Risking the Shot by Amy Aislin
Series: Stick Side #4
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Cover by: Natasha Snow Designs
Synopsis for Risking the Shot:
Time for distractions? Hardly.
A chance at making the playoffs? It’s a dream for NHL forward Taylor Cunningham that just might come true. If he can keep his eyes on the ball—ahem, puck. And study for midterms. Dakota Cotton, eleven years his senior, isn’t just a distraction, though—he’s everything Tay’s ever wanted.
Dakota has no interest in introducing someone who might not stick around to his four-year-old son. Been there, done that, with the divorce to prove it. But there’s something about Tay that hits all of the right buttons and has him wanting to take a chance.
As things heat up between them, and the pressure to succeed hits an all-time high, will they risk a shot at happiness or choke?
“Why don’t you grab us a seat?” Tay said. “I’ll wait for the tray.”
He sat across from Dakota a few minutes later, setting the tray in the middle of the table and passing Dakota his food. Sitting back with his own coffee, Tay took a sip of the too-hot liquid and examined Dakota’s face in the light streaming in from the window to his left. His shoulders were more relaxed, the stress lines around his mouth less pronounced, and his eyes less pinched.
Dakota made an Mm sound around a sip of his own coffee.
“Are they usually?”
Dakota shook his head and exchanged his coffee mug for a fork. “Not usually. It’s been a heavy meeting day today, though. Almost back to back until four.”
“How do you get any actual work done if you’re in meetings all day?”
“I don’t,” Dakota said with an unamused chuckle, digging his fork into his pie. “Not until after Andy goes to bed.”
Tay broke off a piece of his cookie. “That sucks.”
“It does, but it’s not often. I’m pretty lucky that, for the most part, I leave the job at the office when I leave at the end of the day.” Dakota slid his pie in Tay’s direction. “Want some?”
“I’m good, thanks. I had lunch after practice.” The cookie was warm and gooey in Tay’s mouth, and he chewed thoughtfully for a moment. “Is that why you work in non-profit? Because of the work-life balance?”
“Depending on which non-profit you work for, the work-life balance isn’t always better than one you might have at a for-profit. I got really lucky with the Foundation, but I also established boundaries early on. Unless I’ve got an urgent, last-minute project or am waiting on time-sensitive information, I don’t check emails outside of work hours. Andy’s my first priority, not some board member who’s got their underwear in a bunch over the wording in an email we sent our donors.”
The grouchiness in his voice had Tay covering up a smile with his coffee mug.
“I only put in a couple of hours of work after Andy’s gone to bed after days like today, where I don’t get anything done and need to catch up on a few things.”
“Speaking of work, why don’t you tell me more about this direct mail appeal I supposedly agreed to help with. Also, what’s direct mail?”
Dakota laughed softly, infectious and sweet. “In the non-profit world, direct mail is a request for a donation. It’s a story-based letter with a couple of asks buried in the copy. I’m sure you’ve seen them from hospital foundations and social justice charities. ‘This is Jordan, he’s five and for only fifty cents a day you can make sure he has clean water to drink.’”
Tay nodded. “Okay. So in the Foundation’s case, it’d be something like, donate today and help us renovate this athletic facility so kids of all ages can have access to sports.”
“Exactly.” Dakota pointed his fork at him.
“Who does the letter get mailed to?”
“Our donors and volunteers.”
“Okay. How can I help, though?” Tay finished off his cookie and set the empty plate back on the tray. “I don’t know how to write that kind of thing.”
“Sorry, I should’ve been clearer.” Dakota moved his own empty plate to the tray, then cupped his hands around his mug. “You don’t need to write anything. I have a writer on staff. Being our signatory means the letter is told from your point of view, in your own voice, and with your signature at the bottom, but my writer will draft it after she interviews you for your story.”
“You tell me,” Dakota said, a glint in his eye Tay didn’t understand until Dakota’s feet trapped one of his own underneath the table. “Have you ever taken advantage of a program run by a non-profit so you could keep playing?”
Oh, so he was going to pretend they weren’t playing footsies under the table, was he? Fine. Tay could play this game too. Good thing they were tucked into a quiet corner of the café. “Actually, yeah.” He ran the top of one foot up Dakota’s leg.
Dakota choked on his coffee.
About the author:
Amy's lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she's read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she's been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn't at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada's largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin/
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