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CLOSE OUT SALE - Signed Paperback - DIRTY FLIRT Illustrated Cover

CLOSE OUT SALE - Signed Paperback - DIRTY FLIRT Illustrated Cover

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"...The perfect balance of comedy, hot hockey players, strong women, plenty of hockey action on and off the ice, and this one doesn’t disappoint!" ~Linda O, Goodreads Reviewer

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Synopsis

Bad Ideas are kind of my Super power

I’m Ben Boerboom, the NHL’s favorite puck boy, and Lara's my slamming hot, former bestie. She's also the friend who got away and my dirty, dirty accomplice from those two insane weeks that weren't supposed to change anything... but did.

I wanted it all. Would have wrapped my forever around her finger if she'd let me. But if making bad decisions is my special skill, Lara's is making good ones... Like prioritizing her career goals and the kind of security she didn’t have growing up.

Hard pass on that kind of heartbreak again. So cue the bunnies. Years of bunnies.

Now Lara’s back in my city. Temporarily. And thanks to a burst pipe and a miscommunication with my sister, she’s living in my spare room.

Bad Ideas are kind of my Superpower

I’m Ben Boerboom, the NHL’s favorite puck boy, and Lara's my slamming hot, former bestie. She's also the friend who got away and my dirty, dirty accomplice from those two insane weeks that weren't supposed to change anything... but did.


Intro Into Chapter One

CHAPTER ONE
Off Season
Ben

“Little Dude, I thought it’d end different for you.” I heave a breath, shaking my head as I carry the fallen soldier to my bathroom. “Saw you going out in a blaze of glory. Belly full of the good stuff. Final hours spent in the land of milk and honey.”
Jesus, I haven’t had to toss an expired rubber since high school.
Back then, my girlfriend kept saying she wanted to do it then changing her mind. Fair. No one should do anything before they’re ready, so I never pressured her. Ever. I was good with waiting, good with throwing away one unopened box of condoms a year for three years straight… until I found out said girlfriend had been doing Steven Huang since New Year’s our senior year.
Yeouch.
Next time I bought a box of rubbers, I was back to buy a second box less than twelve hours later.
Been that kind of steady turnover ever since. At least until six months ago when my left nut went rogue and—
“Yo, Boomer, got a minute?”
I turn to where my teammate, roommate, and bromantic bestie, Grant Bowie, is leaning against the doorjamb. “Dude, moment of silence here?”
He closes his eyes, but instead of acknowledging the loss like a normal human being, the guy who stole my little sister runs a hand over his face and groans. “Knock off the somber bullshit. Condoms don’t expire in one year.”
Rude.
“Not by the manufacturer’s standards, but I like to keep a solid buffer between me and the edge of iffy… especially when it comes to protection.”
He considers and gives me a nod. “Okay. For you, that’s probably good practice. But your sister wants to talk. Let’s go.”
Ignoring the dig, I toss the rubber and follow Bowie out to the front of the apartment where Piper’s sitting at the table she made us buy because she was sick of eating on the couch or floor and felt that as professional hockey players in the NHL, we could definitely afford it. She’s got a glass of water in front of her and a sweet smile on her face that reminds me of when she was little. Cute. Not dating my teammate.
Good times.
Bowie drops a kiss at her temple and slides onto the chair beside her while I take the one across from them. “This about your trip? Need a ride to the airport?”
They’ve already shared their itinerary, and Bowie promised to hit a couple virtual workouts with me while they’re gone.
“No, we’re all set. There’s something else, Ben.”
Uh-oh. “My hockey gear?”
She glances at the clothesline I strung across the living room last week to air out my equipment… and possibly just to see what she’d say because I’m maybe still the tiniest bit butthurt about the fact that she’s usurped me as the most important person in Bowie’s life.
“No. It’s not about the gear.” She levels me with a look. “But that’s gross and you should put it away.”
I’m planning on it. Eventually. “The oatmeal? Because I learned my lesson about leaving it in the bowl, and the new dishes are going to be here tomorrow.”
“What?” she chokes as Bowie’s head whips toward the kitchen.
Not the oatmeal then. “They’re really nice.”
My sister nods. Sighs and then smiles.
And that’s when I notice the boxes.
Oh shit. “Just what exactly is happening here?”
“Ben, listen,” she says with a voice so calm I think I might puke, because no good thing comes from that soothing tone. “We’re getting our own place.”
***
Twenty-four hours later, I’m back at the table where they broke the news to me, freaking the fuck out. I’ve been abandoned. Piper and Bowie are gone.
I tried everything to sway them not to go...
Tantrums.
Ultimatums.
Sulking.
But apparently, they’d been prepared for all that and worse, which is why they didn’t tell me about their move until they were ready to leave. I mean, I wouldn’t actually have sabotaged their plans. But I’ve met me, and I guess I can see why they might think maybe I would.
Whatever.
They left yesterday. I don’t like it, but surprisingly enough, that’s not the part that has me losing my shit. No. It’s that in some misguided attempt to soften the blow of bailing on me, my little sister took it upon herself to find me a replacement roommate.
Umm… WTF, Piper. W… T… F.
But when I protested, she just smacked a kiss on my cheek acting like she’d given me the biggest present under the tree instead of my eight-years-estranged, side-bestie from high school.
Lara Elliot.
I pull up my photos and drag my thumb through the years until I’m back in high school. Piper’s still a lanky kid who hasn’t grown into her looks yet. Bowie’s a year ahead of me and already drafted. My Juniors team is filled with guys dreaming of a career only a couple will achieve. And Lara’s filling up half the pictures. Brown eyes dancing, blonde hair blowing in the wind. A hundred different smiles, because nothing got that girl down.
We walked through fire together, and I’d counted her as one of my best friends before life took us in two different directions.
That’s all it was… I think.
College for her. Hockey for me.
Life.
No fight. No bad blood.
Nothing but time and distance and a series of small decisions each with their own course-changing consequences doing what they do… even though we’d sworn they wouldn’t.
“Tell me this won’t change things.”
A breathless whisper in the night.
“Friends forever, Elle. Nothing’s changing that.”
Now it’s been eight years. No phone call. No text. Not a single slide into my DMs.
Just a conversation with my little sister, and suddenly this woman I don’t even know anymore is moving into my apartment… sometime in the next hour-ish.
It’s a bullshit move, the kind of thing the girl I knew in high school never would have pulled. But even as epically uncool as it is that she hasn’t bothered to check in with me directly… I’m still going to let her move in. Because time and distance and all they’ve done aside, I don’t like the idea of her showing up in a new city and not having someone she knows to stay with.
We’re not talking about forever here. Couple days, maybe a week until she finds a new place.
But yeah. I should probably take the clothesline down.

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