Home > Love In Moments (Love Distilled #2)

Love In Moments (Love Distilled #2)
Author: Scarlett Cole

Acknowledgments

 

 

Being back in the writing world is absolutely joyous! I can’t tell you how grateful I am to each and every one of you who have loved and reviewed Love In Numbers and Love in Moments. It really does mean the world to me. I’m not taking any of this for granted.

Dear bloggers and bookstagrammers. My gratitude is unbounded. Your energy and passion for romance books amazes me.

To Angela James, Isabel Ngo, and Nicole Bailey. Thank you for taking my words and helping me make them shine.

To Åsa Maria Bradley. Thank you so much to you and Anders (the real one!) for coming up with Anders’s nicknames for Olivia, and to you for fixing all of my Swedish. Tack så mycket!

To Wander Aguiar, Wayne Skivington, and Letitia Hasser. Thank you for brining Anders Berg to life on the cover. It’s a thing of beauty.

To Jenn Watson, Catherine Anderson, and Shan Brown. Knowing you have my back is incredible. Thank you a thousand times over for your efforts on my behalf.

To Natasha Madison. Thanks for teaching me all the things. You are the best task master a girl could ask for.

To Carrie Ann Ryan. When women help lift each other up, it’s an act of generosity and a thing of beauty. Thank you.

To Tanya Baikie. For being there for me when you had more than enough on your own plate. One day we’ll meet, I’m sure of it.

To my small but mighty Passionistas! Thank you for sticking with me!

To Mum & Dad. For staying home and staying safe while I wrote this. I’ve missed you.

To Fin & Lola. Thank you for accepting a global pandemic and home school without a hiccup. Seeing you learn brings me huge joy. But seeing you happy and healthy means the world.

To Tim. For your faith in me. Always.

 

 

1

 

 

Anders “Iceberg” Berg shook the cut crystal glass in his hand and watched the last remaining sips of whiskey sluice their way around the clinking ice cubes. When he tilted the glass to his lips, he felt the coolness first, tasted the peaty undertones of the whiskey second.

Even when he wasn’t skating on it, ice still had the ability to soothe his jangled nerves.

Ice had to be the most contradictory and fascinating substance on the planet, given it was one of the few substances where its solid state was less dense than its liquid state, making it occupy more space when frozen. And then there was the age of the ice on the planet. There was ice on Antarctica that was over a million years old, and ice on the Denver sidewalk that had appeared in the hours since he’d flown in from Arizona that Christmas Eve morning.

Perhaps the most important ice in Anders’s life was the kind that filled the hockey arena. That ice was magic. That ice held the fortunes of famous players, the hearts of fans from the age of four to one hundred and four, and Anders’s career in the palm of its subzero hand.

Ice was, therefore, an unforgiving but generous mistress.

The chaos of his brother’s wedding reception rattled on around him, despite his spot at an empty table in the shadows of the Dyer’s Gin Distillery tasting rooms.

He caught sight of the woman he assumed worked for the distillery. Long thick waves of hair the color of dark chocolate danced from the elastic doing heroic work holding it back from her face. He was such a sucker for a brunette.

Occasionally, the woman would pause and simply look around the room. Then a soft smile would grace her lips for a moment, highlighting her great cheekbones, before her natural efficacy would kick in and she’d finish up whatever she was doing.

She’d been around all evening, talking to staff, periodically touching base with his brother, Karl, and his wife, Sarah. As an alternate captain for the Canyon, he appreciated her leadership style. Friendly, but direct. She made it look easy.

“Fan vad snygg hon är.” Karl, who at twenty-six was three years older than him, dropped into the chair next to him while staring at his new wife. Dressed in what Anders assumed was a custom designer gown, Sarah danced with her friends beneath the archway of flowers and fairy lights they’d been married under only two hours earlier. In less than twelve months, Karl had gone from party playboy to a loved up homebird. They’d met when Karl had signed with the Denver Rush and gone house hunting. Real estate agent Sarah had helped him find what had become their home.

Anders silently vowed to take a puck to the chest without his padded equipment rather than follow in his older brother’s footsteps anytime soon. But he had to agree with Karl’s softly spoken observation. “She does look good. You both look so annoyingly happy it’s nauseating. And English, remember.”

Anders raised his glass and savored the last taste of the only drink he was allowed. If he drank too much, English words disappeared from his vocabulary and his agility on the ice in the days that followed sucked. Languages came to Karl as easy as skating, while Anders had to focus on languages to be understood.

“Shit, sorry. I forgot. I’m glad you were able to make it. That was a tough break for you guys last night.”

Anders shrugged. He feigned nonchalance when the truth was every loss cut a little deeper, to the point where he was almost numb by it. When the hype had started over him being the number one draft pick, he’d been thrilled. The media had called out his explosive speed on the ice. But by draft night, the Arizona Canyon had gained the number one pick, and if he’d had to rank the league in order of teams he wanted to play for, the Canyon would have been at the bottom, literally and figuratively. For the first time in his life, he’d considered taking his foot off the gas to slip to second pick. But his team in Sweden had needed him to win the season. And he couldn’t throw over the men he currently played with, no matter the personal cost.

Attempts to be let go, to be traded, had failed. So, he’d played out the season in Sweden, and then another, before being signed to a three-year deal in Arizona. Despite his efforts, despite continually maxing out his personal performance bonuses, the team hadn’t gone anywhere.

“It’s never going to work out,” Anders said. “The lines never quite fit. The team is so committed to players who’ve shown long-term loyalty, but it’s a faster game now. You can’t rebuild with one new player, or with players who can’t think strategically enough on the ice.”

And, fuck, he’d tried. He’d sent player clips for them to review beyond those provided by the team. Watched hours of video, matched by double those hours on the ice, in the gym, in drills.

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