FLIRTING ON ICE (Book 1)
When a sexy, forbidden spark blazes to life between professional hockey player Zac Elliott and the team owner's daughter, he's willing to risk being benched to have her. Their relationship is deeply passionate and intensely private...until the press catches them in the act. The only way out of the penalty box is for Zac to play hockey like life--and love--depends on it...
SIMMERING ICE (Book 2)
Physical therapist Annie Davidson is great at her job but unlucky when it comes to love. All she can do is focus on work...that is until she runs into professional hockey player Alec O'Meara. Alec likes to keep things loose on and off the ice, but the red-headed Annie challenges his beliefs and makes him think about taking their relationship to the net...
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Veronica Forand is an attorney and an award-winning writer of romantic suspense.
She's lived in Boston, London, Paris, Geneva, and Washington, DC and currently resides near Philadelphia. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Kiss of Death, RWA's chapter for romantic suspense and mystery, the RWA Contemporary Romance Chapter, the Valley Forge Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and the International Thriller Writers.
Susan Scott Shelley
Susan Scott Shelley is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and is active in several RWA chapters. For as long as she can remember, she has been in love with Love and all the sweeping grand gestures, heart-sighing moments, and quiet comforts it entails.
In addition to writing romances, she is also professional voiceover artist and enjoys lending her voice to a wide range of projects.
Her favorite things include running, sports, hard rock and old Hollywood movies. An unapologetic optimist, she believes life should be lived with laughter and a sense of wonder. She currently resides outside Philadelphia with her very own Superhero and spends her days writing about tough heroes, smart heroines, and love being the strongest magic there is.
Read an Excerpt
An Atlantic City Hustlers Boxset
By Veronica Forand, Susan Scott Shelley
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley
All rights reserved.
The soothing ocean and the bustle of the seaside businesses on the boardwalk contrasted perfectly with each other. The setting calmed Zac. He strolled along and watched families and tourists enjoying the cool fall weather. A little boy in an Atlantic City Hustlers hockey sweatshirt ran by him with an ice cream, never noticing the team captain only a few feet away. Zac preferred the anonymity. He needed this day to relax and clear his mind. He hopped off the boardwalk, his movements hindered by the large slice of pizza in his hand, and continued his walk on the beach.
A woman wearing jeans, an oversize Princeton sweatshirt, and a baseball hat that covered her hair and shadowed her face caught his attention. She was yanking a leash attached to a very large golden retriever.
The dog sat with its paws wedged into the sand, refusing to move no matter how hard the woman pulled. It leaned away from her, adding to the tension in the leash.
"Brindy, let's go. We can't stay here all day." She tugged the leash again, and the dog reacted by lying down. She threw up her hands and sat next to the animal.
Zac strolled over. He'd never owned a dog, although they always seemed to like him. Perhaps he wouldn't be much help, other than to carry it up to the woman's car.
"Is your dog okay?"
"Besides being lazy and stubborn, she's fine." Laughter tinged her words, and she remained in the sand, arms draped over her knees. Her long fingers rubbed the dog's head, where the fur faded from golden blond to snow white around its eyes and nose.
Fantastic, another hockey fan. Being one of the top scorers for the Hustlers, he was used to the attention, but today, he wanted to blend in and be just another guy out for a walk on the beach. The animal glanced up from her position on the sand to look at Zac, but didn't budge. The woman also turned her face toward him. Her sculpted eyebrows lifted as though surprised by his presence.
He almost did a double take. The incredible woman he'd been thinking about for months was sitting in front of him like a dream. "Heather."
Her face ignited into a smile, the same smile she wore when she skated around the arena helping out with the youth hockey program. Week after week, she spent time helping the kids learn to skate and cheered them on as they began to appreciate the game of hockey. Although her family foundation funded the program, she had no obligation to be there, but damn he was glad she always showed up. He'd managed to become closer to her during their time together, but wanted to know her on a more personal level.
"It's strange seeing you here on sand instead of on the ice." Her voice sounded amused and confident and comfortable.
"I agree." Typically, she wore a Hustlers jacket and tight jeans that formed her figure perfectly. He'd also never seen her long dark hair tucked into a baseball hat before.
She stood up. The dog didn't. Heather held her hand out to him. He went to shake it, but she dropped the leash in his hand instead.
"Brindy doesn't want to listen to me. Maybe you can convince her to move."
