When the gloves come off, she's worth the penalty...
Physical therapist Annie Davidson is great at her job but unlucky when it comes to love. She's just out of a bad relationship. A really bad relationship. All she can do is focus on work...that is until she runs into professional hockey player Alec O'Meara. She's a touch insecure and doesn't understand why he's interested in her.
Despite being one of the biggest players on the team, right wing Alec O'Meara prefers finesse over force. After the tragic death of his wife, he 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.
The passion and fun they share is addicting and makes them long for more. But her insecurities that she's not good enough, and his anxiety over a long-term commitment will keep them apart, unless they can find a way to break through the defenses they've built around their hearts.
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 Novella
By Veronica Forand, Susan Scott Shelley, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley
All rights reserved.
Jab him in the ribs with the end of a hockey stick or check him into the boards, head first. Alec could take any amount of roughness on the ice, but a crying little girl destroyed him. He'd walked into her hospital room, teddy bear under his arm, to visit at the insistence of the floor nurse. And then he woke up the girl.
Probably scared the hell out of her.
"Please don't cry. It's okay. I'll tell the nurse you want your mom." Where did she go? Damn, he felt like an ass. He tried to soothe the girl's emotions, but tears in women always made him uncomfortable and awkward. He twisted around to head to the desk and slammed into someone. A very feminine someone. He reached out and grabbed her before she hit the floor. His body was always the biggest in the room and on the ice was also the fastest.
"Tam-?" He spoke without thinking and almost called her Tamara. It had been two years since his wife died and still the red hair reminded him of her. "Sorry. Did I hurt you?"
He released her as soon as she had her footing. The warmth of her skin remained in the palms of his hands for a few moments.
The woman straightened up to her full height and then smiled. She was breathtaking, the attraction hitting him like a punch in the gut.
Jesus. He hadn't felt anything like that in a long time.
"No problem. I heard Emily crying and thought I'd help you out."
He glanced back and waved. The little girl sat in silence staring at the scene outside her doorway.
"I think I scared her. Could you give her the bear I brought for her?"
"A three-year-old girl takes on the biggest hockey player in the league and wins." She laughed and took the bear from him.
"Not a fair fight. Tears are my kryptonite." The tension in his chest eased when she walked away and spoke with Emily.
Mikael, the goalie for the team, ambled up next to him. "I see you've met Annie. The nicest woman ever. I eat with her now and then at the diner near my house. She gives me quality dating advice, and I ignore it and fall for the gold diggers and puck bunnies of the world."
"She's not your type?" Alec stared at the red hair and the confident attitude of the woman working with the little girl.
"She's too intelligent to fall for a guy like me. You, however, may be perfect for her."
Perhaps it was because the red hair reminded him of Tamara. Another glance at her revealed a petite nose, long limbs, and a booming laugh. No, she wasn't anything like his deceased wife. Okay, he was curious about her. Nothing more. Mikael and Alec remained standing in silence for a few moments until the little patient cuddled up to the brown bear in her bed, and the woman returned to the hallway.
Mikael called out to her. "Annie, this is the great Sequoia, also known as Alec."
She lifted one very perfect eyebrow higher than the other. That breathtaking smile emerged again. "We've met. And I'd love to introduce him to the little girl with his bear in her arms."
Return to the crying little girl? Uh. Nope. But Annie didn't budge, and Mikael took off down the hallway. He'd pay for this.
"Emily loves teddy bears, and her family loves the Hustlers," she continued. "She's watched both games you've played since arriving here a few days ago with a leg fracture. Come on. I'll introduce you." She smiled, and something weird twisted in his gut.
He didn't want to be rude, so he followed her back into the room, trying to hide his huge frame behind Annie's trim figure so he didn't scare the girl again. Instead of tears, however, he was greeted by a smile. The little girl was in bed, her leg encased in a large brace. A few bruises marked her face, and she had a scratch on her chin. The injuries didn't take away from a wonderful gap-toothed smile and big expressive eyes.
"Hi." She waved. "You came back."
"I wanted to make sure you liked the bear." He approached the bed, but didn't crowd it.
"Thanks." She glanced between him and the physical therapist. "You play hockey for the Hustlers? My brother plays hockey. He's a goalie. Are you a goalie?"
