Today I'm sharing from my upcoming release (coming next Tuesday!) Christmas Candie. It's part of the Nicely Naughty 2 holiday menage anthology. Let me share the blurb with you:
Aidan Callahan loves Christmas. His family makes it a big celebration and he does his best to carry on the tradition. Every ornament on his huge Christmas tree has a story and holds a special memory.
He’s been hooking up for six months with Val Stenzler and would like to get closer to her, including sharing his love of Christmas. But aside from their hot sex sessions, she holds him at arm’s length. What’s the problem?
Val hates Christmas. The most devastating, humiliating event of her life happened at Christmastime two years ago, and she’s still trying to get past it. There’s no room for fruitcake or mistletoe in her life. As far as she’s concerned, the holiday season can’t pass quickly enough.
Christmas suddenly becomes a lot more interesting when Val and Aidan meet Candie Hurley. She’s as sweet as her name, as sparkly as tinsel and as mysterious as the Northern Lights. Aidan and Val both fall under her spell, but will the night they spend with her bring them closer together or tear their relationship apart?
Since Aidan loves Christmas so much, he's all in when it comes to decorations. A large poinsettia sits on his dresser, all the windows in his apartment are graced with twinkling lights, and a big evergreen takes up half his living room. He owns boxes of ornaments and each one holds a special family memory. His family generally decorates the tree on Christmas Eve, but when Val and Candie show up a few days before, he agrees to haul out his collection and let them help decorate.
From Christmas Candie:
They went silent when Aidan returned carrying two boxes. Val took the smaller one and placed it on an armchair, while Aidan set the other box on the sofa.
He opened the large box. “It was a tradition in our family to wait until Christmas Eve to decorate the tree. Guess I’ve held on to that even on my own.”
Candie’s lovely mouth twisted into a frown. “You don’t mind us upsetting it by helping you now?”
“Not at all. It’s good to have friends to do this with. You’re helping me make my own traditions.”
“That’s sweet.” She dipped into the box and pulled out a red-and-silver blown-glass bulb. “Oh, this is beautiful.”
He gazed at the old-fashioned ornament. “That’s a family heirloom. It belonged to my grandmother, and my mom passed it down to me.”
“You hear that, Val? Wow. What else is in there?”
Val listened quietly while Candie marveled at each treasure Aidan uncovered. There was a story attached to almost every ornament in the box. The time the dog chased the cat up the Christmas tree; the year his brother broke his arm and they spent Christmas Eve in the emergency room; the year they all came down with the flu right before the holidays.
“My God, do all your Christmas memories involve catastrophic events?” Val asked.
“Hey, there were four of us boys growing up in that house. Every day there was a catastrophe—hell, every hour, practically. My mom had nerves of steel.”
“So, Candie, what kind of Christmas memories do you have?” Aidan asked.
Val froze and caught her breath sharply. They’d been having fun, decorating the tree and joking around. She hated for the mood to be broken, for Candie to have to recall her sad memories.
He picked up on Val’s reaction and glanced between the two women. “Sorry. Did I say something wrong?”
Candie shook her head. “No, of course not.” She smiled. “I never had any pets run up the Christmas tree. Never had any pets, except for a goldfish.”
Aidan grinned. “Guess a goldfish can’t cause much trouble.”
“Yeah, Goldie was pretty mellow.”
Val relaxed with a silent sigh of relief. To help the awkward moment pass, she quipped, “Our cat Ziggy is too fat and lazy to try a stunt like that. For him it would be like climbing Everest. He’s too lazy to even play with the bulbs at the bottom of the tree. He mostly just sleeps underneath it and drinks the water from the tree stand.”
Candie pulled out another ornament. “Oh, look at this little one. How cute.” She held it out for Val to see. It was made of clay, flat on one side like a cookie, and hand painted. “Somebody made this one.”
“I did,” Aidan admitted, his cheeks growing pink. “In second grade. Good old Mom. She hung on to all my crap.”
“Don’t be embarrassed,” Candie told him. “It’s sweet.” She dangled the ornament from her fingers.
“It is cute. A little Christmas dog.” At least Val thought it was a dog. It had a fat body and short legs. “What are those things on its head?”
“Those are horns.” Aidan huffed. “Antlers. Whatever. It’s supposed to be a reindeer.”
|Releases December 16!|
Okay friends, before you go: please leave a comment for a chance to win my prize of a copy of Nicely Naughty 2 *and* a $10 book vendor GC! Please tell me if you have a favorite holiday decoration and what it is (since not everyone celebrates Christmas, it does not have to be Christmas-related). I will select a winner randomly and announce on Monday December.
And please make sure to stop by and comment at each of the other blogs (you must comment on at least five to be eligible) on the Hunky Holiday Hop for the chance to win the GRAND PRIZE! The more stops you make and comments you leave, the better your chances of winning!
Check them all out:
Tina Christopher Grand Prize of a $50 All Romance eBooks Gift Card and the choice of 3 of my books
Dani Wade $10 Amazon Gift Card
Nona Raines A digital copy of Nicely Naughty 2--Erotic Christmas Anthology & $10 Gift Card
Harlowe Wild A Surprise Prize
Angel Payne A $15 Amazon Gift Card
Taige Crenshaw A $10 All Romance Ebooks eGift Card
Lara Archer A $10 Amazon Gift Card
Cynthia Sax The choice of any eBook from my backlist
Ella Sheridan An e-copy of any backlist book
Have a wonderful weekend, all!
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