Christmas with the Sheriff
by Victoria James
A Shadow Creek, Montana Novel
Publication Date: November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Holiday, Romance
He’d come to the conclusion before she came home for Christmas that he needed to stop feeling guilty about his feelings for her. He’d never done anything to let on that he was in love with Julia. Never to Michael, Jack, or Julia. It had been his secret and he’d been willing to go on his whole life without ever letting it out.
More than anything, more than his feelings for her, his wanting her, he wanted a happy ending for her. He wanted their little boy to be alive. He wanted Michael to be alive.
Nothing had ever come close to hurting more than when he found out about the accident. And then witnessing the pure hell Julia went through. He vowed to his friend the day of the funeral that he would watch out for her. But then she was packing up and tearfully trying to tell him why she couldn’t stay in Shadow Creek, and hell, he couldn’t blame her one bit.
But now she was back. And God, he’d missed her.
“Looking for a Christmas tree?”
She shot him a surprised glance, looking over at him. “Oh, hey, Chase.” Her full lips pulled into a gorgeous smile and he cursed himself. He didn’t need to be noticing her mouth. He turned away to look at the lot full of trees.
“No, I just love the smell. I was out for a walk and thought I might do some Christmas shopping.”
“You walked here?”
She nodded. The tip of her nose was pink and her cheeks were rosy. “I had to. They have all been force-feeding me pies and cookies. This morning, I walked into the kitchen to find Edward sitting alone at the kitchen table eating pie. Minutes later Cassy comes in and he shoved the pie at me, and I had to pretend it was mine and eat it! I’m not going to fit into my clothes by Christmas.”
Chase laughed and tried not to sound like he was choking. He didn’t want to think of her figure. Julia thought it was some nonchalant ha-ha comment, while he thought of beautiful curves. Perfect curves. “I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” He wanted to add that he thought all her pounds were in the nicest places, but he had no intention of coming off like some sort of creep. Or someone who’d been in love with her since high school. Or like someone who hung her picture on the front of his refrigerator door next to Luigi the pizza guy. Dammit.
ABOUT VICTORIA JAMES
Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.
In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.
Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.
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Snowbound with Mr. Wrong
by Barbara White Dailee
A Snowflake Valley Novel
Publication Date: November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Holiday, Romance
Synopsis: Worst. Day. Ever. After Lyssa Barnett’s sister tricks her into reprising her role at Snowflake Valley’s annual children’s party, she doesn’t think anything can be worse than squeezing into her too-small elf costume. Then tall, dark, and way too handsome Nick Tavlock shows up to play Santa…and an unexpected storm leaves them snowbound in the isolated lodge.
The last thing Nick wants is to spend a cozy Christmas Eve with a trio of kids and the woman who dumped him. But as much as Lyssa frustrates him, he can’t stop thinking about her. And soon, he’s fighting very un-Santa-like thoughts of kissing a certain sexy Miss Elf under the mistletoe. As Nick starts to fall for Lyssa all over again, he knows it will take nothing short of a miracle to have Lyssa in his arms on Christmas Day.
Lyssa plopped the large bowl of popcorn in the middle of the coffee table and distributed the thread and needles she had found in the linen closet upstairs. At this rate, she would have to make a list of items to replace for Amber.
Mollie and Tommy went to work enthusiastically, and even Brent pitched in without a word of complaint. It was watching Nick, though, that made her heart melt. Making Christmas decorations might not have been his “thing,” but he definitely had some skill at working with kids.
He helped Tommy thread a needle, guiding the little boy’s hand until he had slipped the thread through the needle’s eye. Flushed by his success, Tommy proudly insisted upon threading everyone’s needle himself.
When Mollie groaned in frustration after trying to add a half-dozen kernels to her thread, Nick showed her how to pierce the thickest part of the popped corn to prevent it from breaking.
And when it came time to drape the strands on the tree, he asked Brent’s opinion as to the best placement. She had never heard the quiet teen talk and laugh as much as he had in this short time.
She could so easily see Nick with children of his own…and hers… But she had already decided there was no point in dreaming about a future with him. Considering his single-minded focus on work, he could never be the man for her.
She got to her feet and, forcing a smile, said, “I think it’s time for some hot chocolate.”
Four voices rose in agreement, and she escaped gratefully to the kitchen. The more she saw of Nick connecting with the kids, the harder it was for her to watch and the more she wanted to stay away. Yet she knew this trip to the kitchen was only a temporary reprieve.
She just hadn’t realized how temporary.
She had barely started heating the milk in a pan on the stove when Nick entered the kitchen. He came to lean against the counter beside her. “Need something?” she asked brightly.
“Yeah. To tell you I forgot how much fun it is being around you. It’s been a great afternoon.”
She flushed. “No thanks to me. That’s all on the kids. They’re quite a bunch.”
“And you’re quite a woman.”
He reached up and touched his finger to her lips. “Don’t do that, Lyssa. Don’t sell yourself short.” He moved his hand to trace her chin. A shiver tickled along her jaw. “You know what else I need?”
“That, too. And this.”
He leaned down and brushed his mouth against hers. He tasted so like the man she had fallen for months ago. His kiss was so tender, so sweet, she couldn’t help but want more. Another thought hovered at the edges of her mind, a thought she felt sure she didn’t want to know. Not now. Not here. Not when his taste and his touch and his total concentration on her were all exactly what she needed.
One dizzying kiss led to another and then another, until she had to curl her fingers in the fabric of his T-shirt to keep herself standing upright. But finally she forced herself to come to her senses. She tilted her head back and whispered, “Stop.”
“Why?” he murmured.
“What would we say if one of the kids walked in?”
“That the chocolate will be ready as soon as I’m done kissing the cook.”
ABOUT BARBARA WHITE DAILLE
From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called “books.” Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that magic spell for others.
After much hard work at her craft, she achieved her longtime dream when she began selling romance and mystery fiction to national and regional publications. Not long after, she received “The Call” from Harlequin Books and sold her first two novels. Since then, her books have garnered many positive reviews, appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and won a number of awards.
Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they don’t mind the lizards in their front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!