Brindy remained on her side in the sand, her near-death act given away by the occasional thumping of her tail when Zac scratched her neck. "I've never owned a dog, but I bet I can entice her to move. Can she eat pizza?"
"At this point, you can offer her a beer and a night out on the town, and I'd be okay with it."
He lifted a slice of pepperoni from his pizza and offered it to the dog. Brindy made a miraculous recovery. She bounded onto four paws and latched onto the pepperoni, barely missing his fingers. The dog shook herself, and sand flew in all directions. Zac shut his eyes, but neglected to protect his lunch. A faint dusting of sand now coated the cheese and sauce on his pizza. He handed it over to Brindy. She wagged her tail and swallowed in two happy gulps. So much for lunch.
Heather stood back a few steps, laughing. "I'm so sorry. Let me buy you another piece. Do you have time?"
He was meeting the team for dinner at McNally's Pub in a few hours, but the chance to have private time with Heather away from everyone's scrutiny made him want to cancel. Team captains, however, didn't miss team dinners to spend time with team owners' daughters. Then again, dinner was hours away. "Sure. I have time."
They strolled across the beach, Brindy lumbering along next to them, perfectly healthy and with a full stomach to boot.
* * *
Heather climbed the steps to the nearly empty boardwalk. The lazy Saturday she'd planned had taken an interesting turn. Zac Elliot, one of the most sought-after bachelors in Atlantic City, walked beside her, as gorgeous up close as he appeared in press photos and on TV screens. His looks only enhanced the good person underneath. In the four years he'd been a part of the Hustlers, they'd worked together often at her family foundation's various children's programs. Zac's involvement with the kids went beyond the typical player's role. His actions showed he cared as much as she did. Although they were together with the kids once a week, she'd never had the opportunity to spend any quality one-on-one time with him. More than anything, she wanted to get to know him better.
Brindy trotted by Zac's side, fully recovered from her feigned exhaustion. He reached down and rubbed her hair. "Great dog."
"She's been a part of my family for ten years, but she's actually my parents' dog. I'm watching her this weekend."
They entered a pizza shop heavily decked out in Thanksgiving decorations. Tangy tomato sauce, spices, and freshly baked dough permeated the small space.
Smiling at the man behind the counter, she scanned the menu then settled on her favorite. "A slice of Hawaiian pizza."
"I'll have the same." Zac's eyebrows lifted. "No one I know likes that topping but me."
"I can never order those toppings on a whole pie, because I'm the only one who would eat it."
"I'd share it with you." Zac pulled out his wallet.
"No, my treat, remember?" Heather waved him away and handed over a few bills.
The shop's owner walked out from behind the counter and greeted Brindy. He stared at Zac. "Hey, can I get your autograph for my kids?" At Zac's nod, he handed him a menu pad and a pen. "I played some hockey in my day. Here's how you can beat that hot-shot goalie when you play New York next week ..."
Heather stood back and observed last season's MVP in action. She smiled when Mr. Pizza switched topics, and Zac followed right along. Her previous opinion of him solidified. He really was a nice guy off the ice. Cute and kind, an irresistible combination. The stirring of attraction deepened. He seemed to care, about the fans, about her dog. The desire to get to know him heightened.
They agreed to sit on an outside bench overlooking the water while they ate. The sky, a brilliant, cloudless blue, kissed the dark waters of the Atlantic. Heather lifted her face to the sun and smiled. The sand, surf, and the salt air never failed to lift her spirits, but her elevated mood was due to Zac's presence.
Brindy settled at Zac's feet. Heather let her gaze wander over his well-worn sneakers, muscular calves, black mesh shorts, and gray sweatshirt pushed up to his elbows. The tattoo of a fighter plane covering his left forearm flexed when Zac folded his pizza in half and lifted the slice to his lips. The sun glinted off his dark blond hair and golden skin. She forced her focus away from his sculpted features and concentrated on the dog. "She's definitely made a new friend today."
Zac's blue eyes crinkled at the corners with his smile. "Dogs can tell when people like them. My high school hockey coach had a black Lab, Kane. I spent a lot of time with his family, and bonded with Kane. I always wanted a dog of my own."
His voice carried a wistfulness she wanted to soothe. "Why don't you get one now?"
"I'm not home enough. What's the point of having a pet if I have to hire a nanny to go with it? I'll get one someday, either after I've retired from hockey or when I have a family who can take care of him when I'm on the road."
