Licking Her Christmas Cookies
“This is a bomb cookie,” I said happily, taking a picture of the finished dessert for Instagram. “I’m totally winning.”
A shadow passed over my baking station, and the temperature dropped ten degrees.
“This is your big plot to find my rent money?”
I looked up into Matt’s icy blue eyes.
“I have a multipronged approach.”
“You need to get a real job,” he said curtly. “Running a Christmas ornament shop is not a real job, and neither is participating in a bake-off. You’re not winning, and you’re delusional if you think so.”
“Neither are you,” I replied hotly. “They clearly just brought you on as the pretty face. Though why they bothered I’m not sure. Clearly, everyone is going to have eyes for Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Flannel over there.”
“Brody?” Matt snarled.
“Isn’t he amazing?” I continued, needling Matt.
As if he knew we were talking about him, Brody turned to catch me staring. I blew him a kiss, smirking when Matt growled in annoyance then swooning a little bit when Brody flexed his pec muscles at me. He wasn’t wearing a shirt.
“It’s not even sanitary,” Matt hissed through his teeth.
“Ooh, someone’s jealous!”
“I’m not.” Matt slammed his hands down on my table.
“Watch it!” I yelled. “You’re going to mess up my cookies. I don’t want your Christmas-hating cooties all over my dessert.”
“Too late,” Matt said and picked up the cookie I had just spent ten minutes decorating.
“Don’t you dare touch my cookies!” I shrieked.
“A lot of women want me to touch their cookies,” Matt said, the corner of his mouth quirking.
“Doubtful,” I retorted, grabbing across the table to the cookie.
He held it aloft.
“In fact, they want me to lick them.”
“I swear I will have you gutted and stuffed as a Christmas tree ornament,” I warned.
“So, you don’t want me to lick your cookies?” He gave me a smoldering glare.
My face went hot under the stickers, glitter makeup, and hair spray.
No, Merrie, jeez!
“I have standards,” I told him.” There’s only one man here who I’d want to lick my cookies, and it’s not you, so give me back that snowman.”
“I’m supposed to be judging,” he retorted, “and I can’t do that without a taste test.”
Then he licked my freaking Christmas cookie! Ten whole minutes of frosting work was gone.
“You… you!” I sputtered. “I spent a million years decorating that.”
He bit the head off the snowman then tossed it back on the platter.
“That was actually pretty good for a Christmas cookie. I think I might have to lick your cookies again.”
“You…” I wanted to curse him out, but we were on live TV, and this was supposed to be a family-friendly program. The cameramen, sensing drama like sharks sensed blood, were hovering around us.
“You…doo-doo head!” Not as satisfying as calling him a fuckface asshole but it would have to do.
Matt snorted. “I think you should stop wasting time on name-calling since you clearly suck at it and get back to baking.”
He clapped his hands at me. “Chop chop.”
Fuck this asshole.
“Chop this!” I hollered, scooping out a handful of bright-red royal icing and throwing it at him.
Matt cursed, for real, with multiple F-bombs because if you were some sort of moneyed Manhattan type, you did not care about ruining the sanctity of The Great Christmas Bake-Off.
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Get a diploma. Find the love of her life and marry him. Go for a career and have kids. Twenty-one-year-old Kate knows exactly what she wants, but when she gets shot and almost dies, she discovers that life isn’t a checklist. It’s hard, unpredictable, and dangerous.
There are fears to overcome, the mafia to hide from, and Mason Scott to resist. One of Scotts’ Private Investigation and Security operatives who keeps her safe and is a professional womanizer who’s insanely considerate and charming.
Kate doesn’t do players, which is why she distances herself from his swoon-worthy body and ignores whatever weird fan-girl emotions are going on inside her.
But when another threatening situation forces her to share a small two-bedroom apartment with him alone, Kate might have to reconsider who’s the bigger threat: the mafia or Mason Scott?
♦ ♦ ♦
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Enter the Release Giveaway HERE!
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“Really?” he asks as he opens the door of my bedroom and looks me up and down. “It’s perfect what you’re wearing.”
