Title: Christmas Wishes
Author: Livia Quinn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
It’s a Christmas weekend full of love and the Calloways reunion promises some surprises as usual.
Beau hates Christmas. It reminds him of what he can’t have. He’s been avoiding homecomings and the biggest reason is unavoidable this Christmas – Madison Hart, who has loved Beau for most of her adult life. Whenever rumors surface about him returning home, Madison hyperventilates at the prospect of seeing him again.
Samantha Larue’s baby is overdue and everyone is hovering including Jed, who ended their relationship last summer because kids weren’t “in his future”.
Bad guys don’t scare Delilah Burke but Luc’s mother and five sisters have her stalling on setting a date to marry the man she loves.
A Christmas Eve miracle confirms what Buffy Calloway already knows – that with a little nudge, all her love ones’ happily ever-afters will happen in the not so distant future.
In the low light of the bedroom Maddie made out Beau’s large body draped across the burgundy comforter like a dead man, his face planted into the pillow.
Her feet moved of their own accord as she was drawn toward him. What was she doing here? What would she say? Watching his back rise rhythmically in sleep she figured it probably wouldn’t come to that. The raised voices hadn’t awakened him, and… she just wanted to see him. Wanted a few moments while he was unguarded, without that angry undercurrent he dragged around with him like a lead weight.
When she came even with his face, she stopped. His hair was wet at the temples and there was a sheen of sweat on his cheekbone. That was all she could see. Her fingers wanted so badly to stroke the sweat off his brow and tangle in his thick black hair so she fisted them at her sides. It took every ounce of willpower she had not to touch him.
She felt the physical ache in her chest that had been there since he’d broken it off, creating an invisible wall between them. If she could just understand why, then maybe she’d be able to let him go. But he hadn’t convinced her he didn’t still love her. Yes, he’d actually said those words to her several times — though not recently. She frowned and angled her head to see more of his face. When had it all changed?
Movement from the bed startled her and she turned to find Beau lying on his back, his hand pushing through his hair, those gorgeous emerald eyes blinking the sleep away. Propping himself up on his elbows, he squinted, whether adjusting to the dark or from curiosity. “Maddie?”
Maddie. No one called her that but him and mostly during their lovemaking. He seemed… vulnerable somehow, his expression open, unsure. She eased down onto the bed next to him. His scent nearly overwhelmed her. It was a mixture of his signature cologne, body heat and maybe testosterone, a gene all his own. He was so male. So big and strong with an elegance of movement that belied his size. It had made him a star without even trying. But for her he was just…Beau.
Her hand disobeyed finally and she reached out to stroke his hair back from his eyes. She wanted to look at them, at him. God, she was so hungry for him, it was a wonder her stomach didn’t growl. And yet. . . She steeled herself for his rejection.
His head angled and he pressed his cheek into her palm eyes drifting closed. He was hot. Vic had said he’d picked up a bug. She knew he would not take kindly to coddling so she didn’t mention it. Those usually vibrant eyes glinted with fever and lowered to her mouth. She licked her lips. When he didn’t move and didn’t quit staring, she leaned forward.
She couldn’t not.
Her eyes met his as their lips touched and he groaned from somewhere deep in his chest. He took the kiss deeper immediately, angling his head and scooting closer to put his weight on one arm and place his other behind her to pull her into him.
His chest pressed tight against hers, his tongue pushed into her mouth, commanding she open and give as much as she received. Always. He never did anything halfway and demanded the same. She gave herself up to the feel of him for he was so close and it had been so long.
His hand left her neck and she almost cried out, No, but then it was slipping up under her sweater, beneath her bra to take her breast in his palm. She kissed him harder, sucked his tongue into her mouth, needing to be closer. His hand stilled suddenly and her mind cried out, No, don’t stop!
Then the sound of voices in the other room penetrated the haze of desire. Her eyes rose to his, and she watched the change as his face went from warm and open to closed off. And there was that seed of anger—the bitterness that had been present since before their breakup. He released her breast, jerked her sweater down and threw his legs over the side of the bed. Running both hands through his hair, he took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
In seconds he’d pulled on his cloak of indifference. It made her heart hurt so much she almost wilted in front of him.
“What are you doing here, Madison?”
So she was Madison again. They were back where they’d been before, or worse. What could she say?
How about the truth? Buffy had suggested telling him the truth. She sighed. Well, things couldn’t get any worse could they?
She sat up straight. They were nearly eye to eye, regardless of his height, and so close. If he turned, and she hoped he wanted to, he could still lean forward and kiss her again. She said, “I missed you.”
His eyes narrowed and she knew immediately her words were a mistake. They had been truthful but not what she’d intended. He frowned as if trying to figure out what had just happened. He was squinting at her, like he was trying to figure her out. “It’s been five years.”
Well, at least he’d kept track. That meant something, right? She straightened, feeling the courage, her confidence momentarily surging. “So?”
“You’ve had five years to get a life,” he said abruptly.
Maddie blinked, her next words dying on her tongue.
“It’s over, Madison.”
“Beau. Be honest. You didn’t kiss me like you don’t care about me anymore.” So there. A surge of pride went through her as she admitted this was the moment she’d hoped for. The chance to confront him and make him admit his feelings.
He looked her straight in the eye and said, “I thought you were someone else.”
Books 2 Read https://books2read.com/Christmas-wish
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GNS81D8
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07GNS81D8
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GNS81D8
Amazon AU https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07GNS81D8
Apple Books https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1433692784
What I love most about the holiday season:
The spirit of the season, generosity, love and kindness toward all. The magic of Christmas lights to cheer up the night.
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Livia moved from D.C. to Louisiana where the weather and culture of the region inspired her writing, including her storm faerie, Tempest, and her contemporary romance series, The Calloways of Rainbow Bayou. She’s stored up fodder from her jobs as mail lady, salesperson, plant manager, business owner and professional singer to share with readers. Think of her as her characters’ biographer! On the bayou, she is protected from the alligators and bears by her husband and feisty Pomeranian, Dusty.
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