I joined Jameson Force Security for three reasons: the missions, the danger, and the money. I definitely didn’t join the team to be an overpriced babysitter for a spoiled princess. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you Jackson Gale is an adventurer through and through. Yet here I am, halfway across the world, watching over Princess Camille of the House Winterbourne. Even her name sounds stuck up.
After arriving in Bretaria, I realize that Princess Camille is nothing that I expected. Beautiful, smart, and sophisticated, Camille is the very picture of elegance and grace. But under her perfect façade, she is funny, adventurous, sexy as hell, and impossible to resist. And that is a dangerous combination.
The closer Camille and I become, the more obvious it is that while she and I are compatible in many ways, our destinies are not. She has a duty to the monarchy, and I’m just an average American who’s fallen for a princess. Everyone says we can’t be together, but how does one walk away from the other half of their heart?
After suffering a horrific injury that threatens to end his career, Baden Oulett is about to learn that sometimes a fresh start is just what the doctor ordered.
I worked my whole life to achieve one goal—play professional hockey. As part of the defending Cup champion Arizona Vengeance, I was living my dream until one split second decision destroyed it all. Instead of lacing up my skates and hitting the ice, I’ve spent my days in rehab and physical therapy just so I could walk again. When a coaching opportunity with the Pittsburgh Titans is presented to me, I find myself with a career I had never considered but which allows me to continue being part of the sport that I love.
While my injuries are physical, the same can’t be said for the woman I rescued. Suffering from wounds that can’t be seen, Sophie Winters has withdrawn from the world in fear and guilt. I didn’t know Sophie before that fateful night and have only met her once since, but I refuse to let her face her demons alone. Determined to be a friend, I support Sophie in the only way I know how… by simply being there.
Through our shared trauma, Sophie and I begin to find peace within one another. As we grow closer, what started as friendship becomes more intimate until our broken pieces become one. But can a love born of anguish endure, or will the pain of our past prove too much to overcome?
Life works in mysterious ways. Jameson Force Security has just received notice of a disavowed CIA agent in need of rescue in Central America. My blood runs cold when I learn that agent is none other than Greer Hathaway—my former fiancée.
Having gone our separate ways more than a decade ago, I still have bitter feelings toward Greer and the demise of our relationship. Those feelings don’t change the fact that I loved her more than anything, so I’m on the next flight out to embark on a rescue mission. Besides, Greer once saved my life, so now it’s time to return the favor and put her firmly in my past.
Face-to-face for the first time since ending our engagement, Greer and I are left with not only anger, unanswered questions and regrets, but also the undeniable chemistry we apparently still have. Will the promise of a new future together be enough, or will the same obstacles tear us apart again?
Known as the team loner, Riggs Nadeau gives his all on the ice, but nothing extra off it. A beautiful stranger is about to cause chaos in his very structured world.
As a professional hockey player, people think I live a charmed life. On the surface, I do. But they don’t know the horrors of my childhood, or the real reason that I have custody of my seventeen-year-old sister, Janelle. And that’s exactly the way I like it. They may think I’m a prick because I don’t like to share, but that’s fine. They don’t know me, and they don’t need to.
In an effort to help Janelle get settled in Phoenix and stay out of trouble at school, I set her up with a job at Clarke’s Corner, the local bookstore owned by the girlfriend of a teammate. It’s there that she makes friends with Veronica Woodley, the extremely annoying, arrogant, money-hungry divorcee who I don’t want anywhere near my sister. Janelle insists I’m completely wrong about Veronica, but I refuse to accept that. I have to keep reminding myself that that the gorgeous blond with legs for days is off limits.
Through a series of events, I start to see Veronica for what she really is—an amazing woman who has survived her own hell to come out even stronger. I have to admit, we’re more alike than not and the attraction between us burns hot.
Maybe I was all wrong about my ability to love and commit, but when the past comes back to haunt me, can I be the man that Veronica, and Janelle, deserve?
Jett Olsson isn’t looking for anything serious and she’s not looking for anything at all, so why does it seem so hard to keep it professional?
I love my life—the thrill of being on the ice as part of the Arizona Vengeance, the rush of winning, the adoration of the fans. And if that adoration means I don’t have to spend the night alone, well even better. I’m content being single and always ready to mingle.
But the day Emory Holland walks into a Vengeance team meeting my attention is caught like never before. I can tell right away she’s full of smarts and sass, and the fact that she’s hot as hell sure doesn’t hurt either. She immediately shuts down my advances, so I opt for the road less traveled—straight to the friend zone.
My approach works like a charm, and when she invites me into her bed for a no-strings, friends-with-benefits arrangement, I vow to give her everything I have. She’s been hurt before, and if I’m able to help her heal while giving her a spectacularly satisfying time *pats self on back*, then I’ll be happy.
Or at least that’s the lie I keep telling myself as the time ticks down on the final buzzer of our “relationship”. Now the real question is, can I score the winning goal in a game neither of us realized we were playing?
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett comes a story in her Arizona Vengeance series…
I was living my dream until one phone call changed everything.
As the second line center for the Arizona Vengeance, my mind has been on one thing—helping my team bring home a championship. But that all changed when I found out my dad had cancer and only months to live. In that moment, nothing mattered more than getting home to North Carolina to be by his side. That meant asking for the unthinkable—a trade to the Carolina Cold Fury.
Now I’m home and when I’m not on the ice with my new team, I’m helping care for my dad. And in the midst of my grief, I find comfort from the one person I never expected.
