. Each year I hoped she wouldn’t be back, that her heart would finally heal and she would move on. But year after year she was back. So many times I wanted to reach out and comfort the beautiful woman, but I knew she would never forgive me. It was my fault Shane was dead.

Until… A terrorist shows up looking for revenge.
I had to come out of the shadows and protect the one woman I had no business falling in love with.

Free is a steamy last chance at love military romance. No cheating. Guaranteed HEA.

 

~~Melena’s Reviews~~

wpid-recommendation-logo-4-preview-e1439256027664

I love reading a love story that has a chance of love again especially when it involves sexy alpha men like Shane. Have to say Lilly might seem a little naïve about life around her but when it comes to Shane though she is one alert woman. The love she has for him has never left and now that there is a chance she is afraid. Their friendship and love is what got her through her life and knowing that everything she has gone through was a farce just pains her. Riley Edwards sure knows how to make everything you thought heartbreaking yet it is because of this that makes the love stronger than ever. Shane knows what he wants and Lilly is not just any woman for a good night of fun she is the forever he has secretly dreamed of having forever. Loved it and really hope there is more from the 707 agency especially Jasper. Loved it.

About Riley Edwards

Riley Edwards is a best-selling multi-genre author, wife, and military mom. Riley was born and raised in Los Angeles but now resides on the east coast with her fantastic husband and children. Her two eldest children have flown the coop and are now serving in the US military. Riley also has a teenage daughter that is the source of laughter and wit around her house. Her youngest son is a “bad-ass” in training and is very much a mini version of his Alpha father.

Riley writes heart-stopping romance with sexy alpha heroes and even stronger heroines. Riley’s favorite genres to write are romantic suspense and military romance. (Those are also her favorites to read.) She’s known for her jaw-dropping plot twists. You know the ones? Those pivotal scenes in a story that when executed so flawlessly it leaves you breathless and begging for more? Yeah, those! She’s mastered the art of blending suspense, romance, and smoldering sexy times. It’s like Criminal Minds, and the Spice Channel mated, and a perfect love child was born.

To learn more about Riley’s books, please visit, http://www.RileyEdwardsRomance.com. And don’t forget to sign up for the Riley’s Rebel’s Newsletter.

 

FOLLOW RILEY 

 

Blog Tour of I DON’T REGRET YOU by Jodie Larson

 

Regrets.

We all have them.

Like the Aqua Net hairstyles back in the 80’s, the 90’s grunge fad, or the person you lost your virginity to as a teen because you were “totally in love”.

I have a few of my own. Specifically, marrying my rebound guy but staying married because I was too weak to fight for my own happiness.

He took me down and kept me there for far too long.

I’m done. Done living with regrets and done not pursuing what makes me happy.

Then you came along and showed me that I was worth more than who I had become.

You are not my regret.

 

Get your copy today!

AMAZON

~~Melena’s Review~~

When I first started reading this book I thought same cliché. Yet what I like about Jodie Larson is that it is more than the usual cliché and digs deep into one person’s life. We have Jocelyn who has really one have had one love in her life and thought she snagged Prince Charming. Along the years she is starting to see that maybe there is someone better for her and now she is struggling to survive. Henry is definitely the man she needed in her life for just talking to her she feels wanted and acknowledged. My heart broke for the way she has been treated and wanted to kill her husband for how she is treated in this book. Through all this though we see the woman Henry see’s and that is a strong, beautiful and speaks her own mind. Jodie Larson once again blows me away with her books and have to say I loved Henry with his patience, love and the friendship he shows towards Jocelyn is beautiful. Loved it.

 

 

 

EXCERPT

How could he see the things I tried so desperately to keep hidden from everyone? Perhaps I’m not as clever as I thought I was. Here I thought only Jacob saw it. But then Ann asked about it last night. Now Henry.

Everyone knows our little secret. We’re not the perfect family I try to portray.

A tear slowly rolls down my cheek. Henry wipes it away with his thumb. I gulp and blow out a quick breath. “He’s filed for divorce.”

Stunned silence greets me. “When?”

I chew my bottom lip. “Two weeks after I threw him out.”

