Double Dog Dare by Tracy Solheim @TracyKSolheim @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: Double Dog Dare
Series: Milwaukee Growlers Football #2
Author: Tracy Solheim
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 25, 2022


They say he who dares wins…

Luke Kessler is known for his daring play on the field and his carefully scripted life off it. The Growlers’ wide receiver has a strict rule of dating one woman he’s meticulously chosen per season, then letting her down gently. After all, his game is football, not love. That is until his dopey mutt falls for a French bulldog owned by a hot mess of a woman whose sassy mouth and mind-blowing curves have him fumbling his best laid plans.

After a humiliating concert performance played out in front of the world on social media, cellist Summer Pearson has sworn off a career in music. Forever. She’s hiding out with her grandparents in Milwaukee, licking her wounds and preparing for a predictable, if not boring, law career. The last person she needs challenging her life choices is a sexy, dog-rescuing jock who loves his grandma as much as he loves a good dare.

Especially when that same guy is dating her perfect cousin.

This fun, flirty sports romance delivers a happily ever after that will have you laughing, crying, sighing, and cheering in the endzone. One-click it now for doggy hijinks, senior citizens bent on shenanigans, sexy ax-throwing, locker room bromance, steamy private cello performances, and all the feels as two people discover they are worthy of love.

Double Dog Dare is book 2 in the Milwaukee Growlers Football series but can be read as a standalone with no cliffhangers.






USA Today bestselling author Tracy Solheim writes books with shirtless men on the cover. Some of them are actually best-sellers. The books, not the men. When she’s not writing, she’s practicing her curling. . . bottles of wine, that is. She’s been known to cook dinner but no more than two nights in a row. Most days, she’d rather be reading, which to her is just necessary research. She lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and a neurotic Labrador retriever. Her two adult children visit but not often enough. (See the note above about cooking.) Check out her romantic suspense series featuring the Men of the Secret Service–shirtless, of course! See what she’s up to at


#SomethingWasWrong #Review Season 8 Crystal @dirtywords @lookieboo @ApplePodcasts

For the last week I have been listening to 

“Something Was Wrong” Season 8 by Tiffany Reese

This is for one story on Season 8 Crystal “The Double Life” Listen on  Wondery. I am a subscriber, so I listened commercial free. Lucky me no more Best Fiends or Madison Reed garbage.

So now I am seriously stuck on these few episodes in Season 8 All by Iridian speaking of her boyfriend’s brother and his wife Crystal. So we gather the facts about Crystal. Her story is she leads a double life, has a so-called affair with someone at work. So Iridian and Crystal work at the same place and don’t interact there too much. Enough of the soft talk about Crystal- she is young and has a child with Grant, who is Ben’s brother & Iridian’s boyfriend, and lastly she lies.

Basically, we find out that Crystal is a typical twenty something girl. Rumors fly about cheating and a little lie here and there. But wait! She supposedly has told some pretty nasty ass lies. My issue with the first 2 episodes is WHY is it your business? If you have issues with her speak on it. If you don’t like what she does, then don’t bother with her. Oh, wait you don’t hang around, go to lunch or speak that much. Go on about your life then. NO Iridian loves this crap. She thrives on the gossip and fake comradery she gets with a few people at work and her new gay bff Zachary, who makes a couple of comments so typical like “I don’t play that way” Like he is a gay Lou Ferrigno. Please! I bet he is sipping his soy latte while wearing some hot pink crocs performing fake outrage.

Is it over yet? No Iridian feel like she must right some wrongs from her LEFT leaning self. So, she goes and tells Boyfriend Ben and then begins to try to get the sister and the mother involved. I get the feeling that Crystal has what Iridian wants. She has a kid, is married and this bothers Iridian to the point that she contacts a podcast. 

Hit the lights and microphone because now she gets all emotional saying that her and Ben decided to have an abortion. She sort of fake cries a bit. Trying to gain sympathy for her choice to be a baby killer. Now the dramatic Tiffany “I’m SO sorry” More behind the back talk goes on, it is now bordering on juvenile. I would think telling Grant will be the thing, let me light up her marriage. OK? No, he doesn’t want to hear anything. Good for you Grant. For whatever reason he chooses to cut that off. I respect that. keep your business private and don’t engage with this juvenile behavior. 

