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Melting the Ice
Game On In Seattle #5
Releasing June 15th, 2015
USA Today Bestselling author Jami Davenport presents another Seattle Sockeyes hockey romance and the fifth book in her Game On in Seattle sports romance series showcasing alpha male heroes of football, baseball, and hockey.
Brimming with attitude and broken beyond repair, Isaac "Ice" Wolfe has a heart as cold as his nickname, and he likes it that way--until he meets his neighbor Avery Maxwell. Avery is unlike any woman he's ever known. Her smile thaws his frozen heart. Being with her heals his broken places. She makes him feel, and for Isaac that's not always a good thing. Isaac has burned every bridge in his professional hockey career. When he's traded to the Seattle Sockeyes halfway through their inaugural season, he knows he won't get another chance. He's never been a team player, yet he needs to become one--and fast.
Avery has only wanted one thing in her life--to train and show horses. Her decision to drop out of college to pursue her riding career causes a rift with her big sister, but Avery is tired of following everyone else's dreams. Now she's following her own, and no one is going to distract her from her passion--until she meets a dark stranger and his cantankerous dog.
When Isaac is warned away from Avery by the team's captain, who happens to be Avery's future brother-in-law, Isaac sees the writing on the wall. It's Avery or his career. To Isaac, a life without hockey wouldn't be a life worth living. But what about a life without Avery?
Do Isaac and Avery sacrifice their life's passions for their mutual passion for each other, or do they fight to have it all, even if by doing so, they might lose everything in the end?
That damn dog. As soon as Isaac opened the door to bring in groceries, the little shit ran between his legs and took off after some invisible prey, streaking across the neighbor’s pasture faster than any fat boxer had the right to run. He disappeared out of sight, but Isaac heard him barking.
He yelled for the mutt, knowing it was pointless. While Hal always came back, they’d only lived here a couple days. Isaac doubted the animal was smart enough to find his way home.
With a sigh, he put his groceries on the porch and jogged after the dog, knowing the fat boxer would tire pretty fast, and Isaac would eventually catch up with him.
Instead of taking the meandering gravel road that wound past the neighboring horse barn, Isaac jogged across the field Hal had streaked through only a minute ago. He cursed under his breath as the wet, knee-high grass soaked his jeans. Then he stepped in a puddle of water, splashing it all over his clothes. His shoes squished as he ran.
Damn, ill-mannered dog.
The dog, a drooling, snorting boxer, hated him. No wonder. The two of them were way too much alike. He used to accuse his girlfriend of getting the dog because he reminded her of Isaac.
The thought of Jenny sobered him and weighed him down. He slowed his pace to a walk, feeling slightly ill.
Hal had been orphaned after the loss of Jenny, Isaac’s on-again-off-again girlfriend since high school. She’d been the only somewhat constant in his sorry life except for hockey. In their dysfunctional way, they’d loved each other. Not that Isaac had much experience with love, but he’d cared about Jenny. She’d been the most important person in his life next to his sister until that fateful night three years ago when everything changed forever.
Now Hal was his constant reminder of what a total douchebag loser he really was, and how he systematically destroyed the people in his life who mattered most.
Hal and he fit together well. They were both assholes and didn’t like anyone. He swore the damn dog blamed him for what happened to Jenny, which made five of them, counting his two brothers and his father.
Blowing out a breath and watching it float away in the cold air, Isaac shook off his relapse into self-recrimination, and picked up the pace again, driven by fear that something might happen to Hal. He was steaming by the time he jogged into the gravel parking area surrounding his neighbor’s large barn. A city boy from birth, he breathed through his mouth rather than inhale the strong scent of horse manure.
Isaac paused in front of the barn and closed his eyes for a moment, sending up a silent plea to whoever the hell listened to those kinds of things—if anyone did—that grouchy Hal hadn’t done any damage to the horses, people, or himself.
Out of options, he walked into the large barn, pausing while his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting in the long aisle. Horses poked their heads over their stall doors and made these weird noises, almost like they were happy to see him. No one was ever happy to see him. Not anymore.
