Known as the team loner, Riggs Nadeau gives his all on the ice, but nothing extra off it. A beautiful stranger is about to cause chaos in his very structured world.
As a professional hockey player, people think I live a charmed life. On the surface, I do. But they don’t know the horrors of my childhood, or the real reason that I have custody of my seventeen-year-old sister, Janelle. And that’s exactly the way I like it. They may think I’m a prick because I don’t like to share, but that’s fine. They don’t know me, and they don’t need to.
In an effort to help Janelle get settled in Phoenix and stay out of trouble at school, I set her up with a job at Clarke’s Corner, the local bookstore owned by the girlfriend of a teammate. It’s there that she makes friends with Veronica Woodley, the extremely annoying, arrogant, money-hungry divorcee who I don’t want anywhere near my sister. Janelle insists I’m completely wrong about Veronica, but I refuse to accept that. I have to keep reminding myself that that the gorgeous blond with legs for days is off limits.
Through a series of events, I start to see Veronica for what she really is—an amazing woman who has survived her own hell to come out even stronger. I have to admit, we’re more alike than not and the attraction between us burns hot.
Maybe I was all wrong about my ability to love and commit, but when the past comes back to haunt me, can I be the man that Veronica, and Janelle, deserve?
I loved Riggs and Veronica’s (and Janelle’s!) book–I came as close to reading this one in a single setting as I could on a work day. 😉
Riggs and his 11-years-younger sister Janelle are starting a new life in Phoenix. Riggs has been traded to the Arizona Vengeance and as he’s just gained custody of his sister too, finding his footing on a new team in a new town with a sibling he’s tried to be close to but doesn’t really know all that well has been…challenging, to say the least. With the messed up family life they’re leaving behind, he’s not interested in pity from his teammates and keeps them all at arm’s length. It soon becomes clear that he’s floundering as a parent, though, and out of desperation he gets Janelle an after school job at the bookstore owned by his teammate Aaron’s girlfriend Clarke ( Wylde ) where they both meet Veronica.
Janelle and Veronica quickly become close, but between Veronica and Riggs? Instant dislike. Intense dislike. Soon followed by some hate kissing, and then some (almost) hate-you-know-what-ing. And then they actually do do it. And keep on doing it. Until they realize that there isn’t a whole lot of “hate” involved anymore…
I loved watching two people who were so dead set against relationships fall in love–goodness, it gave me all the feels. And seeing Janelle come into her own–new job, new school, new friends, new and improved relationship with her brother–was just wonderful. I can’t even tell you how many times in this book I wanted to give these characters hugs, especially when it looked like things were going to fall apart toward the end.
(Spoiler alert: they come through to the other side and their HEA. And it’s lovely!)
And goodness, that teaser for Baden at the end? I am so here for it!
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.