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Authors: rachelle Vaughn

Razors Ice 04 - Hot Ice

BOOK: Razors Ice 04 - Hot Ice
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HOT ICE

 

 

 

Rachelle Vaughn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOT ICE

 

Copyright © 2014 by Rachelle Vaughn

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the written permission of the author is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission in writing from the author.

 

rachellevaughn.com

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Reader,

 

In the first three books of the
RAZORS ICE
series you met Ben, Nathan and JD
, hockey players for the Red Valley Razors. You went along for the ride as they found their true loves in Ally, Sarah and Lauren in unexpected places like hockey practice, a hair salon and a wildlife refuge. But their teammates were left waiting on the bench!

 

Left winger Jace McQuaid has been nursing bitterness toward his ex-wife who cleaned out his bank account and left him skeptical of love and women in general. Then he meets Violet James, a sultry massage therapist, hired to help rehabilitate him and get him off the injured reserve list.

 

As Violet massages him back to health and thaws the block of ice around his heart, Jace rethinks his stance on relationships. What Jace doesn’t know is that Violet is harboring a secret that just might destroy everything they’ve built together.

 

I hope you enjoy
Hot Ice
, the next installment in the RAZORS ICE series. Please look for my next book in the series, coming out in 2015. To receive information about new releases, book giveaways and special offers subscribe to my newsletter
here
.

 

Best wishes,

Rachelle Vaughn

 

 

Chapter One

Eggs and Roast

 

“Jesus, Jace, you need to get yourself some pussy,” Cody said around a mouthful of his veggie omelet.

“Yeah, Jace,” Sebby agreed
wholeheartedly from the seat next to him. “When’s zee last time you got laid?”

When Jace McQuaid had agreed to meet two of his teammates for breakfast that morning, he had no idea he was setting himself up for a ball-busting session. It wasn’t like professional hockey players had a reputation for being tactful and polite or anything, but this was just
downright ridiculous. What did a guy have to do around here to enjoy his eggs in silence?

“Well?”
Cody prompted, swallowing his food and washing it down with a noisy gulp of coffee.

Jace chewed his toast and thought about the question
. Truthfully, he really couldn’t remember the last time he’d been laid. “I guess it’s been a while,” he admitted somberly.

“Ha!”
Sebby smacked a hand on the table, rattling everyone’s plates and drawing several looks from the other diners in the little downtown cafe. “You hesitate. I knew it!”

Alexandre “Sebby” Sebasti
en was one of the goaltenders for the Red Valley Razors hockey team and he’d been Jace’s teammate and best friend for well over a decade. Born and raised in Moscow, Sebby sported a thick Russian accent and, at his teammate’s amusement, often stumbled his way through the English language. Today, however, Sebby wasn’t having any trouble finding the right words to piss Jace off.

“Told ya,”
Cody smirked at Sebby. “You owe me twenty bucks.”

Team captain, Cody “Cola” Lambert
had no business critiquing Jace’s love life. The guy had it all—a beautiful wife and three great kids—and Jace envied him—just a
little
bit—for it.

Jace snarled at
Cody. “Okay, when’s the last time
you
got laid?” he asked, turning his attention to Sebby, the Russian-born goaltender and his
supposed
best friend.

“Theez morning,” Seb
by answered without blinking an eye.

“You’re kidding.” Jace frowned and rubbed
the stubble on his jaw. Of course the guy wasn’t joking. Sebby was a perpetual bachelor and had that sandy blonde hair and boyish good looks thing working for him. And chicks really loved his accent. Even if they couldn’t understand what he was saying half the time either. Too bad Jace didn’t have an exotic accent. He could just imagine the amount of women he’d have falling into his lap if he could curl his R’s.

“Nope
,” Sebby replied. “No joke. Naomi came by before her shift at Green Canary.”

Jace rolled his eyes
at Sebby’s smugness. “Okay. And what about
you
?” he asked, tipping his coffee in Cody’s direction.

“Last night,”
Cody answered quickly.

“Last night?” Jace looked at Cody
in horror. “But you’re
married
. And your wife just had a baby.”

Cody
grinned. “Yup. Laina is awesome. Why do you think I married her, man?” he joked.

They all knew that wasn’t the reason, but for the sake of their conversation, Jace let it slide.
He took a deep breath and toyed with the hash browns on his plate. Dolly’s Diner served the best breakfast in town, but all this pussy talk left a sour taste in his mouth.

