Preston Greene is a photojournalist taking a break to forget some of the sights he’s seen. On his way home he stops to take pictures of a gorgeous flowing sculpture reflecting in the sunset. When he returns to his motorcycle he finds a kitten has curled up in his helmet. No doubt to escape the rapidly cooling night. Seeing smoke from a chimney he hopes it is the home of the kitten or that the owner has a barn it can live in.
Abby is the artist responsible for the sculpture Preston has just photographed. It’s her cabin that Preston approaches to as a possible home for the kitten. This is a favorite scene.
He hadn’t reached the door when it flew open and a woman with a baseball bat clutched in both hands screamed, “I told you I am not interested. Leave me alone.”
“I have a kitten,” he said for lack of anything else and praying it would stop her from hitting him full on with her Louisville Slugger.
“Oh my.” She lowered the bat and blinked twice. “Sorry. I thought you were someone else.”
“Thank god for that.” He relaxed, reaching into his jacket, but when she raised her weapon again, he took his hands out in a sign of nonaggression. “I was just reaching for the kitten. Curious if it was yours or, at the very least, if you had a barn it could live in.”
The little furball rustled around and, as if knowing he was being talked about, dug his claws into Preston’s shirt, started to make his way up, and, when its head popped into sight, meowed.
“You do have a kitten,” she whispered, leaning in to see the animal better and smiling the way people do all the world over at seeing babies of any breed, soft and sweet.
“Yes, I do.”
“Come in. It’s too cold out here.” She stepped back and opened the door wide.
Eastwick, Dominique. Sweet Christmas Kisses: A Sweet Holiday Anthology (Kindle Locations 115-125). Decadent Publishing. Kindle Edition.
The almost instant attraction is difficult for Preston to comprehend and his sister isn’t entirely onboard with his dating Abby.
Abby’s heart is torn when she misinterprets a scene after Preston breaks a date to do something with his sister.
Now Preston has to find a way to come to terms with his feelings and break through the walls Abby puts up.
A wonderful story of love at first sight, with the added angst of a bullying ex.
5 Contented Purrs for Dominique!
Tabitha owns the Cat Café, a place where you can get coffee a snack and possible find a cat connection.
When CEO Noah Winters falls asleep on one of the couches after an exhausting day he gets quite the surprise as he wakes. This is a favorite scene.
Noah shifted his gaze higher, discovering a heart-shaped face with high cheekbones and a pair of bright blue eyes that reminded him of a crisp winter sky. Reaching up, she tucked a bit of her chin-length, white-blonde hair behind her ear just below where a few soft waves had been pulled up on one side, a sparkly clip of some type holding it in place. His own body thrummed in response.
“That’s better.” The corners of her wide, lush mouth curved up into a smile, and his heart gave a hard knock against his sternum. The word angel echoed in his mind. “Man, you came into the café then zonked like there was no tomorrow. One sec you were chilling with Rudy, the next you crashed.”
“Yeah.” The word scraped over his tongue, sounding much like a frog with laryngitis. He cleared his throat and tried to sit up but found he couldn’t move.
She giggled, the tenor trills a sweet accompaniment to the deep thrumming around him. As she rushed forward, his chest tightened. For some reason, he wanted to make her laugh again. To bask in the joy bursting from within her. Could he?
Leaning over, she scooped up a large black cat and set it on the floor. “Seems you’re quite the fur magnet.” Her gaze moved from one end of the couch to the other, and, at last, landed on his. “Wow, I swear every cat in the café is lying on or near you.” The corner of her mouth quirked up as she moved another cat—weights lifting from his legs. “Even Mr. Fluffbottom.” She gathered a huge white Persian from the pillow next to his hip. “And that’s really saying something. Mr. Fluffbottom likes his space.”
She set him on the floor, and the cat trundled off, its duster-like tail high in the air. With soft words of encouragement, she scooched the remaining cats from the couch then straightened and brushed her hands against one another. “There. You’re free.”
He hoisted himself upright and rotated, setting his feet on the lime-green shag rug peeking from beneath the coffee table. He lifted his eyes to hers. “Thank you…?”