"I'm a forward. I score goals. The goalie tries to stop them. Do you play a sport?"
"Ballet." Her arms lifted over her head in some ballet move, the bear clutched in one of her hands.
"Great sport." He lifted his arms over his head and pliéd. A move he'd learned in camp one year when a college coach thought learning to be graceful would help score goals. It was one of the hardest classes he'd ever taken. He'd never admit it, however, especially to his teammates or either of his brothers, who also played professional hockey.
Emily smiled and clapped.
A sexy laugh echoed across the room. Annie had probably never seen a hockey player do ballet before.
"I wish I had my camera out for this," she said.
He dropped his arms immediately and glanced at the door, in case Mikael had returned.
"I only perform for little girls named Emily." He winked at the two females laughing at his dance moves.
"Your secret is safe with us. Thank you so much for visiting her." Annie approached Emily and brushed her hair behind her ear. "Time for you to rest, little one."
She was a cute kid.
"It's really nice meeting you, Emily. You've made my day, so I'd like to give you something else. The next goal I score is for you." He leaned down and touched her nose.
"Absolutely. I'll try to find Zac, the captain of the team, and see if he can come and visit you too."
"Maybe he can dance with me, too." Her arms lifted up into another ballet pose.
"If he does, call me over, I'd love to watch."
He waved to Emily, nodded to her physical therapist, and left.
"Thank you," Annie called after him.
"Any time." And he meant it.
An hour and fifty patients later, he and Zac were the last two to leave. They tended to remain longer than the other guys. They enjoyed talking to the kids and giving them hockey advice. He saw the red ponytail a few more times moving in and out of rooms. She seemed sweet. Okay, sweet wasn't the word. Sexy and fun. After a few minutes with her, his gut — which he almost always trusted — told him Annie was a forever kind of woman. But he wasn't looking for another forever.
No matter how pretty she was, she wasn't the one for him.
* * *
Two weeks after the Hustlers' visit to the hospital, Annie's patients were still talking about meeting their favorite players. She hoped that visit, and the upcoming excursion to watch the team play this weekend, would keep them motivated to stick with their rehab programs. She helped Emily back into her bed. "You did a great job with your exercises today."
"I wanted to make Sequoia proud. He said I inspired him." Her pigtails bobbed from side to side.
Alec "Sequoia" O'Meara, star right winger, had become Emily's favorite topic of conversation. She never spoke about the bad fall out of a tree that had landed her in the hospital anymore. Annie smiled at the hero worship shining in the kid's eyes and fought the wave of warmth that crested every time she thought about how his hands had felt on her shoulders and the flash of interest she'd seen in his eyes. A flash quickly quelled before he'd walked away. So quick that maybe she'd imagined it.
His wife's very public battle with cancer had endeared both her and Alec to the entire community. The image of the stoic hockey player, felled by grief, was ingrained in her memory. In the two years since Tamara's passing, the gentle giant had worked his way into the hearts of all the fans. Annie cheered harder for his every on-ice success, feeling vested in it, willing it for him. If anyone deserved happiness, it was him.
Rolling her shoulders, she focused on the chart in her hand. No use thinking about Alec when she'd probably never see him again. She made a notation. "You've improved so much that you get to go home tomorrow. The doctor talked to your mom. She'll be here soon."
Emily's smile lit up her face. "I get to go home?"
Annie placed her hand on the child's shoulder. "I'll see you on an out- patient basis for the next two months. You'll be back in your ballet shoes before you know it."
"Maybe I'll play hockey like my brother and Sequoia."
Annie glanced at the side of the bed, where Alec had entertained Emily with his attempt at a grand plié and ignored the flutter of disappointment that he hadn't stayed longer. "Sure, and tell him to give ballet a try. It's good for flexibility. I'll see you tomorrow."
She was working with Tim, one of her long-term rehab patients when Hustlers' goalie Mikael Larrson walked in. The dark-haired Swede had become a friend and frequent dinner buddy in the months since he'd began weekly visits with Tim.
"How's the leg today?" He wrapped Annie in a quick hug and then fist- bumped Tim.
The sixteen-year-old shrugged. "Getting better. Watching my teammates play without me sucks. I wanna be back on the ice."
