I’m pleased to share these four sweet, holiday stories from The Wild Rose Press…
Joy Frost Burton lives a busy, successful life, finding comfort in the lovely home she shares with her three little boys. A widow, she isn’t looking for love again, in spite of her three younger sisters’ rather pushy encouragement.
Mysterious fate has other ideas and throws charming Sean Summers into Joy’s world again and again. Soon, however, ghosts from the past and a challenging family crisis create difficult complications.
Does Joy dare risk loss and sorrow a second time by following her wounded heart’s new rhythm?
As I arrived at the doorway, I took a quick look back and BAM—ran smack into a man coming in. An indelicate “Oomph” escaped my lips as we both reached out to steady ourselves. His hand covered mine on the door frame. Warm—very warm.
He kept it there, and I didn’t struggle to free myself at first. I was turned sideways and couldn’t see his face, but my senses—all of them—responded to his closeness.
Finally, I breathed again and pulled my hand out from under his, mumbling a weak, “Oh, so sorry.”
“No, I didn’t see you there. It was my fault.” He had a deep voice with a little rumble in it. I looked up and saw a ruggedly handsome face and dark blue eyes. He looked vaguely familiar, but I forced my eyes away too fast to think about that.
“Excuse me.” I tried to scoot past him, brushing my shoulder against his chest as we both turned to maneuver through the small open space. Unfortunately, we’d moved in the same direction, and then we bumped knees. I was mortified.
“Oh, sorry again,” I yelped. At that point I noticed his enticing aroma—a mixture of cool autumn air and spicy leather. Definitely masculine.
I couldn’t see his face now; mine was practically smashed into his neck. But I didn’t mind lingering in his scent. I may or may not have murmured, “Mmmm…”
TV Reporter Noelle Frost enjoys life now that she’s free of her abusive ex-husband. She and her young daughter are doing quite well without a man in their lives. Then she meets a giant of a man, six-foot-ten Zave Trayce, a basketball legend. Her trust in men is damaged. Zave seems like the ultimate player on and off the court. She will have to decide if she’s brave enough to risk her heart in the game of love.
A shot of energy warmed my cheeks. This was undoubtedly the most incredible physical being I had ever seen, and he was looking at me. I continued to stare back, not knowing what to say, but certainly enjoying the moment, until that annoying college student interrupted my view by handing me my hot chocolate.
“Here you go, miss. That will be four dollars and twenty-five cents, please.”
“My treat.” Gorgeous Man’s low voice had come from those lips that turned up at the corners, hip still against the counter, his eyes dancing with amusement.
“Oh no, you don’t need to pay for mine.” I pulled myself together, proud for uttering a complete and coherent sentence.
“I’m happy to do it, Ms. Frost.” He pushed his at least six-foot-ten frame away from the counter and winked at me, sending warm honey gliding through my body. Oh, my goodness. He actually winked at me, and it wasn’t cheesy. It was absolutely hot. Then a light flashed in my mind. He knew my name.
I took a step back. “Umm…have we met?” Although intrigued, since my divorce I was over cautious where men were concerned.
“CBS 4 Denver, TV reporter Noelle Frost. Everyone in Colorado must know who you are by now.”
He had an adorable lopsided grin. I could get used to that. I relaxed a little. I had only worked for the station for a few months, and it still surprised me when strangers recognized me.
Holly Frost has suffered from unrequited-love since she turned down Elam Holmes in high school. Years later they are still doing the “friend zone” dance. They’ve seen each other through heartbreaking loss and shared everything–except the truth. Can they break down the walls they’ve built to find love beyond friendship?
I had to be dreaming, but I was wide awake. Elam pulled on me some more, and the warmth of his hand made my arms and legs tingle. I floated up on the couch.
He sat beside me and touched my arm. “Holly, you feel cold.” He lay down and pulled my back against his chest, his arms wrapped around me.
Minutes crawled by while I struggled to breathe normally.
“I can feel your heartbeat through your back,” he whispered.
“I’m a little—”
His breath had warmed the back of my neck. “Are you warmer now?”
A shiver rippled over my skin from my toes to my head. “Almost,” I managed.
“Almost isn’t good enough.” He leaned up on one elbow, looking down at me and stroking the side of my face with his fingertips. “You are incredibly beautiful, Holly. No wonder Marco went after you.”
I rolled over on my back and looked up into his eyes. “There is no…”
He leaned down and skimmed his lips over mine in a friendly kiss. “I am so happy you came this weekend.”
I tilted my chin and gently kissed him back. Elam, Elam, Elam…“So am I.” I wanted more. I yearned for more. I shivered again.
Elam cleared his throat, moved over and stood up. “It is cold in here.” He grabbed my pillow and the blanket off the floor and spread it over me. “I’m not sure L.A. warmed you up as much as you’d hoped.”
“Maybe nothing is as much as I’d hoped.
Chrissy Frost’s self-identity has changed from “happy-go-lucky” to “broken” after losing her parents in a tragic accident the day after Christmas nearly four years ago. Every aspect of the holiday season, especially snow, has a devastating effect on her.
A work assignment where she is able to change others’ lives for better, in addition to meeting handsome, caring, caramel-delicious Decker, might spark a flame of hope in her wounded heart.
Yet there are so many bumps in the road, Chrissy’s not sure she can handle the risk of getting burned.
Gathering up all my ammo, I ran straight into him, shoving snow into his chest and face. He fell backward, and I came down on top of him. I tried to prop myself up, but he pulled me back into his embrace. I shivered, but he rubbed my back, warming me instantly. My heart thudded at a rapid pace, and every nerve in my body tingled. He loosened his grip enough for me to look at him.
You might think you’re playing fair, but this is not fair.
In one smooth motion, he lifted me off and sat up, pulling me with him. His arm remained around my waist, our faces inches apart. Those eyes that were always watching out for me locked with mine.
“I missed you on Wednesday.” Before I had a chance to respond, his warm lips were on mine. I didn’t resist. I let my arms slide around his neck. I’d never felt so safe in my life. What was happening? He was taken.
When the lusciously long, but not long enough, kiss ended, I collected my wits, which were strewn all around the kennel.
“Decker? But what about—”
“I’ve wanted to do that since the first day I met you.” The words vibrated against my willing lips, shaking the earth, or at least my heart.
Never mind the snow or Bre…what’s-her name.
I went in for more delicious kisses from the gorgeous man holding me.