Smokeshow, A Hockey Love Story

I’m so happy with this book.  I don’t think I’ve enjoyed writing an epilogue as much as I did this one in many, many years.  Smokeshow, A Hockey Love Story is now LIVE and out in the world.  The hero is a guy who has appeared in the three books prior to this one in the VEGAS CRUSH series…and presented himself as someone who could never achieve hero status by any stretch of the imagination in any book ever penned by me.  He was pretty much everything my heroes aren’t; mouthy, over-confident, loud, lacking discretion, but mostly just a shameless, unrepentant manwhore on the hunt for his next one-night-score, and nothing more.

Well…that’s just what we saw, but it certainly wasn’t the whole picture.  In life, things change and challenges arise, as do characters who step up and take on responsibility, transforming themselves into an unforgettable hero you can’t help but fall in love with as the pages turn.

That would be my Tyler Lockhardt.


Here’s a little teaser for you…

Thank God she’s gone for a second. Seeing her like that, her hair loose around her shoulders, her lids heavy from sleep, in her tiny panties and tight T-shirt. Holy hell, Zoya has no idea what she looks like to me right now.

She has reallllly long legs and reallllly pretty skin and I’m not drunk, so I feel secure in saying that I am dead certain I have never seen a more beautiful woman than Zoya Kolochev.

When she comes back, she sits on her bed and pats the spot beside her. I sit, feeling oddly nervous and stiff.

“I’m glad you are here, Tyler.” Her voice is so soft and sweet. It’s like cotton candy.


“I wanted to tell you that I’m glad you trusted me enough to tell me your story earlier.”

“Oh.” I wave off the comment. “It’s no biggie.”

“I think it is, a biggie, as you say. I think you try to play tough guy, like you don’t care about anything, but it’s because of everything you have gone through. You had to fight to get out of the life handed to you. Maybe, I think, you need a friend to talk to sometimes.”

“I have friends,” I say, running a hand through my hair. I feel disgusting, all of a sudden, sweaty from dancing, alcohol still on my breath. And yes, Irina’s kisses on my lips. She wanted me. And fuck, I was tempted. Kissed her. But… but here I am. With a girl who saw me. Now talking ’bout my friends.

“But do you have people you can talk to? About important things?”

I start to say yes, but in the end, I have to admit I don’t have that in my life. I never really have. My “friendships” were surface level in college and with teammates over the years. Viktor is the first true friend I’ve had, and I don’t even tell him about my crazy mother. I shake my head no.

Zoya reaches over and takes my hand in hers. I stare at it, my big, clunky dude hand holding her petite, delicate one. “Well, I declare that we are now best friends, Tyler Lockhardt. I’m going to be that person for you.”

I stare at her, dumbfounded. She wants to be my BFF? I almost laugh, because it feels hysterical to want someone as badly as I want her, only to be told that we are now best friends and I am to share all of my innermost feelings with her. When all I really want is to kiss her until she goes blind with desire.

“What if…” I start, pursing my lips and letting a breath out through my nose. “What if I want more?”


“Than just friendship. With you.”

Zoya blushes, and not just on her cheeks. Her whole chest blooms peach. But she says those same words I’ve heard before. “I don’t want a hockey boy, remember? The fact I’m offering my friendship is a lot, because I don’t really want hockey in my life either. But I like you and I think you need a friend. And I want to be that friend.”

“But I—”

She shakes her head at me. “No, Tyler. I came here to study. I am too familiar with the truth of hockey life, and I therefore know it’s not something I want to be part of. I will not date a hockey player.”

“It’s just that I find you very attractive, Zoya. What is it you’re lookin’ for in a guy? If it’s not me, who is it?”

“I need a prince charming. Someone who will romance me. He will want to know everything about me. And buy me flowers. He will make me feel like love is a fairy tale made real.”

A derisive noise comes out of me. I don’t mean for it to, but it does, and she looks away, blushing again, embarrassed. I scramble to find words that will make it better. “You’re a romantic, I get it. Maybe I could try to be that for you?”

She squeezes my hand. “No. That is not you. You are not built for that love. And I will not settle. Being your friend is all I can offer. I really want that for us. Do you?”

I think about it for a moment. She’s not wrong. I’ve never been in love. Never even tried. Never wanted it. And yes, this woman is knocking my socks off in a way that women usually don’t, but it doesn’t mean I can suddenly morph into a Disney prince.

“Okay,” I say finally. “You’re right. I’d rather have you for a friend than nothing at all.”

She smiles and it sinks my stomach. Fuck. I want to growl or cry or something because she is just so stinkin’ amazing.

“Though I’ve never had a friend who’s a girl,” I add. “I might be a shitty friend. In fact, there’s a really good possibility of that.”

“But I believe in you, Tyler.” She stands, towing me up off the bed. Pushing up on her tiptoes, she kisses me on the cheek before wrapping her arms around my midsection for a hug. I put my hands around her too, wanting desperately to touch the silky-smooth skin showing at her hips. I rest my head on top of hers and we just hold each other for a moment.

It feels really fucking good.


𝘽𝙚 “𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨” 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙖 𝙨𝙢𝙤𝙠𝙚𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙧? 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙮 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙖 𝙥#𝙘𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙖𝙨𝙠.
—𝗧𝘆𝗹𝗲𝗿 𝗟𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘁, 𝗩𝗘𝗚𝗔𝗦 𝗖𝗥𝗨𝗦𝗛

𝑺𝑴𝑶𝑲𝑬𝑺𝑯𝑶𝑾, 𝗔 𝗛𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘆 𝗟𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐨𝐧!

🔥🎟𝑺𝑴𝑶𝑲𝑬𝑺𝑯𝑶𝑾👄 is a friends-to-lovers STANDALONE hockey romance about a cocky defenseman for the Vegas Crush about to be sidelined by one seriously hot smokeshow. Too bad she’s not interested in dating a hockey player and one hundred percent off-limits. 𝙐𝙝 𝙤𝙝. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙-𝙯𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙪𝙥 𝙛𝙖𝙨𝙩. 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙨𝙖𝙮 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙨-𝙨-𝙨𝙢𝙤𝙠𝙞𝙣’…


SMOKESHOW is book #5.  Check out the rest of the series here > VEGAS CRUSH