Hard Stick

A Breakaway Novel

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He carries a big stick. And he’s not afraid to use it.

On the ice, I’m Kellan Carter, powerhouse enforcer for the Charlotte Strikers. Off the ice, I’m just a regular guy. The last thing I want is to get mobbed by a bunch of groupies who are only after me for my fame and money. My ideal woman knows how to enjoy a little good, clean fun—and maybe some not-so-clean fun too. That’s the kind of girl I’d never let go.

When Kristen Robinson, the gorgeous, down-to-earth bartender I’ve been crushing on, agrees to let me take her out, I’m thrilled. We have an amazing night together, culminating in the most electrifying kiss of my life—and that’s it. Kristen tells me we can’t see each other again, but I know that kiss meant as much to her as it did to me. What I don’t know is that Kristen has a dangerous secret. . . .

I’ve proved to Kristen that she can trust me with her body and her heart. But when her past comes back to haunt her, I need to prove that she can trust me with her life. And I might have to get my hands dirty after all.

Don’t miss any of New York Times bestselling author L. P. Dover’s red-hot Breakaway novels:
HARD STICK | BLOCKED
 
Or these heartwarming Second Chances romances:
CATCHING SUMMER | DEFENDING HAYDEN | INTENDED FOR BRISTOL
 
“L. P. Dover knows how to create the men who make us swoon, the book boyfriends we all want.”—New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin

Praise for Hard Stick

Hard Stick is a sexy hockey romance that heats up the ice, and the bedroom!”—Sarah Robinson, bestselling author of the Kavanagh Legends series

Hard Stick is the action-packed hockey romance you’ll never forget.”—Addicted2Books

“Loved the storyline, the plot was very developed with some suspense, drama and of course romance, the exact amount to make this book good and interesting.”—Collectors of Book Boyfriends & Girlfriends

“I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who loves a story that has a little bit of everything in it. If you’re looking for a storyline that will suck you in and characters you will fall in love with and want more of, then this is the book to read! . . . Hard Stick is truly a book that is a case of ‘Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover,’ but in the best way possible.”—Book Bitches Blog

“I loved everything about this book. I highly recommend this author.”—Jack of All Trades, Master of None Book Reviews

“You’ll be sucked in from the start and will feel the book hangover before you’re done.”—Seraphim Book Reviews (five stars)

“L. P. Dover did a great job with this book and if you know going into that it has more of a suspenseful love story, you might not be so surprised. I recommend this book. I couldn’t put it down.”—Wicked Love of Books

This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Under the Cover

An excerpt from Hard Stick

Chapter 1
Kristen

The incessant ringing of my phone jerked me awake. Rubbing my eyes, I glanced at the clock and groaned; it was eleven o’clock. It didn’t surprise me when I looked down at my phone and saw Cole’s name.

“This better be good. What are you doing calling me so late?” I mumbled into the phone. My bedroom light was still on so I shielded my eyes from the brightness. I fell asleep slumped over and now my neck was on fire.

Cole revved his motorcycle engine and sighed. “I’m on my way to your place. There’s something you need to see.” Cole Harper was my best friend, a guy I’d grown up with. He followed me to Boston after my parents died in a car accident just a few weeks after graduation. We both attended MIT and he was the closest thing to family I had other than his parents. Usually I’d be out with him and our friends, since it was the weekend, but those days were long gone.

I rubbed the back of my neck. “Now? You know that’s not a good idea.”

“I don’t give a crap,” he growled. “Your boyfriend can go screw himself. After tonight, you need to get rid of him. There’s a reason he doesn’t take you out in public.”

“I already know why,” I grumbled. Only Cole and one of my close girlfriends from back home knew about my relationship with the business tycoon. His name was Mitchell, and he didn’t want our relationship to go public until his divorce was final.

Cole snapped. “No, you don’t, Kris. I’ll tell you everything when I get there.” He hung up before I could stop him. Little did he know that his visit would only stir up what I was trying to avoid. Leaning my head against the wall, I couldn’t help but think back to the first time I met Mitchell. Things were so different back then.

It all began with a moment of pleasure.

That was all it took for me to fall head over heels for the man who could ultimately ruin my life. What the hell am I talking about? He already had. I was trapped inside a sick game where he controlled all the players and I was the main piece. Even now, his eyes were on me. I didn’t have to look out my bedroom window to know that someone was out there, watching me.

Mitchell Blackwell was a powerful man, the owner of Blackwell Holdings, and always used to getting what he wanted. When he hired me to decorate his office building, I was excited about the opportunity. I didn’t have the clientele that some of my other colleagues had at Simon & Associates; that included Cole as well. He was on the rise as one of Boston’s best architects. Working for them was a dream come true, and even more so, being hired to work with Mitchell.

My career skyrocketed after working with him as an interior designer. There were so many people wanting to be my clients, I barely had time to breathe. I had no clue I was going to fall for the man. He was in his late thirties, about ten years older than me, but with a body any young man my age would be jealous of. Being the smitten girl that I was, I wish I would’ve been able to see the hell he was going to put me through. The love I thought we had turned into a dangerous obsession, one I didn’t know how to escape from.

I realized Mitchell’s true intentions after I spent a few late nights out with my friends. He said he wanted to make sure I was safe at all times, but after he started showing up unannounced, I began to think differently. He wasn’t trying to keep me safe, he was keeping tabs on me, on who I was with. If another man touched me in any way, he would be right there on my doorstep, ready to make sure I thought of no one but him. Sometimes he would give me a passionate kiss and then rush off, but most of the time he’d want more and the sex would be demanding, passionate . . . or hard and possessive. Again, at the beginning I loved it, felt special, but then realized I was his obsession and this was getting out of control. Now that Cole was on his way over, Mitchell would no doubt find out and show up.

At first I loved his attention and the way he made me feel wanted. Now he terrified me, only there was no escaping him. Maybe that was why his wife had left him.

The sound of Cole’s motorcycle blared down the street and I sighed. I hadn’t told him what Mitchell would do if his people spotted another man coming to my condo. It’d gotten so bad that even my male clients steered clear of me during our meetings. It was like Mitchell was everywhere, scaring the shit out of every man who tried to get near me. And he could do it, too. There was no way anyone could take him on and make it out on top.

Cole banged on my door and I opened it, refraining from flipping off the guy I knew was in the shadows somewhere watching. With his bleach-blond hair in disarray, Cole stormed inside, his jaw clenched tight.

“Is there a reason you’re so pissed?” I asked, shutting the door.

Huffing, he turned to face me, his green eyes full of anger and concern. He unzipped his black leather jacket and set his helmet down. There were many times I rode on the back of his sport bike, but Mitchell didn’t like that. In fact, he didn’t like Cole at all. He believed Cole was trying to steal me away, and no amount of telling him otherwise could sway him. I knew the truth, though. Cole was like my brother.

“Heck yeah, I’m pissed,” he growled, pulling out his phone. “I want you to see what kind of dirtbag you’re dating. I don’t care if the guy’s worth millions. You deserve more than to be hidden away while he does whatever the heck he wants.”

- About the author -

L. P. Dover is the New York Times bestselling author of the Second Chances series, the Breakaway series, the Forever Fae series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed and Dangerous series, and a standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. She loves not only to write, but also to play tennis, hike in the mountains, go white-water rafting, and sing. A Southern belle with a former life in periodontics, L. P. Dover lives in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls.

More from L.P. Dover

Hard Stick

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— Published by Loveswept —