EXCERPT: Pucked Off by Helena Hunting
I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance."
I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want. Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way. I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve. At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.
I shouldn’t want her. But I do. I should leave her alone. But I won’t.
Release Date: 21st February
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I’ve agreed to go out with Lance. On a date. Two actually. I don’t even know what to think. I grab my purse and slip into my jacket. As fall settles in and the temperature drops, layers are becoming necessary.
When I return, Lance is standing at the desk, checking his phone. He’s smiling.
“Ready to go,” I say.
He hits a couple of buttons, pockets his phone, and turns that grin on me. “Cool.”
I lock up the clinic, and Lance walks me across the lot. This time he doesn’t leave the usual space between us, and the back of his hand grazes my hip.
I’m nervous when we reach my car. His Hummer is parked right behind my Mini this time. I adjust the strap of my purse and look up at him. Strangely, he looks as nervous as me.
He scans my face and takes a small step closer. I can see his hand lifting in my peripheral vision. My hair is in a ponytail, which is sitting on my shoulder. He fingers the end of it.
“Why do I always want to pull this?”
I don’t have the opportunity to answer, because he drops his head and his lips skim my cheek.
“I want to kiss you.”
“You just did,” I whisper.
“I want do it again, but here.” His thumb touches my bottom lip.
He’s so close. His lips almost touching mine as he asks, “Can I do that?”
His lids grow heavy, and he kisses the corner of my mouth. Lance strokes my cheek and rests his palm on the side of my neck. The other hand skims the length of my arm until he reaches my fingertips.
He leans back a little, and for a second I think it’s over before it’s even begun, but he takes my hand in his. Uncurling my fingers, he lifts it and presses my palm against his cheek. A full-body tremor runs through him, and his eyes drift closed. He turns his head toward my palm, and I smooth my thumb along the contour of his bottom lip. A deep sound comes from the back of his throat, making my skin prickle and heat blossom in my belly.
When he opens his eyes again, the fire in them matches the heat flooding my entire body. “Can you keep yer hand right here?”
“If you want me to, yes.”
“I definitely do.”
He leans in and brushes his lips over mine again. It’s soft and warm. The next time he takes my bottom lip between his, he releases it slowly, and then does the same with the top one. When his tongue flicks out, I might whimper. Light fingers cup my head, and I tilt it back farther.
I part my lips, and his tongue sweeps my mouth. His groan is low, sending a shiver down my spine. He drops the hand that’s keeping mine pressed against his cheek. His arm winds around my waist, and he pulls me in tight against him.
I expect the kiss to grow in intensity. It doesn’t, though I can feel the heat building inside me. That feeling I’ve been searching for all these years is finally back.
Meet the Author: Helena Hunting
NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.