Title: Love & Kisses Christmas Collection
Author: Debra Elizabeth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
3 clean and sweet Christmas stories that will make you believe in love. Christmas Wedding Wishes After being left at the altar, Callie Spencer needed a fresh start. She accepted a position as the Children's Librarian in a small Vermont town. Single dad Tom Sullivan was too busy raising his 4-year-old daughter to look for love, but all that changed when he meets Callie. Can these two fragile souls find love and heal their broken hearts? Second Chance Christmas Megan Duffy needed to get away after a broken engagement and a few days at her family's cabin could be just what she needed. She was looking forward to the peace and quiet, that is, until she meets hunky store owner Ryker McCabe. Can Ryker put the light back in her eyes and heal her broken heart? Mistletoe Kisses Petite Ellie Davison had the worst luck when it came to dating. Not wanting to endure any more bad first dates, she swore off dating, that is, until she met the impossibly handsome Jared at her friend's wedding. Corporate lawyer Jared Castian was not pleased when his Washington firm transferred him to Boston to oversee a complicated merger. He was on the fast-track to making partner and had no time to date. When a chance meeting at his friend's wedding paired him with bridesmaid Ellie Davison, he found himself captivated by the pretty brunette. Was Ellie the one that would open his heart to love?
Excerpt from Mistletoe Kisses:
A long sigh slipped through my lips. Really, where were all the good guys? Surely Danielle couldn’t have scooped up the last available bachelor in the Boston area, could she? Maybe I’d have to try one of those dating sites again, although I shuddered at the prospect of going on blind date after blind date with strangers. In my brief experience with those sites, disaster was too kind a word to describe the dates I’d gone on.
A shadow crept over me, and a hand appeared in front of my face.
“I believe this is my dance,” said a deep baritone voice.
I looked up into the most beautiful crystal-blue eyes I’d ever seen. It took me several moments to stop staring at the guy standing by the head table and answer him. This was it—my chance to say something clever and witty. “Oh?”
That was brilliant and sure to sweep any guy off his feet! When did I lose the ability to put two sentences together?
“Yes. I’m the wayward groomsman. Shall we join the bridal party on the dance floor?”
I nodded and stood, but when I took a step toward him, my shoe caught in the hem of my dress and I stumbled into his arms. Luckily for me, he had strong arms and caught me before I did a faceplant on the floor.
“Whoa. Most women wait at least five minutes before they throw themselves at me,” he said with a chuckle.
Oh great! What a way to make a first impression. Maybe I am the comic relief after all.
“Well, I’m not most women,” I said with as much dignity as I could muster, seeing as I wasn’t fully upright yet.
“Touché! By the way, I’m Jared Castian.”
I disentangled myself from Jared and said, “Nice to meet you, Jared. Sorry about falling into your arms. My shoe got caught in my dress.” Now I was rambling, but I couldn’t stop myself. Jared had unnerved me and that was unusual for me. I didn’t usually get tongue-tied around guys I’ve just met.
“Not a problem. And who am I dancing with?”
I chuckled. Not only had I thrown myself into his arms, but I hadn’t even told him my name. I wondered if I should even bother. He was probably only here for the wedding, and I was sure that a good-looking guy like him already had a girlfriend. There was absolutely no way he’d take a second look at me, but then again, what did I have to lose? Might as well enjoy an afternoon of dancing with a handsome stranger. It was certainly better than the alternative—sitting at the head table by myself all evening. “Hi, Jared. I’m Ellie Davidson.”
“Shall we, Ellie?”
I nodded and took his extended hand. An immediate warmth flooded through me and an unexpected thrill raced up my spine. That was something new. I’d never felt anything like it before. Talk about instant attraction. Was this how Danielle had felt when she first met Steve? I stole a look at Jared as we made our way around the tables to the dance floor—strong chiseled jawline, broad shoulders, and full, sensual lips. He wasn’t too tall, probably five foot nine or ten, which suited me fine, but it was his eyes that captivated me. He had the kind of eyes a girl could get lost in, and I was more than happy to be lost for the afternoon.
When we reached the dance floor, he pulled me into his arms, and we began a slow circuit around the other couples. As we neared the bride and groom, I saw Steve’s face light up.
“You’re here! I thought you were a no-show when I heard your plane was delayed.”
Jared nodded. “Me too, but then it all worked out, and here I am. Danielle, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Danielle smiled. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Really? All good, I hope.”
“So far, but I think there’re more stories that Steve hasn’t told me yet. You two were quite the pair growing up from what I hear.”
Steve chuckled. “That we were, my love. Jared, we need to catch up. It’s been too long. How long are you in town for?”
“Just today, but I’ll be back soon.”
“Being transferred to Boston.”
“Great,” Steve said, giving Jared a high five. “Let me know when you’re back, and we can catch up over a few beers.”
“You got it.”
As I listened to their conversation, my heart did a little pitter-patter. Jared was moving here. Could I dare to hope that he’d want to see me again?
“So, when are you moving here?” I asked, taking a chance that I wasn’t being too forward.
“June one. The company wants me to oversee an upcoming merger.”
“What do you do?
Color me impressed. Trying to keep the conversation going but not be too pushy, I weighed my next words carefully. “So, do you have a place to live?”
Jared quirked an eyebrow at me. “Why? Are you offering your place?”
His response startled me until I saw his lips turn up in a boyish grin and those gorgeous eyes twinkle with amusement. “Oh, I see. You’re a funny boy, too,” I said.
He chuckled. “Sorry, couldn’t help myself. You looked so earnest, like you were saving a lost puppy or something.”
“I wasn’t trying to pry, you know.” Well, maybe a little. “By the way, I would definitely save a lost puppy.”
“Yes, I believe you would,” he said as he pulled me closer. “But I don’t need saving.”
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