Wow! I can’t believe that the holidays are just around the corner! I love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas because everyone is just so happy! And there’s a slew of Christmas themed books releasing between now and the end of December, just to make sure you are in the right frame of mind for Santa’s visit. To get a jump on the season, I have a bundle of holiday themed books up for grabs, thanks to Hachette Books, so settle down with a cup of coffee, read the excerpts, and make sure to enter the giveaway (US/CAN addresses only)!
RING IN THE HOLIDAYS by Katie Lane
Psychologist Ellie Simpson is about to get a healthy dose of sex therapy. Leaving her cheating boyfriend behind, she has everything she needs for a quick rebound: Vegas, plenty of champagne, and a proposition from the sexiest man she’s ever seen. As her handsome stranger helps her ring in the New Year-over and over again-Ellie finds herself blissfully losing all of her inhibitions. Attorney Matthew McPherson is good at making women lose things, like their minds and underwear. With his athletic build and soulful eyes, he doesn’t need to use his powers of persuasion or famous last name to get a woman into bed. But when morning comes, Matthew finds Ellie is the only woman he can’t bear to leave-ever. It’s enough to make him wonder if what happens in Vegas really has to stay there.
About Katie Lane
Katie Lane is the USA Today bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas and Hunk for the Holiday series. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she isn’t writing, enjoys reading, going to the gym, golfing, traveling, or just snuggling next to her high school sweetheart and cairn terrier Roo.
Learn more about Katie Lane at:
Ellie looked like she struggled with a strong desire to beat him over the head with the gigantic purse she held in a stranglehold on her lap. “Then why did you show up at my office saying you needed help for sex addiction?”
He shrugged. “Because I was trying to get in your pants.” Her mouth fell open, and she stared at him in speechless shock. “What?” he said. “Did I shock the Virgin Queen? I guess honesty isn’t necessarily the best policy.”
It only took her a few seconds to regain her composure. “The only time I’ve ever heard anything remotely honest come out of your mouth was in Vegas. And even then, you weren’t completely honest.”
He leaned up until he was inches from her face. “Oh, I was honest that night. Completely. And did you like that, Dr. Simpson? Because there’s a lot more where that came from.” He pulled her onto his lap, knocking her purse to the floor as he pressed her back into the seat. “Here’s some honesty for you. I don’t like you, Dr. Simpson. I don’t like your height or your hair or the prudish clothes you wear.
And I especially don’t like your screwed up, narrow mind.” He slipped his hand up her rib cage, encasing her breast with his thumb and forefinger. “In fact, the only thing I do like is the way you fill out a sweater.” He knew he was being obnoxious and crass, but he didn’t care. He needed his own revenge, and he lowered his mouth to hers and took it out on her sweet flesh.
Even with anger still simmering beneath the surface, the kiss consumed him. Each sip and slide of lips and tongues was like a perfectly synchronized dance. And it was more than just physical perfection. It was an emotional connection. Like two souls who were reunited after being away from each other for too long.
Reunited souls? Good Lord, he had lost his mind. Matthew pulled back, wishing he could somehow start the entire evening over again. Or skip it entirely and go back to the day he’d seen her picture on the cover of that damned book. Or maybe before he met her in Vegas. No, he wasn’t ready to give up the night they had in Vegas. He just couldn’t survive a repeat.
A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER ANTHOLOGY:
by Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . .
by Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .
by Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.
by Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .
by Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?
“Which one of these ornaments is yours?” she asked.
He took a funny- looking Santa Claus from the tree. “I made this in my third grade art class.”
Santa was made out of paper plates and construction paper. His hat was folded and bent, his beard was shaped from the rippled edge of the plate, and his button nose was falling off. Linc studied it critically, thinking it was pretty good for third grade. “I do my best work in construction paper and glue.”