"A black Lab?"
He nodded. "Just like Kane."
"I took the girls in my family foundation's empowerment program on a visit to an animal shelter last week. We helped with their adopt-a-thon. I keep saying I'm going to get a dog. Having someone to greet me when I get home would be nice."
"I wouldn't think you'd have to rely on a dog for that." Interest darkened his gaze, and he twisted his body to face her. He slid his arm to rest across the back of the bench, his fingertips almost close enough to touch her shoulder. The warmth from his thigh seeped through her jeans, and she had to stifle the urge to shift even closer to his inviting heat.
She smiled. Sitting so close to him, she could see the thin scar that ran along his jawline, from his cheek to his chin. A cold breeze buffeted the coast. She shivered and wrapped her arms around her torso.
His hand brushed her shoulder and sent a fresh wave of goose bumps rising. "You're freezing. We should move away from the water."
"I should probably get home. My mom is supposed to call soon, and she'll want to video chat so she can see Brindy."
"Where do you live? I'll walk you, in case Brindy goes down again." He grinned, and a dimple appeared on his cheek.
She laughed, and pointed in the direction of her beachfront apartment building. The walk home took twice as long as usual, with Brindy sniffing everything she encountered and Heather and Zac strolling side by side, close enough for their arms to brush with every step.
Too soon, they arrived at her building and rode the elevator to her penthouse. When they reached her front door, Heather turned. "Thanks for coming to Brindy's aid."
"Anytime." His lips quirked into a sexy smile that could charm anyone. He'd definitely charmed her.
Heather raised her gaze to meet his. "I'm glad I had the chance to get to know you better."
"Me, too." His eyes sparked with an intensity she'd seen on his face during a game. Concentration, pure and simple, and fully focused on her.
She looped the handle of the leash around her wrist. "Would you like to come in?"
"I have to go. I'm meeting the team for dinner soon." He shifted closer until only a few inches separated them.
"We just had pizza."
Strong fingers brushed the back of her hand. She nearly lost her grip on the leash, but then his hand closed over hers and his thumb continued the teasing caress on her skin. "I have to stop by a rookie's house first. Sweeney's not playing with his head on his shoulders, and I need to figure out why. Believe me, if the dinner wasn't a team thing, I'd blow it off to spend more time with you."
Her chin lifted, anticipation sweetening the moment. His head tilted toward her, his eyes darkening. Drawn like a magnet, she rested her hand on his chest, feeling the hard muscles bunch at her touch. Her fingers itched to crawl under the soft material of his sweatshirt and explore the hidden ridges.
He trailed a finger over her cheek, leaving her skin tingling. Tipping the brim of her baseball cap up, he licked his lips.
Her stomach clenched, and she thought her heart would pound right out of her chest. Zac's hand cupped her shoulder. Her lips parted, and the tug of attraction she'd experienced shifted into a tether tightening with every passing second.
His lips descended. And detoured to brush against her cheek. The heat of his touch sizzled her skin, but left her lips untouched, unquenched, and unsatisfied.
She blinked and met his stare, disappointed.
He again traced his fingertip down her cheek in a slow, straight line. "I'll see you later."
The quiet determination in his voice sent tingles dancing through her lower abdomen. She nodded and gripped the leather strap, fought the urge to tug his shirt and bring his mouth down to hers.
He crouched and ruffled Brindy's fur. Then he stood and paused. Smiling at Heather, he took a step closer to her. She matched his step and moved closer to him, but Brindy barked and nudged their legs, breaking the spell.
Within seconds, Zac was gone. She leaned against the door and looked down at the dog. "Let's just keep what happened here between us, okay?"
* * *
Late the next morning, after returning Brindy to her parents, Heather entered her apartment building's quiet lobby. She hadn't slept much the night before. Thoughts of Zac kept her awake. But rather than feeling exhausted, energy poured through her system. An afternoon and evening free of responsibilities stretched before her. Maybe he'd call. Maybe they'd meet up. Maybe they'd sink into the kiss she should have planted on him before he'd left.
The elevator pinged, and then footsteps clicked over the polished floor.
"Good morning, Heather." The team's general counsel, and her new neighbor, waved and headed in her direction. No matter what time she came into the lobby, he always seemed to be there, waiting to talk to her.
She continued toward the row of mailboxes on the far wall. "Hi, Ben."
