Day 1 ~ Beyond the Face-Off Countdown!

picture of call a no. one

It’s day 1, the last day of the 10-day Countdown before the big release!! Beyond the Face-Off is Book 3 of the In the Game Hockey Romance series. (Book 3 already!) August 24 is the big day. Woohoo!



Here’s a sneak peek at the first chapter of Beyond the Face-Off! Enjoy!

Chapter 1 Beyond the Face-Off 

Kelly Danali flipped the lock on her pharmacy and pulled the door open. The waft of warm air from outside lifted her curls, and she inhaled the scent of fresh cut grass and damp soil. Such a glorious spring day after a long winter – it was too nice not to let the sunshine stream in. She propped the door open with a bucket of umbrellas. Better use for them, she thought with a smile.

She poked her head outside and made sure that the illuminated sign above the door was off. No need to waste electricity when the pink and purple scroll of Danali’s Drugs glittered in the sunshine. She placed the “open” sign in the front window and wandered through the store, straightening items as she went and eyeing the stock that needed to be reordered. The inventory was computerized, but it didn’t hurt to double check.

She stepped behind the pharmacy counter as the first customer of the day walked in.

Kelly pinned on a nametag and punched a code into the cash register to open it for the day as she watched the customer make his way through the store.

He’s new in the ’hood. Two years of running your own pharmacy, you got to know people. And tall. He probably had six inches on her five nine. Lots of lovely muscle. Not intimidating, though. Easy on the eyes, and moving through the store like a lost Alice in Wonderland. She grinned. The store had that effect on people.

When she’d first rented the space in the trendy downtown area, it was a drab storefront, and pedestrians tended to walk right by. But eight gallons of pink paint, six of purple, four of green, and a creative painter named Margo MacMillan had turned the shop into a whimsical, busy hive that was hard to ignore. The display cases were set up in over-the-top, fantasy furniture pieces. Growing up with an illiterate grandparent had opened Kelly’s eyes to a thing or two. Mostly that getting out and shopping for everyday essentials alternated between being a shameful experience and a crapshoot of actually getting what they’d intended.

After one dangerous misadventure, Kelly had vowed to make it easier for the silent and, sadly, steadily growing group. So in her shop, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash filled shelves in a bathroom cabinet, which was six feet tall and slightly askew. Shampoos and soaps created a mirage of bubbles under a larger-than-life faucet, and a collection of potty training books and tissue flanked a throne of a toilet. The memory of her best friends, Sarah Jain, Danni Angelo, and Jordyn Kendra, helping with the final set-up still made her smile. A shortened bed with a curvy headboard and colourful duvet doubled as a shelf, and her friends, in the finishing touches, had created hidden caches of condoms and creams in the drawers of a nearby nightstand. It became a rite of passage for the teenagers to “check out the drawers” at Danali’s Drugs.

Her smile widened as the newcomer came up to the counter. “Hi, can I help you?”

He held out a piece of paper. “I have a prescription that needs to be filled.”

Kelly’s smile froze and her heart stuttered as recognition dawned. Jake Ross. The Jake Ross was in her store. The dazzling star forward and newest sensation on the Clarington Quakes hockey team had been the buzz of the town for the last six weeks. He had gone to her high school way back when but had been two years ahead of her. In school. Likely a few more than that in life experience. Those blue eyes that had been plastered all over the Clarington Post were an even deeper shade of sexy in real life. The smile? To die for. And that gorgeous wavy brown hair? Oh. Yum. And he was in her store.

His smile faltered and he frowned. He looked at the nametag pinned above her left breast and swept his gaze across her chest back to her eyes. “Ah, this is a pharmacy, right?”

Her breasts tingled, and she straightened her shoulders. Probably not the best place for a nametag. “Of course. Sorry.” She reached for the prescription he held out and quickly scanned it. Harpen. Thirty pills. She struggled to keep a neutral face. “Is this for you?” She checked the name as he shook his head.

“No, for my dad.”

“Of course.” B.J. Ross, she read. She looked at him. “It’ll just be a moment.”

He nodded and turned to browse in the store as Kelly went into the storeroom behind the counter and found the bottle she needed. She counted out the pills, scooped them into a small pill bottle, and printed off a label.

“Okay, all set.” She walked over to the cash as he came back to the counter. Was it just her or was there a sizzle in the air? “Has your dad had this before?” Please say yes.

He shook his head. “I don’t think so. He’s feeling a bit under the weather. He came back from the doctor with this and asked if I could pick it up for him.”

Kelly nodded and cleared her throat. “I’ve slipped some information about it in the bag, but it’s used to treat erectile dysfunction. It takes about thirty minutes for the full effect–” She stopped at his strangled sound.

He raised his hands in the air, and his eyes went wide. “What?”

Kelly blinked. “It’s used to keep an erection hard so intercourse is pos–”

“Yeah, I know what erectile dysfunction is. How is that going to help my father?”

“Well, if he’s having problems with–”

“No.” Jake shook his head and waved his hands in the air. A flush spread over his cheeks. “I don’t want to discuss my father’s…erectile,” he said with a wince, “problems.” He shook his head. “He told me he had the flu.”

Kelly looked at him. “This won’t help the flu.” She grinned. “But it may make him feel better.”

Jake stared at her. “Right. You’re sure there’s not some mistake. It’s not supposed to be a flu medication?” He ran a hand through his hair.

Kelly wished she could do the same. “No, the prescription was clear. Some doctors have messy handwriting, but this was quite legible.”

Jake shook his head. “Okay. How much do I owe you?”

Kelly rang it up and took his credit card. When the transaction went through, she handed him the bag. “He shouldn’t use more than one pill a day. Even if he’s having intercourse more than once, the effect should last twenty-four hours.”

Jake’s forehead wrinkled as if he were in pain.

“And if it’s his first time using it, he could try half a pill and see how that goes.”

Jake started to back away.

“He’s got enough for a month, longer if he only uses half a pill. Assuming he has intercourse every day. Do you think he’ll need condoms?”

Jake grunted and held up a hand. “If he does, I’ll send him in.”

Another customer walked into the store and eyed Jake curiously.

“He can always call if he has any questions,” Kelly said.

“Right. I’ll let him know.” He saluted good-bye and headed to the door. “Thanks for your help.”

Was that sarcasm?

“Anytime.” She chuckled as he strode quickly out of the store.

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