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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas romance’

Out Now—Moonstone by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #reverseharem #rh #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited

MoonstoneDo you love reverse harem romances? Love Christmas books? Then check out Moonstone!

Moonstone is a standalone contemporary reverse harem romance, which is part of the Jewels Café series—all of which can be read as standalones.

Blurb:

Christmas gifts aren’t the only surprises Ginny is going to get this year.

Moonstone Guinevere ‘Ginny’ Miles is in Silver Springs visiting her parents for the holidays. They moved to the town five years ago, and adore their new life here. Used to the hustle and bustle of London, England, Ginny isn’t convinced at first—what’s so great about a small town in Upstate New York, anyway? Despite her own opinions, it’s clear to Ginny the move has done her parents the world of good—they look years younger. There’s clearly something magical about this town.

Following some exploration of her own, Ginny discovers Silver Springs has its charms—Jewels Cafe is amazing, for starters, as is its pumpkin spice latte. Ginny’s drunk a lot of lattes in her thirty-three years, but nothing quite like this.

Her taste buds are still tingling from the tasty treat when she comes across a broken-down truck on the way back to her parents’ place. And when she spots the three gorgeous guys with the vehicle, it’s not just her taste buds that are tingling.

Is Ginny’s vacation in Silver Springs about to get a whole lot more interesting?

Buy now or read in Kindle Unlimited: http://books2read.com/moonstoneJC

Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48280273-moonstone

Add to BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/moonstone-jewels-cafe-book-11-by-lucy-felthouse

*****

Excerpt:

Moonstone Guinevere Miles—known as Ginny to people who didn’t want to incur her fierce and everlasting wrath—heaved her suitcase off the luggage reclaim belt with an “Oof!” and placed it on the floor, a sigh of relief escaping her. At least the thing had wheels—she didn’t really have the energy for carrying a heavy suitcase all the way through Customs and out to Arrivals. The long, tiring flight had seen to that. No matter how much she tried, no matter how exhausted she was, she simply could not fall asleep on a plane. Ever. Eye mask, ear plugs, meditation, bloody whale music—nothing helped. She’d long since resigned herself to staying awake while snores from other passengers emanated around the cabin. At least it had only been about seven and a half hours since taking off from Heathrow—she couldn’t imagine what state she’d be in if she ever flew any longer than that—to Australia, New Zealand or somewhere.

Doubtful that would ever happen, though. It had taken long enough for her to get her backside out to the east coast of America, where her parents had been running a retreat since retiring five years ago. But then, things were different now, weren’t they? Which was why she was even here in the first place—it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

Thinking of her parents brought an inevitable smile to her face, and inserted a little more spring in her step. Despite the energy and mood suck that had been the flight, she was excited to be here. She was eager to see her parents, and to find out exactly what they’d built up over the last five years. She’d seen photos and videos, but it wasn’t the same as actually being there.

When they’d first announced they were using their retirement nest egg to open a retreat in Upstate New York, she’d been floored. Who the hell retires, only to take on a massive project like that? Surely the whole point of retiring is to wind down, enjoy some free time, relax? But no, her mum and dad—who, to be fair, had never been what one would call conventional—had set their hearts on it. They’d had a huge purge of their belongings, sold their cars and house, and jetted off across the pond, leaving Ginny shocked and not a little bereft. She’d been so used to having them close by and had quickly realized just how much she’d taken that for granted.

At the same time, her own career had taken off and she’d become so busy that her parents’ sudden distance hadn’t made the blindest bit of difference. She barely saw the inside of her own flat, never mind her friends and family. This was the first Christmas she’d had off work since then, too, and she was looking forward to spending it with her parents more than she could put into words. They’d been big on the festive period ever since she was a baby, and as such, Ginny’s brain was stuffed full of warm, fuzzy memories of Christmases past. They’d been useful to get her through the last five crappy ones, too, where a microwaved ready meal was the best she could hope for, if she hadn’t managed to wangle a free meal from the place she’d been working at at the time.

Her smile widened, and she walked faster still—God, just how big was this bloody airport?—desperate to see her mum and dad and start the Christmas holiday with a bang. Anticipation rushed through her. They’d have turkey and roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, mounds of vegetables, desserts laden with enough calories to last them until Valentine’s Day, Christmas carols, amazing decorations, a beautiful tree, fairy lights…

And Santa Claus. Two of them, in fact, jumping up and down enthusiastically and waving wildly at her, with not a rotund belly in sight.

