SHUTOUT by Melody Heck Gatto is stopping by today for her blog tour! Check it out and grab your copy today!!
Love can be the best trophy and the sweetest consolation prize.
Shutout is the story of Dominic Zanetti (Renegades goalie) and Hailee Valentine.
ove can be the best trophy and the sweetest consolation prize.
Dominic is flirty, swoon-worthy and tattooed. He's only ever truly loved one woman - Hailee - the one that got away. But that was a lifetime ago. She left a scar on his heart so deep that no bunny would ever fill it. No girl measured up to his Hailee – not that he wanted anyone to. If he was lucky enough to find her again, he wasn’t going to let her go so easily.
Hailee is stubborn, talented, tattooed, and not the kind of woman to let a man take care of her. She refuses to sit in the kitchen and bake pies for anyone. She is her own woman and plans to stay that way. That's why she had to leave Dominic all those years ago. Hailee kept herself hidden away in a hockey-free bubble, avoiding all aspects of the game and eliminating the possibility of running into him. Her heart missed Dominic, but her brain knew that she couldn’t be what he needed. It was just better this way. She had her own dreams and wasn’t about to give up on them, even if it meant giving him up.
When all things in her life finally start to fall neatly into place, one thing is still missing. Dominic.
Dominic was used to shutting out teams on the ice, but didn’t like being shutout by her. Hailee already had his heart, all she had to do was take down the walls she built, and stop playing games.
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Hailee put on her best tough girl face and bounced the quarter. It landed right in the cup. She smiled a smart-ass smile. “I pick you.” She pointed to the kid who asked them to play. She got to take another turn. Again, right in the cup. Damn, I’m good. “Okay, guy in the middle, your turn. Drink.” She wasn’t so lucky with the next shot. It was so close to going in the cup, but didn’t bounce high enough. “Dammit!”
The college boys went next, and they got four in. Drinks were handed out to Hailee first, then Dominic, then Kaden, and lastly Hailee again. She now had two drinks in her and couldn’t seem to stop giggling.
It was Dominic’s turn to bounce. As if he were going after payback for getting Hailee wrapped up in this, he got eight straight shots in before one of them made a comment about Hailee and he missed. The skinny kid on the end was already swaying a bit and only got two quarters in before Alison whispered something in his ear at Kaden’s suggestion. Unfortunately, both drinks went to Hailee.
“Sweet-tart, you’re at four drinks now, you sure you’re still doing okay?”
She slapped the empty cups on the table and smiled. “Absolutely.”
“Okay, Kaden, you’re up. Close this out. Don’t you have someone waiting on you?” Dominic grinned.
Kaden bounced in five in a row, forcing the boys to down the last five cups. They each were wobbly and laughing a lot at the dumbest things.
Once all the cups were empty, Hailee had consumed four cups of beer, the college boys five each. Dom and Kaden each only had one. Even though Hailee drank less than the smart mouth college brats, three beers was too much for her. She wasn’t feeling too well but wasn’t about to admit that to Dominic.
“Okay, we won. Now c’mon Hailee, let’s get you out of here.”
“You are more lightweights than I expected you to be,” Kaden said with a laugh to the other boys. “Well, it’s been fun boys, but I have some place to be.” He flashed them the peace sign with his fingers as he grabbed Alison’s hand.
Dominic led the way, with Hailee tight beside him, and Kaden and Ali behind. Hailee’s nose and face felt really warm and things were a little blurry, but other than that, she felt okay. Once outside, the cold night air felt good on her face.
“C’mon, let’s go for a walk. The cool air will do you good.” He pulled Hailee beside him and slowly moved down the sidewalk.
As they walked slowly down the sidewalk, she stared at him, studying his face. She’d always loved his deep, chocolate brown eyes. They were intense and sexy, especially the way he undressed her with his eyes. Kind of like how he was looking at her right now. Her heart skittered around in her chest, and she couldn’t break his gaze.
About Melody Heck Gatto:
Melody was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband, and son. She’s a dog lover and recently losing her two 15yr old girls (dogs) they adopted a new puppy, in addition to a cat. After years of begging for a cat, she finally let her son adopt a kitten (even though she’s allergic!) The cat is definitely a “mama’s boy”. A house just isn’t a home without pets. The whole family are avid Pittsburgh Penguins fans and like going to hockey games when they get the chance. Having met some of the players has fueled her interest in writing about them and creating wonderful stories. Melody has loved writing since she was young, in school she never met a creative writing assignment that she didn't love. She is lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who encourages her to write. When she was laid off from her job of 14 years, he was supportive about letting her stay home and just be a mom. During that time, she discovered hockey-romances and found a renewed love of reading as well as a passion for writing. She spends her spare time reading hockey romances. At holiday time she really enjoys any romance about Christmas, and Hallmark movies on tv. When it is the hockey off-season, she enjoys swimming and spending her days out in the sun with her family. Basically if she’s not writing or reading, then she’s doing something that has to do with hockey!
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