"You'll get back there, as long as you keep doing what Annie says." His eyes twinkled when he smiled at her. A hopeless flirt as harmless as a puppy and a good friend who'd given her a shoulder to cry on after she'd learned of her ex's cheating, Mikael was like the brother she'd never had.
She grabbed a bag of ice and patted the side of Tim's chair. "I wish they all listened as well as you do. Keep this on for ten minutes, then you're done for today." Leaving Tim and Mikael chatting about his team's latest game, she set up equipment for her next patient.
Mikael approached her. "I thought I'd stop by the diner tonight around six. Want to meet me there?"
She placed her hands on her hips. "Not if you want me to play wingman while you flirt with the new waitress."
He held his hands over his heart, the mock hurt on his features dissolving as his lips twitched into a smile. "I don't need a wingman, but I'd be happy to play one for you."
"Maybe I'll take you up on that." She'd spent enough time licking her wounds over Corey's cheating. It would be nice to have someone in her life again. She felt ready. Alec's face flashed into her mind. Rugged, handsome, and framed by long blond hair she wanted to touch.
"Yeah? You're finally taking my advice?" His eyes brightened. "Who's the guy?"
Asking him about Alec caught in her throat. Why would a star hockey player be interested in her? And if he wasn't, the rejection would be humiliating and might mess up her friendship with Mikael. "No one in particular. I'd better get back to work. My next patient will be here soon."
"All right. See you tonight."
Ignoring the pull of imagining herself with Alec, she waved good-bye, then walked over to Tim.
After eight hours of non-stop action and a missed meal, she was more than ready for the promise of friendship and hot food ten blocks away.
She shrugged into her coat and strode past the nurses' station. They no longer whispered as she went by. No longer a need to, now that Corey was her ex-boyfriend, and the gossip over his affair with a medical assistant, the ink barely dry on her certification, was old news. He'd tried to hide the affair, but everyone had known about it ... except for Annie.
Shaking her head, she checked her purse for bus fare. Seeing them together, day after day had been too much. Thank God he'd moved to a different hospital and the assistant to a different floor. The occasional spotting of the other woman, sporting a diamond on her left hand, was a stark reminder that, once again, she hadn't measured up.
After her second bumpy bus ride of the day, Annie stepped onto the curb outside The Blue Dog Diner. Its neon lights glowed with promises of food, a home away from home. Stomach rumbling, she tugged the heavy door open. The bells over the door chimed, and a blast of warmth and scents of fresh coffee and fried food rushed into the cold February night. People lined the counter and filled the booths. She smiled at some of the regulars, wove a path over the blue and red-checkered floor, and placed her usual order of a grilled cheese sandwich and bowl of tomato soup with Stella, the waitress at the counter.
"Hey, Annie. How's your car?" Stella, a grandmother of five, worked the dinner shift six days a week.
"It's still in the shop. I might have it back next week. Busy night in here." She ducked under an oversized shiny red heart. Valentine's Day decorations hung from the ceiling and dotted the counters and windows.
The bells chimed again. Annie glanced over her shoulder.
Alec walked in, followed by Mikael. He waved, motioned to Alec, and headed in her direction, then caught her in an eager hug. "Vouch for me. This place has killer sandwiches."
Alec caught Annie's gaze. She attributed the flutter in her stomach to the lack of food and coffee. His brows lifted, and then he smiled. "That true? No one beats Basker's."
"Until it burned down last week." Mikael slapped him on the back. "Annie, you've met Alec, my misguided friend."
Alec's gaze journeyed from her eyes to her feet, then back again. A warm buzz of awareness dimmed the surrounding sounds. She stared at him and slowly rocked back on her heels. On one level, she barely knew him, other than watching games and catching a few player interviews. But on another, she felt strangely close to him — his grief over his wife was similar to what she'd experienced losing her grandmother to the same disease.
"It's nice to see you again." His hand closed over hers, large, warm, and firm.
She raised her gaze from his hand, to his chest, over the thick neck and square jaw and into gray-blue eyes intent on hers. "Yes, you too."
At her words, his grip tightened, then eased.
"I forgot to ask you earlier. How's the kid he scared?" Mikael nudged him.
Alec's hand dropped to his side. The scent of leather stung her nose. He pushed up his jacket sleeves, and his lips curved into a smile. "Yeah. How's Emily?"