Ginny was so excited, she couldn’t even be bothered with the embarrassment she might have felt at being greeted in a public place by her parents dressed up in Santa outfits. Plus, nobody knew her here anyway, so who cared?

She scurried around the barrier, almost flipping her case in her haste to turn a corner, then covered the remaining distance between them in seconds flat and released the handle of her suitcase. A series of squeals and exclamations went up—from all three of them—and then everything went dark as Ginny was enveloped in a warm, fluffy embrace, her face crushed up against what she suspected was the white fur trim on her mother’s jacket, and kisses rained down on her. It was all she could do to suck in oxygen as she was squeezed and squeezed them right back. She was assailed by the scents of clean clothes, shampoo, perfume, and cologne—all perfectly lovely smells by themselves, but somewhat overwhelming all at once. Unintelligible murmurings reached her ears, but she didn’t bother to reply since she had no idea what was being said. And she didn’t need words, anyway. All she needed at that moment in time was to soak up the enormous outpouring of love she was experiencing.

She was so bloody happy, she thought she might pop.

Eventually, her parents loosened their hold enough so she could step back and actually look at them. She took in her father’s handsome face, his steel-gray hair—or what she could see beneath the hat, at least—his wide grin, and her mother’s long, light gray, waist-length plaits, the glint in her eyes and the glow of her skin.

“Guys, you look fantastic! If this is what retirement does for you, I think I might sign up now.”

Her mother, Deborah, gave a nonchalant shrug—which, given her attire, was way more amusing than it should have been. “What can I say, sweetheart? I feel fantastic. I’ve got so much more energy than I ever had in London, even when I was much younger.” She shrugged again. “It’s the retreat, I’m sure of it—the moment your father and I first set foot there all those years ago, I felt there was something magical about it. Silver Springs is the most wonderful little town, and we’re lucky enough to live and work in the most spectacular part of it—though it hardly feels like work.”

Ginny gave her mother a kiss on the cheek, then turned to her father, Charlie. “And you, Dad? You look twenty years younger, but how do you feel?”

His face took on a beatific expression. “The same as your mother, kiddo. Exactly the same. If I’d known just how wonderful it would be, I’d have thrown in the towel and moved out here years ago. Decades, even.” He grabbed the handle of Ginny’s case in one hand, then looped the other around her neck and pulled her in to drop a kiss on her chin-length blonde hair, which he then ruffled. “I’m so thrilled you’re here, Moony. You’re going to love it in Silver Springs. Just love it! Come on, let’s get going. We’ve got a long drive ahead of us, and the weather’s on the turn.”

Ginny bit back comments on both his use of her childhood nickname, and his messing up of her hair. She didn’t want to dampen the almost euphoric mood that seemed to float between the three of them—a combination of being pleased to see each other, and her parents’ obvious appreciation of their new home. Though five years was hardly new anymore, was it? She really should have visited before now, but the circumstances had been impossible. Now they weren’t, and she was here, in the bosom of her family, at Christmas time, and it was going to be magical.

And, at some point, she’d enlighten her parents about the fact she had nothing in particular to rush home for, either. But that could wait. No need to burst the happy, everything-is-perfect bubble just yet. She’d let them all enjoy their first Christmas together in years before thinking about that.

They made their way out of the airport building. The cold air slapped Ginny in the face, momentarily taking her breath. Her slight gasp drew her mother’s keen eye. “I hope you listened to me, sweetheart, and brought warm clothes with you. It’s even colder up in Silver Springs, you know.”

“The car’s not far,” her dad piped up. “I’ll get the heating on as soon as we’re inside, and we’ll soon have you snug as a bug in a rug.” He tipped her a wink, and warmth flooded her veins. She hadn’t realized until now just how much she’d missed her wacky yet lovable parents. They might be unconventional, but they’d given her a wonderful childhood. When she’d reached adulthood, they’d remained incredibly close, with them managing to achieve the perfect balance of loving and supportive without being controlling. They’d let her forge her own path, make her own mistakes, and had been there to help pick up the pieces without uttering so much as a “I told you so.”

They’d definitely earned this idyllic new life they’d carved out for themselves, and she couldn’t wait to experience it for herself, if only for a little while. Though she wasn’t sure how much fun there was to be had in the back end of beyond. It was hardly going to be lively. Perhaps it was a good thing she was only here for an extended holiday.