Great
, he sighed. It was official. He was a loser. Even his married teammates were having more sex than he was. That was downright unheard of and completely unacceptable in his opinion.

What was his excuse again? Oh yeah.
His dry spell might have had something to do with his ex-wife, Simone, who had single handedly ruined his life. She was like a demonic Hoover. She ate money and spat out pure bitchiness and evil. Ugh. When was that gaping hole she sawed out going to fill itself in?

Jace looked around the restaurant, avoiding eye contact with his teammates.
Two old-timers at the counter gripped greasy, laminated menus and argued about yesterday’s winning lottery numbers. The inside of the café smelled like burnt coffee, but the waitresses didn’t scowl at them when they asked for extra hash browns or extra bacon. Or extra
everything
. Hey, sex wasn’t the only thing hockey players had a ravenous appetite for.

Sebby’s coffee cup hadn’t reached below the halfway mark since
the three of them had sat down. Noticing this, Cody chuckled with a shake of his head. “She sure is keepin’ your cup full.”

“I’d like to fill…
her
,” Sebby replied, searching for the right translation. The raised eyebrows of his teammates told him he’d gotten it right.

“That’s our Seb,” Cody said to Jace.
“A glass half full kind of guy.”

The
young waitress sidled up to their table again, topped off Sebby’s coffee and ignored Cody’s. She’d already given the captain’s shiny gold wedding band a glance and even though Jace didn’t wear a ring, his scowl was enough to keep anyone away—even the most determined of gold diggers.

“Christ, I can’t believe you guys.” Jace
grumbled, shaking his head in disbelief. He was still hung up on the fact that his sex life had merged over into the slow lane since his divorce.


What
?” Sebby asked, feigning innocence. “Trik Levine set me up with hot model who works at lingerie store in mall.”

Jace glared at Sebby
, his lip curling in a sneer. “Why aren’t you and Levine sending any hot model chicks
my
way?”

Sebby shrugged. “You been…,” he paused to find the right word in English, “…crotchy.”

Cody laughed out loud at Sebby’s choice of words and Jace scowled. Since when had breakfast with his buddies turned into the Comedy Central Roast of Jace McQuaid?

“I think the word you’re looking for is crotchety,”
Cody informed Sebby.

“Yeah,” Sebby nodded
at Jace. “
Crotchety
. Like old man.”

“Yeah,”
Cody agreed. He looked at Jace and grimaced. “Sorry, man, but chicks don’t go for that crotchety thing.”

Jace leaned back in his chair and
glared at his teammates. “You two are unbelievable.”

“I think the problem is that you’re too bitter,”
Cody offered.


Oh yeah?” Jace retorted, his mouth filling with sarcasm. “Well, maybe if I had a hot model chick modeling lingerie for me I wouldn’t be so crotchety. You guys ever think of
that
?”

Cody
’s look was skeptical. “You make things too…
complicated
.”

“How so?”
Jace asked. He hadn’t asked for relationship advice from his teammates, but was curious as to what brilliant ideas they had to bestow upon him on this fine February morning.

“I don’t know.
” Cody answered. “You just do. I wouldn’t be surprised if you made a chick sign a prenup before you took her out for drinks.”

Jace
huffed, finished off his milk and slammed the empty glass on the table. “Yeah, let’s see how
you
act after being screwed up the wazoo by a money hungry, gold digging, devil woman. Talk to me when Laina,” he shot a piercing look at Cody, “or some hot model chick,” he shot an equally cold look at Sebby, “takes you for everything you’ve got.
Then
we’ll finish this conversation.”

“See,”
Cody looked at Sebby and they exchanged a knowing look. “
Bitter
.”

Seb nodded in agreement.
“And
crotchety
.”

Jace threw some cash on the table and stood up. “I’m out.”

Cody groaned and threw his hands up in the air. “Don’t get all crybaby on us, Ace. We’re just saying you need to let loose and get laid. No strings attached.”

“Yeah,” Sebby chimed in, liking the idea.
“Just sex.”

Jace shook his head. “There is no such thing as no
-strings-attached.” He should know. Women always wanted something and it usually had the face of a dead president printed on it.

“All right,”
Cody shrugged. “Have it your way. Home alone wanking your own crank.”

