Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2L8LWQn
All links: books2read.com/defending
Brighton Rabalais only wants to play hockey. He’s uninterested in the politics behind the sport, but his recruiting to the Saint Anne’s Civets is as much about politics as it is his hockey abilities. He’s been hired to replace the enigmatic, three-time champion, veteran goalie, Gatien Glesseau, who happens to be as sexy as he is talented.
Their clashing is inevitable, but Brighton can’t get a read on Gatien. However, with his own secrets a concern, Brighton doesn’t need another complication. But when Gatien threatens to invade Brighton’s privacy, Brighton defends his heart with the same vigor and passion as he does the net.
An astringent odor of aged scotch mixed with sweet tobacco hung in the air, teasing Brighton’s nostrils as he and his roommate, Dylan, maneuvered a path through the rowdy crowd to a table being wiped down by a waitress in a dim corner. In the swell, bodies pressed against him. Overapplied colognes and perfumes transferred and smeared onto his sleeves as he squeezed past, leaving him smelling as if he’d been in a house of ill repute by the time he’d crossed the room.
A few feet from his destination, Brighton struck what felt like a river barge—the broad chest of Gatien Glesseau, the Civets’ starting goalie, with a gorgeous blonde draped on his right and a sexy redhead on his left. The impact whooshed Brighton’s breath from his lungs and sent jagged heat seeping into his bone marrow, filling him with indefinable emotions. Dylan collided with his backside. To balance, Brighton splayed his palms across the soft silk of Gatien’s shirt, and his stomach flipped in a weird flutter. He squelched it as best he could and blinked to clear his murky vision from the smoke. So much for city ordinances regarding no smoking inside public businesses. Lifting his chin, Brighton’s eyes jerked to Gatien’s face.
Instant frostbite. The Viking of a man’s large eyes narrowed to slits with an ethereal glow beneath thick lashes, his square jaw dusted with stubble clenched, and a crease deepened across his forehead, like a crack in a cement sidewalk. His lips formed an unmoving line, taut and peeved. Even in the diffused lighting, Brighton saw Gatien’s pectorals flex and strain against the fabric and the slight lump of an Adam’s apple peeking above the button-down with the sleeves folded neatly at the elbows.
“Sorry,” Brighton murmured, retreating and lowering his hands. Of all the people to stumble into, within fifteen minutes of arriving, he had found the one person who happily would build a pyre beneath him.
Reaching the booth, Brighton slid across the fresh-smelling leather seat and yanked at the collar of his starched button-up tucked neatly in his creased linen trousers.
The waitress looked up, tossed her rag on a tray with the empty glasses, and smiled. “What can I get you gentlemen?”
Brighton’s lips moved, but he emitted no sound.
“Whatever’s on tap,” Dylan interjected, tugging the hem of his skintight V-neck that rode up with his every movement. Despite the amount of pulling, the shirt refused to reach the waistband of his jeggings.
The waitress giggled. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to do better than that, honey. Everything’s on tap tonight. The Cats are out, and they celebrate big. It’s a coach’s birthday.”
Dylan stole a glance at his companion. Brighton failed to respond, and Dylan turned back to the waitress. “Beer, then.”
“Ale, IPA, lager, malt, Pilsner, porter, or stout?”
“Oh.” Dylan considered. “What do you suggest?”
“Well, striplings such as yourselves usually appreciate an IPA.”
Dylan nodded. “Sounds good.”
“I’ll be right back with that order.” The waitress collected her tray and sauntered through the mass of partygoers toward the cylindrical bar surrounding a succession of brass faucets.
Dylan scanned the room before settling his gaze on Brighton. “This is some place, huh? Posh.”
Brighton silently critiqued the room. None of the watering holes he frequented had mahogany bars with chrome trim or marble fountains. “Maybe a little too much,” Brighton stated, finally finding his voice. He interlocked his fingers, his thumbs circling each other.
“Will you calm down? We’re supposed to be here.”
Genevive Chamblee lives in the bayou country in the deep south where sweet tea, football, good music, and colorful family is gospel. When she is not writing, she can be found attending SEC football games, playing with her dog, sightseeing, or spending time with family.
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Genevive writes contemporary romance, erotic romance, fantasy romance, the occult, Creole culture, and southern drama.