“God, Mason.” I glare at him. “You have to stop barging in my room like that. What if I was naked?”
“I knew you weren’t,” he says self-assuredly. “You didn’t sound like you were getting dressed.”
“I didn’t sound like I was getting dressed?” I repeat. “Now, you have to tell me how that sounds.” I huff, zipping up my hoodie vest.
“I’d demonstrate it if we had time, but we don’t. We need to move, or we’ll be late.”
Late? Maybe I do want a demonstration.
Then I get this visual of him stripping off his black sweat pants and white shirt, and I feel my face flushing.
“What are you thinking about?”
Of course he notices.
I walk straight for my desk and grab my phone. “We should get going if we don’t want to be late.”
And then I slip past him out of the bedroom before I have to come up with a lie as to why my cheeks just flushed bright red.
Or worse, before I involuntarily tell him the truth, again.
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Read the First Chapter HERE!
♦ ♦ ♦
Julia Crosswood is a teacher and a mom of two by day.
A writer and avid reader by night—or when the kids are napping.
Although writing and self-publishing her books take a lot of time, she makes sure there’s enough left to make sweet memories with her family, including lots of vacations—yet it’s never without her laptop or Kindle.
Under the influence of a serious dose of caffeine and after a long, hard, and sweaty run—and of course a refreshing shower—Julia writes romance stories spiced with a touch of drama and a pinch of suspense.
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Series: A Good Run of Bad Luck #4
Author: Giulia Lagomarsino
Genre: Small Town Romance/Action Adventure
Release Date: December 6, 2021
I've been drowning since the death of my wife, but that all changed the moment she walked back into my life. She was my best friend growing up, until one day she left me. I haven't seen her in years, but now that she's back, I can't possibly let her go again. It would kill me.
I decided to leave the day he told me he was getting married. How could I possibly watch him walk down the aisle and marry another woman? But after being gone for years, events in my life have forced me home. I don't know how I'm going to face him again, or how I'll be strong enough to resist him. He's been the love of my life for years. He just never knew it.
I'm a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, "No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book." I didn't think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn't already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven't been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.
Title: Holiday Kisses: Sweet, Hot and Christmassy Anthology
Authors: Adina D. Grey ~ Ann Grech ~ Maci Dillon ~ Rosie East ~ Samantha Baca ~ PG Forte ~ Andrea Marie ~ Holly J. Gill ~ Lynn Stevens
Genre: Christmas/Holiday Romance
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Experience the magic of romance this Christmas. Holiday Kisses is a festive collection of ten exclusive Christmas stories that will make you fall head over heels in love. Are you ready to take a journey with us? Get into the Christmas spirit with these swoon-worthy romances this holiday season.
❄️ ️ Adina D. Grey - Special Christmas Present
Emily is perfect, but I could never make her as happy as she deserves.
Tyler is everything I've ever dreamed of, but I'm not enough. Will the magic of Christmas be enough to erase all doubts from their hearts?
❄️ Ann Grech - Gift Unwrapped
Two men to choose from... Unwrapping her gift was never so much fun.
❄️ Maci Dillon - Candy Canes & Cocktails
Stranded in a snowstorm with a swoon-worthy bartender never tasted so good.
❄️ Rosie East - Home for Christmas
Coming home for Christmas isn't always as simple as it seems...
❄️️ Samantha Baca - Snow Place To Go
What happens when a woman looking for love gets stranded with a man who’s purposely avoiding it?
❄️ PG Forte - I'll be Home for Christmas
A meeting with an angel has Scout dreaming of a weird Christmas—one in which she sees what life might have been like for her friends and family if she’d never come home.
❄️️ Andrea Marie - Mrs. Claus
What starts as just a job, quickly opens the door to endless possibilities, including a chance at true love.
❄️ ️Holly J. Gill- Christmas Mistake
When one mistake changes everything, how can you come back?