Crystal leaves the job and moves to another job at a different building so Iridian feels no more drama at work BUT this can’t be. 

Iridian needs attention to be focused on how awful Crystal is. Now she has for the last episode gone on about politics. Left leaning Tiffany who screams liberal to me, lets her go off on a rant about the Texas border with Mexico. Crystals mother makes a post and then there is the “family group chat text” that is in the “Hostile as Fuck” episode. 


We learn Iridian and her boyfriend Ben say that people in the family post things in the group chat to get a rise out of her. Again, she thinks it is all about her. The family has nothing better to do but say things in the chat to get her annoyed. Grant hates her and I think it is about politics? hhmmm Next, they use 👍and it is “digital blackface”. She finds the group chat text so hostile but stays involved. Why? She likes the drama. “It was so mentally draining and so exhausting to feel like if you turn on your phone you’ll be in a political debate.”

REALLY? She is so full of herself. She really thinks that 7 people do nothing but post brown skin color thumb emojis to hurt her? So, this dim bulb goes on about her being Mexican (go figure) and has issues with anyone who watches Fox News.  She uses Facebook a lot and openly speaks about issues and apparently has to explain things to people and correct them and help them learn more. She goes on to say that someone asked “can you dumb it down for me?”  I guess she thinks she’s a brilliant person. 


This is where I feel like I would lose my shit! She posted “It’s getting really really hard not to pop off on so many of those ignorant posts and comments about the migration detention center. Those ignorant comments are hurtful uneducated and dehumanizing to a community” blah blah WOW now this bitch is on a pedestal looking down. So, Crystal’s mother is her Facebook friend so she comments that she has family members who work for ICE and it is not what it seems. Being that Crystal’s Mother has a family member who works for ICE and dim bulb says “someone who is an ICE agent is an Immigration Police officer who works on the border” Correction idiot- ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement – their mission is to protect us US citizens from crime at the border. CBP for the US is homeland security for the border. “The way ICE works is not very ethical”. Well, I disagree. This girl has turned this episode on its ears. She infuriates me. “If all the information someone gets is from Fox News” So this girl who know nothing about what the border crisis does. I think the fact that Tiffany Reese left all this garbage in shows that she is very liberal and while I appreciate her and respect her choice, she didn’t have to leave such HATE words in the episode. When Iridian was reading her posts, you could tell that it was not what she wrote the way she stuttered over her words. Very disappointed about this and I do hope it is addressed. 

For Iridian, you my dear, you are ignorant and need to be educated yourself. I take offense to what you said. The people who I am sure you refer to as migrants are in fact #ILLEGAL. To come into the country legally through proper channels is what America needs.

Border W/ Gov of Texas


Illegals drain resources from the US. When you have a family, let’s say 2 kids and parents who jump the wall, they get to their relatives and then what? Get benefits, Medicare and send their kids to school. Right? Their family here is not turning them away and advising them to go back. So when they start collecting benefits, they find a place to live and do not assimilate. 

Kids– overwhelm the schools by requiring ESL, an aide and who pays for this? Taxpayers

Medical– They can see a doctor for free! They need vaccines and well care almost immediately. Who pays for this? We do the taxpayers

Police and Fire a big strain when they need all personnel to be bilingual. Nothing like getting called to an issue and you cant communicate.

Garbage and city services– also a huge strain 

When you have 207,000 illegals coming through in one month what happens? We are in serious trouble that is what happens. We are overwhelmed at the Arizona and Texas borders. The counties closest to the border are the ones that are drained of resources. How can they serve the taxpayers in their communities when all of a sudden they are flooded with 50 new students who don’t even speak English. They can’t because next week there will be 50 more. So the schools need more teachers, aides, ESL teachers, lunch aides, custodians and school nurses. Moving on they need a larger bus route, because these kids have to be brought to school.       

 Check here for the June #Illegal numbers. 

These stats just keep getting worse. 