Buy now or read in Kindle Unlimited: http://books2read.com/moonstoneJC

Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48280273-moonstone

Add to BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/moonstone-jewels-cafe-book-11-by-lucy-felthouse

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

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Matchmaker: A FREE Holiday Story Part 1

I love to indulge in a little sappy silly, romantic fun this time of year, and that being the case starting today through Boxing Day, I will be sharing a little seasonal story with you called Matchmaker. While it’s squeaky clean as far as content goes, it’s fun and quirky and hopefully something you’ll all enjoy. I certainly enjoyed writing it. It’s main character happens to be a bird. Those of you who know my love for our feathered friends won’t be surprised at all. Happy Holidays, my Darlings! Enjoy the story!

 

Matchmaker Part 1

“What am I going to do?” Mary asked the vet. “Ezekiel’s inconsolable. He squawks all night, which means neither of us sleeps, and I have to work and leave him alone, and that only makes matters worse.”

The vet stroked his stethoscope, an act that seemed incongruent with the bright red Santa Clause cap sitting precariously on the top of his balding head. He looked the parrot up and down and, and then stated the obvious. “He’s mourning.”

“I know he’s mourning. What I don’t know is how to cheer him up.”

The vet shook his head. “Mourning has to run its course, with animals just like with humans.”

She rubbed gritty eyes. “What do I do in the meantime? How can I help him? Can you sedate him?”

“Wouldn’t advise it. I can recommend a pet psychologist, though.”

“Will it help?”

“Can’t hurt. Dr. Thompson is also a vet, so she won’t steer you wrong, none of this airy-fairy faffing about.”

 

It was full dark when Mary arrived in Woking. The fairy lights sparkled on the houses and in the shop windows, and the unseasonable warmth had not dampened the holiday spirit of the Christmas shoppers scurrying up and down High Street. Ezekiel was the last appointment of the day, and the waiting room was empty when Mary stepped inside with Ezekiel’s cage in tow. Christmas music that was a little less obnoxious and a little more subdued than what blared in the local shops played quietly over the sound system. Almost immediately, Mary and Ezekial were ushered in to Dr. Susan Thompson’s office.

“Oh, he is lovely,” the woman cooed in a nasal Welsh accent. “I’ve never treated an African grey before. I have counseled a couple of cockatoos, and a lovebird. What seems to be the problem?”

Mary heaved a sigh. “Two months ago my friend Ellen died.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.” Dr. Thompson nudged a box of tissues in Mary’s direction.

“Thank you. Ellen was a linguist who studied the rudiments of language in other species.”

The psychologist brightened. “Of course! I’ve heard about the research on African grey parrots. Even smarter than primates, I read.”

“Ellen worked with Ezekiel almost fifteen years. He has a huge vocabulary, and his comprehension is off the chart. Because parrots are long-lived, Ellen had made arrangements for him to live with me on the off chance that something should happen, if she should …” She swallowed around the growing tightness in her throat and took a deep breath. “Anyway, there was a car accident and …”

“Ezekiel came to live with you,” the doctor finished for her gently.

Mary nodded and blinked hard. “Since her death, Ezekiel refuses to talk. He just squawks. He won’t eat, and I’m afraid he’ll start pulling out his own feathers. Stressed birds sometimes do that. I can’t stand to see him suffer so. Ezekiel is, well, he’s special.”

“Ezekiel’s mourning the loss of his mate.”

“What?”

“You see,” Dr. Thompson scooted to the edge of her seat, “parrots are social animals. In their natural environment, you seldom see a lone parrot. When parrots are kept in captivity, they can only be taught to talk if they’re kept away from their own kind.”

“So when they have no one to speak to in their own language, they’re forced to learn ours?” The tightness in Mary’s throat returned with a vengeance.

“Ezekiel will probably bond with you in time. But you’re not a parrot, and even with his huge vocabulary, imagine what it would be like never to speak your own language again.”

This time no amount of blinking could hold back the tears, and Mary reached for the offered tissue box. She’d always been a soft touch, and Ezekiel’s sad story coupled with the recent loss of her friend was just too much. Dr. Thompson
offered quiet verbal support, and Mary was pretty sure that in most cases the pet psychologist found the animals less
neurotic than their humans. She blew her nose and forced a smile. “Well, I’ll just have to find him a mate then, won’t I?”

Easier said than done, Mary soon discovered.

