Let’s start with a mostly true story.
A handful of nights ago, I dreamed I was being haunted by the ghost of a hockey player. Everywhere I turned, he was there with his stick. (No, this wasn’t one of those kinds of dreams.) But Dream Amanda knew there was only one way to get this hockey player-ghost-monkey off my back: a visit to my friend and hockey romance author Sophia Henry.
So, I packed a bag and hopped in the car to drive to North Carolina, where she was hosting a book signing. I barged in with the ghost at my heels and begged her to help me.
I think I woke myself up.
The next day, she emailed me a photo of the cover for her debut novel Delayed Penalty. I scrolled past her words (sorry, Sophia), searching for the cover. The thumbnail wasn’t working, so I pulled it up full screen.
In the next breath, my toes turned to ice. Full-on struck-by-Elsa style.
Him. The hockey playing ghost-demon with the big stick.
Okay, okay. Fine. Not him. I don’t even remember what the ghost looked like. But I do know one thing: if this guy was haunting me, I probably wouldn’t be looking for a solution to that problem any time soon.
She closed her heart long ago. He just wants to open her mind. For fans of Toni Aleo and Sawyer Bennett, the debut of Sophia Henry’s red-hot Detroit Pilots series introduces a hockey team full of complicated men who fight for love.
Auden Berezin is used to losing people: her father, her mother, her first love. Now, just when she believes those childhood wounds are finally healing, she loses something else: the soccer scholarship that was her ticket to college. Scrambling to earn tuition money, she’s relieved to find a gig translating for a Russian minor-league hockey player. Until she realizes that he’s the same dangerously sexy jerk who propositioned her at the bar the night before.
Equal parts muscle and scar tissue, Aleksandr Varenkov knows about trauma. Maybe that’s what draws him to Auden. He also lost his family too young, and he channeled the pain into his passions: first hockey, then vodka and women. But all that seems to just melt away the instant he kisses Auden and feels a jolt of desire as sudden and surprising as a hard check on the ice.
After everything she’s been through, Auden can’t bring herself to trust any man, let alone a hot-headed puck jockey with a bad reputation. Aleksandr just hopes she’ll give him a chance—long enough to prove he’s finally met the one who makes him want to change.