🚨207,416  encounters in June

🚨63,854 lbs. of drugs seized in June

🚨56 terror watch list members caught in FY2022

🚨220 MS-13 gang members arrested  in FY2022

🚨800,000 got-aways under Biden

It’s past time we secured our southern border. The people who come here and are seeking asylum are another issue. The Migrant Camps are a temporary settlement that is built to receive refugees and people in refugee-like situations. Refugee camps usually accommodate displaced people who have fled their home country, but camps are also made for internally displaced people. So people are taking not days but months to slowly walk through from other countries like Honduras and Guatemala. They come because the border is not secure, and we give free things when they get here like a little welcome party. 

I have no hope that Tiffany will read and respond to this or the ignorant and uneducated Iridian will do the same. My hope is to reach one person that will ask me, like they did her, to dumb it down. 

In the end this girl Iridian had no hurts. 

What did she do to you? nothing 

Were you hurt directly? NO 

Wait I got it I know her issue:

That’s a big YES

All you did was play a little drama game. I don’t know what you need in your “healing” process when Crystal did nothing to you. Seems like you were only effected by her because you wanted to be. You liked the drama.  

The last episode had a link because this dim bulb and two friends wanted to start a podcast. In the interest of fairness I gave a listen. I made an attempt to listen at half speed and count the “like” word and got up to forty three and gave up. At the end I copied the landing page, and it is clear that the one who labels herself a “scholar” wrote it.

Copied from Dirty Words Podcast 

how we choose our words

“most of the words we are starting off with are words and phrases that we personally have seen misconstrued in the wild world of social media (or even news media). they’re the kinds of yours that your racist uncle are sharing because biased news sites find it most effect to fear mongrel with. they’re the things you find people holding your tongue back about at work (thanks HR). They are things that have become difficult tot talk about without someone having some sort of opinion on (whether it be well informed or not).

​although we do have a list of words that we want to personally talk about, we are also completely open to suggestion. please submit your suggestions or email or dm us! we encourage a dialogue and want to give you beautiful people an open safe to talk and learn and teach!”



So in closing, basically, I don’t see any damage, pain or suffering inflicted on Iridian by Crystal. If the entire family has a problem it seems to be with her and that is telling. I say shame on Tiffany for adding all of Iridian’s nasty comments and allowing her hate towards conservatives. It is pretty sad that she was given this platform. 

Until Nash by Shaw Hart & Cameron Hart @authorshawhart @boomfactorypub @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: Until Nash
A Happily Ever Alpha World Novel
Authors: Shaw Hart & Cameron Hart
Publisher: Boom Factory Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: RBA Designs
Release Date: July 29, 2022


They say love is like war. Easy to begin but hard to stop.

Scarlett has been watching her father fall in love all her life. It never lasts and after a lifetime of uprooting her life so that her father can chase after his latest love interest, she’s done.

She’s sworn off love and dating. She never wants to settle down because she knows that it’s all a lie. Love never lasts.

Then she meets Nash.

The first time that Scarlett sees Nash, she knows that he’s dangerous. No one has ever tempted her to break her rules of engagement, but there’s something about the charming small-town lawyer that she can’t ignore.

When Scarlett has to face a new threat, she turns to Nash. He may be the enemy but he’s the only one who can help her out of this fight.

Except the more that the two fight her battle, the closer they get. Will the BOOM between Nash and Scarlett be strong enough to survive the war that’s coming?

Until Nash is part of Aurora Rose Reynolds’ Happily Ever Alpha World. If you loved Until November and Until Rex from the HEA World, then you will want to read Until Nash.




Shaw Hart is an Amazon Top 100 best-selling author of contemporary and New Adult romance. She loves writing instalove romances that always end in happily ever afters.

She lives in a constant state of motion, chasing after her two children and three dogs. Shaw enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends.

When she’s not doing that, she’s reading romance books, watching stand up comedies or crime TV shows. Her favorite book tropes are secret baby and boss/employee romances. She’s a big fan of James Acaster, Anthony Jeselnik, Nate Bargatze, and John Mulaney’s comedy. Her favorite TV shows are Psych, Burn Notice, Leverage, Barry, Bob’s Burgers, and New Girl.