He rested his hand on the wall directly above her head. "How are you enjoying your weekend?"
Taking a step away from his invading presence, she shrugged. The near-kiss with Zac replayed in her mind. No way would she share that kind of information. "I took care of my parents' dog. You?"
"I was out late last night with the team. Those guys are animals. You should have seen the bleached blonde cocktail waitress climbing all over Zac at dinner. He loved the attention. I overheard something about her going home with him."
The illusion that their chemistry had meant anything to Zac shattered. How had she misjudged him so completely? With Ben watching her, she couldn't react. Heather forced her cheeks to lift into a smile. "Well, good for him."
Ben shifted closer. His cologne overwhelmed her. "If you're free, would you like to go to brunch with me? Or coffee?"
"I'm sorry. I have something to do." She turned away from Ben. Instead of heading for her apartment, she turned toward the doors leading to the garage. A drive always cleared her mind. Hopefully, it would clear the sagging-sails, sucker-punch-to-the-gut feeling, too.CHAPTER 2
A fundraiser at his boss's house would be difficult enough during contract negotiations, but adding the presence of the boss's daughter would make this night a nuclear disaster. He hadn't spoken to Heather since their time strolling the boardwalk together a few weeks ago. A time he remembered as being one kiss away from perfection. Apparently, she hadn't felt the same way. Why would she tell a member of the front office, especially Ben, that he was an arrogant jock? That the slimy worm of an attorney relayed the information had been beyond excruciating. He'd always prided himself on understanding women, but he'd sure misinterpreted her interest in him. Screw it. He'd show up for the charity. Shake some hands. Leave.
A peal of laughter snapped his attention back to the road in front of him. He glanced at Keira, his blind date for the evening. He'd agreed to take her out as a favor to a teammate, who was most likely dating this woman's friend. Lately, however, women with a drop dead gorgeous shell surrounding nothing of substance didn't appeal to him. The casually dressed Heather on the beach seemed so much more inviting than Keira, who sported a dress so short she couldn't be wearing anything underneath.
Everything about Heather was authentic, welcoming, and comfortable. And, truth be told, sensual and alluring. Damn it to hell, the woman had burrowed into his psyche. He was twenty-eight years old, and he'd never met anyone like her. Women like Keira could never compete. One quick circuit of the room and then he'd drop off Keira and head home.
They arrived at his boss's house, and he parked close enough to allow himself a quick get away without involving the valet service. He escorted Keira into the house. Someone had done an amazing job of decorating the Ryan family's main hall with thousands of white lights, and dozens of red and white roses wrapped with red, white, and black ribbons for the Hustlers team colors.
Big band music blasted in the background, drowning out the welcoming voices of his team. He shouted his responses as dozens of fists reached out toward him in greeting. He kissed the cheeks of his teammates' wives and girlfriends and greeted the team owner, Patrick Ryan, and his wife. They acted as though nothing had occurred between their first-line center and Heather, their only child. Good. His temporary lapse in sanity, ignoring Patrick's threat of castration to any team player seen with his daughter, could stay under wraps. He wanted to forget the whole ordeal.
He tried to enjoy Keira's company, but her personality bored him. And she didn't appear too enthusiastic in his company, either. Instead, she focused on everyone else in the room.
