BITTER SWEET HEART, a steamy, reverse age gap, hockey romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting, is available now!
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What harm could a one-night stand do?
From the outside looking in, I live a charmed life: hockey legend for a father, my own promising future in the league, a great family, awesome friends. It’s not untrue, but it’s not quite that simple either.
My dad’s advice has always been to make hockey my number-one priority—at least until I make it to the pros. So, going into my senior year of college, I have a plan. I’ll put in the effort required to pass my classes, play hockey like my life depends on it, and avoid relationships. All I have to do is stay focused on the end game, and I’ll walk away with a degree and into a career in the NHL.
It should be easy.
But when a woman literally floats into my dock, just before summer ends and my senior year begins, I can’t resist one last hookup. What harm could a one-night stand do? It’s not like we even exchanged numbers.
Everything is fine until I run into her on campus.
It’s a big school. I should be able to avoid her.
Except she happens to be in my class.
And she’s not a student.
She’s my professor.
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“…heart-racing, heat-filled and full of the highs and lows of a complex, complicated love story.” ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads
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When seven o’clock arrives, I introduce myself and explain that I’ll be taking over for Professor Connelly. I field a few questions and reassure the students that he’s okay. I also brought in a get well soon card for them to sign. I pass it to the student directly in front of me, then pull up my attendance list and start calling names.
The door opens when I’m halfway through, and a student straggles in. It happened in my English class earlier, but in a class of three hundred students, it’s easier to slip in the back door and quietly find a seat. That’s what I expect this student to do.
Except his phone starts ringing. And it’s not a normal ringtone. It’s a song blaring through the room at full volume.
“Fuck. Shit.” He’s standing in the middle of the room, facing the back of the class, every single student staring at him in wide-eyed horror.
He rummages around in his pocket and pulls out the offending device as Justin Bieber croons “I’m so fucking lonely” to the entire class. Instead of silencing it, he answers the call—on speaker.
A male voice that sounds like an angry father starts yelling. “Why the hell am I getting calls about you being late for practice, you’re—”
He spins around, gaze moving over the class as he takes in their looks of horror. He’s wearing a baseball cap, and the lights above cast a shadow over his face. “Oh, fuck me,” he mutters. “Hey, Dad, I’m in the middle of class. I’ll call you back later.” He rushes the words, so it all sounds quite garbled. Then he drops into the closest empty desk and slams his elbow on the edge on his way down. He sucks in a groan.
I give the student a look that I hope conveys how unimpressed I am. “Are you quite done?” I’m ready to go off on him, but he raises a hand and knocks his hat off his head.
“Uh, sorry, Professor. I think I might be in the wrong class.” His eyes dart around the room. “Or maybe not?”
“Professor Connelly is out for back surgery. Professor Sweet is taking over the class,” the student beside him says.
“Oh shit.” His vibrant green gaze, ringed in hazel, meets mine.
All the air leaves my lungs on a whoosh. The room tilts, and I’m suddenly light-headed. I can tell instantly that he recognizes me, and the silence in the room is deafening. Fortunately, he fills it by rambling out an explanation.
“Sorry about the phone call. And for being late. Coach kept me after practice and my dad’s on my ass because I had a bad game. I’m so sorry, Cl—” He clasps his hands in front of him and bites his lips together.
“Don’t let it happen again.”
My mouth feels like it’s full of cotton, and the rest of me feels disconnected from my body. Because this student, sitting in the middle of my sophomore class, is my summer fling.
My one-night stand who left behind an origami crane and a lot of memories I wish I could now erase.
About Helena Hunting:
NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting, writing as H. Hunting, lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She started her writing career with new adult angsty romance and branched out in sports romance and romantic comedies that will make you laugh and swoon. But sometimes she likes to serve up a little heartache on the way to the happily ever after.
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