From the author of the On the Line and Fire on Ice hockey romance series comes a sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.
Miranda: Even though I’m broke, putting myself through college, and working two jobs, I’m trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Jake Birch, hockey’s hottest bad boy, lives in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago—and still complains about every little thing in his penthouse. But after I tell him off, instead of getting me fired, Jake requests me as his personal housekeeper. Then he starts flirting with me. Only I’m not flirting back . . . at least, I’m trying not to. Did I mention that he’s hockey’s hottest bad boy?
Jake: I’ve met the best woman at the worst possible time. Miranda is the fire to my ice—a sexy, charmingly candid spark who breaks down my walls and reminds me what it’s like to feel again. But I’m being forced to date my team owner’s daughter to keep my job, so I can’t be caught with Miranda. Still, we’re getting closer—until Miranda finds out about my “girlfriend.” And that’s not the only secret I’ve been keeping. But Miranda’s the one I want . . . even if she doesn’t believe me.
When I get to the first suite, a do not disturb sign is hanging from the doorknob. I’ll have to go back to this room later. I push my cart down the hall to the door of the next suite and knock. No answer..
I run my key card through the magnetic lock and the door clicks open. I push it ajar a few inches.
“Hello?” I call inside. “Housekeeping. Housekeeping coming inside.”
It’s silent. I step out of my shoes and and tuck them on a shelf on the cart. I look ridiculous cleaning with bare feet, but at least I won’t leave wet footprints on the carpet.
The penthouse suites are about three times the size of the apartment I share with my sister, Paige. The first room is a massive living area with a bar, two couches, a big screen TV and a library area stocked with classics and a chaise longue. It looks untouched, other than a couple of empty glass tumblers on the bar.
I walk through to the bedroom to strip the linens from the king-size bed. Before I reach the it, I have to bend down and pick up a condom wrapper from the floor. Gross.
When I stand up, I see a naked blonde walk out of the bathroom. My mouth drops open in horror.
Fuck! What should I do? Seeing a guest naked is surely going to get me fired.
I’m standing there in horror when she sees me and lets out a high-pitched squeal.
“Oh, shit,” she says with a deep sigh. “You’re the maid. Sorry, you scared the shit out of me.”
“No, I’m sorry,” I say mournfully. “So sorry. I thought the room was empty.”
“Oh, I was in the shower.” She shrugs. “And I’m leaving anyway.”
She doesn’t even seem to care that she’s naked. From what I saw, she’s got nothing to feel ashamed of, but still . . . naked. In front of a stranger. I’d be dead right now.
“I’ll go,” I say, staring at the ceiling in an effort to avoid looking at her.
“Sweetie, it’s no biggie,” she says. “I’m a stripper. My goods aren’t exactly a secret.”
She slips a tiny dress on over her head and wiggles it down past her enormous round tits, the silver belly ring on her super flat stomach and then her completely hairless crotch.
“Is Jake still here?” she asks me with a smile.
“Jake? Um . . . I don’t think there’s anyone here but us.”
Her face falls. “Oh, I was hoping he’d ask for my number. You think I should leave it for him?”
“I don’t know. Maybe?”
She’s so tan and so blond. Her hair is so platinum it’s nearly white. I feel like I’m having a conversation with an actual Barbie doll right now. But she’s not pissed and I’m not getting fired, so that’s something.
“I mean . . . I think I should, right?” she says. “It’s not every day you hook up with a guy like Jake Birch.”
She scrawls her name on a piece of paper next to the bed and then grabs her bright pink purse from a chair.
“Hopefully he’ll call,” she says with a smile.
“I’m sure he will.”
“Really?” She sounds so thrilled by the prospect. I remember a time when I felt that way about men, and I’m really glad I got over it. The entire male sex is overrated if you ask me.
She puts on her tall, strappy shoes and heads for the door, her grin never wavering.
“See you later!” she calls as she opens the door.
“I . . . okay,” I say, letting out a deep breath when the door closes.
Well, that was definitely the most awkward encounter I’ve had at the Dupont. I laugh nervously and then strip the linens from the bed, not looking too closely at the sheets, and start cleaning. It goes quickly. I’m guessing this Jake guy and his Barbie date got here very late last night and spent most of their time in bed.
A glance in the bathroom trash can confirms my theory. There are three—I crane my neck for a closer look—no, four used condoms in there.
Impressive, Jake. I see why Barbie hopes you’ll call.
About the Author
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.