As a child, her parents combined her Christmas and birthday gifts, if and when they remembered to buy gifts at all. She’d learned to keep her expectations low to curb her disappointment after too many childhood hopes and dreams were shot down by a pair of disengaged, free-spirit parents, who Bella had subconsciously emulated—at least, the partying part.
This year’s birthday hit her harder than usual.
Twenty-fucking-six years old.
She’d rather curl up in bed with a box of chocolates and an ugly cry movie than be subjected to a birthday party tonight, especially one orchestrated by her judgmental oldest sister. Every one of her sisters had their act together, was settled down with a wonderful man, and was looking to the future.
Bella, instead, found herself focusing on the past and how little she’d achieved. She was closer to thirty than twenty, and therein lay the crux of the problem and the reason for her current crappy mood.
Bella bounced from interest to interest, never settling on one thing. She had no direction, but that hadn’t been a big deal in her early twenties. Now it was.
She faked a smile and cocked her head, pretending to be captivated by whatever bullshit was being spouted by the young Seattle Sockeyes hockey players who gathered around her, vying for her attention. Normally, she’d be flattered and completely enjoying their efforts.
She sought out Cedric in the crowd, still a little peeved at his disappearing act with the blonde last Saturday night. In fact, as soon as he’d slipped into the VIP room, she’d left alone.
He met her gaze, winked, and headed toward her. Her heart skittered with excitement and her lady parts tingled with anticipation. She fought their insane chemistry with every fiber of her being, as futile as it was. Cedric had always been different—the way he touched her, the way he looked at her as if she were special, the way he made her feel as if she were the only woman who mattered. Maybe he made every woman feel like that, maybe it was part of his allure, his charm, and maybe she was delusional for thinking she meant anything more than a fantastic lay. Cedric had the power to ruin her, crush her heart in his skillful hands, and blast away at her carefully constructed, and completely fabricated, air of confidence.
He was oh, so wrong for her.
Page Count: 150 pages
Publisher: Cedrona Enterprises (April 30, 2016)
As the wild child of the family, Bellani Maxwell isn’t interested in settling down. Between a fledgling party crashing business, teaching self-defense at a martial arts studio, and hitting the bar every night, she has her hands full. She doesn’t need the added responsibility or commitment of a relationship.
Hockey star Cedric Pederson has all the puck bunnies he could ever want, but a chance encounter eighteen months ago leaves him with eyes only for the gorgeous, free-spirited Bella. Too bad she isn’t interested in what Cedric has to offer beyond frequent hookups, and he’s grown tired of their on-again, off-again non-relationship. He wants to be all-in or all-out.
When a brutal attack leaves Bella in need of comfort, protection, and healing, the only person she wants is Cedric. But once she’s living in his condo, Bella is confronted with a decision she’s been avoiding—can she finally commit to Cedric, or will she let him go one last time?
CONTENT WARNING: Contains graphic and potentially disturbing descriptions of an assault.
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