Henry studies my face. “He hasn’t tried contacting you since?”

I shake my head. “Only through our lawyers.” Understanding and sympathy float across his eyes. “You’re the first person outside of my mom that I’ve admitted it to.”

Henry nods then looks down. “Last night was a rush for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything resembling that. Your text was surprising but completely welcome. And that dress…”

Heat coats my cheeks again. “I told you it was too short.”

“No,” he says, shaking his head. “It was perfect. You looked incredibly sexy. That shade of blue is your color and those heels made your legs look sky high.”

“No mother should wear an outfit like that.”

He leans closer; his hot breath beating against my cheek. “You should wear that. As often as you can.”

No one has given me a compliment like that in…ever. I’m not sure how to respond, so I lick my lips and nod. Pretty sure my voice is gone at this point.

“Then you kissed me. It took everything I had to stop us before we got too far. I had my suspicions but wasn’t sure where you were with your situation. I’m not that kind of guy, Jocelyn. I won’t be a reason for you to cheat. You and I both deserve more than that.” My shoulders sag at the finality of his words. Once again, he tilts my face to meet his. “When you’re ready, I’ll be here. I’m not going anywhere. You intrigue me like no one else. Your quirks are adorable and I want to know the rest of them.”

“What are you saying?”

Henry clears his throat and puts a slight amount of distance between us. “I want us to start hanging out more. Get to know each other. Build this friendship until you realize we could be more. I know you’re unhappy and kicking Mike out is a start. But I need to protect myself in this, too. So, friends?”

He sticks his hand out, expecting a shake. His logic makes sense. I’m the wishy-washy party who can’t make a firm decision on how to proceed with my life. Friends means no kissing, or dirty text messages to each other. That’s probably for the best.

I place my smaller hand in his and shake. “Friends.”

Henry smiles, but it fades as he closes the small distance between us with a kiss. Short. Sweet. And completely unexpected.

“Sealed with a kiss.” He winks. Seriously. And with his hat off, his sexiness is off the charts.

“That doesn’t help.”

The man has no shame. His only response is that panty-dropping smile.

 

 

About JODIE LARSON

Jodie Larson is a wife and mother to four beautiful girls, making their home in northern Minnesota along the shore of Lake Superior. When she isn’t running around to various activities or working her regular job, you can find her sitting in her favorite spot reading her new favorite book or camped out somewhere quiet trying to write her next manuscript. She’s addicted to reading (just ask her kids or husband) and loves talking books even more so with her friends. She’s also a lover of all things romance and happily ever afters, whether in movies or in books, as show in her extensive collection of both.

CONNECT WITH JODIE!

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

 

Release Blast for IRRESISTIBLE YOU by Kate Meader

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise 

and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, 

and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

IRRESISTIBLE YOU

Chicago Rebels #1

Kate Meader

Releasing Aug 14, 2017

PocketStar

Hot

in Chicago series author Kate

Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex

scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times).

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise

and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the

battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death

of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the

team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the

league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let

anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not

a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to

melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him

win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick.

Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the

unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows

this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey

franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to

lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

 

 

 

**Special release week price of just $1.99 **

 

f070a-tastytoursreview

 The latest by Kate Meader is full of action, sports and more action just between Remy Dupre and Harper Chase. Remy has met his match in Harper for she is not the easiest woman in his life right now. He has had women fall easily to his charms but when it comes to Harper he enjoys the chase. Harper is all business especially since the late Clifford Chase, her father handed her the Chicago Rebels. It is time for her to step up and make her late father proud or fail. This is not an option for her and though everybody has given up faith in the Rebels actually winning the Stanley Cup this year she needs Remy. These two together were a little hard to like but man the sexual tension between them was hot. Harper is the first one in this series and Kate Meader has two more sisters, Violet and Isobel, that are interesting as well in this series. Harper has a motto to never fraternize with the players but there’s no way she can deny Remy anymore. As sports romances are hitting the shelves Kate Meader has one that will make anyone start to love hockey especially with men like Remy. Loved it.

