"The truth of God's love is a message many of us have always known, but we need to be reminded of it again and again. In our limited understanding, we have difficulty comprehending it. God has loved you with an everlasting love, and yet no matter how deeply we feel him in our lives, the word of God often goes unheard. This is why, in the noise of the modern world, the simplicity of his message is all too easily lost. Yet while our prayers have no answers we can hear, that does not mean God has no voice. The Voice of Divine Love brings his word to you, brings you the light of God's acceptance, the comfort of his presence and love, and a guiding hand to live your life in his service. It is a chance to hear his voice amongst the raucous chatter of the world and choose to follow his way to righteousness and eternal love. With this book, written in the hope of drawing others closer to God, helping them understand the depth of his love, and narrated as in the voice of the Almighty, you are provided a retreat in times of stress; not to simply hide from your problems, but to find their true purpose, alongside the purpose in all things. Close your eyes and rest, find solace in knowing that, even when you are alone, he is always at your side, guiding you and taking care of you, in ways no other can. And as you are consoled, as you hear the one guiding voice which no person's life should go without, you will find answers to the questions you have always yearned to ask: why does God allow pain into your life, why do your prayers go unanswered, your wishes unfulfilled? There is no need to turn inward, to torture yourself for these answers. Simply listen, and understand The Voice of Divine Love. " Audiobook on Audible / Amazon
The Voice of Divine Love
September 30th, 2016
Date Published: May 2015
When Army Helicopter pilot Aurelius Moore's eyes fell on isolated Vegas celebrity, Siri Wright, he was stunned by her beauty and her dance. Filled with an undeniable passion for her that he thought he was incapable of, he is devastated when she vanishes before he can consummate the deal he has made. When he sees her again in his hometown in Alabama, he realizes the extraordinary opportunity that has fallen in his lap. She is on his turf. No rules. No security protecting her. He will have her on his terms. He hunts his prey and controls the game, knowing the game has changed. He wants all of her!
When Siri encounters a military man called Moore, she is caught off guard by her body's immediate chemical response to this enigmatic and reserved young officer, who is gorgeous beyond what even she is accustomed to. Not being able to restrain her flirtatious side, the confident diva, oozing sex appeal, teases the handsome hunk, unwittingly putting her Rule #1: No Touching in serious danger.
Add in the danger she encounters when she is hoodwinked by TD, aka Touch Down, to attend a cocktail party with him, which turns out to be a cock and tail sex party of swingers, and her Rule #1: No Touching is entirely in jeopardy. She must use ALL her Vegas secrets to escape.
Can she remain UNTOUCHABLE? Will she want to?
Other Books in the Siri's Saga, Sexy Romance Series:
For years, enigmatic and reserved military officer Aurelius Moore has managed to successfully hide who he is from everyone in his life, especially from his military family. They have no idea his Italian family is wealthy. Leading a dual lifestyle has been difficult, but he has managed to keep it a secret by imposing strict behavioral rules upon himself. Being a player, yet never playing, has earned him the nickname, Hard Core, which is a label that is truer than anyone knows. Controlling exactly who knows what about him, he protects his privacy, ensuring that a secret he considers too dark to share with anyone remains that way.
At the request from a Venture Capital partner, he makes a business trip to Vegas to check out a stripper known as Seary. When he sees her dance, lightning strikes his hard core heart, igniting in him a level of lust that is UNDENIABLE and something he thought himself incapable of feeling.
She shatters the rules he has placed upon himself. Risking everything he has so carefully protected, he is determined to make her his. Being a man who knows how to play the game, he sets his sights not only to have her, but to possess and own her.
But she has her own set of rules, her own secrets, and a team in place determined to enforce them, protecting her from men just like him. Will she be the one, the only one, he cannot have?
When Vegas Diva Siri Wright fell for Aurelius Moore, a flame of and wild desire burst within her and his commanding and demanding nature made her, his Wild Thang, his Every Thang.
Now, Siri and Aurei are free to explore all the possibilities that a real relationship offers. But a death threat is made, and Aurei whisks her off to Rome where he is in complete control. As he shares his secrets with her, revealing his Italian heritage and the Liotine Dynasty, the two lovers realize the enormity of blending their very different, very complicated lives. But they are determined to make their 'Us' work, and their undeniable love begins to be a beautiful thang.
Just when it seems they will have it all, Aurei reveals his darkest secret, and a devastated Siri questions whether or not she can accept what he has done.
Will Siri reject Aurelius, or will their love become UNSTOPPABLE?