Excerpted from Iced by Veronica Forand, Susan Scott Shelley. Copyright © 2017 Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
FLIRTING ON ICE I really enjoyed both stories, and while I'd say that I liked SIMMERING ICE better than FLIRTING ON ICE, I did still really enjoy Zac & Heather's story! I loved both characters—they were absolutely wonderful and their romance was so sweet! I thought they were perfect for one another! I did feel like their story was rushed a lot more than Alec & Annie's was though, so I do wish that it'd been a little more flushed out—I would've loved to see more of their relationship as it built. Other than that, I thought it was fantastic & I'm definitely looking forward to more of the Atlantic City Hustlers series! Along with the sweet romance, I thought that the story itself had a pretty great build & while it was fairly dramatic, it definitely had me glued to the page! I especially loved how the authors introduced the team & they left me curious about more than a few of the characters, so I was pretty glad to be able to read this one in a boxset since I was eager for more. :D All in all, I thought that FLIRTING ON ICE was adorable! Both Zac and Heather were the kind of characters that were really easy to like. They were kind, generous, & I genuinely wanted the best for them, so they were pretty fantastic to read about. I'm glad that we'll get to see peeks of them going forward in future Atlantic City Hustlers books. ;) - SIMMERING ICE Out of the two novellas, I did love SIMMERING ICE a bit more than FLIRTING ON ICE though! I loved Alec and Annie, & I felt like their story was a little more flushed out than Zac and Heather's was, but both were absolutely adorable!! I really loved the team aspects of the story, & the romance was sweet and had a really wonderful build! What I loved more about SIMMERING ICE was that we saw a lot more about both Alec & Annie. We learned about both of their pasts and why they were reluctant in love, & I thought that the authors did a great job of showing both characters' insecurities. They also did an amazing job at showing the chemistry between the characters! Alec and Annie had amazing chemistry, & they were extremely well suited together! They had so much in common, & I thought they complemented each other perfectly! I was actually pretty amazed how well their relationship was developed because this was a pretty quick read. SIMMERING ICE actually holds up pretty well against even full sized romances! It checked ALL of my boxes for romance books, & I really loved it! If you haven't started the Atlantic City Hustlers series yet, now's a good time since you can get this one & the first novella, FLIRTING ON ICE, in the ICED Boxset. ;) - As for the ICED Boxset as a whole, I loved that we got both novellas in it! Overall, both titles were fairly short, very sweet, & absolutely wonderful to read. I loved the romances, and I really enjoyed seeing the Atlantic City Hustlers as a team, too! Veronica Forand & Susan Scott Shelley have written a wonderful cast of characters, & I'm definitely looking forward to more from them, especially more of their Atlantic City Hustlers! I'd recommend these novellas to contemporary romance fans looking for hot athletes, & relationships that are both sexy and sweet! *Received an egalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Two novellas about team mates for the Atlantic City Hustlers, no real hockey to speak of. Flirting on Ice Three stars. Zac Elliott and the owner's daughter Heather fall for each other. But everyone else on the planet (or at least in Atlantic City) thinks it's a bad idea: the fans; his agent; his team mates; and his boss. Can love find a way? This was okay, Heather's parents were more suited to a teenager than a grown woman, telling her who she could date and threatening to trade him if they dated. Simmering on Ice Three stars also. Annie is a child physiotherapist at the hospital where Alec 'Sequoia' O'Meara and some of his team mates are visiting the sick children. At first , for a moment, Alec thinks Annie S his wife Tamara who died of cancer a few years ago because they both have long red hair. Romance develops, fuelled by Alec's need to 'save' people but he struggles with guilt over loving a woman there than Tamara and Annie has self-esteem issues because her mother is always criticising her. Both of these novellas were just okay for me, love happened too soon and the parental attitudes were a little old-fashioned. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I enjoyed this 2 book set. I didn't realize it was 2 books when I started to read so it was a fun surprise. The writing was good for both stories & the plots were entertaining. And of course the sexy time was HOT. This set is great for reading after a long week- lets you just lose yourself in 2 fun stories. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
4 stars ICED Boxset by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley is now live!! FLIRTING ON ICE (ATLANTIC CITY HUSTLERS #1) 3.5 stars Flirting on Ice was a sweet and romantic read. I enjoyed both Zac and Heather, they had such a strong connection and their chemistry was hot! Flirting on Ice was a quick and enjoyable read, which I highly recommend. SIMMERING ICE (ATLANTIC CITY HUSTLERS #2) 4 stars Simmering Ice was a sweet romantic read. I enjoyed seeing Annie and Alec fall in love. They were likable, relatable and had amazing chemistry. From the first page I was drawn into this story, it was heartwarming seeing them come together and not letting fear or insecurities keep them apart. I highly recommend Iced - An Atlantic City Hustlers series, looking forward to reading more from these talented authors.
