This novella was previously published in the Hockey Holidays Anthology in November 2018.
Avery James was finally getting her life together after an ugly break-up. It had taken almost an entire year, but she could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Pink Ribbon Cupcakery was busy with orders for Christmas cookies, holiday cupcakes, and preparing for the local orphanage's annual Christmas Eve party. She was enjoying the busy holiday season. When she came face to face with her one-night stand from last New Year's Eve, her jolly mood came to a crashing halt. Literally.
In his brash, self-important, smug way, Kyler Wilson flirted his way into her life, her bakery, and her heart. Her brain wanted her to square off her shoulders and tell him that this was her bakery, and her rules, and that he could save the smooth talking for some other girl, because she wasn't ready to be hurt by love again. However, her heart seemed to be in charge. Her legs felt like they were going to crumble each time hockey-boy flashed a grin.
It wasn't that she didn't find him deliciously handsome and irresistible, but after being so vulnerable at the hands of her former fiancé, she never wanted to be in that position again. She'd be damned if she was going to swoon like a groupie. Even though tall, dark and handsome Kyler made her weak in the knees with every smoldering look. The deep rumble of his voice sent her heart a flutter. His kisses were pure heaven, and his rock-hard body had her craving more.
Kyler could see right through the sugary sweet baker. She wanted him. But then again, what girl didn't? But unlike the usual bunnies that fell at his feet, she was one tough-cookie. And the challenge of breaking through that defensive outer shell was riveting. A year ago, a bottle of tequila helped him get a glimpse of the fun, and free-spirited Avery, and he was on a mission to find that girl again.