Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Merrily Matched Christmas

Unwrapping in time for Christmas 2017. Find A Merrily Matched Christmas on Amazon.
Snuggle up with new holiday favorites for a kiss under the mistletoe. From handsome strangers to second chances, this collection will keep your heart warm and toasty this holiday season! So grab some eggnog and a blanket and curl up by the fire with a sexy new book boyfriend!

Includes the following novelettes:

A Merry Matchmaker Mess by USA Today bestselling author Virginia Nelson
Veronica “Ronnie” Murray loved fixer-upper projects, and she’d never met one as challenging as her absentminded and sometimes grumpy genius coworker, Elijah Conrad. She's determined to help him find love, but a stolen Christmas kiss has her more than a little conflicted.

Lovers of Christmas Past by USA Today bestselling author Ashelyn Drake 
Nick Masters never got over Holly Michaels leaving him at the altar five years ago. Now, he’s volunteered to play the part of Santa at the children’s center’s Christmas celebration to get close to Holly again. Can he convince her he's worth a second chance?

A Christmas Prayer by River Ford
Lindsey prays that moving east with her two year-old daughter will give them both the life they deserve. A car accident leaves her stranded in the middle of Wyoming. Jake comes to her rescue, and if Lindsey can learn to trust, they may find that love is the answer to both of their prayers.

All I Want for Christmas Is My Book Boyfriend by Beth Fred
Katie doesn't need a real boyfriend when she has the perfect book boyfriend, but when she ends up on a Christmas cruise--of sorts--alone with Eledon she finds the mutual attraction hard to ignore. Can Katie find a real happily ever after or is she destined to live in books?

A Cowboy for Christmas by Cate Grimm
Fashionista Sarah Jayne traded in her Laredos for Louboutins and planned to make it big in New York City. When her life in the Big Apple falls apart, she comes home to Love, Texas and runs into Cody Hayes. Will Love, Texas be the perfect place for two people with wanderlust to find a happily ever after?

Merry Mismatch by Lily Vega
Stick-in-the-mud Director of Finance Aaron gets under edgy party girl Zara’s skin. Can they survive the Windy City Gaming’s holiday retreat in spite of their growing attraction and Aaron's ex-girlfriend’s quest to eliminate the competition by getting Zara fired?

I read and loved A Christmas Prayer by River Ford. You can receive the book free if you sign up for her newsletter here

Jake pulled off the road a little past the car. He could hear the hiss of steam. The driver cut the engine, and the motor clicked a few times before the road fell silent once more. The front of the car was buried in the snow and it listed toward the passenger side which had slid off the shoulder. He could see motion through the partially covered window. His momentary relief faded when he heard a pitiful cry that turned into the all out wail of a young child. 
He rushed to the back door and yanked it open, noticing several things at once. A little girl, maybe two or three years old, strapped safely in her car seat. Although red-faced from screaming, she seemed fine otherwise. The other point of interest was the woman twisting around from the front seat in an effort to reach her child. Her big blue eyes stared up at him. She too had tears running down her face. 
"Is she okay?"
The heartfelt plea moved Jake back to action. He crawled in at the same time the car shook from another passing semi. As soon as the girl noticed him, she stopped crying and held up her little arms. Jake unbuckled her.
The woman let out a hysterical laugh combined with a sob. She returned to the front and tried to get her door open, but she couldn't push through the weight of snow.
"Hold on, let me help." Jake put the girl on the seat. "Sit still while I help your momma."
"Hungy." She whimpered, but didn't move.
Jake doubted the little one would stay put for long. He kicked and clawed away snow until he could drag the front door open. As soon as he did, the woman rushed past him and grabbed her daughter. He watched as she touched the child's head, arms, legs, face. Her tears flowed faster, but she didn't make a sound. Her daughter however started to squirm.
"Want Dadda. Hungy." She wiggled while her mom squeezed her close, rocking her back and forth.
"That's not daddy, sweetie." The woman glanced at Jake for a moment before turning her attention back to her daughter. “Sorry about that.”
He waved her concern away, but he was curious why the little one didn't recognize he wasn't her dad. 
"Are you sure you're okay?" Jake could see the ugly red abrasion across the woman's neck. Probably from the seatbelt. Her face was also pink from the airbag as if she'd been slapped. "Does that hurt?"
Apparently satisfied her daughter was okay, she finally looked up at him. "I'm fine. Thank you for your help."
Her eyes looked haunted, her blonde hair a little on the dirty side. He glanced around the car and noticed 5-hour shot bottles strewn on the floor, but no other signs of food or drink. Jake looked closer at her hands. They shook, even though she tried to hide it. 
"Let's get you to town." He waved toward his truck.
"We'll be fine, really. Thank you though." A flash of fear moved across her face.
"Look, I know you have no reason to trust me, but I can't leave you here. It's only two degrees, and even the igloo you've created won't be much help. Can I at least call someone for you?" Jake pulled out his cell phone.
"Um, a local tow truck?"
"You're in luck. I know the best." He held out his arms to take the toddler. "In the meantime, let's get you in my truck where it's warmer."
He could see the struggle in her eyes. She clung to the child a moment longer, even though the little girl had turned to reach for him. 
"I just want to help." He spoke as softly as he could. "It will be a while before TJ can get out here for your car. Let me take you to town."
"Okay." She reluctantly passed over her daughter and proceeded to unbuckle the car seat. "Her name is Katie."
"Hi there, Katie." The little girl was a warm and wiggly mass in his arms. He chuckled when she patted his face with both her hands.
"Hungy, dadda."
"I'm so sorry she keeps calling you that, and she has a one track mind when it comes to food." The mom backed out of the car, dragging the carseat with her. "We were hoping the next town wasn't too far down the road."
"Saratoga is just ten minutes away, and my mom will have a smash bang breakfast ready." Jake couldn't help but like the way Katie wrapped her arms around his neck and squeezed. It sparked something he never thought he'd feel. He knew he'd think about it for a long time. "Katie's sweet. What's your name?"
"Lindsey." She glanced up at him, then back at the ground for just a second. He could almost see the struggle as she forced herself to meet his gaze.
"Nice to meet you, Lindsey. I'm Jake." He held out his hand. She shook it cautiously. He noticed her hands still trembled, and he didn't think it was all from the shock of the accident. He recognized the caffeine jitters from his late night study sessions at college. "Come on, let's get you warmed up.”


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