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Second Generation Is Here

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The Keeper is the first book of Playing To Win, a second generation series. It features Easton Hayes and Lindy Kingston. This is a hockey romance series!

If you'd like a sneak peek, read the prologue below! 


Nineteen Years Old

“Hey, princess,” Easton’s smooth voice whispers as I answer his Facetime in the middle of the night.

“Hey hockey boy,” I rasp back, and clear the sleep from my eyes. “What time is it in Vegas?”

It’s too late to be doing time zone math.

Maybe it’s too early. I squint to see the clock app. Definitely too early.

“It’s a little after midnight, here. Were you sleeping?”

I grab my glasses and sit up so I can see his face. Easton always Facetimes or texts. He never calls. There’s no in-between for him. There never has been. “E. are you drunk?”

He runs his hand through his sandy brown hair. Hair that already looks like it’s been yanked on one too many times. And eww. Please don’t let a naked woman be in bed next to him. Because I’ve gotten those calls before, and they are not my favorite. “Easton…” I push when he doesn’t answer me. “What’s going on? Are you alone? Are you okay?”

“I fucked up, Lindy.” With haunted eyes he drops his head back against his pillow and groans. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

He and I have been doing this for years.

Calling each other in the middle of the night when our demons get the best of us.

We understand each other.

Shared trauma will do that to a person.

But tonight he’s talking in riddles even I’m having a hard time decoding.

“What happened, E? You’re scaring me,” I whisper softly into the night, as my stomach drops anticipating the worst possible answers.

“I couldn’t save you,” he breathes out and shuts down.

“But you did save me, Easton. I’m alive because of you.” I pull my knees up to my chest and wrap an arm protectively around myself. I never talk about this. Not with anyone besides him. “You saved us both.” Four years ago, a stalker held me and Easton at gunpoint. In an effort to get to my mother, he killed my bodyguard, and if it hadn’t been for Easton and my stepfather, Brandon, he would have killed the rest of us too.

A chill runs down my spine, and I try to shake it off before Easton closes his eyes. “In my dreams I couldn’t save you.”

“In my dreams, you always do,” I tell him with brutal honesty, because honesty is the only thing we’ve ever been able to offer each other. “Are you going to be able to sleep, E?”

“Stay on the phone with me, okay? I need to hear you breathe. I need to know you’re safe.”
I lay back down and tug my comforter up, then prop my phone on the pillow. “Sleep, E.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten this call in the middle of the night.

It won’t be the last either.

Copyright © 2023 Bella Matthews

Would you like to see who the heroine is in each book of the Playing To Win series?

Click on the links below

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