Tuesday, September 8, 2015

review || MAKING A PLAY { release day } by Victoria Denault

Forever Yours | September 8, 2015 | Sport Romance
Hometown Players, book 2


He'll do whatever it takes to win—on and off the ice.

Luc Richard is the hottest player in the NHL—and it has nothing to do with hockey. His racy relationship with his supermodel ex set the tabloids on fire but nearly put his career on ice. To avoid being traded, Luc agrees to take a break from the spotlight—and from women—and spend the off-season at home in Silver Bay, Maine. It's the perfect plan... until he reconnects with Rose.

Rose Caplan is tired of being shy, sweet, and safe. She's ready for passion, romance—and Luc. Having loved him longer than she can remember, she's finally ready to prove she's not the same innocent little girl he once knew. Off the ice Luc doesn't do games, but this new Rose makes him feel like playing a little dirty. If he's really got a shot at her heart then he's not just playing to win. He's playing for keeps.

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{ about victoria denault } .

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

{ excerpt } .

Luc looks… predatory. Hungry. Like he’s a starving lion and I’m the gazelle that’s about to become his meal. I’ve never seen him look like this – it’s been close but he’s always held something back – tonight he’s not and it makes my panties damp.

I don’t say his name or acknowledge we even know each other – maybe it’s because I honestly have never met this Luc Richard before. I just stare at him, my body still moving to the music, somehow unaffected by the shock and turmoil inside my heart.

He splays his big hands flat against my bare, lower back. I cross my wrists behind his head and my fingers can’t help but scrape through his hair. His eyes are barely open now. I lower mine to watch our pelvis’ push and pull and roll against each other.

I want to ask him what the hell he’s doing, but it’s a stupid question. I know what he’s doing – he’s dry humping me within an inch of my life and pretending it’s dancing. I just can’t believe he’s doing it to

His hands leave my lower back heading in opposite directions. His right moves up to my neck, his fingers traveling through my hair at the base of my neck. His left hand moves downward, and he very obviously, very aggressive cups my ass.

Luc Richard is cupping my ass.

Sweet mother of God.

Now I can’t look up. I don’t want to. Is he joking around? Is he doing this just to make sure no one else does – as one of his typical, over-protective tactics?

My head turns sideways, my cheek grazing his shirt. My hands slide from his neck and rest on his wide solid shoulders, gripping the muscles there – God he has so many muscles. His hand on my ass pulls me into him and I grind harder. God help me I want this contact so much. I’ve wanted it forever.

Then his neck bends forward and his head dips and I feel his lips brush against my cheek and head toward my ear. He’s going to speak. I feel his lips part. He’s going to say something – it’s going to be light and jovial and stupid and it’s going to ruin everything. This whole charade will come crashing down and I don’t want it to.

So before a word leaves his mouth, I spin. The movement is fast and unexpected and he stumbles a little as our bodies bump in an effort to reposition themselves. And then I try to walk away. I don’t want an explanation or an excuse for what we just did. I don’t want to know why he did it because his reasons won’t be the same is mine. He’ll say it was a mistake. He’ll say he was joking around. I just need to leave before he can break my heart and my ego - again.

But I only get three small steps before one of his thick arm wraps itself around my ribcage, just below my breasts, and he’s like a brick wall smashed up against my back again. This time his lips press up against my hair and he gets his chance to speak.

“I’m not done with you,” he growls, his normally slight French accent more prominent.

And then his head moves, ever so slightly and I feel something else on my skin. Just above my collarbone - his lips. The contact isn’t accidental. His lips aren’t grazing or brushing, they’re pressed firmly to my skin. They part ever so slightly and then he pulls my tender flesh up into his mouth, sucking softly for a long second before his head moves slowly away. His lips brush my ear lightly and I swear to God his tongue teases my earlobe. I start turning around.

I don’t know if he’s turning me or my legs are acting on their own, but suddenly we’re face to face and his head is still bent and his lips are half an inch from mine. I nervously slide my tongue across my lower lip and his mouth parts slightly. At first the contact is so light I’m not sure it happened. Just a brush, a whisper of his lips against mine, and then there is nothing but the muggy air in the room around us.

Luc holds me around the waist and once again pulls my body into his. Now something else is pushing back into my lower abdomen - something long and solid from between his legs. He’s hard.

I let out a little gasp. I can’t help it. Luc’s hard. For me. I made Luc hard. And as his lips pass by mine again, I tilt my head and stop them. Capturing them with my own in a solid, scorching kiss. Our mouths open simultaneously and our tongues reach for each other hungrily.

I’m so overwhelmed by the sensation of his firm lips, his smooth tongue and wet mouth – I feel faint. I grab at his shirt, pulling him to me like there is a gap between us I need to close, but there isn’t. His hand on my lower back moves back to my ass and pushes me into him, holding me against him. His hard length is shamelessly pressed right into me, and I just as shamelessly rotate my hips, purposely rubbing it against my lower abdomen. Someone bumps us and I have to step back. Our lips disconnect, our eyes meet and reality crashes down around us.

He looks startled. Maybe terrified is a better word. I wish I could grab him and slip back into the erotic dream we were just living but I know I can’t. So I do the only thing I can - I turn and escape.

{ review } .

I really enjoyed Jessie and Jordan's story... but Rose and Luc.... my goodness, did I love Rose and Luc's story.

(& the cover... mmhmm...).

You have to love and respect a man who puts aside the girl he wants because he fears he can't be enough for her -- but in the same token, you want to slap him silly because the answer to everything has always been right in front of him.

But of course, it's when Luc swears off women, when he decides that he needs to focus on his game, that he learns just how deeply he desires Rose, his Fleur.

This book opens right where the last's epilogue takes place -- while Jordan and Jessie are getting engaged, Rose is hanging out at the bar because she's not currently allowed at the house. When she's told that her sister and her sister's best friend-now-boyfriend are likely christening every room, she's a bit disgusted (...after she naively asks what that means). You can hear their friendship in the simple writing when they talk:

"Rose Caplan!" He almost sings my name. "When did you get here?"

"Luc Richard!" I mimic his excitement, but not his smile...I give him a tight half-smile and I sip my beer again. "An hour ago."

..the mimicking. I don't know why, but that truly drove in the friendship aspect for me. That and his meowing at her when she's catty...

From the beginning, I loved Luc and Rosie's relationship. She was the one person Luc never wanted to fail because she was the one person who truly mattered to him. Sure, the Garrison's mattered to Luc -- they were his surrogate family, after all -- but it's always been Rose.

I can't look forward without seeing her in my future. I can't look back and have a good memory that doesn't involve her...

My biggest issue with the story, and really Luc then, would be his need to keep his (eventual) relationship with Rose a secret -- not because he was embarrassed over the hometown sweetheart, but because he made it a public point that he wasn't going to date. Needing to make contract and prove to the powers that be that he can focus (and that his super model ex-girlfriend is not a distraction), he's willing to do anything... but give up Rose once he's had her.

I just loved the way Luc loved Rose -- and my heart folded over even more when he blurted it out to her, because the poor man thought he ruined everything (trust me, you'll want to read that scene).

Luc and Rose have a couple of bumps to get over, a few hurdles that come with the athlete spotlight, but like he told her so many years ago, he loves her and the beauty she brings to life.

Quick note: who's next? CALLIE! I love that hellion of a woman... I love her spunk and her mama bear qualities, and her ability to make anything a weapon. And she ends up with the last Garrison (because Luc is essentially a Garrison), Devin...

{ previous reviews in series } .

ONE MORE SHOT 5 { review } .

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