Isaac stepped farther into the barn. A small blonde girl brushing a huge animal saw him and stopped what she was doing. She stared at him, her eyes huge in her gaunt face, looking like she might run like hell at any moment.
Isaac halted, keeping his voice steady and calm, so he didn’t scare her off. “Hey, I’m looking for my dog. A boxer. Have you seen him?”
The teenager chewed on a fingernail and stared at the ground, keeping one hand on the horse’s neck, as if the animal were some kind of lifeline. Isaac didn’t know a thing about horses. Did they attack when their owners felt threatened like some dogs did?
Isaac stepped closer, maintaining a safe distance from the horse’s hooves. “Excuse me. Have you seen my dog?” Something in the teenager brought out a rare and long buried protective instinct in him. He didn’t want to hurt her or add to her obvious alarm.
She glanced up at him, alarm in her eyes. Dropping the brush on the concrete with a clatter, she scurried down the aisle, disappearing through a door and slamming it after her. Isaac scratched his chin. Hell, he’d been decent enough, hadn’t raised his voice, hadn’t been a jerk. For him, he’d behaved like a nice guy.
Maybe she was deaf or something.
Definitely or something.
The door opened again, and a leggy blonde beauty came flying out, heading toward him with fury in every step she took.
Isaac rocked back on his heels. What the hell? He just wanted to find his dog. This woman marched toward him as if he were a terrorist, and she was a soldier poised to take him down. Not that he was scared—not much scared Isaac, especially when it came to women. If anything, he found her anger amusing and arousing, while he found her hot, really hot, and damn sexy.
He grinned at her, figuring his rare trademark grin would shoot her down before she got close enough to castrate him. It didn’t. He backed up a step and protected his privates by putting a few hay bales between them.
The woman—a very attractive, make-a-man-hard-in-a-split-second woman—stopped mere inches from him. She was tall. He was taller. She was bad-ass, he wrote the book on bad-ass. Yet, while he might be famous for his crappy attitude, her attitude trumped his and took no prisoners.
He liked that.
Damn, but she could imprison him any time, put him in handcuffs, and tie him to her bed. He’d be all over that scene in seconds and all over her in less time.
She wore a stained T-shirt tucked into these form-fitting riding pants which hugged every curve. And those boots. She wore knee-high black boots. They were scuffed from hours in the saddle, but they fit like they were made for her legs. What guy wouldn’t get a hard-on ogling a woman dressed like that? Now if only she’d been carrying a riding crop. He’d cream his jeans right there.
One look and he’d fallen for this woman, or at least fallen for her delectable body and blazing blue eyes. Women didn’t do this to him. Ever. But she had him from the second she almost yanked that door off its hinges and stalked toward him with smoke coming out her ears.
Lord, help him.
Isaac instantly went hard. His dick might be fast, but his brain was faster, imagining this angry angel writhing underneath him while he showed her just how hard this real man could ride. Even better, he’d flip over onto his back and let her ride him. He groaned out loud at that thought, which earned him an impressive scowl from her.
He hadn’t felt this instant attraction to a woman since—since—he visibly shuddered and banished those painful memories from his mind.
She was the perfect angel to his devil. He wanted her, and in that instant, he knew he’d do anything to have her. Even if she didn’t want him, he’d find a way to convince her because his dick and his body wanted her. Oh, yeah, they wanted her, and who was he to argue with the big guns.
He grinned—it felt strange to do so, but she had that effect on him. He was one of the meanest, nastiest guys in the NHL, yet she was willing to do battle and take him on.
And that impressed him more than anything.
I couldn't put this book down once I started! Isaac may seem like he's the biggest jerk, but deep under all the scars on his heart, he's a sweetheart. After a quick and dirty liaison with Avery, they decide it is best for his career to just be friends. Little by little, Avery and the Sockeyes chip away at the walls around his heart until he starts to care about more than just himself. There is plenty of hockey in this sweet love story with a very happy ending. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
I received an ARC for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
USA Today Bestselling Author Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn't have it any other way.