She’s a Pinterest addict, dog lover, tea snob, and a wannabe yogi.

She also writes contemporary romance books under the pen name, Rebecca Wilder, and she’s one half of the paranormal romance duo, Skye Alder.


Cameron Hart is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes books with lots of heat, plenty of sweet, and just enough drama to keep things interesting.

Cameron graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 2012 with a degree in creative writing. When she’s not working on her next book, Cameron can be found reading, crocheting, doing yoga, and chasing around her grumpy cat.


Aurora Rose Reynolds and her husband, Sedaka Reynolds, created Boom Factory Publishing to use their experiences to expand and promote upcoming and existing indie authors. 

With over five years in the industry, and millions of books sold worldwide, we know what it takes to become a successful author and we will use this knowledge to take our authors to the next level. 

“As a successful hybrid author in this ever evolving industry, I know that you’re only as successful as the team that is promoting you!” – Aurora Rose Reynolds


More Than a Memory by Molly McLain @MollyMcLain @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: More Than a Memory
Series: Cole Creek #2
Author: Molly McLain
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 21, 2022


We were more than we pretended to be. Or maybe we were nothing at all.


I loved him when I shouldn’t have. And I left him to save us both. Now my life is in danger and he’s the only one who can offer the protection I need.

I hate being so vulnerable, so weak… But if I’m going to bare my secrets to anyone, it’s him.
Even if he hates me for them.


I would have risked it all for her, but she quit before she ever gave us a chance. She chose another man and another life, instead. And now his choices might cost her hers.

I don’t hate her like she thinks I do, but this is more than a job for me. This is my chance to prove that Olivia and I…

We’re more than a memory.



Free in Kindle Unlimited

For a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card


99c for TODAY only!


Free in Kindle Unlimited


Molly McLain lives in a tiny Wisconsin town with her husband, three kiddos, and two adorable German Shorthaired Pointers. She’s addicted to 80’s ballads, 90’s rock, cheesecake, and office supplies, and she’s been scribbling down love stories in spiral notebooks since she was old enough to daydream about hunky boys and happily-ever-afters. Now, she turns those daydreams into steamy, small town romance novels.

#SomethingWasWrong by Tiffany Reese @WonderyMedia #Review

 The last week I have been listening to 

“Something Was Wrong” by Tiffany Reese

The first season was really good so I planned to just move on to listen to season two but the settings on my phone were “Newest First” so I got season 13. The show started on Audio Chuck but I would imagine that like a lot of things Ashley Flowers touched turned to shit. So all of a sudden its on Wondery. I am a subscribers, so I listed commercial free. Lucky me no more Best Fiends or Madison Reed garbage.

Wondery rating 

So now I am on season 13 and I dont know when it started but it is no more serialized. So you get a two parter or a 3 part which I personally like for these stories so there isn’t a lot of fluff to drag things out.   

The first two episodes on Amelia were killer. This girl, like many others doesn’t draw the line until later. Sometimes listening to stories like these I find myself saying “Get out” or “He is evil” and it takes so long to get that point through to the victims. 

The March 31 st episode titled “WitPro” will be the stunner. It was for me. The fact that, for me, some women can be so gullible is amazing. Is it a combination of being gullible and desperate for a man that makes these episodes good. Joe has a line of bull at least 3 miles long.

I like the host on a 1-5 scale a 3.5 She says “I’m so sorry” way too much. She let’s the “victim” speak way too much and that is a reason why overall its a 3.5* The audio on the “victim” part is not as good, they constantly say “like” and “you know” which is my pet peeve. They tend to babble and give events that really have no real  significance to the timelines.  

When I saw the reviews, I was sorta happy that there were a lot of 1 and 2 *s It means that I am not alone. Many complaints about audio and the “gone woke” comments had me laughing! 

