Being on a lover’s cruise wasn’t hockey star, Dylan Harding’s idea of a dream vacation, but when he runs into a past one-night-stand, it suddenly has its perks.
For Maureen Burke, avoiding the hunky athlete and all their chemistry while at sea is the key to keeping her job.
Fans of forced proximity romances will love THIS PUCKING SHIP by A.M. Williams, a sexy sports romance.
Maureen seems to be starting a new chapter in the book of her life. Dylan seems torn about what to do. This is a great way to take a cruise from the comfort of your own home. No sea sickness to be had. A holiday cruise, what could be better.
Maureen has a job where there are rules for a reason. Our author shows what happens when a minor character feels she can dictate those rules and what happens when she doesn’t like you. Dylan lives in the world of celebrity. In this instance, the author doesn’t have her main character use his status to get what he wants.
In the two books that I’ve read in the Love At Sea series, I’ve discovered yet another new author. And for the second time, it was difficult to put the story down. I wanted to be one of those vacationers that would investigate almost every floor. The only thing I wouldn’t want to do is be out on the deck at the wrong time. Now that snow is on the ground, where I live, this is a great way to think of going on a cruise where the sun is hot, and the water is just the perfect temperature. Romance is in the air and I’m on dry land.
It was October in New Orleans, so it wasn’t exactly cool outside.
But it was better than the oppressiveness of the inside.
I glanced up and down the street, noting more people were out now.
As I looked around, I noticed a small patio area I hadn’t seen before when we arrived, too busy sticking close to Heidi to notice anything about the place she’d taken me to.
A quick glance confirmed it was a part of the bar I was at and that it wasn’t packed.
There were empty tables scattered throughout the space. With the realization I could sit down, my feet started throbbing.
I practically sprinted to an open table along the wooden fence, sinking down and sighing as the pressure was taken off my poor feet.
That’s what I got for letting Heidi talk me into wearing one of her cute pairs of boots instead of the sandals I wanted to wear.
I sighed in relief as I sipped my quickly warming beer, watching the knots of people outside.
There were several groups clustered at tables and on the other side of the patio was an outdoor bar.
I briefly wondered why everyone hadn’t come outside instead of staying in, but realized that inside was where the real party was. It seemed like outside was where people came to hang out.
I was fine with the hanging out over the partying. I felt too old to be inside in the thick of things.
Come to think of it, the last time I’d partied hard had been my last year of grad school. Heidi had taken me out then, forcing me to drink shot after shot after graduating.
I suddenly remembered why I didn’t party hard and grimaced with my next sip of beer.
I shuddered at the memories and was glad I was sticking to beer and not drinking hard liquor.
“You look too serious to be sitting here alone,” a husky male voice said to my right.
I sipped my beer as I looked toward who was speaking and promptly choked on it when I got a look at the guy standing there. Tall, dark, and handsome barely scratched the surface of how good he looked.
I coughed as I put my glass down, sputtering and trying not to spit beer on him.
He smirked as he sat down across from me, a beer in his hand. “I can say I’ve had a lot of reactions over the years, but not sure I’ve ever had someone choke when they saw me.”
I wheezed as I tried to catch my breath, a knot settling in my throat as I tried not to hyperventilate.
After a few moments, I was breathing easier and looked back at the guy.
It was Dylan Harding. I recognized him immediately, which is why I choked.
He was starting forward for North Carolina’s hockey team. While hockey in North Carolina might not be as popular as you’d think, I took notice when there was a hottie on the team.
And Dylan Harding was the hottest of the hotties. When he’d first started playing, I was just starting my career as a physical therapist and hoped to work with professional athletes at some point.
He was only a few years older than me and dead sexy. Light blonde hair, dark brown eyes, and a physique that would make most grown men and women cry. I didn’t know anyone that was in better physical shape than he was.
So while I watched little hockey or really understood it, I understood a sexy man.
“Sorry,” I finally said, after realizing I was staring at him. I thought fast and quipped, “I wasn’t sure if I was really seeing a demon or not. You took me by surprise.”
Dylan grinned and laughed, shaking his head as he sipped his beer. “Quick on your feet. I like it.”
I shrugged and sipped my beer much more carefully this time.
“You from here?” he asked.
I shook my head. “Nah, here for work. You?”
He got a funny look on his face at my question, but shook his head as well. “Nah, just visiting.”
Silence stretched between us, but it wasn’t uncomfortable.
I looked around us as I took another gulp of my drink, trying to grasp onto something to talk about with my celebrity crush, but was drawing a blank.
“I’ve seen some of your games,” I finally blurted.
Dylan’s eyes widened. “Games?”
I nodded quickly. “Yeah. At PNC Arena.”
He stared at me for a few beats. “You recognize me?”
He sounded baffled by this thought, and I narrowed my eyes. “Yes, I recognize you. I’m from North Carolina.”
His eyes widened briefly, then his expression cleared. “Sorry, I meant nothing by it. You just said nothing when I sat down, so I assumed you didn’t know who I was.”
I pursed my lips as I considered what to say.
“I wasn’t going to admit to knowing you,” I finally said. “But couldn’t think of anything else to say, so I panicked.”
He nodded slowly, studying me, his gaze raking over me.
“So you’re a hockey fan?”
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