Title: Good Guy
Author: Kate Meader
Series: Rookie Rebels #1
Publication date: July 30th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sports
He’s a Special Forces veteran making his pro hockey debut. She’s a dogged sports reporter determined to get a scoop. She’s also his best friend’s widow . . .
Fans can’t get enough of Levi Hunt, the Special Forces veteran who put his NHL career on hold to serve his country and fight the bad guys. So when his new Chicago Rebels bosses tell him to cooperate with the press on a profile, he’s ready to do his duty. Until he finds out who he has to work with: flame-haired, freckle-splashed, impossibly perky Jordan Cooke.
Also known as the woman he should not have kissed the night she buried her husband, Levi’s best friend in the service.
Hockey-stick-up-his-butt-serious Levi Hunt might despise Jordan for reasons she can’t fathom—okay, it’s to do with kissing—but her future in the cutthroat world of sports reporting hangs on delivering the goods on the league’s hottest, grumpiest rookie. So what if he’s not interested in having his life plated up for public consumption. Too bad. Jordan will have to play dirty to get her scoop and even dirtier to get her man. Only in winning the story, she might just lose her heart . . .
In this standalone romance set in the Chicago Rebels world, a new generation of players take to the ice and learn that all’s fair in love and hockey.
EXCERPT:“Was this night worth your time? Don’t you have a boyfriend who’d like to see you once in a while? Or a life that doesn’t revolve around work?” They stepped into the elevator and he slapped at the lobby level button. Stab. Slap. He was angry and he didn’t know why. He hated not knowing something.
“This is my life, Hunt.” She giggled, the sound going straight to his dick where it proceeded to tease, caress, and kiss the traitor wide awake. “God, playing video games with you guys is gold. And then when your pal showed up proving you’re not such a cold-hearted, friendless Terminator type after all and that you might have a personality underneath that hard-ass demeanor? Icing on the cupcake.”
He opened the door to his building, ushered her out, and tried not to enjoy her bobbing pony-tail.
“So is it true?” she threw out over her shoulder.
“Is what true?”
“The Disney ice cream cake thing?”
“Where are you parked?”
“Around the corner. You don’t have to—”
But he was already eating the ground with every stride like it had offended his honor.
“Levi, what is your problem?”
“Nothing. Just making sure you get in your car and leave.” He was pissed and horny and only now realizing that he had no idea what Jordan’s car looked like.
“Here I am.” She stood by a Honda Civic, two cars back.
Retracing his steps, he tried to get his emotions under control which should not have been a problem. Emotion-wrangling was his bag. Controlling the narrative was his forte. At least, he’d thought so until he met Jordan again.
“I don’t have a boyfriend.” She pushed her key into the lock.
“You seem to be under the impression that I had someone I could be spending time with tonight instead of enjoying Erik’s weird winking and odes to herring, or Theo’s conspiracy theories as to why Chicagoland has so many mattress stores, or your curmudgeonly ways with hints of Tin Man.” She hummed If I only Had a Heart from The Wizard of Oz.
He passed over the Tin Man reference, probably because he was inexplicably relieved at the implication of her other statement. “Don’t have an opinion on your dating practices. Just something Kershaw mentioned.”
“And you believed him?”
“I didn’t not believe him. Strange thing to make up.” Especially with the graphic detail of naked photos. If she wasn’t seeing someone, then what was all that about?
She opened the door a couple of inches but still stood there. Pertly perking. “You know, the sooner you cooperate the sooner I’ll be out of your hair.”
“I’m doing everything management has ordered.”
“What you see is all you’re getting.” He was done here. Done with her teasing scent and dick-springing laugh. Done with trying to negotiate a truce between his hands and his cock. Just. Done. “Safe home now.” He turned to walk back, but didn’t get far.
He pivoted. “What?”
“You’ve never liked me for some stupid, God-knows-what reason and now you can’t be man enough to sit still for a few questions.”
He ignored the last part which was half—okay, all—true, and focused on the first part. “I’ve liked you fine.”
She took a step toward him, then another until she was right in his space. She looked up at him, her expression filled with fury and spirit. Typical, maddening, heart-stoppingly gorgeous Jordan. “Admit it. You can’t stand me. When I kissed you five years ago—”
“We’re not talking about that.”
“When I kissed you five years ago,” she insisted, her voice rising with each word, “it was as if I ripped out a piece of your mind! You didn’t like me. You certainly didn’t think I was right for Josh and then when we had that moment, when we were at our lowest, we were drawn to each other. You hate that of all people, it was me who made you go to this fragile, needful place. It happened and you need to get over it so we can do this interview and you never have to see me again!”
Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.