❄️️ Lynn Stevens - One Wish Only
We had three months together, then she was gone. I pushed her away, helped her run faster halfway around the world. Me and my big mouth, complete with the inserted foot. Now six months later, she’s standing in front of me as beautiful and stubborn as ever. And it will take a Christmas wish to win her back, or I’ll be forced to let her go forever.
Series: Riot MC Biloxi Series Book 3
Author: Karen Renee
Genre: MC Romance (can be read as standalone)
Release Date: November 18, 2021
Time is running out for Trinity Benoit. She must get married to claim her grandfather’s legacy. In her family’s social circle, any man interested in her is only after the inheritance. Not to mention, those men aren’t her type.
Always attracted to bad boys, Roman Sanchez steals Trinity’s attention the day she lays eyes on him.
Nothing goes to plan when she approaches Roman with her proposal.
As the pyrotechnic expert for the Riot MC Biloxi chapter, Roman defends his brotherhood against any threats. He’s no stranger to bar brawls or street fights. Yet, he faces an epic battle against a woman who could send him to prison.
To protect himself and his club, he agrees to marry her.
It isn’t until after they say, ‘I do,’ that Roman discovers there’s more to his wife than blackmail and extortion. If Roman isn’t careful, he may find himself committed to something bigger (and possibly even better) than the Riot MC brotherhood.
Will Roman desert Trinity as soon as he’s fulfilled their bargain? Or will he find himself one of the ‘mighty’ who fall prey to love’s force?
Karen Renee is the author of the Riot Motorcycle Club, Beta, and O-Town series of books. She once crunched Nielsen ratings data but these days she brings her imagination to life by writing books. She has wanted to be a writer since she was very young, but it's taken the last twenty plus years for her to amass enough courage and overall life experience to bring that dream to life. Some of those life experiences came from the wonderful world of advertising, banking, and local television media research. She is a proud wife and mother, and a Jacksonville native. When she's not at the soccer field or cooking, you can find her at her local library, the grocery store, in her car jamming out to some tunes, or hibernating while she writes and/or reads books.
Accidentally In Love
Are you sure you don’t have the flu or something?” Gemma asked from across the kitchen table, stirring her burrito bowl in thought.
Gemma lived in South Philly, but commuted to the brewery in Drakesville. When we could, we’d have dinner together before her shift. I tried to cancel tonight, but she insisted. My sister could be needy.
I shrugged and pushed my untouched bowl of food out of the way. I had zero appetite tonight.
“PMS?” she asked.
I stared back at her in silence.
“Avs, when did you last get your period?”
“Not since before the Arts Fest,” I admitted in a low whisper.
Her eyes turned to saucers. “That was two months ago!”
I cringed. “Maybe it’s stress?”
Gemma looked horrified.
When Gemma was in college, she had a pregnancy scare, and I drove all the way up to State College to be with her. She didn’t want kids, and an unplanned pregnancy hadn’t been in the cards. She ended up not being pregnant and got her period the next day, but to this day, she always was stressed if it was late. If Gemma had been in my shoes, she wouldn’t have ignored the signs. She would have taken a pregnancy test the day her period was late.
She stood up and put on her coat.
I furrowed my brow at her. “Where are you going?”
She glared at me. “Going to the pharmacy to get a pregnancy test.”
Before I could argue, she ran down the steps and out of my apartment. I cringed at my door slamming shut behind her.
Gemma was gone for maybe fifteen minutes before she clomped back up the steps and waved a bag of pregnancy tests in my face.
“Come on, let’s take these,” she said and led me into my bathroom.
Ten minutes later, we stared down at the third and final pregnancy test and waited for the results. The first two tests were positive, so I didn’t have a good feeling about this one. I knew I was pregnant before those pink lines showed up on the first test, but I didn’t want to accept it. I ignored what my body told me and tried to will the pregnancy away. I had even been avoiding Nolan because if I had seen him, I would have burst into tears and told him everything.
My timer chimed, and I handed the testing stick to my sister. “Please look. I can’t.”
She gave me a sympathetic smile. “Oh, Avs,” she cooed and squeezed my hand in comfort.
“I’m pregnant, aren’t I?” I sobbed.