“Tabitha. But everyone calls me Tabbi. No idea why.” She made a show of glancing around the café then shrugged. “Go figure.” She tilted her head, white-blonde waves shifting to reveal the bottom half of her ear. Three jeweled studs winked at him. “And you’re very welcome.”
“Noah.” He held out his hand. “Noah Winters.”
Garland, L.J.. Sweet Christmas Kisses: A Sweet Holiday Anthology (Kindle Locations 709-727). Decadent Publishing. Kindle Edition.
This begins an unusual relationship one that grows quickly and fizzles almost as fast when he discovers her secret and she finds his flashdrive.
A quirky story with lots of heart, a bit of suspicion and a cat that will ring his way into your heart.
5 Contented Purrs for L.J.
Meri first meets Chris as she is surveying the devastation that is her music room. Sloshing through water to see if any of the instruments were salvageable. Chris was waiting for his Captain to sort through everything with the principal, and helps her get the instruments were possibly salvageable out of the room.
A favorite scene is when she comes up with a solution when the Principal suggests a play instead of the Christmas Concert.
“Not cancelling, exactly, just making it easier.”
“The kids already know all the songs.” Panic laced her voice. True, they had no instruments, and the score was original so they had no recordings, but she could make it work. She had to. “The kids helped write the songs.”
“I didn’t mean to upset you.” The woman handed her a tissue. Great. She was crying. “We…I just thought it would be easier.”
“Compromise?” She blew her nose in a most unladylike fashion.
“How so?” Ms. Snyder offered her a second tissue, and she took it to blot her eyes. Some adult she was. “Maybe…maybe we could do both.”
The principal leaned in, a very good sign. The woman planned to at least hear her out. Too bad Meri had zero ideas where the plan was heading. “That way the kids can still sing the music they have worked so hard to learn and, in some cases, write, and parents could see their cuties all dressed up for the play?”
“Hmmm, that could work.” She seemed to be mulling it over, so Meri let silence fill the air. “It might get long, though.
“It will. But—” She was going to add a happy but and that made her smile almost as much as the plan beginning to come together in her mind. “We can invite the folks from the local senior center and have an intermission with cocoa and cookies.” Meri crossed her fingers, now holding the tissues. Who doesn’t love cookies? Right? This would be a slam dunk. It had to be. A concert without accompaniment would bore parents to tears. This, though, this could be a game changer and set the bar for future years.
“We would have to switch the date and time.”
“Yes, that’s true. Thursday evening would mean a super-late night and, frankly, from volunteering at the senior center, I can attest to the fact that anything after five is considered a late night for many of them.”
Ms. Snyder chuckled.
Nighttime driving was practically a social status at the center. Mr. Webber was considered quite the catch by many of the single woman as the only car owner who could drive at night. “I can stop by the center on my way home and talk to the director. See what day and time she thinks would work best. I needed to talk to them about using their piano to record some music anyway.” Their instrument sounded worse than the school’s had pre-flooding, but some music would be better than none, making recording from it her next plan of action while she waited to hear where the grant proposal decisions fell. Most of the grants focused on the upcoming next school year, decreasing the likelihood of answers coming in soon.
“And I can talk to the teachers who offered to help,” Mrs. Snyder said.
The teachers meant well. They had welcomed her with open arms, and there didn’t seem to be a mean one in the bunch.
“I know they are going to love this idea,” the principal went on. “They just started the classroom grandparents program, so this will blend in perfectly.”
Fraser, Dara. Sweet Christmas Kisses: A Sweet Holiday Anthology (Kindle Locations 2057-2081). Decadent Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Meri meets up with Chris once more at the senior center, where they were doing an inspection. This leads to a date for cocoa and more getting to know you. after she makes the arrangements for the show and gets overwhelmed by the generosity of the seniors.
Chris also has a secret that makes her Christmas even better.
A beautiful story of love, giving and caring.
5 Contented Purrs for Dara!
As Noelle’s business and apartment burns to the ground she stumbles down the alley finding three near frozen kittens. In shock she wanders and almost gets run over by a limo. Charles, shocked at almost hitting someone, takes her to his home only she thinks he’s the driver, an employee of a wealthy man who’s gone for the holiday. This is a favorite scene as he realizes what she thinks.
He didn’t want to be alone on Christmas. Not on his favorite day of the entire year. If she wasn’t too tired, he’d lure her downstairs for some eggnog and tidbits before he tucked her into the guest bed. Maybe with a kiss on the forehead. Not on those rosebud lips. No, because he wouldn’t be able to stop at one, and he wouldn’t kiss her unless she knew who she kissed back.
Forcing a cheerful grin, he said, “Nobody else is here on Christmas Eve.”
She nodded. “With the boss away, he doesn’t need everyone around getting holiday pay. I guess that’s why rich people stay rich. They don’t waste a dime.”
She was so going to hate him when she learned his identity. He’d never be getting a taste of her sweet lips. Maybe he’d kiss her anyway. Once. No. Yes.
Shrugging, he focused on the here and now. “Are you planning to take the kittens into the shower with you?”
Noelle glanced down at the bundle she still held and frowned. “No, of course not.”
Approaching, he unfolded her coat and retrieved the sleeping pair. Tucking them in the same big pocket with their brother, he gave her a little push toward the bathroom. “Okay, then scoot. After you get cleaned up, if you’re not too tired, join me downstairs for a cup of eggnog by the fire.”
A crinkle formed in her brow. “Are you sure you aren’t going to get in trouble for taking over the whole house?” How cute. She worried about his future.
He winked. “I won’t tell if you don’t.”
“Never.” Her sincere, innocent tone made his heart thump harder.
Why did the prettiest, sweetest woman—someone who rescued kittens in the cold when she had just lost her home and business in a tragic fire—have to be prejudiced against successful billionaires?
Richards, Kate. Sweet Christmas Kisses: A Sweet Holiday Anthology (Kindle Locations 3009- 3023). Decadent Publishing. Kindle Edition.
A Christmas eve spent cuddling by a fire with his cat and her kittens. With an interesting breakthrough on the fire and a surprise visit.
Love and compromise conquer greed in this sweet tale.
5 Contented Purrs for Kate!
This story follows Sharie through the years. A spoiled child, who likes to get her way.
Richie the geek boy next door is a constant in her life. He loved her from the beginning but she is too blind to see what is before her.
This is a scene from Sharie’s thirteenth birthday sleepover. An example of the childish cruelty that is present in young teens.
Mindy sits forward, pushing the bowl of popcorn aside. “Let’s deliver a love letter to Richie.” She dissolves into giggles, and Tiffany and I join after a beat.
“Who from?” It’s mean, but the thought of owl-eyed Richie discovering the letter makes me laugh. He’d be more puzzled than anything, and he wouldn’t take it seriously.
“From the birthday girl, of course.” Mindy grins at Tiffany, who takes a pen from my desk and uncaps it. She holds out a sheet of stationery edged in a double row of pink and red hearts. “Tell Richie you love him madly.”
Richie, who used to follow me around and say we’d get married when we grew up? I bite my lip not to laugh loud enough for Mom and Dad to wake up, and I take the pen and paper. “He’ll figure out it’s me.” I write as Mindy directs, though.
“Tell him it’s you. Sign it, your next door admirer who loves you forever.” Tiffany’s caught the giggles from Mindy, and they egg me on with one suggestion after another. I can’t keep up, and I have to wave at them to quiet down while I catch up.
“What if he thinks I really mean it?” I frown at the paper, wondering whether poor Richie could be that eager—or dense. Remembering his valentine from last year, I wonder if this is such a good idea, after all.
“He’ll get over it.” Mindy bounces on her sleeping bag, and she takes the paper from me before I’ve finished. “Looks good,” she proclaims, handing it to Tiffany. “But you forgot to say you love him madly.”
“I’ll add it.” I insert a caret with the word “madly” after “love” and “you.” “Better?”
Vitsky, Anastasia. Sweet Christmas Kisses: A Sweet Holiday Anthology (Kindle Locations 3546-3559). Decadent Publishing. Kindle Edition.
As these girls grow up the cruelness vanishes but the demanding nature Sharie has developed does not. At least not until everything backfires on her.
A journey of growth, in more ways than one. I would really have liked to see a slower pace toward the end. I felt the relationship didn’t get a chance to develop.
3 Purrs for Anastasia.