When Vegas Diva Siri Wright fell for Aurelius Moore, a flame of wild desire burst within her and his commanding and demanding nature made her, his Wild Thang, his Every Thang and undeniable love has burned itself forever into their hearts. They are no longer untouchable, they are unstoppable.
The two lovers appear to have it all - explosive passion, honesty and intimacy with a world of possibilities before them. Then Siri’s picture is blasted all over the Italian news, and Aurei, fearing for her again, takes her to his family villa, The Compound. She should be excited to meet his family, but her gut tells her she is a lamb being led to the slaughter.
Bringing a professional woman like Siri, who is always stereotyped and labeled, into his family fold, forces Aurei to wrestle with the dynamics of family politics and they must fight for their 'Us'. Amidst all the turmoil, Aurei continues to reveal even more dark and dangerous, but delicious secrets than even Siri, whose life has been built upon secrets could have guessed and they appear to be truly unstoppable. Just when it seems they are finding acceptance, Mia rears and threatens to make everything come UNDONE, forcing Siri to choose. Stay and destroy Aurei’s reputation and shame the Liotine Dynasty, or love Aurei enough to leave him behind?
Courageous is the keyword in this fourth book in Siri’s Saga. Will their bond survive the ultimate test of family and find acceptance, or will their love come UNDONE?
About the Author
Jessika Klide burst onto the romance scene in 2014 with her bestselling series, Siri's Saga. It has steadily risen to the top of Amazon's erotic romance list and has made her a favorite among fans who enjoy full length novels in a genre typically ridden with short one-handed reads. Her plots and characters are fully developed and deliciously dangerous.
Whether it's Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, military men make her swoon. Her alpha male hunks are heroes and they fall for her confident, smart, and oh, so sexy heroines. She believes in modern day fairy tales complete with virgins and soulmates. Where love and lust form perfect unions and the stars do align for true love. She also guarantees more than one happy ending.
She is fun and flirty like the heroines she writes.
"Jessika Klide is my pen name. I'm from LA ... Lower Alabama. The Deep South. Since my mind is super slutty, it's just better to use a pen name. Trust me on this! ;)"
About the Book
Author: Marie Johnston
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Left an orphan, Grace Otto was a vampire child adopted by humans and raised in a secluded but loving environment. When she stumbles across their murders, she comes face to face with Rourke, the male who’s haunted her nightmares…because she remembers him from her birth family’s killings years ago. It’s not long before she realizes the mysterious male is not the one responsible for her parents’ demise, but their pasts are irrevocably linked, and she’ll need to leave the human world behind to find out how. Around Grace, Rourke dares to think of a better future, one that can overwrite his traumatic history. Until she commits an act of betrayal that threatens him and their entire species. To save Grace, Rourke will need to hunt down the demons of their past.
Marie Johnston lives in the upper-Midwest with her husband, four kids, and an old cat. Deciding to trade in her lab coat for a laptop, she’s writing down all the tales she’s been making up in her head for years. An avid reader of paranormal romance, these are the stories hanging out and waiting to be told, between the demands of work, home, and the endless chauffeuring that comes with children.
Win a print copy of the first book in the series.
In the Line of Duty
BLURB He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him? It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice. When news of Weir’s murder reaches the department, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most. With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.
ABOUT THE DETECTIVE MADISON KNIGHT SERIES Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology. This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O. Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel). Author Bio CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™. Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime. Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online: Website - http://carolynarnold.net/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.
Captain No Beard
Date Published: July 3, 2012 - December 31, 2015
The Captain No Beard series has nine published books in the series. They all take place in the imagination of a young boy who pretends he and his friends are pirates. Each book teaches valuable lessons. The Captain No Beard series can open discussions on important subjects such as sharing, bossiness, bullying, responsibility, and stranger danger. Using imagination, the crew of the Flying Dragon navigates the waters of the world, learning valuable lessons along the way. Whether the topic is sharing, tolerance, stranger danger or bullying, the crew resolves their issues together with humor and sensitivity.
About the Author
Award-winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons and combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. She has two highly successful series and is launching this new exciting series about civilizations throughout time. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.
The Storyteller's Book
Date Published: November 2015
“…you must realize and accept, neither me, your mum, nor either of you are human.”
Nick and Mel are 14 year old twins living normal lives with their parents. When they discover an ancient book in the attic and read from it, strange events begin to happen around them. Something has been awakened which prompts their parents to take them away to a town called Midway where they reveal to the twins that they are not human. They had been hidden on Earth, brought up as though they were human, awaiting the right moment for the truth to be told.