"She's going home tomorrow. And ... she carries the bear you gave her everywhere." She smiled over the memory of Alec going through ballet positions with her pint-sized patient. "She's telling everyone that you're her boyfriend."
"Sequoia's a heartbreaker." Mikael smirked and thumped him on the shoulder, then turned and placed orders for Alec and himself.
"A table just opened up in the back." Stella pointed to the corner of the room. "You better grab it before someone else comes in."
"Thanks." Mikael winked at Stella then turned to Annie. "Did you already order?"
"Cool. Then let's go." Mikael gestured for her to walk ahead.
Her gaze slid to Alec. Eating with Mikael was always entertaining, but what if Alec didn't want her there? "I can get mine to-go, if you two would rather be alone."
Mikael burst out laughing. "When you say it that way, I picture flowers and candles. Hell no. Sorry, Sequoia, you're not my type."
Alec's rich chuckle sent tingles up her spine. "I need to erase that image from my mind. You have to join us now, Annie."
Heat pulsed into her cheeks. She liked the way her name sounded coming from his lips. "All right."
Mikael led the way. He dropped into the opposite side of the booth from Alec, taking up the entire space, leaving her no choice but to sit next to the hulking blond. His arm brushed hers, heat pumping like a furnace. She fought the urge to keep the connection and slid further away.
Mikael glanced at them and grinned as if enjoying his own private joke. "I've been telling Alec for months that this place is better."
She turned to Alec, and her question about the other diner died on her tongue.
His gaze was fixed on her face. "I'm realizing now that I was missing out."
Heat crept into her cheeks. Was he flirting? With her? Before her disaster with Corey, she wouldn't have been so unsure. "I've never been disappointed."
Mikael stood. "Well kids, I'm off."
"What about dinner?" Alec's question echoed her own.
"I'm getting it to go. I forgot I have a date tonight." With a grin and raised brows directed first at Annie, then at Alec, he left.
The grin and the brows were so obvious. She knew Mikael well enough to know he'd never forget about a date. He lived for romance. Fresh heat flushed her cheeks. From Alec's expression, he'd realized the setup too. But she couldn't tell how he felt about it. She cleared her throat, wishing for water, tea, coffee, anything to cure her suddenly parched throat. "Maybe I should go, too."
He raised a brow. "Why?"
"Well ..." She fingered a button on her coat. Setups were so awkward, especially ones spontaneously sprung.
For a moment, a glimpse of vulnerability appeared in his eyes. The same thing she recognized in herself. "How about it, Annie? Stay and eat with me?"
The deep timbre of his voice pulled at her resolve. Was he just being nice? But if he didn't want her company, he wouldn't have asked, would he? "All right."
His grin slid back into place. If he were taking this change of plans in stride, she could too.
She moved to the other side of the booth, shrugged out of her coat and tossed it on the seat. "I'm here at least five times a week after work."
"Then Mikael wasn't lying, this place must be good." Alec's large frame dwarfed the booth. "I can't cook. At all."
Excerpted from Simmering Ice by Veronica Forand, Susan Scott Shelley, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2015 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
Annie is a physical therapist who meets Alec when he visits the hospital for the children. She looks a little like his late wife. She makes poor choices when it comes to men and he is not looking for a commitment. But they keep seeing each other and her mother keeps undermining her confidence until it comes to a head between them. They have to decide what is best for them. I liked these characters. Annie needs to learn to communicate and tell Alec what she is thinking instead of making assumptions based on what her mother says. I like Alec's teammates. They are regular Cupids. I plan on reading the other stories in this series.
I have been looking forward to this story since I read Flirting on Ice. I love the characters and hope to read more in this series. This story is about Alec. It has been a while since he lost his wife and he is not really looking to settle down. His teammate Zac introduces him to Annie. Their attraction is almost instant, but their insecurities and doubts make them question their feelings. Annie has issues with her mother that make it hard for her to believe someone like Alec could like her the way she is, and it takes a lot to convince her otherwise. I enjoyed their interactions, their easy camaraderie, even their pain as their love grows. I highly recommend this book. I look forward to more from Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley. I purchased this book directly from the authors.
