Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Release: 5-star Review & Excerpt: HARMLESS by Nicole Edwards (Pier 70 #4)--TOP RECOMMENDATION!


Series: Pier 70 #4

Author: Nicole Edwards

Genre: Adult, M/M Romance

Published: March 28, 2017

He’s got a secret...

Roan Gregory, one of the four owners of Pier 70 Marina, has managed to paint himself as a loner in recent months. There’s a reason for that.  And he’s got every intention of keeping that reason a secret. That is, until he no longer has the option.

He’s got a secret, too...

Colton Seguine, defenseman for the Austin Arrows, has gotten good at keeping the world from finding out that he’s gay. He knows exactly what he can and cannot do. And with whom. That is, until he sees Roan for the first time and all bets are off.

Some secrets are too big to keep.

Temperatures soar when this brooding bad boy gets his first taste of this smoking hot hockey player.

Can Roan and Seg push past each other’s defenses? Or -- thanks to the way the cards have been dealt -- will the time they spent together prove to be just a harmless one night stand?


HARMLESS (Pier 70, 4) Chapter One © Nicole Edwards 2017

Fourteen months ago


“CAN I BUY you another drink?”

Roan Gregory hoped he wasn’t sporting his who me look when  he cast a quick glance up and to the left, startled by the offer from…

Well. Okay.

Not what he’d expected.

Standing before him was the sexy guy who’d been checking  Roan out since he walked in the door. Discreetly, sure. But Roan’s attention  had been unfocused at best. He’d noticed. And yes, this was the same guy Roan  had fought hard not to sneak a peek at for the past hour.

The guy was totally his type back when he’d had a type. At  least in the physical sense.

Blond hair, blue eyes, long and lean, with the perfect  balance of muscles tossed in.

But that was the key. Roan didn’t have a type anymore. He  was more interested in ignoring men for the duration.

Sexy Guy nodded toward the empty beer bottle in front of  Roan. “Another?”

As though the guy wasn’t possibly talking to him, Roan  continued to stare. Only this time, he was captivated by the seductive smirk on  Sexy Guy’s smooth lips. Nice lips. Full, perfect … lips.

Obliterating the thought from his sex-starved brain, Roan  dropped his gaze down to his beer. Yep, definitely empty. He must’ve drained it  when he’d been lost in his own damn thoughts. Unfortunately—no matter what his  little head was telling him—he wasn’t interested in company, sexy or otherwise,  so he wanted Sexy Guy to go sit back down at the table by the wall where he’d  come from.

“I’m good.” Shaking his head, Roan avoided the man’s eyes,  hoping he would take the hint.

“I figured if you’re gonna drown your sorrows, probably  should do it right.”

If Sexy Guy only knew.

Lifting his gaze once more, Roan met the determined  steel-blue eyes still studying him. He bit back a retort. Didn’t the guy  understand that he wanted to be alone? Seriously, what did he need to do? Hold  up a sign that said, Personal Pity Party, No Company Wanted?

What the…?

Clearly Roan needed to improve his turn-down skills. Sexy  Guy surely mistook his I’m good for sure, sit down and join me because, of  course, Sexy Guy was now sitting at his table. And he hadn’t bothered to ask.

“I promise, I’m harmless.” To reiterate his point, Sexy Guy  held up his hands in surrender.

Big hands. Nice hands. Perfect hands.

Son of a bitch.

Now that Roan thought about it, the guy didn’t look  harmless. He looked like … well, hell, he looked like temptation.

Good thing he’d cut temptation from his diet long ago.

Leaning back, Roan tried to appear casual, not wanting to  show that he was taken aback by the guy’s forwardness. He also didn’t want the  incredibly handsome blond to see that Roan was discreetly attempting to check  him out. Mainly, the way that snug charcoal-gray T-shirt stretched across his  impressive chest and the way the corded muscles in his neck shifted  inconspicuously when he lifted his arm.

How discreet he was actually being was anyone’s guess since  there was only about three feet between them.

Not only was he at least an eleven, Sexy Guy also looked  familiar. Eerily so. Only Roan couldn’t place him.

Roan shrugged off the thought and continued to stare the guy  down.