When their parents mysteriously disappear on their first night away, they are forced to discover for themselves what their roles are in the new lives they’ve been thrown into. They struggle alone as they try to understand and balance their past human lives with their alien destiny. When the book they discovered at their home is stolen, it falls on the twins to recover it. The book has a lot more power than they realised, and if they fail, it will not be they who suffer, but the whole human race.
Along the way, they meet an array of characters, some will become friends, some will become enemies, who can they trust? For now, they can trust only each other.
About the Author
Kevin Fleming has lived in Liverpool, England, all his life, born into a family with roots in Ireland, Yorkshire and London. All his family apart from he and his wife have long since left Liverpool to spread across the globe, even as far as New Zealand. He feels as though his ancestors all congregated in Liverpool, dropped him off then quietly left.
Even as a child he wanted to write a book but never had the patience to continue beyond the first page. Despite many more failed attempts through his teens, the thought of completing a novel stayed with him as an adult working in telecommunications and afterwards running his own business. In 2012 he decided he’d been employed enough for one lifetime and concentrated on writing.
After all the years of trying, ‘The Storyteller’s Book’ finally arrived, quickly followed by 'The Mines of Kothkish', ‘The Warlords of Shreen' and finally 'Carnival of the Otherworld’, to form the series, The Chronicles of Midway.
Married for over thirty years, he has a daughter and son who have now left home and are building lives for themselves elsewhere in England.
The Reflection of Innocence
Literary Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Historical Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction
Date Published: February 2016
If you could see the memories of every person you met would it be a blessing or a curse?
John Calabrace's life has been in havoc since he was a very small child. He spends his life fighting through a flood of memories, most of which are not his own. The second he is touched by another person, he knows every memory & feeling they have ever experienced, and those memories stay permanently etched in his head.
What might seem to be a wonderful gift to some, also has its dark sides. John flees college, finding solace in the Navy serving on a Navy ship and then aboard a nuclear submarine. That relative peace and isolation of submarine life is quickly taken away after being extracted and recruited into a world of espionage to unlock other secrets from around the world.
Is he an angel, is he a monster? Even the military men/ government handlers can't decide. While John may know everyone else's secrets, he also has secrets of his own. Those he feels, he can reveal to no one..
About the Author
John Tolliver has spent his career in the world of nuclear engineering.. After college John joined the Navy where he served aboard the fast attack submarine USS Jacksonville where he acquired his love of travel and adventure. John followed his Navy years with a 30+ year career in Nuclear chemistry. John also volunteers as an arbitrator and mediator in the New York State courts. His passions include writing, researching and travel. Having given up on submarine travel decades ago, John still enjoys the sea life with the grand modern luxury of the Celebrity Cruises fleet.
The Beauty Shop Cover Reveal
Hello and welcome! Today, I’m thrilled to finally reveal the cover of my upcoming novel, The Beauty Shop. As the novel is set during the dark days of World War Two, the title might appear to be rather unusual. The beauty shop was a nickname for a ward at a small hospital in East Grinstead, a market town in southern England, where a maverick New Zealand plastic surgeon cared for severely burned airmen.
Such was the humour of the men there that one airman said to a visitor one day, “Stick around here long enough, miss and they’ll whip a piece off you and stick it on one of us.”
This was no ordinary hospital ward. There was beer for one thing, and pretty girls for nurses, music all day long and dancing. The air that flowed here drifted through smiles, laughter, love, and loss. And when surgeon Archie McIndoe spoke to each man, his eyes shone with such radiance, and his words sang with such confidence and compassion, instilling each man with fresh hope.
Based on a true story, via three interlocking experiences of WWII, The Beauty Shop explores the nature of good looks, social acceptance and the true meaning of ‘skin deep’.
The Beauty Shop
by Suzy Henderson
Publication Date: November 2016
eBook & Paperback; 350 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance
England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.
Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.
John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.
Shy, decent and sensible, Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realises her own battle has only just begun.
Based on a true story, The Beauty Shop is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.
About the Author
Suzy Henderson lives with her husband and two sons in Cumbria, England, on the edge of the beautiful Lake District, a rich and inspiring landscape of mountains, fells, and lakes. She never set out to be a writer, although she has always been a voracious reader.
Some years ago after leaving an established career in healthcare, Suzy began to research family history, soon becoming fascinated with both World War periods. After completing a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she took a walk along a new path, writing from the heart. She writes historical fiction and has an obsession with military and aviation history.