My Thoughts: It's rare to find a story where the relationship starts off the story. Annie and Alec meet while she's at work. Both of them have a past--her with a cheating ex and him losing his wife--but they would like to move on. They spend time together flirting and then dating. Everything is wonderful between them, but Annie has some insecurities about the relationship. Her mother doesn't help matters with her unkind words that make Annie doubt Alec has true feelings for her. She allows what her mom says to get to her, even though deep down she cares deeply for Alec. It all comes down to whether the two of them can get over what happened in the past, and celebrate the possibility of a future together. Simmering Ice was a heartwarming romance. I loved how sweet the story was--the budding romance from the beginning and the way they interacted with the kids at the hospital. It all progressed perfectly, reasonably, realistically. You know Annie and Alec are meant to be, they just need to get by the challenges and trust in love guiding them home. I am very interested in checking out the first book in the Atlantic City Hustlers series, and any other books Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley write! My Rating: Very Good
Alec and Annie are perfect for each other. A hockey player who has suffered loss and a physical therapist who got cheated on. both have been hurt. annie has so many insecurities and alec doesnt want to get hurt again but these two persevere and we get a great story out of it. cant wait to read more from this author
Simmering Ice by Veronica Forand & Susan Scott Shelley is a heartbreaking novel about two people desperate to NOT fall in love again. It was a pure joy as a reader to follow their developing relationship despite the fact that they were avoiding having one – hard !The writing of this novel is flawless, fluent and at a steady pace. The reader simply has to enjoy this book – there is no avoiding that fact. Even though it is part of the Atlantic City Hustlers series it works perfectly as a standalone. In total – a very recommendable read.
*** This ARC was received from Entangled Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review*** I love the story and the characters. I am one of those people that have horrible self image no matter what anyone tells me
I'm loving this series. I can't wait for MORE! Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim First off, Simmering Ice, the second book in the Atlantic City Hustler series is a standalone read. I read the first book, Flirting on Ice and knew Alec “Sequoia” O’Meara was special. I just didn’t know how special he truly was or what demons he carried around. Alec has had his perfect love story. He thinks you get only one and his story ended with the death his wife. “She’s special. And you have a hell of a lot in common with her. Don’t go writing her off like you’ve done with every other woman you’ve met since Tamara.” Annie Davidson is a physical therapist that works with children. For pretty much her whole life, she has been chasing her mother’s approval and feeling as if she never measures up to anyone. Annie is as sweet and nice as they come but she doesn’t know just how beautiful, wonderful, and special she truly is. “You have no idea how you affect men. And it’s not your looks alone. You’re funny and intelligent and clever and the bravest woman I’ve ever met.” What I loved about this novella was the kindness Alec showed to Annie. Together they are playful and you see the love and respect they have for each other. Alec is protective to the point of possibly smothering Annie, who knows how to stand her ground with him. I also LOVE that Alec was inspired by Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers!!!! Simmering Ice isn’t a closed door romance but it also doesn’t go into great detail of the bedroom action. The Atlantic City Hustlers series is about a group of professional hockey players and this group of guys provide great advice when Alec needs it the most. There are two more guys who haven’t found the woman for them yet, and I can’t wait to get my hands on their stories. **Received a copy from Entangled Lovestruck in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
The Atlantic City Hustlers hockey team is filled with interesting and sexy men, but Alex O'Meara stands out. When Annie Davidson and he meet there are sparks and interest. After he lost his wife, he has never been seriously interested in a woman. That changes when he gets to know Annie, but she worries that she's not in his league. Can their love survive? Alex is interesting. He a heartbreaker and flirt on the outside, but inside he's a good and caring man. I chuckled at his nickname, Sequoia. Annie is perfect for him. They are both easy going and athletic. Her problem is her mother who constantly degrades her and makes her doubt Alex. Simmering Ice is a romantic story that made me smile. I liked Annie and Alex and the rest of the hockey players caught my interest. I definitely want to see more of them. Veronica Forand has the perfect touch for romance. The story has tenderness, love and passion. I'm looking forward to learning about the rest of the Hustlers.