For the past half hour, Roan had been nursing a beer while  pretending to watch the baseball game playing on the television closest to him.  He wasn’t really paying attention at all because his brain was inundated with  how sh*tty he’d allowed his life to become. In fact, he’d been paying so little  attention he had noticed that the handsome man now sitting across from him had been staring his way every so often.

After the guy signaled the waitress for two more beers, he  turned back to Roan.

Bold move considering Roan had already told him he wasn’t  interested. Or that had been his meaning anyway.

“Colton Seguine,” Sexy Guy said smoothly as he held out his hand.

Roan detected an accent, but he couldn’t quite place it.  Canadian, maybe?

“Not interested,” Roan grumbled, ignoring the introduction,  hoping the guy would get it through his thick skull that Roan wasn’t…


Did he say…?

The name registered and Roan’s gaze slammed directly into  the big guy.

Wavy blond hair, a thin scar running through one of his  thick eyebrows, pale blue eyes with the perfect balance of gray running through  them, a slightly crooked nose, and a jaw that looked as though it had been carved from stone, not to mention sharp cheekbones and those lips…

Holy sh*t.

The harmless temptation sitting across from him was none other than a f*cking hockey player.

Harmless. Right.

“You’re Colton Seguine,” Roan muttered, feeling stupid.

The guy’s lopsided smirk transformed his face from sexy to …  hot as f*ck. “That’s what they tell me, but everyone calls me Seg.  Unfortunately, I don’t recognize you, so…”

Roan held out his hand seeing that Seg’s was resting on the table as though waiting for this moment. “Roan Gregory.”

“Nice to meet you, Roan Gregory.”

Yes, it was.

Seg’s hand was strong, his grip firm. And holy f*ck. This  was Colton Seguine. Seg.

Roan briefly forgot all of his problems as he stared at the  defenseman for the Austin Arrows hockey team. He knew the man was big—he’d read  his stats a few dozen times—but up close and personal, he was ginormous. Six foot four, two-twenty, if Roan remembered correctly.

The waitress interrupted their staring contest when she  delivered their beers, and for a few seconds, Roan was caught up in those smoky  blue eyes, unable to look away.

It no longer mattered that he’d been wallowing in self-pity, trying to get over the fact that nearly four months ago he’d professed his love for his best friend. He no longer felt the chest-constricting pain that had engulfed him as soon as he realized Cam had fallen in love with someone and they were incredibly happy. The pain hadn’t come from the fact that Cam and Gannon  were happy. As far as he was concerned, that was a good thing. It came from the fact that Roan had been insecure enough to think he would lose his friendship with the most important person in his life.

Only right now, the fact that he’d blurted out that he loved his best friend seemed unimportant—not to mention, completely untrue.

Nope. None of it mattered because his brain was misfiring;  the only thing he could think about was sex. Sex with this incredibly sexy  hockey player. Dirty, rough, highly-erotic sex.

And wasn’t that a kick in the nuts? Roan wasn’t the sort to  succumb to insta-lust. It usually took him some time to warm up to a guy. A  hell of a lot longer than a brief introduction anyway.

Roan took a long pull on his beer, breaking the eye contact.

This was insane.

Why the hell would this guy even be over here? It wasn’t  like he was…

Nah. No way was this guy gay.

Plus, if he was—which he wasn’t—there was no way Seg would know Roan was gay. Seriously. How would he know? They weren’t in a gay bar. And  it wasn’t like Roan was wearing his I’m out and proud T-shirt today.

The thought had Roan staring at Seg thoughtfully.

Did he know Roan was gay? Was it something he broadcasted  without realizing it?

After glancing around the room cautiously, Seg leaned in and lowered his voice. “What do you say after this beer, I take you back to my place and we have a drink there?”

Okay, so maybe along with some finely tuned gaydar, Seg was  gay.

Not openly, obviously, since Roan distinctly remembered a recent article about Seg and some model chick he’d been dating as of late. Yes, in case there was any confusion, Roan was a fan of the Austin Arrows. Huge fan.

Maybe Seg was bisexual?

Roan let that thought roll around for a few seconds. He  didn’t do bisexual. He had absolutely no intention of being with some guy who would wake up the next morning, crying and whining because he was so f*cking  confused about his life. P*ssy or d*ck, it wasn’t that hard to figure out which  you preferred.

Not to mention, Roan didn’t need that sh*t on top of  everything else he was dealing with.