Other interests include music, old movies, and photography – especially if WW2 aircraft are on the radar. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society. Her debut novel, The Beauty Shop, is to be released in November 2016.
For more information, please visit Suzy Henderson's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Suzy also blogs at
Days of You and Me
DAYS OF YOU AND ME
The final book in the Keeping Score Trilogy
is available now.
iBooks UK/Amazon UKOnce upon a time, not that long ago, I had just about everything I ever wanted. I was a star football player at one of the best colleges in the country, and I had the girl I’d always loved by my side. The promise of a future most guys can only dream about was close enough to touch. But if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that life is unpredictable. One twist can change it all, and suddenly, I’m alone. Even football, the one constant in all the insanity, somehow isn’t enough anymore, because without her, everything else is empty. Meaningless. I’ve got one shot left. One more chance to win her heart. We’re not kids now, and I know that being good enough for Quinn isn’t some game I can fake my way through. She’s more than the prize; she’s my reason for living. The world only makes sense when we’re together. And this time, I’m going to do whatever it takes to give us our happy ending.
Buy your copy today!
iBooks UK/Amazon UK
And after you buy your book, join us Wednesday, September 28th as we celebrate the release! Some of the giveaway questions will require you to know the story~or at least to have the book!~but don't worry: this is an open book test.
Don't forget that WHEN WE WERE US is free for a very limited time.
iBooks UK/Amazon UK
And HANGING BY A MOMENT is available at all retailers!
iBooks UK/Amazon UKTawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include YA paranormal romance, NA paranormal and contemporary romance, and adult contemporary and paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair. Follow Tawdra: Newsletter/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Website Amazon/BookBub And if you love her books, join the Naughty Temptresses!
Pilots Hockey; Book 4
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Published by: Random House Flirt
The author of Delayed Penalty returns with the story of a free spirit who believes she’s found forever with a playboy on a singles cruise. Discover why Kelly Jamieson calls the Pilots Hockey series “fun and flirty, warm and sweet.”
Kristen Katsaros wants a life full of adventure and laughter. After a difficult childhood, her motto is to live each day like it’s her last—because it just might be. So when Kristen’s parents send her on a post-grad singles cruise in the Caribbean to meet a Greek husband, she promptly hooks up with the hottest guy she’s ever met. Pasha’s decidedly not Greek, but Kristen gives him a pass because he’s got fun written all over his rock-hard abs.
Pavel Gribov, the cocky playboy of the Detroit Pilots hockey team, can score any girl he wants. But when a teammate drags him on a singles cruise, he can’t resist the chance to help out a drop-dead gorgeous damsel in distress by pretending to be her boyfriend. Before long, the fake fling turns intimate, fueled by something much deeper than lust.
Kristen and Pasha both agree to walk away once the cruise is over, but reality hits like a slap shot when Kristen finds out Pasha lied about everything. Just when she’s ready to start living again, the two stubborn survivors must decide if they can bear to lose the best thing that ever happened to either of them.
Cruising in the Caribbean
Is there anything more perfect than breathing in the salty scent of the ocean while jogging around the top deck of a cruise ship in ninety-degree weather?
Well, sure, seventy-five degrees would have been a better temperature for running, but I wasn’t complaining.
Sweat glistened on my arms and a gentle wind blew the flyaway strands of hair away from my face as my feet pounded the track.
Mental fist bump to my parents. They’d succeeded in their quest to find me the perfect college graduation gift, even if I hadn’t realized it at first. When they presented me with a printout of an itinerary for a cruise a few months ago, my first reaction was complete and utter terror, because the mere thought of being on a large body of water with no land in sight gave me hives. But I didn’t want my amazing parents to think I didn’t appreciate their generous gift, so I kept it inside and went along with the planning.
And so there I was. Sea breeze in my hair, a cardio remix of Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” blasting through my earbuds, and a tropical destination. Nothing could ruin this moment.
Except the familiar face of the person running toward me. Which sent my version of personal paradise plummeting to the ocean floor. Because in this case, “familiar” and “welcome” were not synonymous.
Maybe Spiros hadn’t recognized me. Maybe I could pretend I didn’t see him.
“Kristen!” he called.
Not even paradise could deter Murphy’s Law.
So I did what any smart girl who wanted to avoid her friendly stalker would do: I spun around, and ran the opposite way, putting more distance between us.
Note: When the self-proclaimed “smart girl” is unfamiliar with the territory where she is running, glancing over her shoulder to see if Spiros was still there is not the best idea. Because within three strides, I smacked into another runner.