This was a great read that had so much going on it was hard to believe it was only a novella. And unlike most novellas, the only thing this story left me wanting more of was the next book in the series. Alec was everything you would want in a man. He’s suffered the tragic loss of his wife, but once he meets Annie he is open to the possibility of…more. He’s the grounding force of his hockey team, and although his nickname Sequoia refers to his size, it’s really more a testament to how big his presence and personality are on and off the ice. And watching him take care of Annie when she gets injured was just….*sigh*. Annie has all sorts of issues to deal with when it comes to her self-esteem – I just cringed every time Annie’s mother opened her mouth. Talk about a mother who was totally unsupportive and judgmental, it’s no wonder Annie was always second guessing herself. She’s had some bad luck in the dating department as well, most recently finding out her boyfriend had been cheating on her for quite some time. Although she is attracted to Alec, she still doubts herself and is afraid to trust that what they may have is anything that can last. Alec and Annie together were such a great couple. What starts off as a friendship based on some one-on-one time on the basketball court quickly develops into something more. Annie is just what Alec needs to begin to move on with his life since his wife’s death. She’s vibrant and fun, and isn’t afraid to challenge him. Their banter was fun, and until Annie begins to cloud her feelings with her insecurities they look to be on a smooth course to a happy ever after. It was great to spend some time with the team, on and off the ice, and it was nice to see Zac and Heather (from book one) and catch up a bit with them. It’s always fun to hear the banter and ribbing amongst the guys on the team, and it was fun to watch Annie in the middle of it during the event she attended with Alec. This is a great, quick read, perfect for any romance lover! I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
In the years since he lost his wife to cancer, hockey player Alec O'Meara hasn't shown any interest in relationships until his teammate introduces him to physical therapist, Annie Davidson. A shared love of all things sports-related creates a bond between them that strengthens as they spend more time together and for the first time since his wife's death, Alec finds himself open to the possibility of loving someone again. Annie's self-esteem has taken a major hit since she got dumped by her ex and her mother's constant digs chip away at what's left, so even though she's interested in Alec, she does not think that she's his type and it's up to Alec to convince her otherwise. SIMMERING ICE is a well-written, fun and heartwarming story of two bruised and cautious people who get an unexpected chance at love. Alec is a thoughtful, caring, generous and sweet man and surprisingly down to earth for an athlete of his caliber. Annie is gorgeous, fun, friendly, athletic and very successful at what she does but a lifetime of criticism from her mother has made her very insecure about her ability to attract and keep a man. For a novella, there is depth to the story and the characters are very well-developed. I especially love that the relationship between Alec and Annie developed over a period of time and that Alec was patient with Annie in spite of her many doubts about his commitment to her. Annie and Alec are very likable characters and the inclusion of Alec's teammates and their interactions with them add some levity to the story. My only issue was that Annie never got to stand up to her mom and deal with the issues between them, especially because she was responsible for Annie's insecurities. All the same, SIMMERING ICE was fun and I look forward to more from these authors. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 Simmering Ice and the Atlantic City Hustlers series. I've enjoyed both books and can't wait for the next book. I'm hoping we get Mikael's story next =)
This is my favorite kind of sports related romance because it involves a spunky heroine, a hot hockey player, and an interesting story. Annie, a physical therapist, works with kids in a hospital and meets Alec, the professional hockey star, while he visits some of her young patients. Alec is reminded of his late wife, because Annie shares her red hair. Alec and Annie become friends, and after a lot of convincing, he persuades her to date him. Annie is influenced by negative relationships of the past (ex-boyfriends) and constant criticism by her mother. Can Alec and Annie over come the obstacles, and build a future together? This is a fun, well written book that combines the best of two of my favorite genres, medical and sports. I liked how the plot was original and the characters were realistic. I didn't like Annie's mom, but she was a good villain. The book caught my attention in the first chapter and held it the entire evening. I look forward to following this series in the future! I was given a free copy of the book for an honest opinion.