Calliope Ramirez stole my heart at a very young age. The beautiful, smart, headstrong girl next door, she was my first… everything. She has never forgiven me for leaving her, believing that I chose hockey over a future together. What she doesn’t understand is that every decision I made was for her, and I’ve never given up hope that one day we’d be together again.
Watching my dad slip away is a harsh reminder of how short life can be, and having Calliope by my side makes me realize I was a damn fool before. That changes starting right now. Calliope Ramirez is mine and I’m not going to waste the second chance that I’ve been given.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
A second chance may be just what James Steele needs…
I might be one of the older players on the Arizona Vengeance, but I like to think that also makes me one of the wisest. Or at least I used to.
Turns out, I’ve been a bit selfish. I’ve been married to hockey and my team for years, which hasn’t left much time for my actual wife, Ella. Now I’m juggling a separation I never wanted, the pressure of being a single dad to our teenage daughter, and the career I sacrificed it all for.
While my game on the ice might be on fire, the game in my personal life is clearly lacking, as evidenced by the fact I just saw my wife on a date with another man. If I have any hope of saving the family I love, I need to re-prioritize, and fast. So it’s time for me to get back to fundamentals, just like I did when I learned how to play hockey. I’ve never backed down from a challenge, and romancing my wife is a challenge I am very much looking forward to.
Time to put on my game face, because I’m in it to win it.
Being a highly skilled operative for a company like Jameson Force Security is exhilarating and important work…until it comes time to date. I like to keep my profession under wraps for a number of reasons. Some of what we do is top secret, most of what we do is dangerous, and more than one woman has tried to latch onto me because she was more enamored with what I do than who Cage Murdock really is. And since I’m more of a ‘here for the night’ than a ‘here for forever’ kind of guy, what’s the harm in a little white lie about my job?
My harmless deceit has never failed me. Until now. Because I met the most amazing woman and did the unthinkable. I married her. And now my beautiful, unsuspecting, probably-going-to-leave-my-sorry-behind-when-she-finds-out-the-truth wife doesn’t know that I’m not a used car salesman like I told her when we met.
As it typically does with lies, the truth is about to come out in a big way when Jaime unwittingly gets herself mixed up with some unsavory characters and I, along with the team at Jameson, have to intervene. Now I need to save my girl and hope I can save my marriage too. Let’s just say I have some serious explaining to do.
Are you ready for Kane Bellan’s story?
I have a problem.
I’m not really sure. Here’s the deal.
There’s this girl—isn’t that how it always starts?—and her name is Mollie. I like her. I mean really like her. I hope that doesn’t make me seem less manly than my professional hockey player persona implies. But here’s the issue—she’s my best friend. The one person I can count on for everything, who’s been there with me for all the moments, big and small.
When Mollie shows up at my door, travel weary and scared following an incident with an ex, my instinct to protect her goes into overdrive. It’s then that I know she’s more than just my best friend and the skates are swept out from under me when I find out she feels the same way.
Our transition from friends to lovers to potentially something more is seamless, the Arizona Vengeance is back on the ice looking for a repeat championship, and my life has never been better. Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, the realities of us both having careers which keep us on the road put our blossoming relationship on ice.
It feels like the game just went into overtime and I’m on the verge of either the biggest win or most disappointing loss of my life. And losing is never an option.
As the prince of a luxury hotel empire, I am as close to American royalty as one can get. I grew up accustomed to a certain lifestyle. One where people give me what I desire and anything, or anyone, else can be bought. Everyone wants a piece of me, yet no one is actually deserving of my time.
That changes when Bailey Robbins, the smoking hot housekeeper in one of my hotels, catches my attention. Sure, she has curves for days but it’s her smart mouth I can’t help but be intrigued by. I may have avoided relationships all my life, but something about her makes me want to introduce her to my world.
The darker, wicked side of Declan Blackwood.
I knew the risks of this job when I signed on with Jameson Force Security. Knew my time as a marine would prepare me for the danger I would face. But no amount of training could have ever prepared me for the helplessness of watching my teammates die, the agonizing mental and physical pain of torture, or the despair of captivity.
Returning home to Pittsburgh following a mission gone wrong, I am riddled with guilt and haunted by nightmares. I spend my days trying to regain the parts of myself I lost in that desert, the pieces that made me the Malik Fournier I once was. While the physical effects of my torture are fading, the emotional ones are proving much more stubborn and I find solace from the last person I should ever seek such comfort.
Anna Tate lost even more than I did in that mission. Now a widow and a single mom to the daughter she gave birth to shortly after her husband’s death, Anna offers me comfort I don’t deserve. As my feelings for Anna grow, I worry that once she learns the truth about what happened, she’ll turn her back on me.
I pull her to me just as tightly as I push her away. Hoping this forbidden love will save me from the ghost I’ve become.
There’s a reason they call me Wylde and it’s not just because it’s my last name.
I might be one of the newest players on the Arizona Vengeance team, but I’m no stranger to the celebrity that goes along with being a professional hockey player. Whether it’s a fan seeking an autograph or a puck bunny looking for more, I’ve grown used to the attention. I not only thrive on it; I use it to my advantage. Let’s just say my bed is rarely empty.
When a quirky redhead at the local bookstore stops me dead in my tracks, I decide to pop in and turn on the trusty Wylde magic. As smart and strong-willed as she is beautiful, Clarke Webber isn’t swayed by my witty banter or charming good looks. And when she realizes who I am and the fame that comes along with it, she likes me even less. Thankfully, I’m always up for a challenge. The more I get to know about her, the more I know my playboy days are behind me.
If I’m going to capture Clarke’s heart, it’s time to be a lot less Wylde, and a lot more Aaron.