Not a light, whoops-sorry-I-bumped-you collision. A head-on, semi-to-semi crash, where both bodies lay crumpled in a pile of twisted, burning limbs.
Burning, not only because the scorching Caribbean sun pounded on us from above, but also because the other semi had the body of a Greek god.
As a good Greek girl on a singles cruise set up by my Greek Orthodox church and paid for by my straight-off-the-boat Greek parents, I knew Greek gods. And the hunk of muscle I’d knocked into was Adonis in the flesh.
Instead of scrambling to my feet, I found my gaze frozen on his face. Particularly on the sexy scruff dusting his upper lip and jawline. His twelve o’clock shadow was a distinct contrast to the absence of hair on his chiseled chest. Even the sweat rolling off the tip of his nose didn’t detract from his perfection, nor did the red undertone in his sun-kissed skin, flushed from running in the heat.
“Dude!” I exclaimed, yanking the earbuds from my ears. Then I broke into a cough and couldn’t stop.
Adonis picked up his sunglasses, which must’ve fallen when we crashed, and replaced them over his eyes. He waited until I finished my coughing fit before speaking. “Maybe you need to pay attention, since you were running the wrong way on this track, yes?”
“I didn’t—” I couldn’t finish my thought. I was still trying to catch my breath as I considered the situation: Adonis knocked me down, and he had the audacity to blame me?
“Well, if you were going the right way, why didn’t you run around me?” I asked breathlessly.
“I was playing chicken.”
“Excuse me?” Who says something like that?
He jumped to his feet. “I waited to see if you would back off first. You call this game chicken, yes?” He bent down and held out his hand.
At least he had some manners. I clasped his hand and allowed him to pull me up, impressed at the lack of effort it took him to lift me.
“Common courtesy dictates that people don’t usually play chicken while running.” I brushed a palm over my butt, even though the track seemed fairly debris-free.
He drew the back of his hand across his hairline, wiping away a film of moisture. “I think this same common courtesy dictates that people don’t look over their shoulder when they run.”
True. Technically, my poorly planned attempt to escape Spiros’s approach caused the collision.
“I’m sorry I ran into you,” I said.
“Are you also sorry because you were running the wrong way?”
“Who are you, the track police?” I asked, resting my hands on my hips and leaning away from him, my breath finally under control.
“This track has rules. Today we run this way.” He pointed in the direction I’d originally started running. Then I followed his finger as it traveled in another direction, stopping at a red sign with the heading track rules in thick white letters.
Who pays attention to what day it is or obnoxiously large signs about rules when they’re on a cruise?
“Well, I’m really sorry. I got flustered. I’m trying to avoid that guy running toward us.” I nodded slightly toward Spiros, who had caught up to us by now.
Yep. Spiros Loukas, my annoying admirer, who’d also been running the wrong way on the track, stood at my heels. Just like at home.
I can’t explain why my protective instincts kicked in for the gorgeous girl who’d just slammed into me, but when the out-of-shape oaf she’d been avoiding reached out to place his thick, dirty hand on her, I jumped into action.
Without a second thought, I stepped forward and slid my arm around her slim waist, placing myself between the girl and the man who’d chased her straight into me.
“Kristen, are you okay?” the guy asked, panting.
The slob must’ve jacked up his speed when he saw the collision. It seemed a little sad that such a short burst took so much out of him. He needed to get in shape if he wanted to impress anyone.
“I’m fine. I had this rock of a pillow to fall on.” She swatted my stomach with the back of her hand, causing my muscles to involuntarily contract under her touch.
“Wanna join me for a few laps?” the man asked her, completely disregarding me.
But I’m not the type of guy who lets himself be ignored. “Who are you?” I demanded.
“I should be asking you that question,” he countered.
“I’m her boyfriend,” I said.
Kristen, as the huffing man had called her, stiffened. I patted her waist, silently asking her to go along with the scheme I’d quickly concocted.
“Excuse me?” He ran a hand through his unkempt brown hair as his beady eyes shifted back and forth between me and Kristen.
“You gonna tell him or should I smash his face?” I asked.
“We’ve been, um,” she stammered, “seeing each other?”
Her voice rose slightly, which would have made me smile if I hadn’t had to scare off the stupid fuck who didn’t realize this poor girl was running away from him. At least she was quick enough to go along with the story I’d created to help her.
“What? Since when?” he asked. “Who is this guy?”
