SHUTOUT by Melody Heck Gatto is stopping by today for her blog tour!
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Love 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, you need some help?” Dominic’s voice made her jerk her head up; she hadn’t seen him come onto their rink.
“No.” She wanted a witty comeback, but that one word was all she got.
“Nope, she’s doing just fine. Right, Hailee?” Alison grabbed her hand and pulled her along. Alison continued to hold her hand as they skated around the ice, and somehow, it worked. Hailee was steady as she glided along.
“Wow,” Hailee said, as the cool breeze hit her face.
“You should hold my hand all the time.” She laughed. “You’re better than the wall.”
“Ha ha. You better learn to do it yourself, because I’m not going to hold your hand all the time.”
“But I will.” Dominic swooped into the middle of their conversation and took Hailee’s hand right out of Ali’s. “I got this.” He smiled at Alison. “Take a break.”
Alison’s face lit up at the sight of Dominic. Looking him over, she let out a schoolgirl like giggle before turning Hailee over to him. Her eyes still wide in wonder, she skated away. Hailee understood that look on her friend’s face. It was the look she often had when she herself looked at Dominic, or used to, before.
“What are you doing?” Hailee squirmed a little, trying to get away, but she started to wobble. She knew full well that struggling might lead to her falling again and really looking like a fool. Especially since two more Renegades had entered the ice and descended upon Ali. Although Dominic’s touch was comforting, she couldn’t let him know that.
“Don’t struggle or you’re going to fall. Just let me help. C’mon.” Dominic led her around the rink, pulling her away from the wall and towards the center of the ice.
She stopped struggling at that point. As much as she wanted to show that she could do this on her own, especially now that he was here, the truth was she couldn’t. Landing on her ass in the middle of the rink was not an idea that she was fond of. “Dominic, what do you want?”
“Just a minute with you.” His smile warmed her chilled body. Damn my girly reactions.
His hand was warm and strong. No matter how many times she told her brain to let go, her body wasn’t listening. She tried to push off her right foot to speed up their slow pace. Her heart was racing being this close to him, and she didn’t need this now. But her balance waivered as she did. To avoid falling she grabbed on to him with her other hand and steadied herself.
Dominic clutched her hip with his free hand. His fingertips touching her lower back made her gulp for breath. She looked up at him to ask him what he thought he was doing, but met his deep brown eyes and the words left her brain. His kissable lips curved up at the corners into a small smile. That was how he used to look at her when it was just the two of them.
Enter Melody’s Giveaway
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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