In Season 8 I have BIG issues with Crystal’s story that is the next post.  Reviews HERE

Moody by Penelope Ward @PenelopeAuthor @givemebookspr

Title: Moody
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
Photographer: Leda & St. Jacques
Model: Philippe Leblond
Release Date: August 22, 2022


From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

The day I showed up to Dax Moody’s sprawling home, I had no idea what was coming.
As a traveling massage therapist, I was used to entering the houses of strangers.
But this assignment was different from any before it.
From the outside, I’d correctly assumed the owner was rich. What I didn’t realize was that he would be younger than I’d imagined, single, stunningly gorgeous, and mysterious.
Despite the fact that Dax had booked a massage, it never actually happened, since our first appointment was unexpectedly cut short by a comedy of errors.
Certain I’d never see him again after that day, I’d done nothing but think about the captivating man.
To my surprise, he called a second time. That appointment, we talked a lot, developing a stronger connection. But once again, there was no actual massage.
The man I now affectionately called “Moody” kept calling me to come back.
It took three times before I finally gave him the massage he’d ordered. Let’s just say it was challenging to keep things professional. I was extremely attracted to Dax, and by that time, I was falling hard.
Eventually, I’d find out why he’d been so aloof, the reason why he and I could never be together.
Our story was supposed to end there, but it didn’t.
Instead, I was left perpetually longing for a forbidden man.


**No Amazon e-book preorder. 
Will go live on/around release day


Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.






Level Up by Kindle Alexander @KindleAlexander @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: Level Up
Series: Reigns Brothers #2
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 12, 2022


Duncan “Ducky” Reigns, metalhead and hardcore gamer, has spent his life railing against the establishment. But now when he looks at himself in the mirror that’s not the person he sees. Though he and his brother have worked hard to create a successful multi-million- dollar company, he’s lost himself and his identity in the process.

Chad Reeves, successful in his own right, has achieved every goal he’s set for himself. But living up to the legacy of his uber-successful father feels like an impossible task. When the heavy burden of a lifelong secret begins to unravel, he’s forced to face the truth. He’s lacking in what matters the most and only one thing can make it right.

Sometimes a simple reboot is all it takes to realize the answers are right in front of you. A soul-searching trip to paradise changes everything for two best friends… if they are brave enough to follow their hearts and reach for the Level Up.

Level Up is a contemporary, new adult, MM Romance. A standalone story with characters moving forward from both Secret and Breakaway. If you enjoy what you read, email me your thoughts.



Free in Kindle Unlimited



Free in Kindle Unlimited


Free in Kindle Unlimited


Amazon international number one bestselling and award-winning author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer who pens contemporary gay romance. Happily married, with too many children and dogs, and living in the suburbs of Dallas.

Usually, I aim to be funny. Humor is an important part of my life. I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations (regardless of the situation), but jokes can be a tricky deal. I don’t want to offend anyone, and humor can offend. So instead, I’m going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen-year-old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been home. It was early in the night, and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died. Weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you imagine times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother, and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have her ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness—it was her name, and she died a few weeks before Amazon announced their brand-new e-reader. She had no idea the Kindle was coming, and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it… Never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event, I was lucky enough to know my writing partner. I would have never gotten through those dark days without her unwavering support and guidance. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. For the first time in my life, I used the hand offered. I know, without question, I wouldn’t be here today without her. It takes a special person to stand beside someone at a time like that. I will love her forever. I could go on and on about the both of them, but I won’t and now you know a little more about us.


Podcast Reviews Serial

Just a thought Podcast reviews? 

Si o No ? I say YES, Si, Oui Oui

I searched and there seems to be two websites for them but one is from The New Yorker and I like PodcastReview or you can try Discover Pods but I read things like this “Joe Rogan sucks. It’s profoundly upsetting, but not surprising, how successful this garbage can man is in podcasting” SO that is awful to say and without reading it you can tell the “staff” is biased in some way. So without name calling, their style and their choices do not align with mine, so I say skip it but, check it out if you want.

I was thinking that because I love a good story and a good storyteller, I would do a weekly post on what I was listening to.

Which do I love the most:


When I did the first search this was #1 and who didn’t jump on Adnan Syed’s case? This was my first great listen. I love Sarah Koenig! Her storytelling voice is superior. Her reporting and investigating skills are just amazing. She breaks the entire case down from the young love between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee. A journey through the trial to the verdict and the aftermath. This is by far the best in depth serialized podcast that paved the road for some others.