“It deserves a place of honor, for sure,” she said solemnly. She reached out to take it from him and her fingers brushed his. He stopped short. It was impossible to ignore the electrical charge that zipped between them. If she’d been any other woman he wouldn’t have hesitated. He would have pulled her into his arms, crushing the silly ornament between their bodies, and kissing her right then and there.
She smiled invitingly and her lips parted a bit, enough so he could feel her soft breath on his cheek. Her eyes softened to a leaf green, and he felt his caution crumble and transform into a maddening urgency. He let the ornament fall to the ground.
Then he was kissing her. She tasted like peppermint tea and smelled like cinnamon and pine needles. Her body melded against his, her breasts pressing against his chest. He wrapped both arms around her like he was claiming something rare and long lost. His fingers tangled in her hair, pulling it from that infernal ponytail. Her mouth opened under his and while their tongues dueled, her hands roamed across his back. It wasn’t enough. Without another thought, he picked her up and headed down
From Molly Cannon’s A MESSY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
About the authors
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
You can learn more at:
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
You can learn more at:
Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.
You can learn more at:
Molly lives a charmed life in Texas with hernearly perfect husband and extremely large cat Nelson. When she’s not writing, she spends her days reading, taking dance classes with the hubby and watching all kinds of sports.
You can learn more at:
Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband’s Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.
You can learn more at:
IT HAPPENED AT CHRISTMAS by Debbie Mason
Free-spirited activist Skylar Davis is out of money and out of options. After using up her trust fund trying to save the world, she hides out in Christmas, hoping the kindness of friends will help her forget the reckless actions of her past. All goes well . . . until she comes face-to-face with one of her mistakes: the town’s gorgeous young mayor. Ethan O’Connor likes his life drama-free and predictable now that he’s about to make the move from small-town politics to the Colorado State Senate. Then Skye blows back into town, as impulsive and passionate as he remembers. If word ever got out about their night together-the night he’s never been able to forget-the scandal could cripple his career. Yet as he starts his campaign, Ethan finds that, like the town of Christmas itself, he can’t get Skye out of his head . . . or his heart.
Later that evening, Ethan sat at a table in the local sports bar, the Penalty Box, with Gage and their mutual friend Jack Flaherty. Brandi, wearing her waitress uniform—a black-and-white-striped jersey and a short black skirt—approached with a tray of drinks. “Compliments of the house. Sawyer named the drink after you, Mr. Senator-to-be. It’s a Prince Charming. Bourbon, cinnamon schnapps, Goldschläger, and root beer rimmed with coarse salt,” she explained as she set the drinks on the table. “Sawyer suggested you have a couple of them before you speak to your baby mama again.”
Gage and Jack laughed. “Har har,” Ethan muttered, slanting a look to where the owner, Sawyer Anderson, stood behind the bar taking orders. The tall, broad-shouldered ex-captain of the Colorado Flurries, a professional hockey team, gave Ethan a two-fingered salute and grinned. “Your friend’s a real comedian,” Ethan said to Jack.
“Yeah, he likes to think so,” Jack said, “but maybe this time he’s right. From what Grace said, you could use all the help you can get.”
“At least your wife’s talking to you. Thanks to him”—Gage jerked a thumb at Ethan—“mine isn’t.”
“She was until I defended him. Now I’m in the same boat as you,” Jack said, taking a long pull on his beer.
“Would someone like to explain how I’m the bad guy in this? She had no intention of telling me about the baby. As far as she’s concerned, I’m a sperm donor and have no rights.” And once his initial shock had passed, he started to get excited about the baby. He’d always hoped to be a father one day, and he was not about to let Skylar Davis take that away from him. “I asked her to marry me.”
He didn’t realize Brandi had hung around until she said, “No, you didn’t ask her. You told her you were getting married. At the courthouse. On Friday.”
“Yeah, and you also told her she was irresponsible and flighty and threw losing her trust fund in her face,” Gage said.
Brandi gasped. “You didn’t?”
