The moment everything changed didn’t happen in that cliché rockets-red-glare kind of way, it happened in the form of a waking nightmare. I caught my husband, my high-school sweetheart, the father of my children, balls deep in a sordid affair.
That was when I gave up on men and love.
I didn’t count on the NHL’s golden boy, the beautiful, arrogant Cooper Stone turning my life and my hockey rink upside down.
My kids are why I wake up in the morning.
Hockey is what Cooper breathes for.
We’re from different worlds and places in our lives but when our hearts collided something so wrong and different turned into something so right.
Drafted first round pick when I was seventeen, playing first line at eighteen, branded NHL’s bad boy at nineteen. At twenty-three I was cut from the team and living back home with my parents. A knock on the door brought an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. All I had to do was prove I learned from my mistakes, so no way would I fall for a chick with a pouty mouth even if I wanted to spend all day devouring it.
When my father gave me a job, I had no idea it would be to babysit some washed up NHL player. He wanted me to be his chaperone, his overpaid babysitter. I thought it was a joke. Then I met him, Matthew Grant. I wasn’t prepared for this particular bad boy. He’s not only hot but he’s arrogant and kinda sweet in a ‘you make me crazy’ kind of way.
Basically now that he’s finished screwing up his life, he’s decided to turn mine upside down.
She’s the first thing I’ve ever wanted more than hockey.
He’s the guy I know I should stay away from.
But what if this thing that started out so wrong turns into something so perfect?
They call me an outcast like it’s a bad thing.
An asshole byproduct of a shitty upbringing. I don’t care about anything except myself and my little sister.
I will always protect what’s mine.
With one year left on my hockey contract I’m keeping my head down and my eyes on the goal.
A collision, with her, changes my entire existence.
Never fall in love with a sports star. That’s what my stepfather always said. He told me athletes are complicated and moody—that the higher their paycheck, the lower their morals.
As public relations for the New York Stingers I know exactly what he means, but I can’t seem to say no to a friendship with one beautiful, damaged man.
What started out as hate turned into something else.
We tried to stay away, to keep our distance, but the pull was too strong.
Something forbidden turned into something so irresistible.
Finding my teammate in bed with my wife made the decision I had been fighting with for years easier.
It’s time to move on.
A fresh start and a new NHL team in a big city. Most importantly, it’s my son Jack’s best shot.
It would be both of our best shots.
After a bad childhood, I made sure I would succeed.
The problem is I die a little with each patient I lose. It’s part of my career at Hudson Children’s Oncology Hospital, but it doesn’t make the sting of loss any easier.
Seeking anything other than a life saved isn’t on my agenda until a NHL player walks into my hospital with his son.
We’re officially off script the moment we meet.
If this love is anything, it’s unscripted.