Listen on Apple, Stitcher or Wondery or wherever you get your podcasts from They are free, you just have to tolerate the ads

Summer Shivers by Denise Wells @ejbookpromos

Title: Summer Shivers
Series: Summers in the Seaside Collection #3
Author: Denise Wells
Genre: Romantic Suspense/RomCom
Release Date: July 15, 2022

I didn’t kill my husband.
At least I don’t think I did.
But all evidence points to me and I can’t remember a thing about that night.
There are only two people in my life who would inherently trust I’m innocent. One of them just died.
The other is my ex Tyler Pressley; who I still have feelings for.
What kind of monster mourns one man while trying to seduce another?
Me. I’m that kind of monster.

Genevieve Daniels thinks she can call me, four years after decimating my heart, and I’ll ride up like some chump on my white horse to save her.
Not a chance.
Still, I’ll play right into her game of seduction. If only to mess with her. Show her what it’s like to crumble.
Am I that much of a monster?
Yes. Yes, I am.


Denise has been reading since before she could talk. And to this day, escaping into a book is her go-to activity before anything else.

She likes to write about sassy women and semi-flawed alpha-esque men (hard on the outside and just a little soft on the inside.) Denise’s female characters always have strong friendships, potty mouths, and like to drink—a lot.

Denise is loyal to a fault, a bit too sarcastic, blindingly optimistic, and pretty freakin’ happy with life overall. If she couldn’t be a writer, she’d be a singer in a classic rock band. Right after she learned to carry a tune. She has more purses than days in the month, an obsession with colored ink pens, and a slightly unhealthy bracelet habit.

Home is in the Pacific Northwest where she lives with six Siberian Huskies and a husband (BW) who has the patience and tolerance of a saint. And, lest she forget, Denise also lives with too many to count characters inside her head, who will eventually have their stories told.

For more about Denise visit her website at:

Or follow her on any of the social media sites below.


Loving Between the Lines by Brenda Margriet @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: Loving Between the Lines
Series: Silverberry Seduction
Seasoned Romance #2
Author: Brenda Margriet
Genre: Contemporary Seasoned Romance
Release Date: July 15, 2022


A one-night stand neither will forget.
She wanted a final fling before choosing science to make her a single mom. He needed an escape from the regret grinding him into dust. Her baby isn’t his…but maybe family is more than DNA.

After a childhood being dragged around the continent by her musician parents, Lynn Kolmyn has stretched her roots deep into her chosen hometown. When her absconding fiancé screws up her careful plans, she decides to become a mother at almost forty, realizing the only person she can rely on is herself.

Benjamin Whitestone was the hometown hockey hero until a spectacular mistake led to failure and condemnation. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to make it up to his parents, his teammates, or his fans. In a final bid to prove himself, he accepts a job coaching the junior team where he used to be a star, determined to rewrite history.

When Lynn and Benjamin collide—literally—they are both shocked to see the stranger from a single sensual night two years ago. Now the past tangles with the future…a future neither of them was expecting.


$2.99 for a limited time!



Benjamin Whitestone stepped into the concourse of the arena, closing the door to the Canyon Cats team offices behind him, and leaned against the red-painted brick wall. Pressing his fingertips into the rough surface, he closed his eyes and breathed deeply.

When Peterson Brewster had summoned him to his office that morning, he hadn’t been able to suppress the guilty feeling he’d done something wrong. He’d only been head coach of the Canyon Cats for two weeks, and logic dictated he had no reason to worry—yet—that his performance had been judged subpar already.

Logic never stopped him from worrying before, and it hadn’t then, either.

Turned out Brewster had just wanted to welcome him formally to the organization. He’d met the very involved owner during the hiring process but he’d been out of town since Benjamin’s return to Prince George. Now the meeting was over he could concentrate on his next challenge—his first official practice. Training camp had just ended and the roster set. The hardest work was about to begin.

Taking one last deep breath, he pushed off the wall and strode toward the stairs leading down to ice level. As he reached the door to the arena administration offices, it swung open. He dodged to avoid being struck by the heavy metal panel and a woman with her arms full of child stumbled into him.

