Release Date: June 27th
Hockey’s bad boy needs to clean up his reputation…
Bennett James has built his career at being the best, on and off the ice, and now it’s come back to bite him. The media has turned against him, and with a near career-ending injury, he needs to clean up his act and prove that he’s serious about the game. For Bennett, working with his old coach at his alma mater feels like a step back, but it might be just what he needs.
…and she’s going to help him do it.
Grace Wentworth has always been the good girl, and she’s tired of that stigma. She wants to prove that she can get down and dirty with the best of them. The problem? She doesn’t know how.
Bennett will teach the good girl how to be bad, if she pretends to be his goody two-shoes girlfriend in front of the media.
But what happens when the game becomes real?
Interviewer: Bennett, do you think you can ever forgive your former coach for everything he did to you?
Bennett: (squirms in his seat) Maybe this makes me weak, but I’m sorry, I don’t think I can.
(Grace grabs his hand, entwining their fingers together, and gives him an encouraging smile)
Interviewer: Grace, have your parents accepted Bennett? Bennett, did you have to do anything to win them over?
Grace: (looks at Bennett with a wistful smile) Once the truth came out about everything, and I explained that he’s the man I love, they were accepting. My dad still gives him a hard time, but that’s just my dad. He means it more as a joke than anything else.
Bennett: He made me eat these gross ketchup flavored chips, then smacked me on the shoulder, and said I was part of the family now—so I guess that’s all I really had to do to win him over. (chuckles) I’ve learned the man loves ketchup. If I’d known that beforehand I would’ve surprised him with an antique bottle of the stuff and called it a day. Those chips were gross.
Interviewer: We know that you two are living together for the summer, so fill us in on how that’s going? Has it changed your relationship any by living together?
Grace: (shrugs) I don’t think it’s changed much—other than learning to live with each other’s quirks. Like Bennett always leaves his toothbrush on the sink and it drives me nuts.
Bennett: And she always leaves coffee mugs sitting around. (kisses her cheek)
Grace: So far it’s been really good, though. I like waking up in his arms.
Bennett: (smirks) Of course you do, sweetheart. These arms are what dreams are made of. (looks at interviewer) have you seen my abs? I’ve heard they’re lickable.
(Interviewer blushes and stutters a response. Grace smacks his arm and they dissolve into laughter.)
Interviewer: Now that Bennett is playing professionally again, and you’ll soon be returning to college fulltime, how do you think that will effect your relationship?
Grace: He was already back with his team for the last few months of the school year—so I think it won’t change that much from what we were used to. He’s busy with hockey and I’m busy with school, but we’ll always make time for each other.
Interviewer: Bennett, are you still in touch with Coach Harrison? How’s Michael—the player on the college team you became friends with?
Bennett: Yeah, of course I still talk to Coach. He’s the man. We’ve always stayed in contact—that’s why I was able to train with him when everything fell to shit. Michael is going into the draft, and I know he’s going to go to a good team. He’s also flirting way too much with my sister. (huffs in agitation)
Grace: Do you think he’ll end up on your team?
Bennett: Maybe. It’d be cool.
Interviewer: It looks like we have time for one more question. If you could offer anyone out here one piece of advice, what would it be?
Bennett: Never give up on your dreams.
Grace: Trust your gut. It will always lead you in the right direction.
Interviewer: Okay folks, that’s all we have time for today. I hope you enjoyed the interview. Grace and Bennett, thank you so much for stopping by to chat with us.
Grace: We were happy to do it.
Bennett: What she said…but if you skew what we say like all these other asshat media people I will end you.
Interviewer: (gulps) Of course not. Everything will stay 100% as you said it.
Bennett: (nods) Good. Thank you. (takes Grace’s hand again and bends to kiss her)
Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling twenty-something author. She started scribbling stories before she even knew her alphabet. She currently resides in Virginia with her doggie side-kick Ollie.