 

Originally

from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her

romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some

Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners,

oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s

there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha

heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

 

 

ad3e5-tastytoursexcerpt

Excerpt from Irresistible You
© Kate Meader

He looked uncomfortable standing there, balancing on his skates, ready to spring for the door. But she knew he wouldn’t sit while she stood because his mother had raised him to respect women. Something fluttered in her chest at that notion. DuPre might be a lot of things—ladies’ man, good ol’ boy, thorn in her side—but she suspected he would never hurt someone weaker than himself.

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

“Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”

“Somethin’ about needin’ me to instill leadership and help these boys get to the playoffs.” Warm honey flowed through her veins at the timbre of his voice. She could have sworn her panties slipped an inch.

“I did say that. I meant it. And I thought you understood.”

He rubbed his chin, the scrape against stubble delicious to her ears. All he was missing was a Stetson, a blade of grass, and some flighty piece in a cropped tank and Daisy Dukes. “I understood the words because you’d put them together in a highly entertainin’ way, and to certain ears, they might make sense. Then I told you what needed to happen to ensure my cooperation.”

This nonsense stopped here. “Is that why you’re playing like you can barely walk, much less skate? What’s wrong, old man? Feeling a touch of arthritis in your joints?”

For a brief moment, she thought she might have found his weakness: vanity. But no. He merely threaded his arms over his chest—over the Rebels logo of a big C with a hockey stick and a cutlass crossed behind it—and cocked his head.

“You’re gonna have to use a little more finesse, Harper.”

More surprising than the fact Remy had used the word finesse correctly in a sentence was that he didn’t seem annoyed with her. He seemed . . . amused. As if she were a toy he could happily bat around like a kitten would a semiconscious mouse.

Applause sounded, signifying the beginning of the final period. Neither of them moved, hands metaphorically hovering at their hips like Old West gunfighters.

“The trade deadline,” she said, feeling livid and helpless. “Give me that.”

“The all-star game.”

Three months. The all-star game, held in late January, was traditionally viewed as the halfway point of the season. On the cusp of the busy trade period, it led into a month of bartering and haggling as everyone lined up their teams for the big push to the playoffs.

At her hesitation, he leaned in, those cobalt blues flashing. It wasn’t enough to unholster her gun; she should have already taken her shot, and that delay was her undoing.

“Would you rather three months of my full effort or a whole season of my skatin’ like I’m playin’ squirt hockey?”

“You can’t seriously be reducing this to a game of ‘would you rather’?”

His voice dropped to an intimate tone, her panties another inch with it. “If you shake on it now, I’ll begin that full effort tonight.”

The siren blared in the distance, followed by the home crowd’s roar. Five zip. Harper didn’t enjoy being blackmailed, but she enjoyed losing even less.

She thrust her hand forward impatiently. He took it in his firm grasp. That electricity setting her skin aflame was her body telling her she’d made the right decision. Nothing else.

“You have a game to finish.”

He held on, and now he inclined his head so close she could count each and every one of those pretty-boy eyelashes. Her pulse rate spiked, and she was certain he could sense it. Sense her heart thumping rabbit kicks, her vein pulsing in her throat.

“We’ve shaken on it now, minou, so don’t you dare think about welshing. I might sound like I spend my spare time spitballin’ from the rockin’ chair on my porch, but don’t let my accent fool you none. I’m not the kind of man you want for an enemy. We clear?”

She might have rolled her eyes if she wasn’t just a wee bit impressed by his chutzpah. Still, he needed to be informed that while he might have won this battle, the war was far from over.

“Try not to trip on your way to the rink, DuPre.”

He laughed, deep and robust, clearly delighted with himself. Idiot. His thumb pressed against her inner wrist, and a crackle of energy leeched from him into her body.

“You feel that, Harper?”

She snatched back her hand. “If you mean my goodwill evaporating with every second you’re standing here, then, yeah, I feel it.”

“I think we’re havin’ a thing.”

They were. Oh, God, they were. “Why are you still here again?”

His mouth curved. “Lady, I got the distinct feelin’ these next few months are gonna be fun.”

He picked up his stick and, with more grace than a six-foot-two brute wearing skates on dry land should possess, he left the locker room.