Slap Shot

By: Lily Harlem

Book three in the Hot Ice series.



They say a leopard can’t change its spots. They’re wrong, because I did! Now I’m successful and independent and busy heading up my own company. I don’t have time for the complication of a man in my bed—not yet. That plan is years down the line.

Or so I thought. Because when a certain devastatingly sexy hockey captain sets his sights on me, my old impulsive self is determined to make up for two years of abstinence. I had to get sweaty, naked and dirty real quick. Heck to the consequences, regardless of the outcome. It’s all about immediate pleasure and intense satisfaction.

Trouble is, best laid plans never run smoothly and before I know it, I’m working a pole again and running for my life. Just as well Rick “Ramrod” Lewis lives up to his reputation and his name—big, bad and fortunately playing to win!



Dedication



For Nic—with much appreciation for your endless support, professionalism and patience during the creating of Hot Ice.





Chapter One



“Is there an airport around here or is that my heart taking off?”

I looked up, and up some more, searching for the face of the culprit who’d dished out possibly the cheesiest pick-up line ever. Seriously. Airport. Heart taking off?

High above me, chestnut-colored eyes full of mirth topped with heavy black brows sparkled down. Despite myself I couldn’t help but smile back as his mouth stretched wide, revealing neat, white teeth and dimples that just didn’t belong on such a giant of a man.

“I’ve got more if you like that one,” he offered, shoving his hands into his pockets and shifting on the baked pathway that led to the church.

I raised my brows in a “and you seriously think I want to hear them?” kind of a way and clutched my clipboard to my chest.

“Yeah,” he said, his voice deep and rasping. “How about, are you a parking ticket babe, ’cause you got ‘fine’ written all over you?”

I groaned and glanced at the bride and groom who were still busy having their photographs taken. Despite the corny approach, the testosterone-overdosed guy looming at my side was hot, damn hot, hot enough to make a nun break her vow of celibacy. And I, for one, was no nun.

He tipped his head to mine, his mouth only a whisper from my ear. The scent of citrus, honey and amber filled my nose, an aftershave so tantalizing and unique I couldn’t help but suck in a little more deeply than was required. He spoke again and his warm breath tickled my neck. “I wish you were a door, then I could bang you all night long.”

“That’s truly terrible.” I shook my head and took a step away. “Don’t tell me it has ever actually got you anywhere.”

“Once or twice.” He grinned. “I’m Rick by the way.” His huge palm cupped my elbow, preventing me from moving any farther. “Remember that, darlin’, ’cause you’ll be screaming it later.”

I shifted my elbow from his grip. “I think we can safely say that is not going to happen.” My legs stayed firmly together these days. Gone was the old Dana who’d danced and played around, living life to the fullest, partying as though there was no tomorrow. The new Dana was work-focused, determined—a classy, independent woman.

“I’m sorry.” He shrugged and grinned. “My mouth gets carried away sometimes.”

“Is that another line?”

“No.” He laughed, rubbing his fingers over the patch of dark hair beneath his full bottom lip. “But it could be.” He held out his hand. “Rick Lewis.”

I placed my hand in his palm and colossal fingers wrapped around mine. “Nice to meet you, Rick.” I already knew who he was because it was my company, Best Laid Plans, that had been responsible for organizing Mae French and Charles “Wolf” Roberts’ wedding. For weeks I’d been scanning lists of the guests, checking and double-checking invitations and place settings, hotel rooms and personal favors. The sheer volume of famous names from both the world of the NHL and the music industry had required extra security measures. No one wanted the picture-hungry paparazzi or overzealous fans intruding on the big day. The local police had even insisted on checking over security arrangements, something they’d never done before.

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