“One of the best voices in contemporary romance.”—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne
Marek Fabritis is used to delivering blows, not receiving them. But when he gets tipped off by an anonymous email about his ex-girlfriend, the news leaves him ice cold—and it’s not because Gracen Moore is getting married to a total jerk. It’s the fact that Marek has a three-year-old daughter he never knew about. Now he’s going back home, not to play knight in shining armor but to make damn sure that no man takes what’s his. For the first time, there might be something more important than hockey.
Gracen Moore has always loved Marek. That’s why she let him go, so he could pursue a career in the NHL. And that’s why she never told him about Lilly. Only now does Gracen realize that she made an unforgivable mistake. But is that any reason for Marek to crash her wedding and make an epic scene? If the spark that still smolders between them is to be trusted, maybe. Still, Gracen’s not getting her hopes up. Because she knows better than anyone that appearances aren’t always what they seem. . . .
Praise for Marek
“Another five-star read from Sawyer Bennett! A second-chance roller coaster of emotions. I was cheering for Marek from page one. Loved it.”—USA Today bestselling author Sidney Halston
“Marek is a steamy, emotional, second-chance romance that had me rooting for both deeply scarred characters. Sawyer Bennett neverdisappoints.”—Gillian Archer, author of Rough Ride
“Just when I think the Carolina Cold Fury Hockey series couldn’t possibly get any better, Sawyer Bennett gives us Marek!”—Steph and Chris’s Book Review (five stars)
The Carolina Cold Fury series from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett can be read together or separately:
And don’t miss her Arizona Vengeance series:
The Love Hurts series features sexy standalone novels:
SEX IN THE STICKS
And the Sugar Bowl series is one treat you’ll want to read in order:
Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
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I take a swig from my bottle and then lean back against the fridge. I fight to temper the anger at Gracen with my need to get to know my daughter.
“I want her to know I’m her father,” I finally say to her.
“And will you be a father to her?” Gracen asks primly.
It’s a fair question, but it pisses me off. “I would have been three years ago when she was born if you’d have told me about her,” I retort.
Gracen sighs as she stands from the stool. “I can’t do this with you, Marek. You’re the one who left me behind. You’re the one who said you didn’t want the responsibility while you went on to your high-profile career.”
“For God’s sake, Gracen,” I growl as I storm across the floor to the island and set my bottle down so hard on the counter foam shoots out of it. “I wanted a little bit of freedom. I was young and had stars in my eyes. But I never would have turned my back on you if you were pregnant.”
“Oh really?” she snarls as she slams her hands down on the counter, just two feet across from me. “And how was I supposed to know that? How was I supposed to fathom that when I was scared to death over being pregnant and alone? When the man I loved and trusted dumped me because his career was more important?”
“It doesn’t matter what I did to you,” I say softly, the anger vibrating in my chest. “I had a right to know I had a child. You deprived me of three years with my daughter, and nothing I did to you would ever justify that. Nothing you could say could ever make up for that.
Gracen deflates right before my eyes. She seems to shrink inward on herself and her eyes go flat. Whatever I thought I knew about her selfishness in hiding Lilly from me, I suddenly realize that no matter how furious I am with her, it pales in comparison to the guilt she’s feeling.
She raises a shaky hand and pushes back a lock of hair behind her ear. Her eyes focus on my beer bottle and her voice quavers with strain. “Um . . . I’m a . . . kind of tired. Haven’t been sleeping well. I’m just going to hit the bed and we can talk about it in the morning.”
Guilt and concern gnaw at me but I push it back. “You’re not leaving, Gracen. Whatever it is you’re thinking, don’t be thinking that. I want time with Lilly, and that means she stays here.”
Her blue eyes are flat and unemotional as she looks up to me. She finally gives the barest of nods in acknowledgment and turns away. I watch her walk up the back staircase to the second floor, shoulders hunched, legs moving like they’re filled with lead.
When she’s out of sight, I pick up my beer and dump the rest of it down the drain. I’m exhausted and suddenly can’t wait to close my eyes and block out the world for at least a little bit.
For tomorrow, I become a dad.