Rough Riders Hockey Series – Book 2
By Skye Jordan
The pressure has never been more intense for Rough Riders’ star defenseman Beckett Croft. With his contact expiring, Beckett has to live up to his badass reputation every minute of every game to earn the next big deal. A deal that will secure a stable home for his five-year-old daughter. So when an injury on the ice threatens to send him to the ER, he fights protocol—until the feisty EMT refuses to take no for an answer. Beckett likes his women assertive, and the spark between them is nothing short of scorching. Her indifference to his fame and money only intrigues him more. And by the time he peeks beneath her tightly sealed edges to see her beautiful but deeply wounded soul, he’s in way too deep to pull back.
After years of shutting herself off from men, Eden is tempted by the heat that blazes when she is around the NHL’s most notorious bad boy—even toying with an inkling of “what if”. But life has taught her how painfully that kind of fire burns. And how deeply it scars. So Eden denies the spark room to grow, the same way she shut out the violence from her past, focusing instead on her career and finishing paramedic school. She’ll never rely on a man for money or security again.
But when the heat between them becomes too hot to ignore, one night isn’t enough. Soon, Beckett and Eden find themselves caught between desire and fear—with painful pasts pulling them in one direction and a fragile new love pulling them in another. All while the family and careers that matter most hang in the balance.
Beckett lifted his gaze to hers. Those light blue-green eyes were heavy lidded and hot but soft. As soon as he pulled her thumb from between his lips, she leaned in and pressed hers in their place, then sighed as if she’d been waiting forever to rest her mouth against his.
A wild little sliver of desire snaked down his spine. Beckett closed his eyes, slipped a hand around the back of her neck, and opened to her. She responded like she’d been reading his mind. Her tongue slid right into place against his. The rhythm of their kiss was instantaneous and hungry and took Beckett’s already interested cock to half-mast. He leaned into her, losing himself in the sweet, erotic taste of heat and woman. The slick, smooth stroke of her tongue. The supple suction of her lips. And, God, the little purr in the back of her throat made Beckett want so much more.
She pulled out of the kiss and pressed her cheek to his, leaving Beckett dizzy. “You sure can make a girl forget her own name.” Her nails scraped gently along the back of his neck, and she rolled her head to press kisses to his jaw. “What were we talking about? Your family…right. Where do they live?”
“Wow,” he breathed, “that was so not where my mind was.” He had to force himself to refocus. “They’re all in and around the DC Metro area.”
“They’re so close.” She leaned away just enough to smile up at him, a new light in her eyes. She scraped her wet bottom lip between her teeth, then moved even closer and draped one thigh over his. Do they come to your games? And where was your mind?”
He automatically covered her thigh with his hand. Her soft dress felt sinfully delicious. “When they can. They have busy lives too.” He couldn’t keep his hand still and found her thigh toned and supple and warm beneath the soft fabric. “Eden, I’m having a really hard time thinking about anything other than you right now.”
“I’m having the same problem.” She pressed a flat hand to his tie and slid it slowly down his abdomen. “But at least I’m trying.”
He took a gooey chunk off the cake with his free hand and braced his elbow on the table as he lifted the chocolate to her lips. “Trying to what? Think about nothing but me? Because I would support that decision two hundred percent.”
She was laughing when her lips parted to take the chocolate, but the humor faded as soon as her mouth closed. Her warmth tingled through his hand, and then the gentle suction of her lips tugged on his fingers.
“Damn, you are so beautiful.” He listed forward, leaning his head against hers. Watching her lick and suck his fingers clean made his cock flinch and throb, begging for the same attention. Not only had it been a long damn time since he’d had decent sex, but it had been fucking forever since he’d had a woman give him this sort of focused attention. Only now, when the promise of that kind of pleasure glittered on the horizon, did he realize how badly he needed it.
“Fuck, you’re good with your mouth.” His other hand flexed and released on her thigh. He turned his head and put his lips at her ear whispering, “Will you tell me what you have on under your dress tonight?”
She licked the tip of his thumb. “I could, but that would ruin the surprise.”
His heart did a three-sixty. He was probably pushing the envelope, but he really didn’t know how else to live. It was what he did. It was who he was. “What if I felt it? That wouldn’t be looking.”
He bent his head and pressed a path of kisses along her jaw. Her fingers curled into the front of his shirt. He tasted the sensitive hollow behind her ear, and Eden tipped her head toward him and sighed.
“God, you are sweet.” He lifted an arm over the back of the booth and brushed the hair off her neck, kissing her there. Then he slipped his other hand beneath the edge of her skirt, opening his hand over the soft suede of her boot top before spanning the inner thigh of her leg draped over his own.
His palm hit the warm, bare skin of her thigh, and the shock of intimacy traveled through his body like lightning. “Fuck.” In this cold weather, he wasn’t prepared for skin-on-skin contact. He pressed his forehead to her neck and let his fingers sink into the supple muscle. “Baby, I think your sexy just blew my circuit.”
Her laugh started as a giggle and grew until it shook her whole body. Her happiness added to Beckett’s joy until he couldn’t stop smiling. And he knew this short time with Eden would count as one of the best dates of his life, even if they never got any further than this.
Then she went and blew another fuse by whispering, “Go ahead. Touch me.”
Beckett Croft is not only the captain of the Rough Riders Hockey team, he is a single father. This season is one of the most important seasons of his career. His contract is up, he’s thirty two, and he has to secure his next contract with the Rough Riders. He doesn’t want to move his daughter away from his family. The last thing he needs is an injury or bad press. He has kept his daughter a secret from the press to ensure her well being after being neglected and abandoned by her mother. When he has a hard hit and is almost rendered unconscious, he refuses to go to the hospital. An assertive and beautiful EMT takes charge and puts Beckett in his place, or rather on the gurney.
Beckett is intrigued with Eden. She doesn’t seem to be interested in his fame, his career, or his money. She’s extremely busy with her job and schooling for becoming a paramedic. He’s tried to convince her to go on a date. She keeps turning him down. To his great surprise she shows up one night after the game at the local bar the team goes to after the games. She makes it clear that this is about the sex and the sex only. Beckett’s fine by that until he finally gets Eden in his bed. He wants more of Eden. Now he will have to convince her to take a chance on him.
Eden is reluctant to date a hockey player. They are known for their violence. Their careers are violent. She was in an abusive relationship and refuses to put herself in that position again. Beckett seems different off the ice. He’s charming, gentle, and in tune to her needs. When she finds out that he is a single father and meets his daughter, she realizes her misconceptions about Beckett are off base. She is falling for the man himself.
Beckett and Eden will have to find a way to make their busy schedules fit into their relationship. Just as things start working their way, life takes another bumpy road. Beckett could lose his daughter, lose his upcoming contract, and lose Eden.
Beckett is a fighter. He will fight for those he loves. Eden is his Hot Puck. She is the perfect game for his life.
I absolutely loved this book. It really focused on the game of hockey itself, brought all the players to life, showcased their lives as professional athletes as well as men with lives off the ice. The relationship between Beckett and Eden was sexy, realistic, and believable. Beckett’s family life made this book even more charming.
I can’t wait to see what player is up next on the roster in the Rough Riders Hockey series by Skye Jordan. This series is a Stanley Cup winner in hockey/ sports romance genre.
Skye Jordan is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Skye’s novels are about enjoying that little wild streak we don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we rarely get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, and maybe even acting a little naughty. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance. And, yes, even love, because while wicked-great sex is good, happily ever after with wicked-great sex is even better.
When she’s not writing, Skye loves to read, knit, craft, row, ride, and dabble in photography.
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