Authors: Isabo Kelly,Stacey Agdern,Kenzie MacLir
Tags: #New York Empires Book 2
The New York Empires are back…this time three new players will find their HEA and maybe a little more.
Light the Lamp by Isabo Kelly
Geneticist Dr. Ann Bell never thought she’d have a normal life or a normal relationship. She moves to New York hoping her “Devil’s spawn” half sister can help her control the fire curse that’s haunted her her whole life. Without help, Ann fears she’ll kill someone. Finding a confusing, handsome, overwhelming hockey player was never part of the plan. But when that man proves to be someone she could love, things get a lot more complicated for Ann.
New York Empires defenseman Brody Evans never expects to find the woman of his dreams wandering the physical therapy center. He’s never met anyone like Ann Bell, and he wants more from her than any other woman before. But Ann’s keeping a secret that could tear them apart. For the first time in his life, Brody feels helpless. He’s a fighter, though, and Ann is a woman he’ll fight for, no matter what it takes.
Crossing the Line by Stacey Agdern
Kayleigh Emerson knows that she shouldn’t get involved with a teammate of her brother’s. But the chemistry between her and rookie sensation Max St. Laurent is unmistakable.
Max St. Laurent is captivated by the talented violinist who happens to be his captain’s sister. Unfortunately, he doesn’t need his unique combination of empathy and telepathy to realize there’ll be problems if he pursues her.
But when mandatory English conversational sessions lead to a fake date that feels all too real, Max and Kayleigh must decide whether to cross the line between friendship and love.
Change It Up by Kenzie MacLir
Reiner Jahr is in his second year of playing for the New York Empires. As a boy from Setså, Norway, he dreamed of nothing but winning the Stanley Cup, and with his stick-handling skills, it’s close to becoming real. But finding out he’s the son of a god isn’t something he’s equipped to handle, and when he runs into his sister’s best friend at an event for his team, he can’t keep his eyes off her. Suddenly hockey is no longer the only thing on his mind.
Emma Chase loves her job with the local Special Olympics organization. Coordinating an event with the New York Empires has been a dream come true. Until she sees Reiner Jahr, her best friend’s big brother. Her teenage crush has developed into so much more. Seeing him again brings all her youthful feelings racing back. Their meeting sets in motion a chain of events that will forever change her.
What can they do when changes happen both on and off the ice?
ICING THE PUCK
Light the Lamp by Isabo Kelly Copyright © 2016 by Katrina Tipton
Crossing the Line by Stacey Agdern Copyright © 2016 Stacey Agdern
Changing It Up by Kenzie MacLir Copyright © 2016 Heather Sands and Laura Hunsaker
Cover by Kim Miller
Published by T&D Publishing
All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.
They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.
Table of Contents
I’d like to thank my fellow authors for coming together to make this anthology happen. Thanks Stacey for the ideas and plotting sessions. And thanks Laura and Heather for jumping on board with such enthusiasm (and excellent characters).
Dr. Ann Bell stared at the woman across the open workout room of the physical therapy center. She was a pretty, tall brunette who held herself with a natural confidence Ann envied. And though Ann looked for a resemblance, she didn’t see any.
Well, she’d known Nathalie looked more like her father than like their mother anyway.
Ann nibbled her lip as Nathalie laughed and talked with the man laid out on a message table while she worked on his knee. Ann wasn’t sure she could go through with this. Already her heartbeat was thumping hard and her palms were starting to heat. That was dangerous.
All emotion was dangerous.
Pulling in a deep breath, she let the scents of medicinal rubs, cleaning products, and a faint tang of sweat pull her focus so she could settle herself. Attention to details beyond her body always helped her calm down.
Calm, logical, emotionless. That was her only choice.
But all her techniques were starting to fail. She needed help. Soon. Or someone would get hurt.
She pulled herself in, centered and focused, and started across the large room, making a beeline for the only person who might be able to save her.
She was so intent on reaching Nathalie, she forgot to pay attention to her surroundings and plowed into someone. Hard.
Strong hands gripped her upper arms and held her as she got her feet under her. She looked up…and up some more, to see the hulking man she’d just barreled into.
He was huge. How had she missed him?
“You OK?” he asked with a crooked grin.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” She stepped back, adjusting her coat over her arm and pushing her purse strap back up over her shoulder.
“Obviously. Unless you bumped into me on purpose to get my attention.”
He chuckled. “Too bad. The people normally trying to run me down aren’t nearly so cute.”
“Cute?” She frowned. No one ever referred to her as “cute,” not even as a child.