Simmering Ice (Atlantic City Hustlers #2) by Veronica Forand, Susan Scott Shelley 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 look forward to the next book in the series. Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
SCORE Atlantic City Hustlers’ right winger, Alec “Sequoia” O’Meara, lost his wife, Tamara, to cancer two years ago. Due to Alec’s famed talent, the media publicized both Tamara’s battle with cancer and later, following her death, Alec’s grief. Since becoming a widower, Alec, has ensured that his relationships never deepen – strictly remaining in the just-for-fun stage. Annie Davidson’s most recent relationship ended when she discovered her ex, Corey, having an affair with a medical assistant. Growing up her athleticism always shrouded her femininity and drew criticism. Discovering Corey’s infidelity reiterated old insecurities…making her feel inadequate. The courting/flirting set the pace for this incredible couple. I do not have much patience for a whinny heroine with low self-esteem, but Alec’s consistent encouragement made it tolerable. Every moment is remarkable – witnessing two people determined to not love again…fall so deeply…was incredible. Not sure what the authors have planned for the Atlantic City Hustlers series, but I hope it those plans include many more installments.
A very sweet emotional book. I loved the way Alec and Annie were very cautious with each other but felt that pull to be together. Their interactions were very cute and had me smiling. Their friend Mikael was hilarious setting them up and encouraging both of them to try a relationship. The bantering within the teammates was hysterical. I wish there would have been a little more interaction with Annie and her mom and sister to make it healthier. I hated the way the mom treated her, but Annie's relationship with her niece was golden. There were many heartwarming scenes, a lot of funny ones, and very intimate loving ones. Overall this was a great read that kept me entertained the whole way through. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
This book was so wonderful that right after I finished this story last night, I went and one-clicked the first story. Annie is a physical therapist at a hospital working with kids. Alec is a professional hockey player who visits the hospital as a favor to the coach and goes along with some of his friends from the team. The two meet, but Alec is still morning for his late wife and Annie has always been told by her mom she is not good enough or pretty enough so any guy(ugh!). Emotional, heartwarming, and you are pulling for the two of them from the start. Great, great story. Can't wait for more.
This is a sweet, quick read that is well written and enjoyable. The characters are likable and they have great chemistry. Alec's teammates add humor and great banter. I loved seeing Zac and Heather again. I look forward to reading more about the Atlantic City Hustlers. ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I highly enjoyed this one. I literally couldn't put it down. It's a nice fast paced read with easy flow. If you're a fan of hockey you'll fall in love with this book. Even if you're not a fan of sports Annie and Alec will capture your heart. I loved Alec. He's such a huge mountain of a man, but a heart as big to match. I felt for Annie. She has such big insecurities about herself that she believes there is no way a mega hockey star could fall for her. I wanted to smack Annie's mother through out the book for her "advice" to Annie. I also enjoyed the chemistry and the banter between Alec and his teammates. I encourage you to read this you won't be disappointed.
***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review**** Alec O'Meara is a professional hockey player who has had some pretty hard knocks in life- he lost the love of his life due to cancer and since then has kept a stranglehold on his heart so he can never feel that kind of pain on his heart. While visiting some children at a local hospital, he bumps into Annie and the color of her hair shocks him completely-she reminds him of his late wife. Annie Davidson, physical therapist, is young and has recently just got out of a relationship where her ex cheated on her with a medical assistant. Her own mother still to this day puts her down constantly. Annie is a sweet woman who goes out of her way to help people and when she runs into Alec, and he seems so interested in HER, she doesn’t understand what he sees in her. Alec sees Annie and all he can think is getting to know her better. Alec can see that he has his work cut out for him and how Annie is skittish but he wants to see where this is going. At times, things get rough and he doesn’t know if he is coming or going but he wants to see what they can have together. Their dating/flirting/make out sessions was so good. I really the dynamic was between the two. The only thing I think I didn’t like was Annie’s mother- I wanted some justice to come to her in this book. I wanted someone to take her down a peg and for her to be punished for what she put Annie thru. I will say this story and the HEA is fantastic. Also you will see Zac and Heather from book 1 Flirting on Ice," making an appearance. I cannot wait for a book 3 in this series. My rating: 4.4 stars ****
My name is ragestar of rageclan and if you are nice in this clan i will claw your face so bad and if u r in the middle im ok with that if youre really mean perfect. Sign ups are on this result so yeah this is my sign up i guess or this is how you sign up: name: ragestar age: six moons ( i was just too good to be an apprentice) personality: gets really really angry easily mostly medium meanness looks: black pelt and white markings, is unusually skinny and has red scourge collar cuz shes the daughter of scourge duh thats rage pool and the second one to sign up will become deputy or med cat. Bye.