Briar Creek's quaint shop windows, cozy homes nestled in snow, and neighborly residents are what Christmas dreams are made of--for everyone except Grace Madison. She left her hometown years ago to pursue a writing career. But when her father's death leaves his bookstore empty, Grace must return to face why she fled Vermont in the first place: Luke Hastings, who still heats her up like a shot of smoky whiskey on a cold winter's night.
Grace is back, and Luke is worried. How much has she changed as a bestselling author in the big city? What memories will she stir up? And was the choice he made five years ago the biggest mistake of his life?
Now, with their past, present, and future rocking around the Christmas tree, it's time for Grace and Luke to face the music . . . and the mistletoe.
When he glanced over at her, she was staring into the fireplace, the dancing
flames painting a warm glow on her porcelain complexion. Her eyes looked flat and far away.
“Everything okay?” Doubt ate at him, leaving him with the twisting feeling of
dread. Had she changed her mind about staying in town?
“I was just thinking of how things played out between us, the effects they had on
everything else. I—I wish I had handled it differently. I wish that I had been able to come back here.”
He swallowed the knot in his throat, refusing to feel any more guilt. She was a big
girl, she had made her choice. Besides, she had been the one to leave him first. She had set all this in motion.
“If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past few days, it’s that regret is the worst
type of emotion.” He met her eyes. “You can’t change the past, Grace, and you have to tell yourself that everything that happened led us to this moment.”
“This moment?” she repeated.
He held her gaze, managing a nod.
“You’re right, I know.” She gave a sad smile. “I miss my father sometimes. I wish
I could have seen him more often than his visits to New York. I wish…I’d never left.”
Luke leaned over and tucked a strand of her hair back from her face, his fingertips
tracing the smooth silk of her neck. Arousal burned deep inside him, and his pulse
quickened. He reached over and took her wineglass from her hands, setting it on the
coffee table. She stared into his eyes, expectation parting her mouth. He met her lips with his, their contact so light it was almost imperceptible, save the shiver that zipped down his spine at the sensation.
He grazed her mouth, slowly bringing her full lips to his. His hand came around
her slim waist, his fingers warming at the softness of her sweater, itching to slide the
material away and experience the even softer skin beneath.
She sighed into him and he parted her lips with his tongue, slowly lacing his
tongue with hers and then pulling away to gaze into her eyes. The green of her irises
shone in the firelight, the flames reflecting in the flecks of gold around her pupils. She lowered her eyes, smiling shyly, and her long, black lashes dusted the apples of her cheeks. He leaned in again as arousal burned deep and pressed her into his chest. He could feel every curve of her body as her ripe, firm breasts rose and fell with heavy breaths. He lowered his hand, caressing her waist, her hips, and then higher, to trace the contours of her breast and the swanlike arch of her neck. He kissed her lips, her neck, her ear, breathing deep into her skin, memorizing every taste of her skin, every touch.
The buzzing from the timer on the oven stirred his attention from her, and he
groaned. He pulled away, throwing her a bashful grin. “We’re being chaperoned,” he
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Olivia Miles is a Chicago-based romance writer. Having grown up in New England, Olivia attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec before settling in Chicago where she lives with her husband, their daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.
When she is not chasing after her little ones, she is hard at work creating feisty heroines and alpha heroes with a heart. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories.
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