USA Today Bestselling Author
It’s Christmas in Antioch, Texas.
Detective Cole Lucas and his wife, fellow detective Andi are taking it easy for the holiday—time off from the police department.
Andi’s plans for Christmas are shattered when her family cancels. They’re not coming home to Texas. She’s crushed, sure Christmas will be ruined. But Cole is fine with an intimate affair—just them for the holiday, forging new traditions.
Can Cole show Andi she can rely on him and prove he’s all she needs for Christmas?
Free At These Vendors
I found this book while looking to add to my Christmas Countdown. I haven’t read the others in this series but I can tell you I definitely will be.
This is Cole and Andi’s first Christmas together as a family. They have two children and the baby Micah is teething leaving Andi tired and distraught.
As this story opens, Cole has taken their four year old son Ethan shopping, in an effort to give Andi a break. A break she doesn’t get because Micah won’t be consoled.
When Cole returns, as usually happens with cranky babies, Micah responds to him and quiets. A protesting Andi agrees to nap.
This is a favorite scene.
Cole took one look at them and froze under the archway leading into living room. “Awww, babe. The whole time?”
Her lip wobbled as she nodded, her vision blurring again.
Micah turned toward his father’s voice and stopped crying, taking big gulps of air and sucking in his bottom lip.
“Mama.” Ethan smiled, but his big blue eyes were concerned. “Baby Micah okay?” her four-year-old asked.
“He’s fine.” Andi’s voice shook.
Your mother, on the other hand, is touch and go.
Her husband set his many shopping bags down by the Christmas tree and was at her side in seconds. “Give him here.”
She relinquished the squalling baby and sighed.
Micah looked up at Cole and whimpered, but as his father whispered to him and bounced him a bit, the little traitor quieted.
Andi frowned. “I tried that!”
He chuckled, but when his gray eyes met hers, his expression sobered. “It’s okay. I got him. Why don’t you go catch a few?” Cole pulled her into his chest with his free arm and pressed a kiss to her lips.
Ethan grabbed one of her hands as she rested her head against her husband’s chest.
Andi let her eyes slip closed and inhaled his aftershave, mixed with Micah’s clean baby scent.
Cole rubbed her back and she pulled their older son to her side, his slender shoulders against her thigh.
She patted his little chest and he pressed a kiss to the back of her hand. Andi smiled. “Thanks, baby. I needed that.”
Ethan grinned, then pulled away, dashing to the shopping bags. “Mama, we got ornaments and presents!”
“Buddy, you’re not supposed to tell her that,” Cole admonished, but he laughed.
Unrepentant, the little boy started to dig in the bags.
Micah sniffled but his dad bounced him, and once again, their baby quieted, sucking on his small fist.
She yawned and shook her head, but kissed his soft cheek and caressed his downy hair. “Go ahead and nap, babe,” Cole whispered. “I got the boys.”
“Yes ma’am.” He kissed her. “I’ll change and feed him. You need a break.”
“I do not.” Andi harrumphed.
Her husband smirked and she couldn’t bite back a wry smile. “My stubborn wife. It’s okay to let me help you. Thought you would’ve learned that by now. My kids, too.”
“I don’t want to admit defeat. I should be able to handle him.”
Micah gave a loud yawn that made both his parents smile. “Looks like you wore each other out,” Cole said.
“Yeah yeah. See you in a few, then.” She made a dismissive gesture. “Ethan, come give me a kiss.”
Szarek, C.A.. Cole in Her Stocking (pp. 2-4). Paper Dragon Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Andi’s parents call to cancel their trip to join them for Christmas because of illness and this is the last straw for the tired Andi. She was looking forward having her Mom helping with Micah over the holidays.
Now Cole has to show Andi they can have a wonderful Christmas with just their little family.
I sense a lot of unease between these two in spite of their obvious love for each other. Andi seems not to truly trust everything Cole says.
I give Cole a lot of credit, he is patient and understanding and full of heartrending surprises.
A wonderful Christmas Story that has me wondering what happened with these two that this is their first Christmas together as a family.
5 Contented Purrs for C.A.!
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USA Today Bestselling, award winning author of romantic suspense, epic and historical fantasy romance, C.A. loves to dabble in different genres. If it’s a good story, she’ll write it, no matter where it seems to fit!
She’s a hopeless romantic and always will be. Risking it all for Happily Ever After is what she lives by!
C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She’s happily married and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
She works with kids when she’s not writing.