Received and ARC for my fair review for netgalley. Book was short, but the relationship between Zac and Heather was sweet. They had known each other for years, and felt an attraction, but never acted on it. Since Heather is team owners daughter, she is forbidden for Zac, but they decide to go for it any way. You read the drama, the chaos they cause and the back stabbing that takes place. But you also read about what they are willing to do for each other, because they love each other. We do get a HEA
Iced An Atlantic City Hustlers Box set 2 Great stories that you will fall in love with. Flirting On Ice.....Great story when Zac falls for the owners daughter and forbidden love. This was a wonderful story that keeps you flipping pages. Simmering Ice......Another fantastic story between Alec and Annie both coming off of heartache. I love showed this story played out. This is a must read, you get two fantastic stories in this box set. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed the two books in this boxed set. I am a huge hockey romance fan and both of these are right up there with some of my faves. I will be looking for more from both of them in the future. Flirting on Ice, is Zac & Heather's book. As the captain of the Atlantic City Hustlers, starting a relationship with the team owner's daughter is right up there as the #1 thing you do not do. But after a few weeks of talking and texting and really getting to know each other, their intense chemistry proves to much to overcome and they start seeing each other anyway. They have some very hot and sexy times together. By this time they've already fallen for each other. Unfortunately they can't keep it quiet when the paparazzi are always around sneaking pictures when they think they are alone. This causes problems for both of them but luckily they are able to overcome and their HEA prevails. Simmering Ice, is Alec & Annie's book. He is a forward on the Hustlers and he lost his wife to cancer a few years prior and because of his status on the team it was a very public thing. He is a gorgeous mountain of a man, or should I say tree since his nickname is Sequoia. He isn't looking to start a relationship with anyone but he can't seem to stop himself with Annie. Annie is a physical therapist and a friendly, compassionate, and amazing woman and from the moment they meet he can't get her out of his mind. They begin dating and quickly get in deep with each other. Alec faster than Annie. Alec wants her to move in with him and he buys her a car and he even tells her he is falling hard for her. But years of being berated by her own mother and now her mother telling her she is not good enough for Alec, cause her to question whether Alec is really falling for her or is just trying to replace his dead wife with someone who reminds him of her. She may have red hair like the wife he lost, but that is where the similarities end. He just needs to prove that to Annie, which he does and it is wonderful and their awesome HEA prevails. These are solid 4-4 1/2 star reads.
Two novellas wrapped into one yummy boxset that will take you into the zone; quick to pull you in, this set was hard to put down...a one sit read! Please note that an ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review of which this is both honest and completely voluntary.
Really enjoyed this little box set. Both stories are short, sweet. and to the point. Sometimes I don't want to read a full length romance but I want all the feels of a full length romance and these did the trick. I liked the hockey element and the camaraderie between the players. These stories are both stand alone but some of the same people show up in both stories. I'm from the Atlantic City area so it was neat reading about places that I grew up around. Despite theshort length of each story there is a build up of tension and while the romance was steamy it wasn't overly done. I definitely recommend this little set!! I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Two novellas in one book. Flirting on Ice - Zac Elliott is captain and top scorer of the Atlantic City Hustlers, after four years of being drawn towards Heather Ryan, the owner's daughter, he bumps into her outside of the hockey arena and finds the electricity between them is mutual. However theirs is a forbidden relationship and when a jealous, ambitious and greedy man leaks their relationship to the press all hell breaks loose. Simmering on Ice - Alec "Sequoia" O'Meara widower and star right winger of the Atlantic City Hustlers, is attracted to Annie Davidson from the moment he meets the physical therapist in the children's hospital he and his teammates are visiting. A mutual friend sets them up but a recent relationship breakup and a hypercritical mother have left Annie less than confident that she can be enough for a man like Alec. Both stories were well written with romantic HEAs. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
I loved the idea of this series, hockey romance is one of my favourites. This is a two book series following the Atlantic City Hustlers Ice Hockey Team and their love interests. However in book one we meet Zac and Heather, and I've got to say I couldn't relate or sympathise with the characters, and I found Heather in particular quite annoying. The daughter of the hockey team's owner, she didn't have any character or spark. Zac was hot (I love hockey players), but he too seemed a bit dull and pathetic. The writing didn't seem to flow, the characters kept back tracking, saying one thing, and doing another. As good as the story could have been, I just wanted to get to the end as quickly as possible. Not a great read for me. Then I read book two and the writing and the story seemed to flow a lot more. The story follows Alec and Annie, both have pasts that aren't pleasant. Alec is a widower of 3 years and he isn't looking for any permanent fixtures in his love life. Annie has been cheated on by her ex, and to make matters worse her mother is always putting her down. She has no confidence. When she starts dating Alex, all her insecurities come to the surface. I enjoyed reading this story and even fell in love with Zac from book 1 again. Light easy read. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Flirting On Ice: Atlantic City Hustlers team captain Zac Elliott knows that his every move on the ice and off is being monitored, and everything he does reflects on the team and his career, so getting involved with the team owner's daughter would be a monumental mistake... but that doesn't keep him from wanting it to happen. Heather and him have been circling around one another for some time now, but have always kept things completely professional, until one chance meeting in the park changes everything. Now the two of them have crossed a line they know they shouldn't have, and are doing all they can to keep their relationship a secret, but when your a star hockey player, and a team owners daughter secrets just aren't a luxury you can afford... Simmering Ice: After a rather rough break-up physical therapist Annie Davidson has decided to focus a little more on her work and a little less on men, the last thing she needs is another broken heart. But she never anticipated a man like Alec O'Meara skating into her life, he wants a date, but she isn't so sure she's ready to let another man into her life... or score a place in her heart! Alec O'Mera has grown accustom to woman falling all over themselves in his presence, but when he meets Annie she gives off an uninterested air and it throws him off of his game and has him scrambling to do something that will gain her attention. She is a little skittish around him, and he can tell that she's been burned in the past, but he isn't about to let that deter him, he knows there is something special brewing between them and he's not ready to walk away just yet... These short, and oh so enticing novellas captured my attention from the first page and took me on quite the literary ride! This was my first experience with both of these author's work and I have to say they totally won me over with their sexy hockey players and the beautiful women who captured their hearts! Both story lines were brimming with hope, intense passion, heartwarming emotion, and some toe curling bedroom escapades that left me blushing a time or two! I highly recommend you give these stories a shot, Alec and Zac are sure to score a special place in your heart!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
Flirting on Ice by Veronica Forand and Susan S. Shelley is an incredible start to the Atlantic City Hustlers Series. Professional hockey player Zac Elliott career is at a high as he is entering a contract negotiation. The last thing he should do is jeopardize it pursuing a relationship with the team owner's daughter, Heather Ryan. This 100-page novella is an exciting and fast paced read that I finished in one sitting. I really enjoyed Flirting on Ice. I like how the story starts out with the characters bumping into each other outside the work environment. Both Zac and Heather are likable characters. They undergo some interesting obstacles in this story. The plot is very realistic and convincing. The story had a nice Christmas ending. SIMMERING ICE (ATLANTIC CITY HUSTLERS #2) Hockey player Alec O'Meara has not been interested in dating years after the death of his wife. That is until physical therapist, Annie Davidson, catches his eye. I like Annie. She is smart and athletic. She is self-sacrificing, living in less than optimal conditions to help out her older landlord. She is a bit insecure, but who isn’t at some point or another. Considering the lack of support she gets from her mother, she turned out to be a wonderful person. My heart went out to Alec for losing his wife. He is a good guy and leader. He is a likeable character. He has great friends. I like how his team mates get involved in helping match-make, especially Mikael. I swear they are worse than a bunch of girls. Simmering Ice is well-written and has a delightful plot. There were some unexpected twists, and the entire book was interesting. I could not put this book down. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
This is a fantastic novella duet with 2 great quick reads that will leave you smiling. Don't miss it! Flirting on Ice - 4 stars - A sure way to throw your hockey career off the rails is to fall for the owners daughter! That's exactly what happens to Zac Elliott when he falls hard and fast for Heather Ryan. He knows messing with her is strictly forbidden but his heart never got the memo. This was a fun, quick read that was a perfect combination of angst and romance. Simmering Ice - 5 stars - Alec O'Meara, professional hockey player, and Annie Davidson, physical therapist, meet one afternoon at the hospital when Alec is visiting young hospitalized fans! They have an immediate attraction but Annie is just out of a bad relationship and Alec hasn't been interested in anyone since losing his young wife to cancer. After spending more time together has Alec thinking it's time to move on and really begin living again. Now to get Annie over her insecurities. This is an excellent quick read that is perfect for a lazy afternoon. Great writing and characters make this one you don't want to miss.
This duet combines risk with heart and scores a winning goal. Flirting on Ice - Zac is a rule breaker on the ice, but when he takes those skills off the ice his heart and career may not withstand the blow. Heather proves to be his greatest temptation and his biggest risk? Will the odds end in his favor? (5 stars) Simmering Ice - She wants to sit this one out. He's playing for keeps. Will this attraction score a goal or go bust? (5 stars) Iced proved to be a win, win for me. Not only did I discover additions to my one click collection, but I found two novellas that were easy to love and hard to put down. Here's to taking risks.