“Come on, I didn’t say anything that any of you haven’t said or thought. Besides, I was pissed off. And I had good reason to be.” He might’ve had good reason to be angry, but he shouldn’t have let his temper get the best of him. The temper he didn’t have until he met Skylar Davis. “I sent her flowers and an apology, okay?”
“What? You don’t think she’ll like them? The florist told me any woman would love them. I sent her three dozen roses.” Who knew flowers could be that expensive? But even Ethan realized he had to make some kind of gesture after what he’d said to Skye.
“Most women would, just not the one you sent them to,” Gage said.
Nell McBride, Evelyn Tate, and Stella Wright ambled over, dragging chairs to the table.
Evelyn beamed at him. “Don’t you worry, Ethan. We’re the love experts. And, dear, those roses you sent me were beautiful.” She fluttered her lashes.
“Yes, Ethan, that was very sweet of you to send them to us. But a little extravagant, don’t you think? I hope you didn’t send them to all your female supporters. Their husband’s might not be as understanding as mine,” Stella said.
Ethan rubbed the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger, ignoring Gage’s I-told-you-so look. “Did all three of you get a dozen roses?” he asked in hopes he misunderstood them and that Skye hadn’t sent his peace offering to the three older women.
“Yep, me, Stella, and Evelyn. But you didn’t have to bribe us. We’d vote for you anyhow. We want one of our own in the state senate, don’t we, girls?” Nell said as she pulled out a pad and pen. “And just as an FYI, when you put from a secret admirer, you’re not supposed to sign your name.”
IT HAPPENED AT CHRISTMAS excerpt #3
“Hey.” He gently tugged on her hair. “Thanks for doing this,” he said when she looked up at him. “We can take another picture of us when we get to the ranch.”
“No, this one’s good. I look like a Republican.”
He shook his head. “You’ve got a warped perception of Republicans, cupcake. We’re going to have to work on that.”
“Don’t waste your energy. My dad’s been trying to convert me since I was ten.”
“I’ve been told I can be pretty persuasive.”
“Republican women are easy,” she said, ignoring the effect his swoon-inducing voice had on her.
“Yeah? I seem to remember a certain Democrat who was pretty easy.” He waggled his eyebrows at her.
Jerk. But who was she trying to kid? She had been easy. “What was her name?” She ignored his laughter. “Stop talking so I can get this done.”
He grinned as he fiddled with the sound system. The Rolling Stones’ “Midnight Rambler” came through the speakers. His fingers tapping on the steering wheel, Ethan moved to the beat. Her lips twitched, and she struggled to focus on typing up the release. When he started singing, she started laughing.
“Hey, I’ve been told I have a good voice.”
“No, it’s not that. I like the Stones, too. We finally found something we agree on.”
“There’s hope for us yet, cupcake.”
The smile she gave him was forced. Once Jimmy was behind bars and Ethan won the election, their marriage would be over. A fluttery sensation in her stomach distracted her, and she gasped. It was stronger than before.
“It’s the baby. She’s moving. Here.” Skye took his hand and placed it on her stomach. When there wasn’t any movement a few minutes later, she said. “Sorry, looks like she got her exercise for the day.”
“Never know, he might do it again.” Her husband’s hand felt heavy and warm and far too good where it was. He glanced at her, his thumb moving in a slow up-and-down caress.
“Maybe,” she agreed, her voice breathy, but then she realized what he said. “Peanut’s a she.”
“Peanut?” His lips twitched. “I thought it was Willow.”
“It was, but I like Peanut better. And don’t try to distract me. Our baby’s a girl.”
“A boy. But Peanut works.” He returned his hand to the steering wheel. “I’ve got to stop for gas. You need anything?”
“You should buy a hybrid.”
He gave her a look and turned up the radio, singing as he pulled into the station. Skye was about to roll her eyes when she felt the now-familiar movement. “She kicked again. I think you like your daddy’s voice, don’t you, Peanut?”
