Pilots Hockey #2
By: Sophia Henry
Released February 16th, 2016
In Sophia Henry’s blistering follow-up to Delayed Penalty, hailed as “sexy, fun, and full of angst” by L. P. Dover, a good girl and a hockey hunk face off against expectations—and this match is guaranteed to see plenty of action.
Beneath her innocent facade, Gabriella Bertucci has her reasons to be standoffish with guys. Especially guys like Landon Taylor, a star defenseman on the minor-league Detroit Pilots and the object of a serious crush since he first walked into her family’s market. But when Landon comes through for her in a moment of crisis, Gaby starts to wonder if there might be more to Landon than hard muscles and fast skates.
Landon isn’t afraid of telling Gaby that he’s got it for her bad. The problem is, she seems unwilling to believe it. And though Landon enjoys his reputation as a cool-headed athlete, he hates losing—both on the rink and off. It’s his competitiveness that makes him so damn good at what he does . . . but it also makes him just a little bit complicated. One minute Gaby’s tempted to give in; the next, she’s getting cold feet. How can she trust a guy who’s destined for bigger and better things to stick around? Then again, when Landon pulls her close with those powerful arms, the only thing that matters is right now.
I circled the room in slow motion. If it was possible to be completely creeped out and in awe at the same time, that was how I felt. The graffiti scared me. A gang member could walk in, paint cans drawn, at any minute. Then again, I’m pretty sure Mafia guys walked in to Bertucci Produce on a regular basis, so I guess danger could be anywhere.
“What are you thinking?” Landon asked. He climbed onto a step at the bottom of one of the columns, wrapped one arm around it, and hung off. Like someone familiar with stripper poles.
“You don’t want to know.” I shook my head, laughing off my thoughts.
Landon grabbed the column with his extended arm and jumped down. “I do. You’re really quiet. I can’t tell if you’re freaked out or what?”
“A little freaked out. This place is creepy on the inside. But cool. Creepy cool.”
I snapped a few more shots of the interior, trying to get the daylight streaming through the windows. I wanted to capture the haunted feel; a halo, a shadow, something.
“Creepy cool. Haunted. Abandoned. I just described our whole fucking life as Detroiters, eh?” A bitter laugh escaped him.
“I know, right? I don’t know one person without a painful story.”
“Hmm?” I lowered the camera.
“What’s your story? I see a shy girl from a successful family.”
“Success comes with hard work.”
“I never said it didn’t.”
“My story? Arson. Murder. Most recently theft.” I ticked off the tragedies that my family had gone through, and those were only the ones that affected me directly. It sounded like a suspense novel.
“Holy shit, Gaby.”
“I should be in jail, right?” I smiled to lighten the mood. “But this is Detroit.”
“Wanna talk about it?”
A beam of sunlight bounced off a piece of broken glass in the debris covering the floor, creating a prism across one of the large columns. Sunshine and rainbows and murder and arson.
Life. And death.
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 an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to North Carolina, where she spends her time writing books featuring hockey-playing heroes, chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts with her husband.
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