Welcome to my ‘Books for Christmas’ blog spectacular!
We all rush around at Christmas, be it finding that perfect gift for someone special, making sure the turkey is cooked just right, or trying to calm family squabbles before World War 3 breaks out, so why not take a moment to relax.
Chill out, take some ‘you’ time to read a book…
For 5 days, I’ll be posting a different book each day, so visit often to see what bookish delight I’m featuring next.
Today it’s Kristi Adhers, and she’s here to share not one, but two Christmas Romances.
The Trouble with Mistletoe
Lily Kettering’s life is full and happy. She enjoys her job teaching ballet, she adores being an aunt to her best friend’s kids, and her rambunctious dog, Sierra, is her adorable companion. Happy as Lily feels, she knows there’s something missing in her life. She’s sure it’s love. She figures the best way to keep her mind off the lack of a love life is to stay busy.
With the holidays fast approaching, Lily can’t keep the thoughts of her single life far from her thoughts. Christmas is a time for family and friends . . . and a boyfriend, darn it! To make matters worse, she’s sure her gorgeous new neighbor is already taken. How could he not be? Someone that gorgeous was never far from companionship. And now her friend is pressing Lily to come to her Christmas party. Sure, why not? Enough eggnog could help numb her lonely heart. Right?
Firefighter, Donovan Kennedy, is new to Lily’s building. From the moment he sees her, he tries figuring out a way to meet her. If it hadn’t been for his night shifts at work, it would have happened already. Then, thanks to her little dog getting the best of her, Lily falls into his arms. Literally. And it’s all he can do to let her go so she can rescue the pooch.
When Donovan discovers one of his firefighting buddy’s wife is Lily’s best friend, Donovan finagles himself an invite to their home for their annual Christmas party. If he plays his cards right, he could catch Lily under the mistletoe!
Suddenly, Sierra started howling and yipping, then went tearing off towards something Lily couldn’t see, pulling Lily along with her. She found herself tripping up on the lead again. Both her bags slipped and pulled her more off balance… “Sierra. Stop!” Too late her normally calm Cocker Spaniel was out of her ever lovin’ mind and Lily was about to meet the floor with her face if she didn’t thik of something quick.
She felt herself fall. It was as if everything went in slow motion. She saw Sierra break loose and run hell bent for leather but Lily was unable to stop her. She saw the ground coming at her but also saw there was nothing to break her fall. She squeezed her eyes shut, preparing for the painful jolt. But it didn’t come. What she felt next was a pair of strong, warm arms encircle her and drag her up against a very masculine chest.
Lily opened her eyes and looked up at her savior, prepared to say thank you, and found herself staring into the most amazing hazel eyes. Her heart raced and her mouth dried out and she said nothing.
“Are you okay?”
Lily nodded and continued staring. Oh, God, it was him. The new neighbor who was even more gorgeous up close.
“Are you sure? I’m going to put you down now.”
Again Lily nodded like an idiot. Say something, you twit, before he thinks you’re incapable of coherent thought. “Thank you.” She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry about that.”
“No need to be sorry.” He knelt and held out a hand to Sierra who had come bounding back after losing her prey. “Who are you, pretty girl?”
“That’s Sierra.” Lily tucked her hair behind her ear and watched as her dog rolled over on her back and enjoyed the man’s attention. For a brief moment Lily was actually jealous of her dog, God, she had it bad.
“Well, hello, Sierra.” Donovan stood after petting the dog and held out his hand to her. “I’m Donovan Kelly.”
“I-I know.” She took his hand, cringing at what she’d said. Now, instead of coming off as a mute twit, she thought she sounded like a creepy stalker. “What I mean is I heard one of your friends the other night in the hall.” She blushed, she wasn’t making things better.
“Sorry about that, the guys tend to get a little loud at times.”
“What? Oh, no I wasn’t upset. They weren’t too loud. I just heard them say your name. That’s how I knew what your name was.” Great! Now she was rambling.
“I’m glad. You look like you have your hands full.” He indicated her bag, the dog leash and purse. “Can I help you with anything?”
“Oh, thanks but no it’s okay. I’m normally more graceful. I just didn’t have a great grasp on Sierra. Thanks again for catching me.”
“Anytime…” He cocked his brow.
“Lily. My name’s Lily.”
“Anytime, Lily.” He bent and patted Sierra once more. “Have a good afternoon.”
“You too.” Lily watched as Donovan stepped through his door then wave before closing the door between them once again. She looked down at her dog and Sierra almost looked as if she were smiling and proud of herself. She certainly seemed terribly calm now, as if her work there was through and she could relax. “Did you do that on purpose?”
Sierra panted and cocked her head to the side. This was ridiculous. Lily needed to get to the dance studio. She’d ponder the likelihood that her dog, of all things, just played matchmaker. As they walked downstairs, Lily glanced down at her dog once more. “Did you and Sophia cook this up?”
Sierra looked over her shoulder and barked as if to agree. Well, what could she do if her best friend and dog were working in cahoots?
