Book & Author Details:
This Piece of My Heart by Robyn M. Ryan
(Clearing the Ice, #1)
Publication date: May 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports
For twenty years, Caryn Stevens dutifully followed the educational path dictated by her parents. That path had one goal—prepare her to one day assume her father’s position as CEO of the multi-billion dollar international company he founded. That and marry a man who would enhance her career and perhaps join her in leading The Stevens Company. Not too much to expect from your daughter, right?
Caryn has other ideas. Instead of returning home to Ottawa for another summer working at The Company, she’s designed a plan to stay in Toronto, take a couple of courses, and enjoy her Summer of Fun. She knew there was more to college than rigorous classes that held little interest and study groups to ensure she excelled in all her subjects. She had two years until she finished her undergrad, and then continue on to that coveted MBA at a prestigious business school.
Just this once, Caryn will set aside The Plan and enjoy life as a regular student. To actually get her head out of the books and maybe, just maybe find someone to make the summer—dare she say it?—exciting.
You see, there’s this hunk of a guy she’s noticed on campus the first few weeks of summer. Always running—maybe in training?—but, Caryn’s seen enough to get her heart pounding. Tall, well-built, with shaggy light-brown hair. Gym shorts that emphasize taut leg muscles. Sometimes wearing a t-shirt with cut-off sleeves. Bronzed muscular biceps—truly drool-worthy. Absolutely hot—and gorgeous in a totally guy type of way. Only problem, he had no clue she existed.
Andrew Chadwick has enjoyed life in the fast lane in the five years since he’d entered the ranks of professional hockey. Preparing for his fourth season with his hometown Leafs, Andrew intends to enjoy his summer down time—hang out with friends and family, keep in shape, and erase all memories from that disastrous two-year joke of a relationship that imploded in May.
Not that he has any plans to revisit his first few years in the pros. He’d eagerly sampled the attentions of a never-ending line of women who wanted nothing more than to spend one night with a professional athlete. Believe it or not, one-night-stands with absolutely gorgeous women whose names he never bothered to remember became tedious. And that steady relationship he tried for two years? Finding your so-called girlfriend in your own bed with some other guy certainly opened his eyes.
Maybe it’s time to cut the fun and games and concentrate on things that are important—Win the Stanley Cup, give his brother any support he needs as he starts his Internship Rotations, help his Mom and Dad around their house. Act like a grown-up at twenty-four?
He’s not particularly looking, but if he were to meet someone interesting…well, he’ll just see where things go.
Neither Caryn nor Andrew expected their two very different worlds to collide on a beautiful June day…
She turned, her eyes on the ground and as she took a step, she collided with someone, something—or maybe she’d walked into a tree. The impact knocked the grocery bags from her arms and sent her sprawling to the ground. Momentarily stunned, Caryn struggled to sit up as her backpack wrestled heavily with her balance. Her vision blurred, she vaguely felt someone lifting the bag from her shoulder and helping her to a sitting position.
“Are you all right?” A voice eventually pierced her dulled senses and she looked up, immediately drawn into a swirling brilliant blue whirlpool that she could not escape. “You okay?” the deep voice repeated.
She closed her eyes to clear her mind, and when she reopened them realized she had been staring into a man’s eyes. The runner’s eyes. “Oh, it’s you,” she said without thinking.
She shook her head. “I don’t know…I thought I’d run into a tree or something.” She moved to stand, but he touched her shoulder to keep her seated.
“Give it a minute and catch your breath. I’m sorry—I didn’t even see you.” He dropped to the grass beside her.
“I wasn’t paying attention. I was thinking about a test. Then, all of a sudden I thought I’d run into a brick wall.”
“No, just someone not paying attention where he was running.”
She glanced toward him, seeing the iPod strapped to his arm. “You must have a great playlist.”
“Unfortunately, sometimes I just get into a zone. I’ll stick to the path next time.”
“Don’t change on my account. I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“In your own zone?”
She laughed. “Unfortunately, no. Walking while talking on the phone. Obviously can’t do both at once.” She snuck a look at him. This close, he looked even better than she’d remembered. His legs—and probably the rest of him—really did have rock-hard muscles. His hair—not as long as she’d thought—dampened with perspiration and his face reddened from exertion only added to his athletic good looks. And she sure hadn’t known about those blue eyes…or the way they’d make her stomach flip-flop. Definitely all man, definitely different from any students she knew.
From early childhood, Robyn M. Ryan knew she wanted to write. This goal grew throughout elementary and high school, first composing novels featuring favorite TV and music personalities, then venturing into sports writing. Attending UGA’s journalism school launched her career in public relations, which included an internship with the Atlanta Flames NHL hockey team. At that time romance novels did not feature pro athletes, so Robyn wrote the books she and her friends wanted to read. Many years later, this manuscript received a serious critique and edit. This Piece of My Heart, a hockey romance, is the first book in Robyn’s series Clearing the Ice.