Thursday, December 25, 2014

He Came Upon a Midnight Clear

I think Christmas stories never go out of style. Today I’m giving you a taste of two of my favorites. I’m also giving away one copy of each so be sure to leave a comment.

First up is Cody Alvarez, who needs a bride to inherent the family ranch, and Libby Morris, who wonders if there’s a prince who will love her new and improved self..

Blurb:
Cody Alvarez needed to find a wife by Christmas or he would lose the ranch his uncle left to him. Libby Morris just needed, for once in her life, to feel desired. Sensual. Appealing. Especially after an intense reshaping at a high-end spa. Invited to Christmas Week at the Castillo Lodge in Alaska by Madame Eve of 1Night Stand, Cody and Libby were not given the names of the partners chosen for them. As they were forced to wait until they learned who their one-night stands were, they discovered an incredible spark of chemistry and a connection stronger than either had experienced before. Would spending a very erotic night together ruin their arrangements or give them another option?

Excerpt:
“I’m not very good at this,” she said slowly.
He squeezed her hand gently. “At eating dinner?”
She shook her head, still not looking at him. “At…small talk. Dating. Things like this.” Her cheeks felt so hot she thought they must match her lipstick.
“Libby?” Cody’s voice barely penetrated the fog of embarrassment. And he still had hold of her hand.  “Libby, look at me.”
Reluctantly she raised her eyes.
“I’m going to order us each another drink and then I’d be interested to find out why someone as beautiful and sexy as you has trouble in a social situation like this. Surely you must be beating the men off with a stick.”
She made herself breath evenly. She might as well tell him. They’d never see each other again and maybe he could give her some moral support. Besides, he made her feel comfortable, something her assigned date night not do.
The waiter cleared their dessert dishes, brought another glass of wine for her and bourbon on the rocks for Cody. He touched his glass to hers.
“To us. Two people enjoying a nice dinner.”
She laughed at that and swallowed some wine.
“Now. Let’s have it. What’s got you skittish as a newborn calf?”
“You’ll laugh at me.”
He smiled. “Darlin’, the last thing I’ll do is laugh. I promise.”
She took another gulp of wine. “Well, they say it’s easier to tell things to a stranger.”
“Oh, but we’re not strangers,” he protested. “Are we? We spent all that time on the plane together, right? But Libby? It’s still all right to talk to me. Tell me.” 
She drained her wine glass and held it out. “C-Could I have another drink? Please?”
Cody laughed. “Yes, but then I’m cutting you off. I don’t want anyone to accuse me of getting you drunk and taking advantage of you.”
Her breath caught in her throat. “I…You…”
He signaled for the waiter then picked up her hand again. She wished he’d never drop it. It felt so good and secure.
“Breathe,” he teased gently. “It’s okay. Just relax. If you don’t want to say anything you don’t have to. Really.”
“I’ve been fat and frumpy and boring all my life,” she blurted out then wished she could dive under the table. When he didn’t say anything she made herself look up and saw him staring at her. “What?”
He cleared his throat. “Libby. I have to say that those are three words I would never associate with you.”
The waiter brought their drinks and she paused long enough to sip some of hers. “That’s because you didn’t know me. Even now I have a long ways to go.”
“For what?” He sounded astonished.
“For, you know. To look like everyone else.”
“Why the hell would you want that? You’re perfect the way you are.”
She snorted. “Oh, sure. That’s nice of you to say but you don’t have to be polite. I just spent two months at a spa to get to this point.” He hadn’t stopped staring at her. “That’s why I booked this thing through 1 Night Stand. A woman at the spa told me about them.” Her face heated again. “I wanted an exciting, erotic night like my girl friends talk about. An adventure. You know. Hot sex.”
Oh, god, maybe the floor would just open up and swallow her.
Cody downed his bourbon in two swallows and signaled the waiter for the check.
“Finish your wine. We’re getting out of here.”

DECADENT

Next we have Blake Massie, still tormented by the hand life has dealt him and Nina Foster, who thought love had passed her by.

Books and More owner, Nina Foster doesn’t believe in love anymore. Twice, men have crushed her heart. Now, she’s resigned herself to making hot chocolate and baking cookies for the customers who enter her store. She won’t risk her heart again.

Blake Massie hides away from the world, nursing his scars. He sees himself as a monster that no one could ever love. A self-imposed recluse, he won’t allow himself to open up, afraid of being burned like his fire-ravaged skin.

Unable to reach out in person, the pair communicates via the Internet and hot, erotic fantasies. Night after night, they explore their growing passion with only a blindfold to protect their secrets. As Christmas approaches, Blake must share his pain if he is to ease hers, but doing so could drive her away forever. Can they take a chance and follow their deepest soul dreams, or will their fragile hearts continue to hide from the world and one another?


Genre: Western romance, contemporary, erotic romance, holiday

Heat level: 4Word count – 42

Cover art by Scott Carpenter








~Excerpt~
Before she realized it, he tilted her to face him, one arm around her, the other hand cupping her chin. He pressed his lips against hers, a butterfly touch, so feather light it was barely there. She didn’t pull away, and the pressure increased. And when her arms came up to wrap around him, he traced the seam of her lips with his tongue.
He kissed one corner of her mouth then the other before murmuring, “Let me in. Please.”
It was the dream all over again, except this time she could actually taste him, and he was delicious. She opened her mouth to let his tongue sweep inside, and she offered him her own. It wasn’t the most passionate kiss she’d ever had or the most aggressive, but it certainly was the most possessive. As if he was somehow claiming ownership. And she had no desire to push him away.
She threaded her fingers through his hair, as smooth to the touch as his beard, and held his head to hers while he gently plundered her mouth. His tongue lit fires every place he touched, the heat flowing down through her body and making her muscles clench with desire. This was at once the most erotic and the most emotional kiss she’d ever shared, and she never wanted it to stop. It was only lack of oxygen that made them break the contact at last. She didn’t try to move away, hoping he’d take it as a sign not to let go. They sat there for a long moment, arms wrapped around each other, her head against his shoulder.
“I dreamed about kissing you like this.”
The words were whispered so faintly at first Nina wasn’t sure she heard correctly. “You did?”
“Uh huh. A lot.” He gently nipped her ear lobe. “About tasting you, inhaling your scent. Touching you everywhere. Do you dream that way?”
She squeezed her thighs together against the sudden hunger beating through her, her voice unsteady when she answered him. “Yes. Yes, I do.” She stroked his beard again. “Blake? Won’t you please take off the blindfold so I can see you?”
His muscles tightened for a moment then relaxed. “No. I can’t. Not yet. Please don’t ask me.” His laugh was forced. “Let’s keep this a fantasy for the time being, okay?”
“All right.” His words sounded so desperate, how could she say no?


Referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published erotic romance author. A graduate of the University of Michigan her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.
She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Ellora’s Cave Golden Ankh and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.
She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. Currently she has signed on as a blogger for The Huffington Post. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.


“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Holt knows what her fans will love.”
(RT Book Reviews)

“Holt delivers with delicious love scenes, a believable story and characters you care about. “
RT Book Reviews

2 comments:

Kathie Banks said...

This sounds so interesting & just what I need to warm up these cold (for TX!!) nights! Thanks for the info & the chance to win!!

Michelle DeLeon said...

I've read several books by Desiree Holt and enjoyed them. These two sound pretty good.