Leaning closer, mirroring Seg’s posture, Roan shook his  head. “I’m pretty sure”—he tilted his head toward the waitress—“she’s more your type.”

Seg leaned even closer. “I’m pretty sure … you’re dead  wrong.”

Roan sat up straight, taking another pull on his beer as he  studied this man.

Here was a guy Roan had watched play for years. A guy who was as masculine as they came. A guy who was now sitting here, in this sports  bar, coming on to him.

He was coming on to him, right? Roan had been out of the  game a long time; maybe he was imagining it.

He instantly thought about Cam. About how Roan had damn near f*cked up their friendship because of his momentary lapse in judgement. His stupid freak out had nearly cost him the most important person in his life.

Then he thought about his sister and her f*cking drug  problem.

And his father, who was beside himself on how to help her.

His stepmother, who had threatened to leave his father if  they didn’t find a way to get Cassie some help.

A f*cking mess was what his life had been reduced to.

No way should Roan add f*cking a hockey player to that long list of screwed-up bullsh*t.

Clearly Seg sensed Roan was considering the idea. “One  night. No strings.”

Nope, no mistaking that come-on.

Roan considered it.

No-strings sex. Was there even such a thing?

Roan adjusted his position, trying not to give the idea the  merit it deserved, but unable to help himself.

A one-night stand with a hot hockey player.

Who could really say no to that? More importantly, who  would?

His world was crumbling down around him, and this guy was offering him an opportunity to forget about it for a little while. An  opportunity he’d be stupid to pass up.

“One night?” Roan confirmed.

Seg nodded.

“Tomorrow we pretend this never happened?”

Another nod.

Downing what was left of his beer, Roan reached for his  wallet, pulled out a couple of twenties, and slapped them on the table before  getting to his feet.

“I’ll follow you,” he told Seg.

The grin on Seg’s face made Roan’s d*ck jump to life.

Oh, yeah. This was definitely a good decision.

After the emotional smack that was delivered in Speechless, I couldn’t wait for Harmless to come out so I could get Roan’s story.Throughout the series, Roan’s character had been up and down, and I got the feeling that he had a pretty intriguing story waiting.  I was not disappointed…not at all.  Not only did Nicole Edwards deliver another powerfully emotional story, she did it while throwing some kids in the mix-something I normally don’t particularly care for in most books I read, but here it worked perfectly and it wouldn’t have been as powerful a story without it.

Roan has this need to take care of things on his own.  He doesn’t want anyone else getting bogged down with his problems, even if everyone else genuinely wants to help.  This is not something he can really sustain in the long run-especially when life decides to throw its curveballs.  In a single moment he life and focus changes, and he has to adapt-but he does so while putting his own personal needs aside.  Seg is closeted thanks to his career as a professional hockey player.  He plays his part, but that becomes harder and harder once he meets Roan…who is not someone who hides who he is.  

The strength of their emotions though is overpowering, and each is willing to give in for the other-to a point.  There is no question to the chemistry between them—it is compelling and so far off the hot chart that the devil himself would need a cool down.  Their attraction is constant and potent, and the two of them together truly define the term “soulmates”.  But you know their path won’t be smooth, and in addition to the whole Seg-is-in-the-closet issue (which you KNOW will blow up at some point), there is turmoil on the family front for Roan.  These things both contribute to the drama of the story, and had me virtually glued to the pages.  

The incredibly amazing supporting cast of the entire Pier 70 family of characters are all here, all as supportive as ever.  We also get interactions with Roan’s father and stepmother…and to that let me just tell you—there’s a scene near the end with a dialog between Seg and Roan’s stepmother that Seg absolutely ROCKS.  That scene was probably my favorite dramatic part of the book, and you’ll understand why when you read it.

It’s distressing to me that this is the final book of the series.  I’ve become so entangled in the Pier 70 world, and have come to really care for all of the characters.  There is no way for me to choose a favorite book or couple (believe me, I’ve tried), they are all special to me for different reasons.  It’s a no-brainer for me to give Harmless 5 stars, and the entire Pier 70 series is sitting on my Top Recommendations list now.  I cannot recommend this book and series highly enough, and every M/M romance fan will want this book and whole series in their personal library.  This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and explicit M/M sexual content (um, yeah…probably not a wise idea to read while at work…just sayin’).

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