Buy The Trouble with Mistletoe here:
THE TROUBLE WITH HOLLY
Holly McIntyre has just been invited to join a group of her friends who are traveling to France for a wine tasting trip that will end in Paris. Holly has dreamed of taking a trip to France since she was a little girl. Now the only thing standing between her and her dream trip is her checking account. Well, she’s not going to miss out on this chance, even if it means getting a demeaning job as an elf for Santa Clause at Harrington’s Department Store. Holly hates Christmas, finds it too commercial and just can never seem to get into the holiday spirit. Of course the Santa she’s being an elf for has way to much holiday happiness, so this is not going to be an easy task, but Paris is on the other side. Now if she could only ignore the red hot attraction burning between Santa and herself. Oh, Santa, baby!
Christopher Harrington loves the holidays and volunteers every year as Santa at his family’s department store. This year his elf is anything but a happy little soul. And yet, he is drawn to Holly and her sassy personality and realizes she poses as a holiday challenge. He’s going to get this prickly little Scrooge to come around and see there really is magic to the Christmas season and that not everyone is interested in things bought in a store. Holly might mean trouble but Christopher is not afraid of that. Trouble can be fun.
Holly McIntyre blew out a breath as she frowned down at her checking account balance and worked hard to resist the urge to scream in utter frustration.
“Well, do you think you can swing it?” Dahlia asked as she continued to file her nails, smacking on her gum without a care in the world.
“I don’t think so.” Holly nibbled on the inside of her lower lip.
“You’ve got to come, Holly; we’re talking France!”
“Yeah, I know.” Holly wanted to spend Christmas in France, going on wine tasting trips and strolling the Champs-Élysées. She wanted to experience the city she’d been dreaming about since she was a little girl. And here was her chance to leave the cold and windy city of Chicago for Paris.
Dahlia set her emery board down and pinned Holly with a determined look. “You’re going to go; you deserve this trip, and I won’t take no for an answer.” She reached over for the legal pad that had Holly’s budget written on it and ran her perfectly manicured fingertip down the yellow lined paper. “Girl you’re so organized you give professional organizers like me a bad name.”
Holly laughed. It was true; although Dahlia owned her own organizing business and could organize a hoarder into a happy Zen place, she didn’t prescribe to the same thought process.
Dahlia pushed the legal pad back across the table. “Maybe you could pick up another job?”
“Yeah, because interior design jobs are just dropping out of the sky like snowflakes.” Holly was an interior designer but business had fallen off with the turn of the economy and people just weren’t redoing kitchens and other rooms. She had enough clients and projects to keep the wolf from the door as it were but not enough to buy a ticket to Paris.
“Get a second job!” Dahlia clapped her hands together in glee. “Find a part time job; the holidays are right around the corner, and you can find something that will pay well enough for a plane ticket and a week of hotels.”
“Gee, is that all?” Holly pushed her dark hair behind her right ear and continued to look at her pitiful budget. She really needed to save and put money aside, for when trip opportunities like this arose, she could go without any guilt.
“You know what I mean.”
“Yeah, I do.” Holly stood and went into the kitchen and grabbed a glass before filling it with some water. “I need to find something that will allow me to work on the jobs I’ve got and still be able to fund a trip to Europe. I doubt seriously I’ll find that.”
Dahlia, one never to sit around and wait for things to happen, was already looking in the want ads. “Here you go! This will be perfect.”
That was just too easy, and Holly went over to the table and leaned over to look at what advertisement had her friend so excited.
“Oh no. Hell no.” Holly shook her head back and forth. “No way.” She backed away from the table and went back to the kitchen to put the glass in the sink.
“Come on, Holly. It will be fun. And you would only have to work a few hours a week.”
“Are you high? I’m not going to do that.” She pointed her finger at the offending paper. “I’d rather sling drinks at a bar, or ask if someone wants to supersize their fries with their order.”
Dahlia shivered. “Eww. Food service is not for you, my friend.”
“Well, that,” she pointed once again to the newspaper, “isn’t for me either.”
“What if I applied with you? Would you do it then? Just think you could go to Paris! The Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre! And don’t get me started on the wine!”
Holly crossed her arms across her chest and sighed. She did want to go to Paris; she wanted to go badly. But the idea of dressing up as an elf for Harrington’s Department store’s Holiday Village made her want to break out in a rash. She loathed the holidays, found Christmas to be nothing but a “Hey, what are you gonna get me” grasping holiday.
The meaning and the magic was gone and had been since she was a little girl and learned Santa was really her Uncle Matthew. Still, there had been something about those country Christmas’s she missed. Perhaps it was the family or the innocence of the whole thing. Now, Christmas was all about money and what big electronic thing was going to be sitting under the tree. Her family was scattered; none of them in Illinois anymore and with lives of their own. In fact of all her brothers and sisters—there were six—she really only seemed to talk to them on Christmas Eve and on birthdays. It was sad really. This is why going to France with her girlfriends seemed like such a wonderful idea. She wouldn’t be sitting alone watching movies and eating ice cream by the ton.
“Okay, I’ll do it.” Holly uncrossed her arms and walked back to the kitchen table, dropping down into the chair. “I mean how bad could it be?”
Buy The Trouble with Holly here: