New Year Wolf: A Black Mesa Wolves Book 4.75 by JK Harper


New Year Wolf
Black Mesa Wolves Book 4.75
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
JK Harper

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A Black Mesa Wolves Holiday Short Story

With devoted mate Rielle still his most ardent champion, down and out wolf shifter Caleb Bardou is slowly piecing back together his busted up life. He’s a fighter at heart—but when he was justifiably stripped of his Pack Guardian status, it about knocked him out cold.

Now he gives his all to a hot new business training other shifters for the fight ring. He’s back in the game and looking for a big win, his sexy mate at his side all the way. Then an old enemy shows up in the final round and threatens to sucker punch Caleb and Rielle’s future. It might finally be time for Caleb to show the world what he’s really made of…and make it a happy new year after all.

Author’s Note:
This Short Story features Caleb & Rielle, the characters from Hunting Wolf (Black Mesa Wolves #3). It is best read after Wild Wolf (Black Mesa Wolves #4), although that is not strictly necessary in order to enjoy this holiday tale!

With the New Year approaching, I find myself in a shifter mood and this book for New Year’s Eve was the perfect way to satisfy that need.

Caleb has made many mistakes, the biggest of which had him removed from being a Guardian of the Black Mesa Wolves. That ruling came down from the Alpha, his father. Now it seems Caleb has found something that helped to not only rein in his temper and impulsiveness, but also gives back. He is competing and training young wolves to fight in the somewhat controlled atmosphere of sanctioned Cage Fighting.

His mate Rielle, is steadfast in her devotion to her mate. She’s been beside him the whole way and is more than just a little proud of him.

As Caleb and his trainee Bran celebrate their wins that have them heading to regional championships, Luke Rawlins a reformed rogue wolf approaches Raille.

This is a favorite scene.

“Oh, no,” Rielle managed to murmur the second she realized Caleb saw Luke. Her mate’s face went thunderously dark. The kind of expression that usually scared his opponents so badly they tended to lose half the fight right then. Her wolf whined in agitation, circling Rielle’s mind in nervous steps.

Caleb leapt back out of the ring and steamrolled his way right through the throngs toward them. Rielle heard Lily sigh with just a touch of exasperation and felt Kieran stand more rigidly, although neither one moved an inch to prevent the black storm racing pell-mell in their direction.

Luke didn’t move either. There was exactly zero love lost between him and Caleb, although they’d never actually come to blows as far as Rielle knew. Luke was a former rogue wolf, who’d really just been trying to escape his extremely unstable home pack under circumstances that were still mysterious. He was now under the explicit protection of the Black Mesa Wolf Pack, under the direct orders of its Alpha. In fact, he’d shown such undeniable leadership qualities after he’d dropped the life of a rogue that he’d been tapped by Alpha to lead an adjunct pack.

Luke Rawlins, the former rogue wolf and avowed enemy of Caleb, would be alpha of his own pack, so appointed by the alpha of the Black Mesa Pack. And Caleb, who would never be an alpha wolf himself, had been stripped of his own pack role by the very same alpha—his own father.

Rielle and every single other wolf in the pack knew it still rankled Caleb like a weeping sore, despite his otherwise successful efforts to focus his energies and volatile temperament on his training business. She’d managed to keep the two of them apart as much as possible ever since she and Caleb had been mated. Darn it, she’d had no idea Luke was into these fights. Caleb had never once mentioned seeing him at one.

Her wolf whined in even greater nervousness as Caleb barreled down on them. Almost holding her breath, Rielle tried very hard to send soothing thoughts to Caleb through their Pack bonds.

“You will remove your paws from my mate,” Caleb said the second he neared them, his barely checked anger reaching the tense little group before he did. He didn’t even have to raise his voice above the noise of the oblivious crowd. His light blue eyes glowed with the strength of his wolf behind them, which also pulsed out of his already naturally deep voice and sent it throbbing into their heads. He looked, Rielle thought from some slightly awed place far away, like an enraged, ridiculously sexy Viking about to go all berserker. “Now,” he snapped, when Luke didn’t release his light grip on Rielle’s upper arm.

Hmm. Apparently the Pack bonds were not going to work very well at this moment. Rielle thought about reaching out her actual hand to him, but Lily’s almost imperceptible nudge against her side stopped her.

With the tiniest of bows, really just inclining his dark head, Luke easily pulled his hand away from her. He’d barely been touching her. Rielle knew in an instant he’d done it on purpose to provoke Caleb.

Really. Men. To herself, she shook her head, while her wolf gave a small huff of agreement before resuming her watchful glow out of Rielle’s eyes.

A pure wolf growl slipped from Caleb’s throat. The random shifters immediately beside them heard it and stepped away with exaggerated, slightly drunken exclamations of “Ooh, better watch out! Don’t piss off Caleb, yo!”

She felt Lily and Kieran both tense even more in the charged silence between the two wolves facing off.

“What makes you think you can ever touch my mate, rogue?” Caleb’s snarled words were almost hard to distinguish. Rielle knew how much more control he had over his wolf now than mere months ago. But as usual, any perceived threat to her made that control slip a little. Nothing like an overprotective mate to keep the instinctual wolf at the forefront rather than the more rational human.

“Because,” Luke said in that deliberate drawl he sometimes used, “I wanted to see your reaction.”

If steam could come out of Caleb’s ears, it would. Rielle swallowed against a suddenly parched throat. She could feel Lily’s tensed muscles on one side of her, Kieran’s coiled strength on the other. They were prepared, if it became absolutely necessary, to stop her mate from doing something stupid.

Again.

The winter wind outside sent in another chilly blast through the flimsy doors of the club. Rielle shivered in sheer reflex to the situation rather than the cold. Shifters could handle cold temperatures much better than humans, even when in their own human shapes. But the icy blast made the situation seem more fraught with sudden danger. Please, Caleb, relax, she begged silently, imploring him with her eyes.

Caleb’s eyes were granite, his expression murderous. Even the half-drunk shifters nearby sensed the change in the air and abruptly shut their yapping mouths, watching the scene with suddenly wide eyes.

Rielle opened her mouth to say something, anything, to lighten the situation. Before she could, though, the one sound she never expected fell from Caleb’s mouth.

Laughter.
Harper, J.K.. New Year Wolf: A Black Mesa Wolves Holiday Short Story . Sable Moon Books. Kindle Locations (169-213). Kindle Edition.

Luke’s reasoning is much more than just to find out Caleb’s reaction.

Plenty of surprises and lots of sizzle between Caleb and Rielle.

I have to go back now and re-read this series, I’d forgotten how much I like this pack.

5 Contented Purrs for JK!

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Coming Soon!

J.K. Harper writes paranormal romance. She lives in the rugged, gorgeous canyon country of the southwest, which is a great place to let her imagination run wild.

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Releasing Tomorrow! Forever My Duke – Unlike Dutchesses Book 2 By Olivia Drake


Forever My Duke
Unlike Dutchesses Book 2
By
Olivia Drake

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Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.

But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?

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As she was taking her final breaths Audrey Bellingham extracts a promise from her best friend, Natalie, to bring her son to his grandfather in England.

Once the war is over, Natalie arranges passage for herself and Leo to England. The journey is arduous first by boat then via Royal Mail coach. As they waited out an ice storm at a small inn, her charge manages to escape her. Leo does this more than once and leads to Mr. Clayton, offering to convey them to Whitnash when the miss the Royal Mail coach.

Natalie is a little more than surprised to find that the gentleman escorting them is not only the Duke of Clayton but also cousin to the Earl of Grayson, Leo’s grandfather.

Fortunately the Duke has taken a liking to both Natalie and Leo as both receive a chilly reception from the Earl and his family in residence.

As Hadrian finds himself falling for Natalie, he also knows it will be a uphill battle to get her to stay so he can court her and hopefully persuade her to marry him.

I truly enjoyed traveling back in time to view the vast estates in the country and also London at the beginning of the Season. Plenty of family drama as Natalie’s family tree is revealed, and resentment also surrounds the arrival of Leo.

Some interesting confrontations, some suspense and a simmer to sizzle romance kept me turning the pages.

I have to go back and read the first of this series. I am now finding myself intrigued with the British aristocracy of the past.

5 Contented Purrs for Olivia!

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Olivia Drake

Olivia Drake is the author of 35 romance novels. Her most recent series is called ‘Unlikely Duchesses’ and began with THE DUKE I ONCE KNEW. The second book in the series, FOREVER MY DUKE, will be released December 31.

Her other series include ‘Heiress in London’ (SEDUCING THE HEIRESS, NEVER TRUST A ROGUE, SCANDAL OF THE YEAR) and ‘The Cinderella Sisterhood’ series (IF THE SLIPPER FITS, STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, ABDUCTED BY A PRINCE, BELLA AND THE BEAST, HIS WICKED WISH, THE SCANDALOUS FLIRT).

Olivia Drake’s books have won the Golden Heart Award, Best Historical Romantic Suspense, Best Regency Historical, and the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and a pair of feisty cats. Her two daughters have flown the nest, but they still come back whenever they want a home-cooked meal.

Olivia has also written under the name Barbara Dawson Smith.

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One of A Kind Christmas – A Scottish Christmas Carol Book 4 by Lexi Post


One of a Kind Christmas
A Scottish Christmas Carol Book 4
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lexi Post

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Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

To reach her heart,
he must face a spirit,
an angel…and himself.

The spirit of Cameron Douglas has totally screwed-up…again. Now, he has to fix his mess in one night with the help of his best friend and somehow encourage his widow to move on.

Holly Douglas is anguished that this is the last Christmas she’ll be visited by her late husband, Cameron. For three years he’s sent her the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and they’ve helped her cope with her loss. But now all that ends, and she doesn’t understand why her late husband must push her away.

Ethan Stewart has been in love with Holly since Cameron’s death, but she isolated herself from everyone, including him. Then something changed, and he was welcomed back as her friend. But he wants more— to love her openly, and most of all to make her happy again. Though he loved his best friend like a brother and will do anything for Holly, as he’s pulled into the spirit world, he discovers not all is as it seems. If he doesn’t figure it out soon, none of them will have a Merry Christmas…ever.

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

After reading ‘Temptations of Christmas Future’ I was concerned that in spite of everything, Cameron had still messed up. He wants to have eternity with his wife, but she has to accept that she has another soulmate out there and they have to connect so they can all be together. Somehow he has to make this right, he just doesn’t know how.

Holly has done what she needed and yet she’s sad that this would be the last Christmas she gets to see Cameron. She and Ethan have become much closer this past year, but he loves her and she just wants to be friends.

Ethan gets a visit from Cameron, to say he’s surprised is an understatement. What Cameron is asking of him really isn’t a hardship since he loves Holly, but he’s not entirely sure the methods put forth will work.

Mac, the cat plays a big part in this book as well.

This is a favorite scene and a tad longer than I usually use, but I wanted to include both Mac and Ethan.

Tears she hadn’t shed in almost a year gathered, making her kitchen blurry. Wiping her eyes to clear them, she pulled air into her lungs. No, she wouldn’t be alone. She’d have Brooke, and Brody and Sarah…and Ethan. At the thought of the man she’d come to lean on in the past year, she balked. Whenever she was around him, she felt happy and guilty, comfortable and uncomfortable. It was too confusing. Instead, she focused on Mac, picking him up despite his weight.

“You’re just going to have to stay alive forever. Okay?”

Mac wriggled to be put down, his claws snagging in her green turtleneck.

“Okay, okay. I just wanted you to know I love you.” Kissing the protesting cat on the head, she let him go. He immediately sat and proceeded to wash his face as if her kiss had cooties or something.

Throwing her arms up, she moved to the cabinets and pulled out a big mug. Tonight definitely called for a large cup of tea. She had to tackle her emotions and her living room and bring them into some semblance of normality.

The kettle whistled, so she poured the hot water into her mug with the “Christmas Tea” in the strainer. The scent of orange and clove reminded her of Cam’s cologne. He always smelled like Christmas to her. Taking a deep breath of the hot tea, she frowned. There was another scent in there that reminded her of something. Was that ginger, maybe? She hadn’t noticed it before, but she’d been late in breaking out her Christmas tea as well this year. What was wrong with her?

Again, she looked at the fridge. She really didn’t want anything in there. Maybe what she needed was some Christmas music. Oh, and Christmas cookies. Setting her tea on the counter, she opened the cabinet next to the fridge and pulled out the tin of homemade Christmas cookies Mrs. Bell had dropped off just a few days ago. Opening it up, she sighed.

“Now that’s what I call Christmas.” Stuffing one into her mouth, she bit half and held the rest between her lips as she picked up the tin and her tea and strolled back to her wrecked living room. She’d just reached her comfy chair when the bell rang.

She glanced at the clock. It was only half past six. It felt like nine to her. She set her tea on the small table next to her chair and grabbed the cookie from her mouth. “Coming.”

Quickly, she stuffed the rest of the cookie back in and chewed as she approached the front door. Swallowing, she turned the knob, but the door remained closed. Real smart, Holly. Unlocking the deadbolt, she pulled again to reveal a bundled-up Ethan on her doorstep.

“Ethan. Oh no, did I forget I was supposed to be somewhere?” She racked her brain trying to think of what it could be.

He laughed, his green eyes sparkling in the reflection of her living room light. His hair, wavy now that he’d let it grow a little longer, was sprinkled with a few snowflakes and his teeth gleamed. “No, I thought since you’ve been working such long hours that a fresh mincemeat pie might be just what you need as you decorate your tree. You did say you were hoping to do that tonight, correct?”

She lifted her brows. “Did I?” She probably had, but she was flustered. To have Ethan in her home seemed more intimate than she was ready for. They always met at public places or at his parents’ house in town. He was far too handsome, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Michelangelo’s statue of David. He was also kind and good looking and considerate and muscular and tall and…she swallowed, uncomfortable with her thoughts. She shook her head to clear it.

“Aye, you did. But you also said that your tree was broken, so I brought you a new one.”

She tensed. Why did everyone want her to have a new tree? “I’m not really interested in one of those new automatic trees. I prefer to put some work into my décor.” Though to look at her house right now, no one would believe her.

He frowned, shaking his head. “I hope not. I didn’t take you for the automatic-tree type, though that was what was recommended to me.”

She relaxed a bit at that. “Good, then what kind of tree did you get?” She was a bit curious now. As nice as Ethan was, he was still a man, and she doubted he had any more taste than Cam. Cam would have bought an automatic tree and a pink or blue one at that.

Ethan handed her the hot pie, and she balanced it on her tin of cookies as he disappeared for a moment.

“Better back up.”

Uh-oh. Reluctantly, she stepped back. She really needed to tell him to keep the tree. It wasn’t right. Yes, that was the right thing to do. Opening her mouth, her protest died as the scent of spruce wafted in with the cold outside air. He’d brought her a live tree?

She took ten steps back, her memories of New Hampshire and Christmas with her family flooding her as Ethan wrestled what looked like a ten-foot Christmas tree into her house.

Closing the door, he pushed the tree to lean against the entrance and looked up at the cathedral ceiling of her home. “I should have purchased the fifteen-foot size. You still have plenty of ceiling height.”

She stared in awe at the beautiful tree filling her living room with its Christmas scent. She plopped her butt on the arm of Cam’s chair, her knees too weak to hold her, her heart filled with the warmth the spruce aroma gave her.

Ethan turned to look at her, his ready smile dimming as he caught her gaze.“You don’t like it. I can return and buy the large one. It’d been so long since I’d been in here, I couldn’t remember exactly how tall your ceilings were.”

Though he’d obviously not meant it as a slap in the face, the sting of his statement brought her to her feet. It was true. She hadn’t had anyone into her shrine to Cam in four years. What good were all those Christmas spirits Cam sent her if she still kept him alive in their home and refused to share. No wonder others had moved on with their lives.

Ethan’s brow lowered in concern. “Or is it because it’s real? They have some very true-to-life looking artificial trees at the hardware store. I think they’re still open.” He looked at his watch.

She rested her hand on his arm to get his attention. “No, not at all. It’s just so perfect, I was stunned.”

“You were?”

She swallowed down the sudden lump in her throat at his thoughtfulness.

“Yes. I grew up with live spruce trees for Christmas. It reminds me of home.” She gave him a small smile, her family suddenly feeling so close. “And that’s a good thing.”

His brow finally eased, and he relaxed before his eye caught the state of her living room. “Bloody hell, were you burglarized? We need to call the police.”

She snorted. “Hardly.” She squinted at her traitorous cat, who had hopped down from his chair and was rubbing against Ethan’s legs. She removed her hand from Ethan’s tan wool coat and pointed. “That’s the culprit. He tore this place apart while I was at work then got stuck in a box. Served him right.”

“Mac did all this?” Ethan bent over and picked up Mac the Destroyer. “Hey lad, you look like you’ve put on a little weight since I last saw you.”

Just as guilt centered in her gut, Mac pushed his head against Ethan’s chin. She’d forgotten how much Ethan adored Mac. “Well, he’s spoiled and I don’t have a lot of time to play with him. I tried putting him on a leash, but he just fell over and didn’t move as if I’d killed him or something.”

Ethan’s quiet laugh drifted through the room before he set the feline down. “I’m thinking someone needs a few cat toys for Christmas.”

She scowled. “Only good cats get presents.”

“And fat ones.” He pointed to her hands. “Did you already eat? I see a Mrs. Bell cookie tin there.”

She’d completely forgotten she’d planned to have cookies for dinner. Ethan didn’t say anything, but she was pretty sure she’d gained a few pounds in the past year. Now, with the scent of nutmeg and beef tickling her nose, she found the willpower to wait on the cookies. “Yes, I felt I deserved a treat after walking into this mess.”

“I understand.” He looked over the living room. “Would you like help cleaning it up? Then I could set up the tree for you. It will probably take two people.”

Well, crap. She wasn’t being very hospitable. She was sorely out of practice. “That would be great. Have you eaten yet? Are you hungry?”

Ethan unbuttoned his coat and shrugged it off his broad shoulders. He seemed bigger in her house. He turned and hung his garment on the coatrack in the corner next to the door. “I didn’t realize I hadn’t eaten until I put that in my rented van. Now my stomach is yelling at me.”

Thankful to have something to do, she lifted the cookie tin and pie in her hands. “Then let me get this dished out so we can eat before tackling this mess.” She beat a hasty retreat into the kitchen. He’d even rented a van to bring her the tree. Holy crap.

She set down the cookie tin and pie. Her kitchen was a small room, cozy. The little two-person table in it had been perfect for her and Cam. At the thought of Ethan sitting there with her, she moved to the cabinet and pulled out a tray. They could eat in the disaster zone.
Post, Lexi. One of a Kind Christmas (A Scottish Christmas Carol Book 4) (pp. 22-27). Lexi Post. Kindle Edition.

As Ethan makes a bit more progress with Holly, Christmas Eve arrives and with it Cameron, there are no other spirits this year.

With Ethan and Holly in tow, Cameron makes the effort to correct the mistakes he made.

I loved the way this plays out, many revelations and we do learn more about Mac.

A wonderful Christmas tale, with laughter, love, tears and so much more!

5 Contented Purrs for Lexi!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Lexi Post Lexi Post

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides an erotic experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

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Finding Christmas – Holly Point Book 2 by Jeannie Moon


Finding Christmas
Holly Point Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jeannie Moon

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Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

Small town Holly Point wasn’t big enough to hold the dreams of golden girl Maggie Benson. So when she left at eighteen, she flew right through college and into the adrenaline-pumping life of a navy fighter pilot. But without warning, a devastating crash destroys the career she loves and sends her back to her overly protective family to heal. Maggie can’t imagine how she can reconnect with the woman she was until the hot local high school basketball coach steps up to show her the way.

Former NBA star Will Fitzgerald knows how an injury can derail more than a career. Still, he’s happy with his life as a teacher and coach at Holly Point High School, until his quiet life is upended by the beautiful, brilliant, and hurting Maggie. Blindsided by the intense attraction, Will wonders if pursuing the woman of his dreams will answer the question of what’s been missing in his life.

Can Maggie trust enough again to let Will past her wounds, inside and out, so that they can both find the Christmas magic they’ve been searching for?

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Fighter pilot Maggie Benson has returned to Holly Point after realizing she needed more. More than just therapy and pain. She needed a sense of normalcy, what better time to be with family and friends than the holidays.

Will Fitzgerald was a rising NBA star when his career ended in a freak accident. Now he is a teacher and basketball coach in Holly Point. He meets Maggie at a football game where her brother Matt, is pretty much the star of the show. Matt plays all the sports and excels in all of them. Will however didn’t expect to be swept off his feet by this beautiful, strong woman who invites him to join their family for Thanksgiving dinner.

When Maggie and her friends go out, she runs into Will at the bar, he not so subtlety persuades her to help him with some kids he’s coaching for Paralympics. Of course being a bar, there was a drunk jerk and while she handled him well, he hit an emotional trigger.

This is a favorite scene.

He wanted to fucking pummel the asshole who had been so damn cruel. Feeling her soft hair in his hands, he pressed her head into his chest, and rocked her gently as he held her. “Let it out. It’s okay, just let it out.”

“I’m sorry, I… I hate crying, but… dammit. Why do the crazies always find me? Why? Just when I’m starting to feel better, someone says something that… I don’t know. It just stings. I did everything I was supposed to do. He wasn’t in the blasted plane. He doesn’t know me.” She wiped her eyes. “I hate this. I wish I knew what I was supposed to do.”

“Guys like that are assholes. They have nothing going for them, and it becomes everyone else’s fault. The only thing a guy like that can do is take cheap shots. As far as the other stuff, maybe being home will help you figure things out.”

“Like what?” She sniffled and wiped her nose with her sleeve before looking up at him with tear filled eyes. She was a mess. Her hair was mussed, her make-up was blotchy, and her eyes were red and swollen. Maggie cried ugly… but he’d never seen anyone more beautiful in his life.

“What comes next? You’re young. What are you, thirty? There’s a whole life ahead of you.”

She nodded, but her lip trembled as she spoke. “I thought that life would include a husband and kids. That’s not going to happen now. Stan was crude, but he’s right, who would want me?”

Hearing that made him want to hit Stan even harder. Will wished he could tell Maggie that men would line up to be with her. She had the face of an angel, but beyond that he’d seen a brilliance, an inner fire, that identified her as a special soul. So when that line formed, and it would definitely form, he’d fight to be first. She was extraordinary.

“I don’t think that’s something you have to worry about.” He brushed a strand of hair off her face and tucked it behind her ear. “You’re really very…” He hesitated, then looked right in Maggie Benson’s big brown eyes and spoke the only truth he knew. “You’re beautiful.”

Her eyes stayed on his, searching, questioning. “You really think so?” she finally whispered.

“Oh, yeah. I really do.”

Maggie’s arms slipped around his waist and she hugged him, resting her head on his chest where it fit perfectly. Will held on, knowing this could be opening them up to a whole slew of problems, but he didn’t care. She needed him, this felt right. That was the only thing that mattered.

Moving slowly, she glanced up and he lost himself in her face—the creamy skin, the rosy, full lips, the eyes that held all her pain—it all grabbed his long quiet heart and made it beat stronger. When her fingers brushed his cheek, Will was in more trouble than he ever imagined.

“You’re a very nice man, Will Fitzgerald.”

“I’ll tell my mother you said so.”

He was trying to put her at ease, to make light of a tough situation, but each minute that passed revealed a truth Will wasn’t prepared for. Given half a chance, Maggie would own him, and he’d be okay with that.

“I’m scared,” she choked out.

“Of what?” “I don’t know. Everything. Life. I mean, what’s going to happen to me?” With all the changes in her life, she had good reason to wonder. He wished he could help her, but the answers Maggie was looking for had to come from inside.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” It was one of his favorite quotes. When his basketball career ended without warning, and his marriage went south almost as quickly, Will was facing a new future and he was completely unprepared for the changes. On some level, he could relate to what Maggie was feeling.

He smiled as she tilted her head to one side, thinking about what he’d just said. “Interesting advice.”

“Joseph Campbell. He understood the mysteries of the ancients, I think that gives him some credibility.”

“So, I should face what scares me?” Maggie had faced so much already, she had to be getting tired of facing her demons. But he also knew the woman was made of very tough stuff, and it was time to leave the past firmly in her rearview mirror.

“Sometimes I think it’s the only way. Our fears often define us, and I don’t think we should let them. You might find what you’re looking for when you get past whatever is holding you back, and more than that, you have to look for your happiness.”

Biting down on her lower lip, she looked away, and Will wished he could read her mind. When she tilted her face to his, everything about her moved him—from her bright eyes, to the questions he saw lurking beneath the surface.

“I don’t know if I believe that completely,” she responded.

“It’s true. Face it, and move on. You’re doing that with the kids we’re going to be working with. Right?”

“It’s not the same.”

“Fears are fears. They hold us back from what we really want.”

“So I should go after what I want. Is that what you’re saying?”

“Absolutely.” He believed that was true for everyone. Especially for someone like her, who had so much to give.

She was quiet for a bit, thoughtful, but when her glinting eyes softened to a smolder, Will took notice.

“Don’t hate me for this,” she said quietly, struggling a bit, but finally kneeling up so they were face to face. “Okay?”

“Hate you? For what? I don’t…” He got his answer when she leaned in and kissed him.
It was gentle, tentative, just a light brush of her lips against his.

And it changed everything.
Moon, Jeannie. Finding Christmas (Holly Point Book 2). Tule Publishing. Kindle Locations (555-602). Kindle Edition.

Over the course of just a few weeks, between friends and family Maggie starts to feel at home both mentally and physically. Her interactions with Will become more of a relationship than not as Christmas draws near.

There is a lot of love and emotion in this book as well as a simmer to sizzle romance. We also see folks from the first book, it is a small town after all.

Laughter, tears, mistakes and so much love. A perfect Christmas read with just the right amount of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Jeannie!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Jeannie Moon

USA Today bestselling author Jeannie Moon, has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. The author of sixteen contemporary romances, for Tule Publishing and Penguin Random House, Jeannie is married to her high school sweetheart, has three grown kids, three lovable dogs and is a lifelong resident of Long Island. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

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Temptation of Christmas Future – Scottish Christmas Book 3 by Lexi Post


Temptations of Christmas Future
A Scottish Christmas Carol Book 3
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lexi Post

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Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

He set out to prove the future
was far worse than she imagined.
Now he wished it wasn’t.

Thanks to his shock tactics and pessimistic attitude, Scottish spirit guide Malcolm MacLachlan’s job is on the line. What else did they expect from a former Glasgow Watchman? For his final assignment, he chooses his partner based on the probability of success, and Joy Collingwood is the very best. That he can prove to her the future isn’t all puppies and marshmallows is an added bonus.

Joy is thrilled to help Malcolm, but their different methods threaten the success of their collaboration. If they can’t find some common ground, they’ll fail. What she doesn’t expect is that their common ground will be her bed and her deepest secret will be revealed.

Yet her secrets are nothing compared to Malcolm’s and their revelation could jeopardize everything…including her heart.

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Once again Cameron has selected spirits to visit his wife on Christmas Eve. Well he chose Malcolm and had him select who to work with. That he picked Joy was a surprise to Cameron since they are so very different.

Malcolm is all about the ‘Scrooge’ type spirit of the future and Joy tends toward the more pleasant aspects.

Cameron’s wife Holly has become used to these visits as Cam has recruited her to help the spirits involved. This time was no different.

I think I’ve failed to mention Mac, their cat. For some reason when Cam visits to prepare Holly for the spirits, the cat can see him and he can actually pet the cat. That shouldn’t be possible, and that’s something that Joy and Malcolm find puzzling from the start.

This is a favorite scene.

She grinned. “Don’t tell me you’re going to play the role of Scrooge’s Spirit of Christmas Future. Don’t you think that’s a bit over dramatic? Not to mention far too English for a Scotsman?”

He turned toward her. “I was simply acknowledging your observation on my timeliness.”

She chuckled. “Now you really sound like an Englishman.”

At his scowl, she turned away, biting her cheek to keep from laughing.

The clock began to strike the ninth hour.

“Shall we?” She looked back at him. Hooking her arm within his, she pulled him forward even as his eyes widened. She was too excited to meet Holly face to face to care what he thought.

As they stopped in front of their assignment, two things struck her one after the other. The first was that the little design in Holly’s snowflake pin was a fairy and beautifully etched.

The second thing was that while Holly was still asleep, the large gray cat sat on its own chair staring at them.

Malcolm leaned in. “That cat shouldn’t be able to see us.”

She nodded, just as surprised as him.

When the grandfather clock stopped chiming, they both stared as the gray cat walked onto the arm of his chair, jumped across the short distant to the other chair where Holly slept and pounced into her lap, effectively waking her up.

“What? Really Mac?” She grabbed him up and as she lifted him onto the arm of her chair, she noticed them. “Oh, hi.” Her gaze flitted to the clock before coming back to them. “Sorry. I never seem to be able to stay awake for Christmas Eve visitors. You must be Malcolm and Joy.”

Joy smiled. “That’s quite all right. You’ve had a long day, I’m sure.”

“What a beautiful dress. I could never wear something like that.” Holly sat straighter as she looked down. “Oh and I love your boots. I need to find a pair of those.”

“Thank you.” Cameron’s wife was a delight. She seemed very comfortable with them.

Holly turned to Malcolm. “Malcolm, if we’re going to fly away together, you must show me your face. The hood thing is all fine for drama, but we’re on the same team here.”

Joy pursed her lips to keep from smiling.

Malcolm acquiesced to Holly’s request and dropped his hood back, revealing his scruffy chin in profile. Joy’s body took notice, and she suddenly wished he’d pull it up again. The man was walking sensuality, at least to her.

“Holy crap!” Holly faced her. “Did you know he was this hot?”

Luckily, Malcolm saved her from having to answer that. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Holly. Are you ready for your journey to begin?”

Holly continued to stare at Malcolm.

Joy cleared her throat. “Holly. Holly?”

Finally, Holly turned toward her. “Yes?”

“Malcolm asked if you’re ready to begin your journey?”

Holly looked back at Malcolm then returned her gaze to her. “Absolutely.” She rose from the chair.

“Wonderful.” Joy waited as Holly’s gaze flitted back toward Malcolm before finally returning to her. She didn’t really blame her. His dark good looks took some getting used to. “This visit is a little different because we’re the Spirits of Christmas Future, which means that you’ll see things no one else will know for years.”

“And I must promise to not reveal anything I see, right?”

Malcolm nodded. “Aye. If you don’t think you can keep these secrets, we’ll have to skip the visit.”

Holly scowled at him and crossed her arms. “Excuse me. I didn’t reveal a single thing I learned from Coco and Ian’s visit. I’m sure I can keep secret whatever you choose to show me.”

“You must be sure.”

Holly gave an exasperated sigh. “I promise.”

The cat took that moment to meow loudly. Holly turned back. “What, Mac? You have plenty of food and your litter box is clean. What else could you want? I’ll only be gone minutes your time, if that.”

Joy watched in fascination as the cat seemed to accept Holly’s answer and proceeded to jump onto the seat of the chair Holly had just vacated and lay down. “Really, Mac?” Holly turned to face them. “He demanded that he take my chair over there, forcing me to use Cam’s. Now suddenly, he wants Cam’s chair back?”

Joy shook her head. “Usually animals can’t see us. He’s a very special cat.”

“Believe me, I know. Even Cam doesn’t know why he can pet Mac.”

Joy froze. That was impossible. She glanced over at Malcolm, who was looking at her as well. Somehow, she knew he agreed that something was afoot. They’d have to talk about it on their first break.
Post, Lexi. Temptations of Christmas Future (A Scottish Christmas Carol Book 3) (pp. 39-42). Lexi Post. Kindle Edition.

Now the visits they have in store for Holly cause the spirits taking frequent breaks in disagreement. They also have them finding out things about each other, including the fact that Joy has dreams of Malcolm.

While they do manage to get their point across to Holly they also succeed in forming a relationship.

Very emotional for Holly as she realizes what she’s done so far really isn’t enough. For the spirits, well they are amusing, sometimes irritating and definitely sizzling.

Oh and we still don’t know what’s up with Mac the cat…sigh.

5 Contented Purrs for Lexi!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Lexi Post Lexi Post

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides an erotic experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

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Heath – Hathaway House Book 8 By Dale Mayer


Heath
Hathaway House Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love.

Overjoyed at his transfer to Hathaway House, Heath Jorgenson is anxious to maximize his potential and to get better from the multiple injuries that sidelined him. But rest is necessary for recovery, and Heath’s body won’t give him any. Even when he buckles under and accepts the need for drugs, his body rejects them. And all the determination in the world won’t matter when your own body is working against you.

Just when he’s about to give up, respite comes from the unlikeliest of sources. The sound of the cleaning lady slowly and methodically washing the hall floor outside his room lulls him to sleep and allows him to see some of the progress he’s desperate for.

Hailee Cisco is grateful for the part-time job of washing floors at Hathaway House. Sure, it isn’t glamorous, but it’s honest work, and, along with her other job, it’s enough to pay the bills—of which Hailee has many. When Dani, the heart of and the partial owner of Hathaway House, offers Hailee a full-time job, Hailee is delighted at the chance to cut back to just one job.

Until she realizes that her change in hours has an unintended impact on Heath’s sleep patterns …

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The patients at Hathaway House have many different injuries they are healing from both mental and physical. The setting here is tranquil even as the therapy both psychiatric and physical can be brutal. It’s the balance, the staff and the animals, that make this center unique and very effective.

Heath had been a patient at the VA, he’s hit a lull in his progress and after researching found Hathaway House. He truly feels he will benefit from the treatments there.

Hailee is not a patient but part of Hathaway House’s cleaning staff. It’s one of her two jobs. She is suffering in her own way, both financially and mentally. It’s her way of mopping the floors that gives Heath some peace so he can sleep although she doesn’t realize that.

This is a favorite scene.

By the time midnight hit, she was damn-near done. But now it was time to start the floors. That always took her a couple hours. She checked her watch and realized she was running a little bit behind. She headed back to the utility closet and switched out some of her cleansers. And then, with the mop and her bucket filled with hot water and the floor-cleaning solution, she started mopping on the main floor and then moved upward. It would take her over two hours tonight. It looked like the floors were dirtier than usual, which meant changing her bucket of water more often. But she was up for it. Every time she did this, she imagined each stroke cleaning the pain and sorrow of her own soul.

She moved steadily through the hallways, washing and scrubbing, moving the mop back and forth to a natural rhythm that seemed to ease something inside her. The routine movement and the sense of hard work, knowing that she was doing something necessary and in some way contributing to somebody else’s healing, it all helped. Maybe that was good for her own soul too. She moved in a steady rhythmic motion, absolutely loving to see the clean floors as she moved backward down each hall. By the time she came around to the final hallway, she knew she was running almost half an hour behind. She headed down with a bucket of fresh water and started working on the floor.

She heard a sound. She stopped, frowned, and then softly called out, “Are you okay?”

A ghost of a voice answered, “No.”

She immediately went to the door, knocked, and opened it slightly, poking her head around the corner into the dark room. “Do you want me to call a nurse?”

“Yes, please.” She immediately closed the door and raced to the closest nursing station. Tina was there. Hailee told her about the patient in the far room. Tina followed her and headed inside the room that Hailee had only ever stuck her head into once. She could hear their voices on the other side in the darkness. She hadn’t actually seen the patient, but he needed somebody. Happy that she could help, Hailee picked up her mop and resumed working again.

By the time she finished, her soul was a little lighter, and she realized that, on a scale of one to ten today, she was running around an eight.

Considering she’d been working closer to the six or seven range every day for the last three weeks, this wasn’t bad. But today, well, was a little bit better. She cleaned up her mop and put away her bucket, then headed back to check that she’d collected everything. She’d left her Wet Floor sign, and she snatched that up.

The door to his room opened. Tina walked out, smiled at Hailee, and said, “Thanks for calling me.”

Hailee nodded slowly. “I didn’t know what I heard. I felt terrible even knocking.”

“In this specific case,” Tina said, “it was the right thing to do.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” she said. “I really don’t have much to do with any of the patients here, so I never really know.”

“Not to worry,” Tina said with a smile. She headed back to the nurse’s station.

Hailee followed ever-so-slowly. She returned to the utility room to put away the floor sign but returned to the main floor to once more look around and make sure she was done for the night.

Tina saw her. “Time for the end of your shift?”

“I hope so,” she said. “It’s been a bit of a long day.”

“Is this your only job?” Tina asked with a frown.

Hailee hesitated and then shrugged. “No, I have another job too.”

Tina nodded. “I figured as much. It’s probably not enough hours here, if you’ve got bills to pay.”

Hailee’s smile slipped. “Bills to pay, yes, that’s one way to look at it.” She turned away, and then she looked back at Tina and asked, “Will he be okay?”

“Who?” Tina asked, looking at her in surprise. “The patient I called you for.”

“I hope so,” Tina said with a smile. “He’s such a handsome man with his dark Moorish looks,” she said. “You probably couldn’t see for the lighting, but he’s got dark hair, thick eyebrows, and an immaculately chiseled jaw.”

Hailee nodded and hesitantly said, “He seemed like he was in a lot of pain.”

“Well, he’s doing better now,” Tina said. “He has not been too forthcoming about asking for help, and sometimes, well, sometimes you just don’t know when people will need more care.”

“I can understand that,” Hailee said. She wasn’t even sure why she was talking to Tina. It was so opposite to what Hailee usually did. But finally feeling a little awkward, she smiled and said, “Have a good evening.”

“You too,” Tina called out.

As Hailee grabbed her purse and readied to leave, she found herself taking the long way around and going past that same door. As she walked by, she whispered, “Good night. Sleep well.”
Mayer, Dale. Heath: A Hathaway House Heartwarming Romance . Valley Publishing, Ltd. Kindle Locations (304-344). Kindle Edition.

The interaction between her and Heath starts and stops almost at the same time. They have never been able to really see each other and when Hailee takes the position of accountant at Hathaway House her mopping and brief talks stop rather abruptly.

Heath hasn’t been sleeping since the cleaning person stopped mopping outside his door in the middle of the night, he doesn’t know what happened to her but the two days she said she was off became so many more.

Now these two do have more interactions but at meal times and they start talking to each other and meet up periodically. They just sort of click, but Heath has no idea Hailee was the cleaning person.

Lots of interesting things happen in this book not the least of which involves a Bobcat and a regular cat. I love that the Vet Clinic is downstairs from the rehab. Both the people and the animals benefit so much from these interactions.

An inspiring tale with a start to a relationship that is slow and healing for both Heath and Hailee.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

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Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.


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Merry Christmas Everyone! This Christmas – Holly Point Book 1 By Jeannie Moon


This Christmas
Holly Point Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jeannie Moon

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Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

Single mother Sabrina Gervais has built a happy life with her daughter Charlotte in their eastern Long Island hometown of Holly Point. Having Charlie meant putting some of her own dreams on hold, but Sabrina is content to surround herself with family and friends, safe from the realities of the outside world. She had enough of that when the man she loved broke her heart.

Jake Killen’s career in professional hockey has brought him many rewards on and off the ice, but returning to New York brings back a flood of memories. When he sees Sabrina again, he discovers that he didn’t just walk away from her ten years ago, but also from their unborn child.

Struggling with anger, guilt, and chemistry that’s off the chart, Sabrina and Jake wonder if they can find love again and, this Christmas, make all their wishes come true.

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Sabrina and Jake had a steamy and romantic time in Holly Point that summer ten years ago. She wanted to keep it from her family, but Jake wanted to be open with them since her brother Ryan is his best friend.

Unfortunately Jake had to make a choice when his ex is pregnant, he leaves Sabrina and his heart to do the right thing. By the time he realizes his mistake, the child wasn’t his, and got divorced, he felt Sabrina was better off without him.

Now he’s been traded back to New York and he’s glad to be back, although the memories are haunting him a bit. Little does he know there’s a big surprise waiting for him.

This is a favorite scene.

Making his way to the ice, Jake welcomed the feel of his blades hitting the surface, which was a little soft for his liking, but after being abused by a couple of dozen pairs of skates all day, it was understandable. Ryan was teaching his charges how to shoot from the point, his specialty as a defenseman, and Jake couldn’t resist the opportunity to bust on him.

“You trying to teach those kids hockey with your skating skills, Gervais?”

All the helmeted heads turned and it looked like a convention of mini storm troopers from Star Wars. Jake smiled and skated over, taking off his glove and shaking Ryan’s hand. “How are you, man?”

Ryan looked the same as always, big, broad, and intimidating as hell. He was the nicest guy around, but there was no one more physical on the ice. Coming in contact with all 220 pounds of Gervais at center ice, or digging a puck out of the boards, could send a guy to the hospital.

“You are the last person I expected to see, Killen. Welcome back.”

The kids started buzzing and looking at each other. They’d caught his name. “Guys,” Ryan said. “You have one of the best centers in the game standing in front of you. You all know Jake Killen? He’s going to do some drills with us for the last half hour.”

The heads bobbed up and down and he heard the excitement in their voices. It was a buzz, no doubt about it when a kid was excited to meet him. He remembered how he felt about his favorite players. Some of the old time hockey guys weren’t always so nice, though, so meeting them was a letdown. Jake vowed that would never happen with him, always making sure a kid felt happy they’d met. He looked over at Ryan and saw the speed demon tugging on his sleeve. He bent down and from the way his friend and the boy were looking over, the conversation was about him.

A pat on the back from Gervais sent the kid, Charlie George had said, back to his group to play. Jake took over after the shooting drills and worked with the players on skating. Balance drills, sprints, and power stops had everyone huffing, puffing, and laughing.

Even Jake was huffing and puffing, a sure sign he had a lot of work to do if he was going to be playing again by the January.

Parents were filtering in, watching the end of the drills and he wondered how that would feel—watching his kid grow up, do things. Once the clinic ended, Jake signed a bunch of helmets, sticks, and jerseys, got lots of high fives and thank yous, before the group dispersed. They were nice kids, Jake wished he gotten there earlier.

Ryan skated over and little Gervais, who proved to be the best skater on the ice, was right next to him. The kid stuck close to Ryan, helmet on, and head down. Jake wondered what was up. He couldn’t imagine Ryan Gervais, the life of the locker room, having a shy kid.

“Jake, I want to introduce you to someone.” He looked down. “Charlie, take off your helmet.”

Charlie started working the straps and to Jake’s surprise, when the headgear came off, a long, braided pony tail fell out. Charlie was a girl—a badass, super-fast, hockey-playing girl.

Ryan must have seen the shock on his face because his eyes flashed right before the corner of his mouth tipped up. “This is Charlotte. My niece.”

Whoa. His niece? “Hi, Charlotte. Or did I hear you prefer Charlie?”

The kid looked up and Jake had to have stepped back. Dark brown hair, full lips and large green eyes dominated her pixie face. It hit him like a stick to the head. Charlie looked just like Sabrina. Jake nodded and smiled as best he could, having just received one of those kicks in the ass he’d been thinking about earlier. He was glad she’d found someone after he screwed up, but then he started to run numbers in his head and there was no way…

“So,” he started. Not really wanting to ask, but not being able to stop himself. He had to know. “How old are you?”

She smiled shyly and Jake’s heart lurched. “I’m nine,” she said. “I’ll be ten in May.”

It didn’t take long for Jake to do the math. Jesus, if what he thought…

“Ryan? How did it go?”

Jake’s back tensed at the voice echoing through the arena.

“Mom!” Charlie took off toward the tunnel and Jake turned to see the love of his life, the woman he never thought he’d see again, hugging her nine-year-old daughter. Bree had just turned twenty-nine. Jake’s eyes were locked on the scene and when Sabrina looked up, the happy expression dropped away and pure shock and fear washed across her face. Her reaction told him everything he needed to know.
Moon, Jeannie. This Christmas (Holly Point Book 1). Tule Publishing Group. Kindle Locations (211-248).Kindle Edition.

Getting through to Sabrina isn’t easy and Jake is angry that she kept her pregnancy from him. He’s determined to know his child, Charlotte, and win back her mother’s heart.

Emotional with laughter, tears, memories and some sizzle!

5 Contented Purrs for Jeannie!

Christmas 2015 Blog Other Books

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Jeannie Moon

USA Today bestselling author Jeannie Moon, has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. The author of sixteen contemporary romances, for Tule Publishing and Penguin Random House, Jeannie is married to her high school sweetheart, has three grown kids, three lovable dogs and is a lifelong resident of Long Island. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

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