All that's forgotten isn't always gone...
Washed Away by RC Boldt is now live!
USA TODAY bestselling author RC Boldt brings us a sizzling romance chock-full of intrigue and deceit in this brand new romantic suspense...
Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!
Meet RC Boldt
RC Boldt is a USA Today bestselling author currently living in part of the Costa Rican jungle with the love of her life and her mini-me.
If you’re in the mood for some killer mojitos or can’t recall the lyrics to a particular 80s song, she’s your girl.
Connect with RC Boldt
Title: My Bad Decisions
Series: On My Own #4
Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 7, 2021
The first time he kissed me, we kept it a secret.
Tanner and I have been at each other’s throats ever since.
The second time he kissed me, I told myself not to fall.
I should have known something burned beneath the surface and I couldn’t resist him.
The third time led to something more and now one positive test later, neither one of us can walk away.
Only when his past sheds light on every difference we’ve chosen to ignore, we’ll have to fight for each other, or lose everything before we’ve even had a chance.
A FREE prequel novella!
FREE for a limited time!
Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Fractured Connections, and Elements of Five series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over seventy-five novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not losing herself in her emotional and action-packed worlds, she’s reading as much as she can while wrangling her clowder of cats who have more followers than she does.
Release Date: December 7
A stranger who was tall and broad in a way that made her feel safe. He had dark blue eyes that she canât stop drawing in her sketch book. And he had a deep, soothing voice that she canât stop hearing in her dreams.
Thatâs all she knows about him though.
Until she runs into him again. At St. Maryâs School for Troubled Teenagers â an all girls reform school â where sheâs trapped because of a little crime she committed in the name of her art.
Now she knows that her dream man has a name: Conrad Thorne.
She knows that his eyes are way bluer and way more beautiful than she thought. And that his face is an artistâs wonderland.
But she also knows that Conrad is her best friendâs older brother. Which means heâs completely off-limits. Not to mention, heâs the new soccer coach, which makes him off-limits times two.
What makes him off-limits times three however, and this whole scenario an epic tragedy, is that, Conrad, Wynâs dream man, has a dream girl of his own.
And heâs as much in love with his dream girl as Wyn is in love with himâ¦
Saffron A. Kent is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and New Adult romance.
She has an MFA in Creative Writing and she lives in New York City with her nerdy and supportive husband, along with a million and one books.
She also blogs. Her musings related to life, writing, books and everything in between can be found in her JOURNAL on her website (www.thesaffronkent.com)
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Brother's best friend, enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romance... this collection has it all!
Love Stories: A Novella Collection by Samantha Young is now live!
A collection of contemporary romance novellas from New York Times Bestselling Author Samantha Young.
Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!
4 Heart Review by Ashley
I got swept away in the drama and yearning and love in every single story of this collection. I honestly can't say which couple was my favorite, they all had their own unique story that made me root for them.
The Forbidden Christmas Gift:
There is nothing like that touch of the forbidden to make things that much more intense and risky. Evan and Reid learned that the hard way as they tried (and failed) to keep their attraction to one another at bay.
New Year's Eve:
Age gap- not my favorite but holy crap I could not get enough of Ryan and Joe. Throw a snowstorm and a cabin in the woods into the mix and it was a recipe for hotness.
Opposites attract is the name of the game in this sweet love story that started with Valentine and Micah as teenagers. Miscommunication and missed opportunities only made it that much sweeter when they FINALLY let themselves have what they've wanted for years.
Ember in the Heart:
I am a sucker for a single parent romance. That being said, I was so not a fan of how Foster treated Ember. BUT! I was a huge fan of how Ember stood up for herself and didn't take his crap. And under all that animosity and anger was a simmering attraction that would not be denied.
Samantha Young gave me sweet and sexy and scandalous in equal measures with Love Stories. I hope she keeps putting these out because there were plenty of side characters that need their stories told.
Samantha is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over fifty books, several of which have been nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards. She writes adult contemporary and paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy and YA contemporary fiction. Her books have been published in 31 countries. She resides in Scotland.
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