Today we are celebrating the release of ANTON by Brenda Rothert. This is a contemporary romance, standalone title, and it kicks off the brand new Chicago Blaze hockey romance series. Purchase your copy now for only $2.99!
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Anton by Brenda Rothert
Chicago Blaze, #1
Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books
He’s known as Father Anton to his teammates—the brooding, sexy captain of the NHL’s Chicago Blaze has a reputation for…not having a reputation. Just like his diet and sleep routines, celibacy is part of Anton Petrov’s on-ice mojo. Or so they say. Anton stays mum on the subject. If the world thinks he chooses to abstain from sex, so be it. Better that than the truth getting out: there is a woman he burns for, but he can never have her. She’s his teammate’s wife, after all.
Mia Marceau is finally on her own. Now that she and her husband are living apart, she’s finding the peace she was desperate for. She spends her days in classes and late nights bartending, making her own way in the world at last. After what she’s been through, as long as her husband leaves her alone, she doesn’t plan to rock the boat. He still has the power to hurt those dearest to her, and she can’t demand a divorce with such a high cost.
A chance encounter with Mia has Anton hoping for a shot he never thought he’d get. And while she’s drawn to the intense, serious hockey center, Mia’s leery about playing with fire. That’s all Anton has ever known for Mia, though—a living, burning desire that won’t be denied—no matter the cost.
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My brother’s a fucking asshole. I’ve known this since I first learned how to walk thirty years ago. My mom loves to tell the story about me taking my first tentative steps across our tiny Saint Petersburg apartment, my lips pursed in concentration. That is, until my twin brother Alexei crawled up behind me like a bat out of hell, laughing as he upended me and I fell on my ass.
“How’s that water?” He grins obnoxiously at me from across the table at our favorite Chicago steakhouse, his first glass of Heineken nearly gone already.
“Water’s water,” I say, shrugging. “How’s your liver?”
“My liver’s a fucking champ. It’s scrappy. If there was a Hunger Games for livers, mine would definitely be the winner.”
He arches his brows. “You only live once, man.”
Our server ends the conversation as he approaches with our dinner. Even though I devoured a salad already, my stomach growls as the plate with double portions of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables is set in front of me.
Alexei looks just as famished as he eyes his sixteen-ounce filet mignon and an enormous baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream.
“Another Heineken, sir?” the server asks him.
“I’ll bring more bread, too.” The server picks up the basket Alexei emptied, slathering each piece with butter as I ate my salad. “Anything else I can get you?”
“I think we’re good, thanks,” I say.
We both eat in silence for a couple minutes, until my brother sets down his fork and gives me a stern look.
“You do realize I had the game tonight, right? If Lenz hadn’t been fucking asleep in front of the net, we’d have won. Easily.”
“Here we go.” I roll my eyes.
“Don’t start that shit, Anton. You know I’m right.”
“I know you lost.”
“Lenz practically escorted you to the inside of our net, man.”
“4–2.” I remind him of the score. “A decisive win, I’d say.”
“We’ll have a new goalie by Monday, guaranteed.”
“We smoked you, Lex. The big talking Comets got shut down.”
He glares at me as he puts a giant bite of steak into his mouth and chews it slowly. This is his old trick for thinking of a comeback when he’s got nothing.
My brother and I played on the same team from the time we immigrated to the US from Russia at age five until we both graduated from Boston College, where we played hockey on athletic scholarships. My full-time job in college, in addition to playing hockey and studying for class, was keeping my hard-partying brother out of trouble so he wouldn’t lose his scholarship.
After college, we entered the NHL draft and signed with different teams. There’s only room for one Petrov brother on an NHL team, because while our personalities are like night and day, we’re very much the same on the ice. We’re both first line centers who fight hard and never quit. Both team captains who accept nothing less than one hundred percent. And we’re also both stubborn as hell.
Alexei started out playing for Minneapolis, but now he’s with the Austin Comets and I’m with the Chicago Blaze. No one gives me more shit than my brother, but no one loves me more either. I know for sure he’d walk through fire for me, and I’d do the same for him. Dinner at Robertson’s Steakhouse is our tradition after every game we play against each other in Chicago, no matter how pissed off or beat down the loser feels.