His grin grew, showing off a surprisingly attractive dimple on his right cheek. “We don’t know each other well enough for me to leap to the stunning and beautiful compliments yet.”
“Are you…OK?” People didn’t talked to her this way. She wasn’t sure she could trust the man’s sanity.
“Not a hockey fan are you?” He laughed.
“Where were you going before our collision?”
She blinked. She wasn’t good at social interactions, and this man was obviously a master. Better to get away as fast as possible. She glanced toward Nathalie again.
“You looking for Nat or Alex?” he asked.
“The guy on the table. Alex Semenov. Goalie for the New York Empires. Nathalie’s fiancé.”
“Oh. Nathalie is engaged to a hockey player?” She knew so little about the woman. Maybe this was a bad idea.
“Well, they’ll be engaged if she ever says yes to one of Alex’s many proposals.”
“OK.” Nibbling her lip, she glanced at Nathalie again.
“Since you had no idea who Alex was, I assume you’re here for Nathalie. You need treatment.” He looked her over. “No obvious injuries. Unless bumping into me caused one?”
“No.” She blinked again. Managing a conversation with this man was like maneuvering through a maze. She had no idea where she was going.
He laughed again. He did that a lot. A part of her sighed over the punch of jealousy she felt. It must be nice to release emotion so easily, without worrying about torching the surroundings.
“I’m teasing you,” he said. “You’re very serious. It’s kind of hard to resist.”
“I’m not sure how to respond to that.”
“Which is the reason you’re so much fun to tease.”
“You don’t even know me.”
“We can change that. Go out with me. Tomorrow night.”
Her head spun. “You don’t know my name and you’re asking me out on a date? Are you sure you’re OK…mentally?”
“Probably not. Too many hits to the head.”
He tapped a rather large fist against his skull, a move that drew her attention to his thick, shaggy mop of brown hair. Her fingers twitched and she pushed down the little needy desire to run her hands through all that glorious brown.
How strange. She didn’t normally notice a man’s hair.
“But I do still want to take you out,” he said.
“Like I said, you’re cute. And fun to tease.”
“I could be a psychotic killer.”
He shrugged. “Then I won’t ask you on a second date.”
She was so confused she was close to being charmed. Tilting her head to one side, she considered him. “Are you seriously asking me out, or is this a joke I don’t understand?”
“I’m seriously asking you out. But maybe I should introduce myself first. I’m Brody Evans. I’m a defensemen for the Empires.”
“Hockey.” Realization sunk in. “You know Nathalie’s…boyfriend well?”
“As well as anyone knows Semenov. Why? He’s taken. You can’t go out with him.”
She shook her head. “I have a very hard time following you.”
“Wait till you see me on the ice.”
“I…” She paused, no longer even sure why she was part of this conversation. “Excuse me. I need to…” She glanced back at Nathalie.
“Want me to walk you over there? You seem a little hesitant now.”
“No. Thank you. I’ll be fine.”
“How do you know Nathalie anyway?”
She flattened her lips and straightened her shoulders. “She’s my sister.”
“I didn’t know Nat had a sister?”
“She doesn’t know either.”
With that she left Brody the Defensemen and started toward her goal.
Nathalie was the only person Ann knew of who might understand what she was going through. She needed to find out how to control this curse, because shutting down her emotions and refusing to feel anything was no longer working.
Without help, she was afraid she’d kill someone with the fire.
Brody watched the woman walk away, admiring the view. She was a lot more than cute. Despite her bland pant suit and the tight bun holding her dark blond hair, she was a truly stunning woman. Sexy soft features, blue eyes, perfect heart-shaped lips. Very kissable lips.
She seemed a little stressed, a little uptight. Rather than turning him off, that just encouraged him to find a way to loosen her up. Maybe help her release some of that stress.
He never had been able to resist a challenge.
He was still admiring her ass when he realized he’d never gotten her name. And she hadn’t agreed to go out with him.
But she hadn’t said no either.
With a grin, he headed toward the locker room. If she was Nathalie’s sister, he was sure he’d be seeing her again. Time to make a plan of attack. The uptight woman with the kissable lips was a challenge he intended to accept.
Despite her trepidation, Ann marched up to her half sister, extended her hand and said, “Nathalie Mendez. I’m Dr. Ann Bell.”
Nathalie smiled, but a furrow formed between her brows. She held up her hands, and Ann realized they were covered in oil.
“Sorry, or I’d shake. What can I help you with, Dr. Bell?” Her voice was deeper and huskier than Ann would have guessed.