I hope you are as excited as I am. The lovely, and incredibly talented, Dawne Dominique has yet again captured the feel, sensuality, and look of our next Wildcat couple. Dawne`s skills never cease to astound me. Right down to the shape of Veikko`s nose, the way he wears his perfectly styled hair, and Liz`s swan-like neck, this is Liz and Veikko.
Notice how the covers have a slightly different tone, just like the women that are telling us their tales. Alain and Viviana`s was more tactile, rather possessive, fully erotic. Veikko and Elizabeth`s feels more softly sensual, yet still highly amorous and arousing. I could not be more pleased, and am anxiously awaiting release day, tentatively April 16th, to share this second book in the series with you.
How about we have a blurb and an excerpt?
Painfully shy Liz Argon probably shouldn`t be dreaming of Veikko Aho, star goalie for the Philadelphia Wildcats. As she works side by side with 'The Count of the Crease' on his memoirs, she finds herself falling for the handsome goaltender. His tender ways with her and her mentally fragile mother are slowly claiming her heart. If only Veikko wasn`t already engaged to a woman far better suited to move in to 'The Count`s' world. In book two of the To Love a Wildcat series, we`ll see if a glass slipper can survive in the rough and tumble world of professional ice hockey.
Laughter broke out on the ice. Maggie sat down behind me and Donald, as did Viviana. They began gossiping. I eyed my cuticles with lust.
“So, Viviana tells me that you`re quite the word wizard.”
“I guess,” I managed to say, sitting in an awkward lotus position while Trevor slouched by the glass trying not to look interested. If only I could get that thumb closer to my mouth…
“She`s being modest, Donald. I have never read obituaries that are so artfully done,” Viviana interjected, rudely if you ask me. But, that was Viv. She did what she wanted, said what she wished, and slept with whatever man she desired. Envy blossomed in my chest but I beat it down. “Liz not only lists the details of death, she brings the person’s past to life. Each of her obits is like reading a mini-memoir filled with warmth, character, love, and above all compassion for the person. Which is why I know she will do Veikko`s amazing life story justice!”
If death would take me now I wouldn`t mind. I spied Donald smiling widely as he turned to look over his shoulder at the woman in purple and black.
“Are you sure I can`t lure you away from the Wildcats PR department? You really should be an agent.” He winked. A corner of my mouth twitched.
“Oh no, I`m perfectly happy where I am, both professionally and personally,” she purred, the sound that of a sexually satisfied she-cat. God, I wish I was sexually satisfied. Or even a she-cat. “You read her work, what did you think? I know Veikko was impressed when I gave him her clippings.”
That brought my head around like Linda Blair`s. “You gave him my obits!” I squeaked like the rodent I feel like most times. Maggie was lost to the conversation it seemed, her neck stretched out as she tried to look at something or someone on the ice, probably Captain Derrick. Viviana leaned back with a dramatic sigh.
“Yes, Liz, I gave him your obits. He wanted a taste of your style. Would you have rather I gave him the newest chapter of Mardavian Nights you sent me last week?”
If I were a fainter the mere thought of Veikko reading about my elvish prince of the ice would have sent me into a swoon. As it was I felt the stadium sway for a minute. My thumb found its way to my teeth. Viviana sat up briskly then tugged my hand from my mouth.
“Stop,” she whispered then tucked half of my bangs behind my right ear. “It`s going to be fine.”
“Yes, I promise neither I nor Veikko bite,” Donald Richer, CEO of Richer Hockey said. It was meant to ease my anxiety, I know, but it didn`t work. I studied him closely with one eye.
“I know.” The weak reply bubbled out of me. Donald seemed pleased at the answer. “I`m very nervous,” I whispered but if he heard that last comment or not, I couldn`t say. The sound of men coming off the ice at that moment drowned out my meek confession. Fans boiled out of the woodwork, jostling and pushing to draw close to the players as they exited the rink. Shrinking into my seat as best I could I watched, all Veronica Lake like, as Veikko Aho stopped to sign autographs, his goalie mask pushed upward to reveal his classically handsome face and dripping wet hair.
The mask was nothing shy of being artwork itself. The background was black and orange stripes, much like a tiger’s fur, the detailing so incredibly real it called to you to pet it just to feel the fur moving softly under your touch. Right above the grillwork that protected his face glowed amber eyes, curved up at the corner like a cat`s. Those eyes followed you and never blinked, sizing you up like a panther hidden in the shadows of the jungle. I bet opposing players got a shiver down the spine when they had to stare at those menacing yellow-gold orbs.
Then the goalie turned from his fans. Eyes deep and blue as a fjord landed on me. My insides went cold then hot when he smiled and lumbered his way over to his agent and me. Goalie padding and ice skates do not a graceful man make on carpet or cement. My neck slunk downward, like a turtle. I worked at getting inside my shell.
My vision was filled with goalie pants and leg pads. Fire engulfed my face. Someone behind me flicked the tip of my right ear. I jerked upward, my head tipping back slightly. There he stood, all six foot two inches of Finnish delight, perfectly white teeth flashing in a warm smile, his big hand waiting for mine. He smelled of sweat and leather with just a faint hint of that unique fragrance he wears.
“Hello again,” Veikko said. Something snuck past my lips, I think it was ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ or ‘blerk’. I placed my hand in his, hoping he didn`t see how it trembled. His grip was strong yet gentle. He bent over my thin fingers and brushed his lips over the knuckles. There was nothing for me to do aside from stare, blush, then stammer like a dolt. Then he released my hand. It struck me that there was no other sound now. It was just me and Veikko, in this wonderful cone of silence.