Luca Read online Brenda Rothert (Chicago Blaze #2)

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Tags Authors: Series: Chicago Blaze Series by Brenda Rothert

Total pages in book: 63
Estimated words: 61705 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 309(@200wpm)___ 247(@250wpm)___ 206(@300wpm)

Read Online Books/Novels:

Luca (Chicago Blaze #2)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Brenda Rothert

Book Information:

Abby: I only have one love now—the home furnishings business I’m building into an empire. Maybe money and success can’t love me back, but they keep what’s left of my heart safe. One-night stands are my way of scratching the occasional itch I get for something more. And no one’s better for that than a sexy as sin hockey player I’ll never see again after one very hot night together.

Luca: I used to love two things: hockey and women. But now my nieces and nephew are my top priority, because I’m raising them after tragedy stole their parents. Somehow I balance single parenthood and my career as a forward for the Chicago Blaze. There’s no time for women, until I get knocked on my ass by Abby Daniels. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted, but her devastating past may end us before we even get started.
Books in Series:

Chicago Blaze Series by Brenda Rothert

Books by Author:

Brenda Rothert Books

Chapter One


I wouldn’t even need a sledgehammer to pound my alarm clock into hundreds of pieces right now—I could do it with my bare hands. My subconscious is ready to go full-out Office Space on the black box blaring the rhythmic, shrill buzz on the other side of my bedroom.

After pulling myself out of bed, I absently push the tangle of long blond hair out of my face and then stumble across the room to silence the alarm. I pause in front of the dark wood dresser the clock sits on, gathering myself. I’m still so tired.

It’s like this most mornings. Occasionally, I wake without the dull pounding in my head that’s my body’s way of saying four or five hours of sleep isn’t enough. But most days, it’s there. I don’t mind it, though. As long as that groggy, achy feeling is there, I know I’ve slept enough to make it through the day, but not enough to have nightmares. Or even dreams. For nearly three years, they’ve been one and the same, anyway—unbearable.

I make a quick trip to the bathroom and then head to the kitchen, where a full pot of coffee is waiting for me. Coffee pot timers—best invention ever.

Every day at 3:52 a.m., I pick up a mug of coffee and down half of it. I get just enough caffeine to make the pounding in my head stop. Then I go to the walk-in closet in my bedroom and dress in a sports bra, leggings, a t-shirt, socks and my workout shoes. I pull my hair into a ponytail, grab my gym bag, ride the elevator in my building down to the opulent, marble-floored lobby, and say good morning to whichever doorman is working.

Monday through Friday, it’s Chase. Saturdays, it’s Larry. And Sundays, it’s Diana. The faces may change, but every morning, I walk through the open door and get into a waiting SUV at 4:06 a.m.

“Morning, Ms. Daniels,” my driver says.

“Good morning, Ben. How are you?”

“Can’t complain, ma’am.”

Even in Manhattan, traffic is light at this hour, and he pulls the SUV out into the driving lane with no wait. Just like every day. This is our usual conversation, and I know it’s over now, so I take my phone out of my gym bag and open my email.

Unless there’s something urgent happening at work, I stop checking email at 10:00 p.m. every night. But with time zone differences, I always have new emails waiting.

I forward a few to my assistant, respond to a couple and save the rest for later, smiling over one with the subject line, “Chicago Clusterfuck.” I hired an experienced project manager to oversee the expansion of my company into the Chicago market, and he’s always blunt. The challenges we’re facing with the three stores we’re building in that market are mostly political—zoning and design spec issues. That’s why I’m heading back there again today. Stephen is a very capable project manager, but I like to have a hand in every aspect of my company. That’s how I’ve built Cypress Lane into one of the most successful home furnishings businesses in the industry in less than three years.

Twenty-nine and on top of the world, the headline on the cover story in a prominent business magazine said of me.

I am twenty-nine years old, they got that part right. But I’m far from on top of the world. More like treading water in the world’s deepest, most remote ocean. I do that very well, though.

Ben drops me off at the door of my gym, where the faithfully fit crowd I see every morning is already pushing weight bars and cranking up the speed on treadmills.

“Morning, sunshine,” my trainer Percy says as I approach a mat in the corner of the gym.

“Morning,” I mutter back.

She passes me a tall, stainless steel bottle filled with ice and water. Automatically, I take a long sip.

“You look exhausted, Abby.” Percy narrows her brow and glares at me.

“Good thing I’m not paying you to tell me how I look,” I grumble.

She sighs and crosses her arms. “How many times do I have to tell you fitness isn’t just physical? You won’t get results if you don’t commit body, mind and soul.”

We’ve had this conversation a few times in the six months I’ve been training with Percy, a former Olympic runner. And every time, it grates on my nerves.

“My work is demanding,” I say defensively.

“Sometimes you have to silence the demands to take care of yourself.”

I remind myself she means well. Percy is a stunning woman with flawless deep mocha skin, short braids and golden-brown eyes. Add in her lean, gorgeous body and she could easily make her living modeling or doing motivational speaking. But training is her passion. Even with my ability to pay her whatever fee she demanded, it was damn hard to get a private training spot with her.