Holiday Crush (The Elmwood Stories #3) Read Online Lane Hayes

Categories Genre: M-M Romance, Sports Tags Authors: Series: The Elmwood Stories Series by Lane Hayes

Total pages in book: 58
Estimated words: 55760 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 279(@200wpm)___ 223(@250wpm)___ 186(@300wpm)

The hockey has-been, the barista, and some holiday magic…


Cut from the team, fired my agent…now what?

This can’t be it for me. Unfortunately, the phone isn’t ringing. My best bet is to head home for the holidays and regroup.

Problem: I don’t know what to do with myself. Helping out at the rink might be my ticket out of here, but nothing is happening fast enough. And then there’s Ivan. No, no, it’s not what you think. We went to school together. We’re acquaintance-friends…nothing more.

But you know, I like him. A lot. He’s funny and relentlessly upbeat. I’m a better person when I’m with him—the kind who volunteers to deck the halls and wrap garland on lampposts and—

Whoa. What’s happening here?


I love the holidays! But running the coffee shop on my own during the busiest season of the year is going to be a challenge. And the sudden appearance of my former crush is all kinds of distracting.

See, I spent my formative years mooning over Court Henderson, our high school’s hockey phenom, even though he was out of my league. Thankfully, I grew up and left the silly remnants of my youth behind. Or did I?

Grown-up Court is full of surprises, and under his gruff yet extremely fine exterior, he’s a good soul with a huge heart. He’s charming, sweet, handsome, and— Uh-oh.

My crush is back. Just in time for the holidays…

Holiday Crush is an MM bisexual, small town romance featuring a renewed ancient crush, some mistletoe latte art, and a little seasonal magic.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



“Home is where one starts from.” — T.S. Eliot

The clock was running out on the Sea Snappers’ worst loss in a decade. For a team with a three-year losing record, that was saying something.

I leaned on my stick, chewing on my mouthguard, my gaze fixed on the puck as I waited for the signal for a line change. Put me in, Coach. Put me in. My blood was pumping, fast and furious, and my heart was racing. I’d been as useless as a screen door on a submarine tonight, but this was my moment. I could feel it.

When Coach Calhoun blew his whistle, I jumped the boards and skated like the wind, ready to wreak havoc and prevent another goal. And you know if I saw a chance to score, I’d make it happen. No question.

Except…Detroit’s big D-man was two inches taller than my six three and easily outweighed me by fifty pounds. And Jenkins was a renowned dirty player whose smack talk was a ridiculous combination of offensive and humorous.

“You wearing your grandma’s knickers tonight, Henderson? I see little pink hearts through your uniform,” he taunted, bumping my shoulder hard as we took our places to the left of the circle.

“My uniform is black, moron.”

“Like the puck I’m about to score on your sorry ass with. Boom!” He kept his gaze on me but drew his stick back just as his teammate passed the puck, leaving a vapor trail in his wake.

I chased after him, so focused on Jenkins that I didn’t notice my own teammate closing in. That was my cue to pull away and cover the right wing. Problem: I couldn’t stop my momentum. And that was a terrible excuse for a veteran pro hockey player—even one who’d been stuck on bad minor league teams in regions of the country where football and baseball were the only sports that got any love.

None of that mattered. So what if the money sucked and the fans rarely showed up for home games? This was my job. I knew what I was supposed to be doing, and it sure as hell wasn’t defending Granny Henderson’s honor. No doubt she was watching from heaven, laughing her ass off at the notion of her unmentionables getting a shout-out while my opponent outskated me.

Jenkins thundered toward the goal like he fucking owned it and just before I reached him, passed to his center. Like I said, momentum wasn’t in my favor. I pummeled into him at a weird angle and somehow…accidentally, I swear…I nudged his face with my stick and yep, there was blood.

Guess who got sent to the sin bin?


I sat on the bench, watching the puck slip by our meager line of defense and in between our goalie’s pads, giving the Detroit Dragons their tenth and final goal of the night.

The few diehard Sea Snappers fans in the mostly empty arena groaned aloud. And damn, I couldn’t blame them. We kept promising this was the season everything would change, but so far…it was the same ol’ story with the same disappointing ending.

We sucked.

We’d sucked for so long, we’d forgotten what it felt like to win. And personally, I’d forgotten what it was like to feel proud of my job or my life in general.

For fuck’s sake, I was thirty-four years old and had nothing to show for myself. I’d ridden my professional hockey player bragging rights into the ground for thirteen years. I’d love to claim I’d made bank, invested well, and saved like a squirrel preparing for a mini ice age, but that was a lie.

Something had to give.

The team needed to bond and figure out how to work together if we were going to avoid another awful year. I’d mention it to Coach tomorrow. Fuck, Calhoun had to be more desperate than anyone to turn this ship around. I’d bet he’d be open to some new ideas.

Management and I must have been on the same page ’cause I received a message requesting my presence for a meeting the following morning. Eight a.m. was aggressively early in my opinion, but hey, I was relieved to take this to the top and implement some immediate changes.

Did I think it was strange to be called in on my own? Not at all. I was on good terms with management and the coaching staff, and the owners liked me.

No, I wasn’t captain. Fuck, I’d avoided that gig like the plague for good reason. I’d done it in college and it had sucked. I wasn’t a cheerleader or babysitter material. However, like it or not, I was an older statesman and I’d been around the block a few times. And in spite of my abysmal start to the year, I was appreciated and well respected.

In a twist, I was also extraordinarily delusional.

The general manager, a short squat man in his sixties with thinning gray hair and a bushy beard, motioned for me to sit at the conference room table, a grim expression fixed on his not-so-handsome mug.