Pulling up beside the tanks, Ethan took off his seat belt. But instead of getting out, he placed a hand on her upper thigh and leaned over, bringing his mouth to her stomach. He started to sing one of Skye’s favorite songs, “Wild Horses.” She pressed her lips together to hold back a moan. She really needed to think before she spoke.
“Do you feel anything?” he asked, turning his head to look up at her. Skye swallowed and croaked, “No.”
His eyes darkened, and he brushed his lips over her stomach, the muscles clenching in response. “You sure?” he asked, his voice a seductive rasp.
About Debbie Mason
Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.
You can learn more at:
MISTLETOE ON MAIN STREET by Olivia Miles
Briar Creek’s quaint shop windows, cozy homes nestled in snow, and neighborly residents are what Christmas dreams are made of–for everyone except Grace Madison. She left her hometown years ago to pursue a writing career. But when her father’s death leaves his bookstore empty, Grace must return to face why she fled Vermont in the first place: Luke Hastings, who still heats her up like a shot of smoky whiskey on a cold winter’s night. Grace is back, and Luke is worried. How much has she changed as a bestselling author in the big city? What memories will she stir up? And was the choice he made five years ago the biggest mistake of his life? Now, with their past, present, and future rocking around the Christmas tree, it’s time for Grace and Luke to face the music . . . and the mistletoe.
When he glanced over at her, she was staring into the fireplace, the dancing flames painting a warm glow on her porcelain complexion. Her eyes looked flat and far away.
“Everything okay?” Doubt ate at him, leaving him with the twisting feeling of dread. Had she changed her mind about staying in town?
“I was just thinking of how things played out between us, the effects they had on everything else. I—I wish I had handled it differently. I wish that I had been able to come back here.”
He swallowed the knot in his throat, refusing to feel any more guilt. She was a big girl, she had made her choice. Besides, she had been the one to leave him first. She had set all this in motion.
“If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past few days, it’s that regret is the worst type of emotion.” He met her eyes. “You can’t change the past, Grace, and you have to tell yourself that everything that happened led us to this moment.”
“This moment?” she repeated.
He held her gaze, managing a nod.
“You’re right, I know.” She gave a sad smile. “I miss my father sometimes. I wish I could have seen him more often than his visits to New York. I wish…I’d never left.”
Luke leaned over and tucked a strand of her hair back from her face, his fingertips tracing the smooth silk of her neck. Arousal burned deep inside him, and his pulse quickened. He reached over and took her wineglass from her hands, setting it on the coffee table. She stared into his eyes, expectation parting her mouth. He met her lips with his, their contact so light it was almost imperceptible, save the shiver that zipped down his spine at the sensation.
He grazed her mouth, slowly bringing her full lips to his. His hand came around her slim waist, his fingers warming at the softness of her sweater, itching to slide the material away and experience the even softer skin beneath.
She sighed into him and he parted her lips with his tongue, slowly lacing his tongue with hers and then pulling away to gaze into her eyes. The green of her irises shone in the firelight, the flames reflecting in the flecks of gold around her pupils. She lowered her eyes, smiling shyly, and her long, black lashes dusted the apples of her cheeks. He leaned in again as arousal burned deep and pressed her into his chest. He could feel every curve of her body as her ripe, firm breasts rose and fell with heavy breaths. He lowered his hand, caressing her waist, her hips, and then higher, to trace the contours of her breast and the swanlike arch of her neck. He kissed her lips, her neck, her ear, breathing deep into her skin, memorizing every taste of her skin, every touch.
The buzzing from the timer on the oven stirred his attention from her, and he groaned. He pulled away, throwing her a bashful grin. “We’re being chaperoned,” he said.
About Olivia Miles
Olivia Miles is a Chicago-based romance writer. Having grown up in New England, Olivia attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec before settling in Chicago where she lives with her husband, their daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.
When she is not chasing after her little ones, she is hard at work creating feisty heroines and alpha heroes with a heart. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories.
For more information on Olivia Miles, you can find her at:
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