Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
By Lane Hayes
The Elmwood Stories, Book 1
The hometown hockey hero and his best friend’s brother…
Hockey is in my blood. I learned to skate before I learned how to ride a bike. I’ve been on a wild ride, playing at the highest level for some of the biggest and best teams in the league. But now it’s over, and I’m not sure what to do with myself.
So I’m going home to Elmwood.
But I’ll tell you what I’m not gonna do—I’m not going to coach my buddy’s junior hockey league. No chance. I don’t know how to deal with kids, and besides, the other coach—who happens to be my best friend’s brother—hates me. With reason.
That may be old news, yet something tells me we’re going to have to deal with the past.
And that’s almost as scary as coaching teens.
No, I don’t hate Vinnie, but he drives me nuts.
He’s cocky, goofy, selfish, and yeah…after all these years, I’m still attracted to him. But I’m a responsible adult now. I run my family’s business, and with the help of my ex, I’ve made Elmwood Diner into a New England institution.
So maybe my life isn’t particularly exciting at the moment, and maybe Vinnie isn’t the worst. Nonetheless, I have no desire to rekindle a friendship with the hockey hero who no doubt will be on the first flight out of town the second he gets bored or gets a better offer.
And I’m not coaching with him. No way.
I can’t believe I’m doing this again.
You, Again is an MM bisexual, best friend’s brother, frenemies to lovers romance featuring old friends, a new quest, and a little hockey HEA!
Vinnie set a twenty on the table and stood. “Thanks for the coffee.”
“It’s on the house,” I insisted, pushing the money toward him.
“No, no. I support local businesses. Keep the change.”
His over-the-top wink practically begged me to roll my eyes, but I had more to say. We had to clear the air…at least a little.
“Um…hey, even if you don’t make it through summer, your presence alone is good for business for the whole town. ‘NHL Hero Comes Home’ and all that bullshit. If you don’t mind the attention, and I’m assuming you don’t—come help out at the rink. It’s easy and fun. You won’t regret it.”
Vinnie rubbed his scruffy jaw thoughtfully. “Okay. I’ll do it.”
I smiled tentatively and raised my hand for a high five. “Great.”
“But only if you’re my assistant.”
“What?” I pulled my hand away before he could slap it, furrowing my brow. “No way. Gavin is perfectly capable of—”
“Nope. It has to be you.”
I frowned. “Why?”
“ ’Cause…” Vinnie blew out an exasperated breath. “I want to fix this. Me and you. And I can’t do that if you ignore me.”
And just like that, the invisible wall between us shook in its foundation.
“We’re fine,” I bluffed.
Vinnie arched a brow. “You’re mad at me. I know why, and I get it. We don’t have to go into it now, but at the very least, we should call a truce ’cause if we’re working with impressionable teens, you really oughtta be nice to me, Moore.”
My mouth opened in a perfect O. “I’ve been perfectly civil to you. More civil than you deserve, Kiminski.”
“See? That wasn’t nice,” he teasingly scolded. “I can’t believe I’m the voice of reason here.”
I fixed him with a bored sardonic stare. “You are never the voice of reason.”
“I kind of am now.”
“No, you aren’t.”
“Yes, I am.”
“No, you—oh, my God.” I pointed at the door. “Good-bye, Vinnie.”
He snickered, flashing a lopsided devil-may-care grin my way. “Wait up. Let’s seal the deal on this truce.”
“I’m serious. Let’s shake hands, hug it out, kiss and make up, or all of the above.”
I regarded his outstretched hand suspiciously and cautiously slid my palm against his. “Fine. Truce.”
“See, that didn’t sound friendly. You ruined it. Gimme a hug,” he demanded, pulling me into a bear hug, squeezing me hard enough to crack a rib.
I let out an oomph of surprise and tried to wriggle out of his hold. He took the hint and loosened his grip. I knew it was all in good fun or at least meant to playfully rile me up, but when he bent to kiss my cheek, I turned my head just as he swooped in and bam! Our lips collided in an actual, honest-to-God kiss.
A fucking kiss.
I couldn’t speak for Vinnie, but I was too shocked to move.
We’d been here before.
Sure, it had been almost twenty years ago, but I was positive neither of us was looking for a repeat. I certainly wasn’t. Any second now, he’d back up, swipe his hand across his mouth and make some ridiculous joke to right the balance. But he didn’t.
He softened his lips and molded them to mine, tilting his chin as if testing a new angle. And suddenly, this felt real.
I pushed out of his arms, sucking in a gulp of air.
My heart beat like a drum, and my mouth was bone dry.
“I think—I think we’re good now,” I rasped.
Vinnie’s shell-shocked expression gave way to something unreadable. He scratched his nape and stepped aside.
“Yeah. Uh…what time is practice?”
“Thursday at three.”
He nodded and tried a smile that never reached his eyes. “Cool. See ya, Nol.”
I froze in place as the door swung shut behind him, willing my heartbeat to calm the fuck down.
Did that happen?
It wasn’t real. I knew that, but he didn’t pull away. He lingered, he pressed closer, he…he kissed me.
Reality check: Vinnie was a notorious prankster. He was always doing something to push boundaries—make you laugh, make you mad, make you stop taking life so damned seriously. Silly was his fallback language. If lighthearted pranks and teasing kept some uncomfortable parts of the past at bay, I was all for it.
But I was still confused. Very confused.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of You, Again, Lane is giving away the Winner’s choice of an audiobook or ebook of your choice from her published works!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
About the Author:
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. She loves wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and her fabulous pup, George.
Connect with Lane:
My Readers’ Group, Lane’s Lovers: https://bit.ly/3aIbMYg
My Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3cICfaK
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/lanehayes