“That’s not how it is
,” Jace argued.

“I’m just sayin’, man. It’s time you quit moping around about S
imone and let your dick do the talking. How long’s it been? A year? More?”

Jace sighed and wondered how breakfast with the guys had become a session with Dr. Ruth. He sat back down
with a huff and turned the empty milk glass around in circles. “It’s been a year and a half since the divorce.”

“Ah, man!” Sebby slapped his knee with gusto.

“It’s been plenty long enough, Jace,” Cody said gently.

Jace scraped his hand over his face. “Lay
off, all right? I’ve had a lot of shit on my plate.”

“Don’t make excuses, old man. It just makes you sound pathetic.”

The words stung. At thirty-seven, Jace was one of the Razors’ oldest players. The guys never failed to give him a bad time about his age, but Jace loved the sport so much he’d play it from a rocking chair if he had to. He probably would, too. He’d just slap some blades on the rockers and have somebody give him a nice strong push out onto the ice.

Jace
cringed at the rocking chair image he’d conjured up in his head. Pathetic. Downright pathetic.

“Not all women are out to get you, Ace,”
Cody added. “Some are just out to get
some
,” he explained.

“If you say so.”
Jace devoured the rest of his hash browns and after a moment of silence asked, “Am I really
that
bitter?”

Cody
looked Jace in the eye. “Lil’ bit.”

“Cut me some slack, will ya?
” The hash browns sat like a brick in his stomach. Why had he sat back down? Because Jace McQuaid didn’t tuck tail and run the other way when things got dicey. Especially with his teammates. “Besides,” he added, “it’s too early in the morning for your bullshit.” Jace looked at his watch. “Hell, it’s not even ten a.m. yet.”

“It’s never too early to help out our buddy Ace McQuaid’s love life.”
Cody said with a smirk.

“I don’t have time for a love life. I
’ve gotta get healthy again, guys.” His high pain tolerance and sheer stubbornness had allowed him to play through injuries that should have stopped him otherwise, but his sore shoulder had earned him an unwanted place on the injured reserve list and he’d missed the last few games. He’d played through the pain for the beginning of the season until his coach sat him out to “save him for the big playoff push.” Jace cringed just thinking about it. It was a bunch of bullshit as far as he was concerned.

Usually, his knee was what gave him trouble. But now his shoulder was acting up after an awkward hit into the boards.
Jace wished his body would just stick to one part that it wanted to shoot to hell instead of generously spreading the love around.

Claiming a spot on the injured reserve list wasn’t his idea of fun. If the damn doctors would just clear him already, he could
get his career back on track. What did the doctors and trainers know anyway? Jace would play with his bones sticking through his skin if they’d let him.

“Are you cleared to play in the
Carolina game?” Cody asked, signaling to the waitress he was out of coffee.

“No,” Jace answered on a sigh. “
I’m out for a couple more weeks.” Absently, Jace rubbed his knee. “The shoulder isn’t one hundred percent yet.”

Cody
winced. “Sorry, bud. I’ve been sliced and diced more times than I can count, but knock on wood,” he said rapping his knuckles on the Formica tabletop, “I’ve never had to miss a road trip.”


Well,” Jace said thoughtfully. “The league doesn’t have much need for pretty boys like us, so guys are always trying to make us as toothless and hideous as they are.”

Cody
took out his false teeth and grinned a toothless smile.

Jace shook his head.
“Missing teeth and you still manage to look like a movie star.”

Cody
put his teeth back in. “Speaking of movie star good looks, did you hear that JD and Lauren are getting married?”

“Good for them
,” said Sebby. His attention drifted away from the table and focused on their young blonde waitress as she maneuvered around tables with a tray of food. A woman didn’t need fancy lingerie to entice a man.

Great,
Jace thought to himself, Sebby’s probably lining up another conquest for tonight. Hot lingerie store clerks, curvy waitresses… No one was safe.

“That’s cool
,” Jace said about his teammate JD’s engagement. “As long as he makes her sign a prenup,” he added with a mumble. Bitterness held in his voice. He had no doubt JD and Lauren would have a happy life together. Lauren was a sweet girl and Jace didn’t think she had it in her to rip JD’s heart out and take him for everything he had. At least not on purpose anyway.

BOOK: Razors Ice 04 - Hot Ice
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