I squeezed the tiny girl into my sweat-soaked side and felt her bare skin against mine. A quick glance down told me her hot pink shirt had ridden up to reveal a tight, toned waist. It made me want to get sweaty with her. And not by running together.
“He is not your business. What are you even doing here?” she asked, effectively taking the spotlight off me.
The quickness with which she regained her composure intrigued me, as if she was a pro at going along crazy schemes with no preparation.
“I signed up for this cruise months ago,” the man said defensively. “After your parents—” He stopped and shook his head. “I hoped we could spend some time together.”
My body tensed, but I kept my arm around Kristen, my hand still resting on her hip. She allowed me to stay close.
“It’s a singles cruise. Go meet someone.” She paused. “Someone new.”
“Or I’ll smash your face,” I promised. My fingers slipped down and skimmed her backside before curling into a fist behind her. Kristen reached around and swatted at my hand until I returned it to her waist. She’d obviously gotten the wrong idea about my accidental ass contact.
Dough Boy didn’t speak, but his eyebrows slid closer together as his head swiveled from Kristen to me. I tried to keep my expression neutral, which was hard because this guy had to be an idiot not to realize that she didn’t want him to bother her. It had taken me less than two minutes to figure it out.
When neither Kristen nor I caved, his sloped shoulders dropped. Then he sighed and spun around, heading straight for the elevator instead of resuming his run.
Once he was out of sight, I reluctantly released my hold on Kristen’s waist. “Why are you trying to avoid him? Other than the obvious.”
A soft sweet laugh escaped from her deep pink lips, a trait shared by many of the beautiful Greek American girls surrounding me on the ship.
“What does that mean?” she asked.
“Kinda like a stranger who randomly puts his arm around my waist and claims to be my boyfriend?” she countered.
Her sarcastic comment didn’t put me off, because there was no conviction in her delivery. None of the animosity she’d been projecting toward Dough Boy came across toward me, just a feistiness I appreciated. I enjoy people who challenge me.
“I saved you,” I reminded her.
“You did, actually.” She adjusted the front of her shirt, peeling the fabric away from her sweaty skin. “Why would you do that?”
“I am a gentleman,” I said. Saying the words reminded me to lift my gaze from her tight stomach back to her beautiful face. “I guess American girls are not used to this,” I added before abruptly leaving her to continue my run.
I didn’t pursue women. They came to me because it was their foolish life goal to “land” a hockey player. No challenge. No connection. No love. Just a girl who wanted the status of being with me. Needless to say, we’d have fun, but there was no future. There was never even a second time.
Usually my protective instincts emerged only when it came to my family—including my sister, Katia, and her best friend, Svetlana, who was like a second sister. But something about Kristen made me jump between her and Dough Boy. She didn’t know who I was or what I did for a living. And she’d never stood outside the team’s locker room or waited for me to show up at my favorite bar, so I had anonymity on my side.
If Katia had been here, she would’ve teased me for the caveman-like growls that had rumbled in my throat as I stood toe to toe with Kristen’s stalker.
The Caribbean sun must have been melting my brain, because this Kristen girl was not my sister, just a stranger in obvious distress. And I couldn’t blame Dough Boy for trying to get with her, because she was by far the most gorgeous girl I’d seen on this boat.
When Blake Panikos, my good friend and teammate on the Charlotte Aviators hockey team, had first invited me on a cruise set up by a conglomerate of Greek Orthodox churches in the metro Detroit area, I immediately declined. Despite being raised by Russian Orthodox parents, I’m not a religious person. The thought of being stuck on a boat with a group of religious fanatics made me want to chop off my dick with a hacksaw.
But Blake, who had been recently divorced, kept needling me to go. After various attempts to sway me into taking the trip with him, he finally sold me when he showed me some of the girls who would be on the cruise. He pulled up his Instagram account and scrolled through pictures of the girls he’d met at the church he frequented when we played together in Detroit on Charlotte’s minor-league affiliate team. Flipping through photo after photo of the most gorgeous Greek girls Detroit had to offer sealed the deal. A week in the Caribbean surrounded by sexy singles looking to hook up was worth the effort it took to relearn the sign of the cross.
~~~~Also available in the Pilots Hockey Series ~~~~
Pilots Hockey; Book 1
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Amazon / Audible / Tantor / Books-A-Million
Pilots Hockey; Book 2
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Amazon / Audible / Tantor / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million
Pilots Hockey; Book 3
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Meet Sophia Henry:
Sophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with a BS in English from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.
She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings and rocking out at concerts with her husband.