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Pilots Hockey #3
Releasing June 7th, 2016
“Sophia Henry tackles real issues that tug at your heartstrings,” raves bestselling author Rachel Harris. Now, in this sweet, sensual Pilots Hockey novel, a young single mom falls for a damaged coach pulling double-duty as a cop.
Linden Meadows doesn’t back down from anyone, especially if her family’s involved. So when her little brother’s new hockey coach benches him in the middle of a game, Linden lets him have it. She also notices that the coach is way hotter than she expects, but Linden won’t let herself get burned by another athlete. Been there, done that—and had a kid at seventeen to show for it.
When Jason Taylor isn’t taking abuse from hockey moms, he’s patrolling the streets as a member of the Bridgeland PD. After Jason pulls Linden over for speeding, he begins to see that there’s more to her than a big mouth . . . or a lead foot. Their chemistry leads to good company, intense conversation, and an intimacy that pushes beyond the boundaries of friendship. And yet Linden’s decision to keep her now three-year-old son, Holden, is a painful reminder to Jason that his own mother gave him up for adoption.
Linden’s sure she’s found the man to round out their family. But when Holden’s deadbeat dad forces his way back into the picture, Jason starts to back off. He needs time—to heal, to grow, and to love with all his heart.
After my verbal altercation with Damien’s coach, I trudged up the stands to the seat Mom had saved for me. Tonight’s was the first game I’d been able to attend since a new coach took over my brother’s hockey team. In all honesty, I don’t know much about hockey, but I know people. And that pretty boy behind the bench had “cocky idiot” written all over him.
“Mama!” Holden, my three-year-old son, jumped into my arms from his spot standing on the bench next to my mom.
“Hello, my sweet boy!” I hugged his warm little body to me, sniffing his silky, brown curls as I squeezed. “I missed you today.”
“I miss you, Mama,” he responded.
“Bad day at work?” Mom asked as she scooted over to give me room.
“Nothing crazy. Why?” I set Holden down and sat next to Mom, close enough to press the outside of my thigh against hers. I hadn’t had time to change after work, and the cold air of the arena had the bare skin not covered by my skirt popping with goose bumps.
“You just walked in the building and you’re already up in arms.” Mom threw her arm around my shoulders and squeezed me. “I’ve been here the entire game. You don’t hear me making a fuss.”
“You don’t care that he’s swearing at D?” I said, defending myself.
“You tell Damien to get his ass off the couch all the time.”
Mom reached across me to pull the sleeves of her fleece jacket over her fingers. “How is this any different?”
“I’m his sister.” I shrugged. As Damien’s older sister, swearing at him was my birthright.
“He’s a good coach. Don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.” Mom coughed, the throaty rumble and deep hack of a thirty-year smoker. Then she stood up and grabbed Holden’s hand. “Come on, sweetheart.”
My entire body shivered, protesting the loss of heat when she left my side.
“Mama. I pease go with Gramma?” Holden pleaded with huge, brown eyes.
“Sure, sweet boy.” I reached out and ruffled his hair.
Holden tugged at my mother’s arm. “I get popcorn, Gramma?”
“No one gets anything asking like that,” I called out as Mom led him down the steps slowly.
“Pease,” he added. “Pease, Gramma?”
Holden had my mom wrapped around his finger, but I never stopped trying to instill manners in him. Technically, he had me wrapped around his finger, too. That happens when your family is your entire life. And my son, my mom, and my brother were my entire life.
Once Holden and Mom turned the corner toward the snack bar, I shifted my eyes back to the new hockey coach. I couldn’t stop myself. I hadn’t expected him to be so young.
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.