Melody Heck Gatto

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Body Checked (After the Buzzer) – The Renegades Series 9


  • EUR: € 3.54
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  • CAD: $5.30
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Matt had one talent – putting the smackdown on dirty players on the opposing teams.
If they stepped up on one of his guys, he was there to tear them right down.
Romance was not his forte. It wasn’t even in his wheelhouse.
He was a professional hockey league enforcer. A fighter. A goon.
Matt enjoyed being at the top of his game, the Renegades’ lead tough guy.
But years of fighting have taken a toll. His body is finally turning on him.

Only Matt isn’t ready to hang up his skates just yet; his heart is still in the game, and hockey is his world.
Women find the bad-boy on-ice aggression sexy, but they aren’t prepared to deal with his after-game pain. Love has been cruel, redemption is out of reach, and Matt feels he doesn’t deserve happiness. He’s developed a talent for driving people away, never allowing anyone to get too close.

When his whole world starts to spiral out of control, someone unexpected finds her way past his tough-guy exterior. But is she strong enough to melt his icy heart and force him to let her in?


ISBN: 9781386714668

Body Checked (After the Buzzer) is getting great reviews! See for yourself why folks are talking about Matt and Maddy!

  • “I really enjoyed this book! I liked the fact that Matt and Maddie became friends before anything else, and how supportive they were of each other. A professional hockey career can be rough and when a player starts to see the end of his career in sight way too early, the consequences to his ego can be brutal. I also felt both the characters were realistic, and enjoyed watching them acknowledge their real feelings for each other. In addition, most hockey stories revolve around the hockey player’s getting a spot on an NHL team and his rise to the top. It was heartbreaking to read the other side to a professional career. But best of all was the very satisfying ending, because after the year he had been through, Matt deserved to have happiness and love in his life!”
  • I love hockey and love hockey romance stories. This author did a great job of describing plays during a hockey game and making me feel like I was right there watching it. What is different about this hockey romance is the fact that Matt isn’t young and starting out on his professional hockey career but at the end of it. His body just can’t take much more pounding the boards and he is the team enforcer which involves lots of hitting and fights. There are lots of ups and downs he is going through during the past year. He has gone through a divorce, sent down to the minors for rehab and getting less ice time. Enter into his life Madison. She is the bright light that has become not only helping him through professional massages but becomes his friend. From friends the relationship changes into something more but Madison hasn’t told Matt everything from her past and that might just stop the relationship in its tracks. Matt has to deal with his career ending the love he has for hockey. Can they get past these issues and be together? Is there life after hockey for Matt? I loved the story more and more as I read through the book. First time reading this author and enjoyed her style of writing. Will read more of her books and recommend this book.”
  • “I loved it and I loved that Matt got a second chance at love. I think she handled the problem of Matts drinking in a realistic way, not just in a “I’ll quit for you baby” “thank you” and he does…
    I could identify with Maddie’s fear of what happens when someone drinks and getting a reaction to the smell of beer.
    The author has really brought these characters to life and made them into someone you feel you could be friends with, Just like we are already friends with the rest of the team.
  • Loved the story of Maddy and MattMatt has some nagging injuries that are just getting worse the more he plays. Maddy is his massage therapist and his friend.. They have known each other for a year now and she has helped him to get through his divorce and his nagging injuries.. When feelings start to change they each feel like they are not enough for the other one. As Matt sees his career coming to and end the only light is Maddy but one night she sees a side of Matt that scares her.. Can they get past this?

    It was very refreshing to read a story that was so realistic for a hockey player.. There are injuries and things that bring them down and they find many ways of coping with not all good..”

Body Checked - Book 9

Additional information



Publication Date

May 2, 2018


Author Melody Heck Gatto

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I was born and raised in the Steel City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates. We are famous for Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Pierogis, saying “yinz”, and sandwiches with coleslaw and French fries on them (just to name a few). I live with my husband, teen son and fur babies.
We are huge hockey fans and adore our home team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. During the hockey season, our lives revolve around the game schedule.

I love hockey and I love romance novels, I didn’t even know there was a whole genre of books out there when I started writing my first novel. I love making the game part of the overall story (I love the whole experience of being at an NHL game, the noise, the food, the sound of the skates on the ice.) So expect the game to be part of my books. I spend time during the season at Penguins practices watching how they interact, talk, and work on the ice, to make my scenes as real to life as possible. My hope is even if you’ve never set foot into a hockey rink, you will feel as if you had while reading my books.

My characters aren’t always rough and gruff, because not all hockey players are goons. I’ve had the chance to meet a few and they are awesome and down to Earth guys. So, I like to show a gentle and caring side along with the rough and tough.

I am a Hallmark movie junkie. I adore the Christmas movies and all the cutesy (and sometimes cliché) romance, and I love to get swept away in it all. I also will binge watch my favorite tv shows BONES, FRIENDS, LAST MAN STANDING, SUPERNATURAL, and CHICAGO PD.