“Careful now.” He gripped her shoulders to steady her. Two black bags draped off her shoulders and the sharp corner of one thudded against his thigh as she spun around.

“Sorry.” She shifted the baby to her other hip and gave Benjamin a quick, harried glance before focusing once more on the squirming, squawking child. He’d had little exposure to children, but given the length of the legs kicking at her thighs and the arms flailing about her head, this was no newborn. Other than that, he had no clue. “I didn’t meant to open the door so suddenly. I hope I didn’t hit you.”

That voice. Husky and low, it evoked a sudden memory of subdued lighting, sultry jazz, and smoky whiskey.

His fingers tightened on her shoulders, the bones rounded and firm under his palms. “Lynn?”

Her chin lifted and their eyes met. For a moment her expression remained blank, and then she blinked.

“Benjamin?” She twisted out of his hold and his hands dropped. He curled his fingers into fists, holding onto the tingling sensation touching her had evoked. The baby continue to wriggle and wail and she bounced and jiggled in the age-old way of mothers everywhere. “What are you doing here?”

He could only stare. He’d thought of Lynn more often than a one-night stand deserved. Especially a one-night stand that had occurred two years ago. Of course, it had also been the day after his father’s funeral. Maybe the pain of that time—and the comfort she’d given him—was why she’d stuck in his mind more than any woman he’d slept with—before or since.

She asked you a question. Answer, you dummy. “I’m the new head coach. Of the Canyon Cats.”

Her eyes widened. “You’re Benjamin Whitestone?”

In the dim light of the jazz lounge where they’d met—and later, in the hotel room he’d brought her to—he’d been too caught up in first misery and then passion to remember the colour of her irises, but saw now they were a bright pale blue. “Yes?” He couldn’t help the upward lilt, though it made him sound like an idiot. Reeling from this unexpected encounter, he wasn’t certain of anything, even his own name.

“I read you’d been hired, but I didn’t realize that Benjamin was, well, that Benjamin.”

Since they hadn’t bothered to exchange last names at their first meeting that only made sense. “I’ve thought of you. Often.” The truth blurted out before he could stop it. “How have you been?”

Her eyebrows quirked up and she shifted the now restlessly dozing baby on her hip. “I’m doing well. This is my son Oscar. He’s a year old. Just last week, actually.”

His head spun, as if a giant defencemen had laid him out flat with a body check and his skull had bounced off the ice. Scrambling to do the math, he stuttered, “A year? And we…is he…”

“No.” Her tone was firm and laced with amusement. “Relax. He’s not yours.”

“Oh.” Surely the rush flooding his body was relief. He’d never wanted to have kids. He’d been a disappointment as a son and couldn’t imagine what a mess he’d make of being a father. “So you’re married?” Oh, god. Had she been married when they’d had their night together? She’d said she was single—he remembered asking—but had she lied?

“Also no.” The amusement was gone, exasperation in its place. “Before you jump to any more conclusions, let me explain. Though I can’t see how it is any of your business.” The baby—Arthur? Oscar? he’d already forgotten—lifted his head from her shoulder and squawked. She cradled his skull in her hand and joggled rapidly. “I’m in a hurry to get home so he can have a proper nap, so you’ll have to save any questions for later. I am not and never have been married. I wanted a child, so I did in vitro fertilization, starting the process a month after we…met. Oscar is the result of that process.” The baby’s squalling took on a frantic tone. “I have to go. Congratulations on the new job. Good luck.”

Before Benjamin could say another word—which was probably been for the best, given his foot-in-mouth disease—she was gone.


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Brenda Margriet writes savvy, slow burn, contemporary romances with ordinarily amazing characters. In her own ordinarily amazing life, she had a successful career in radio and television production before deciding to pilfer from her retirement plan to support her writing compulsion.

Readers have called her stories “poignant,” “explicit and steamy,” “interesting, intriguing and entertaining,” and “unlike any romance you’ve read before” (she assumes the latter was meant in a good way).

Brenda lives in northern British Columbia with her husband, various finny and furry pets, and has three grown children.