Continue with Matchmaker part 2

 

Liz Coldwell Talks Christmas in Paradise

Hi, KD, and thanks very much for hosting me. I’m thrilled to be able to talk about my story in the Cariad Christmas anthology, Love Under The
Mistletoe Christmas for One.

loveunderthemistletoeChristmas is traditionally a time to be with your loved ones. Even now, I still travel up to Yorkshire to visit my parents over the holiday, it being one of the few opportunities we get for the whole family to be together. I’ve only broken that practice once, the year I hit 30. Blame it on Home Alone 2 (yes, we’re talking quite a while ago here), but the legendary Darlo Ted and I decided we wanted to spend Christmas in New York. We had a fantastic time, doing all the touristy things like visiting the huge tree at the Rockefeller Centre, and even went up over the city in a helicopter on Christmas Day, but somehow it still felt strange not to be at home, tucking into my mother’s roast turkey and all the trimmings.

Dionne, the heroine of Christmas for One, also finds herself spending the day away from her family, but not quite in the circumstances she’d

planned. Her wedding is called off when she learns an unpleasant truth about her husband-to-be, Richard, and instead of a Christmas honeymoon in Aruba she flees instead to a beach resort in Honolulu, where paradise awaits.

Though I’ve never been to Hawaii, I had plenty of fun researching all the activities that would be available to Dionne, as well as the food that she’d eat at the big celebration luau where Santa hands out presents to all the guests.

She even takes an excursion up to the Lulumahu Falls on Christmas Day itself, because who wouldn’t want to visit a hidden waterfall and take a dip beneath the rushing waters? Even though it’s a bit of a trek up to this secluded spot, it’s one of the highlights of Dionne’s paradise vacation.
Of course, what makes her stay extra-special is the presence of one of the resort employees, Scott. He and Dionne quickly discover they have a chemistry that promises to make Christmas sizzle, and when Scott plays Santa, he’s able to give her a present she’ll never forget…

Here’s the moment where Dionne meets Scott for the first time:

She hands me a key card, and I wait for the bellboy to come over. He’s tall, with blond hair that threatens to fall over one eye, and when he smiles, a cute little dimple appears in his cheek. The nametag on his burgundy waistcoat reads “SCOTT”.

‘Scott, could you take Ms Suvari to Room 24?’ the desk clerk instructs him.

‘Of course. May I take your bag, Ms Suvari?’

‘Please, call me Dionne, and there’s really no need …’

The tan leather carry-on isn’t heavy, but he’s already scooping it up out of my hand. When his fingers brush against the back of my palm, my skin seems to tingle in response, and I wonder if he feels it too. But already he’s heading for the elevator.

We take the short ride to the second floor, and step out into a quiet corridor.

‘Here we are.’ Scott takes the key card from me and opens the door.

I’ve been expecting the type of room that’s usually reserved for single travellers; a tiny box, stuck in some out-of-the-way corner, or so close to the elevator that the hum of machinery seeps through the walls. Instead, I find myself looking at a light, airy bedroom with a big, brass-framed bed, a low, cream leather couch, and a coffee table. A small balcony lets out on to the most breathtaking ocean view. The sun is already beginning to set, staining the sky in shades of red and gold.

‘This is really lovely,’ I murmur, reaching into my purse to find a couple of dollars for Scott’s tip. ‘Thank you.’surfing santa

He gives me a little wink. ‘No problem, Ms – Dionne. And if there’s anything I can do to make your stay more pleasant …’

That sounds like a blatant invitation. Looking into those blue eyes, I recall the brief jolt of electricity that passed between us. But I’m clearly reading a little too much into his comment. ‘Oh, I bet you say that to all the girls,’ I quip.

‘Only the ones who look like they’ve been having a rough time.’

With that, Scott lets himself quietly out of the room. When I can at last tear my eyes away from the spectacular sunset, I pick up the folder on the coffee table. It contains all the information I could need about the resort, and lets me know that dinner is served in the restaurant until 9.30. Plenty of time for me to take a shower and change out of the crumpled clothes I’ve travelled in.

I hunt through my bag for a suitable outfit. Everything I’ve brought with me was intended for Richard’s eyes, from my floor-length black evening dress to my skimpy beachwear to underwear that’s all satin and lace. But there’s a short, floral sundress that I can accessorise with silver and jet jewellery and strappy heels; perfect for dining alone.

Once I’ve stowed everything else in the built-in closet, I take my wash bag through to the en-suite bathroom. It’s stocked with high-end toiletries, and a thick pile of fluffy white towels. Just the kind of luxury I need after everything that’s happened.

As I unzip the bag and reach for my toothbrush, my fingers close around a long, slim box. Intrigued, I fish it out, and don’t know whether to laugh or be shocked. It contains a small vibrator, in a fetching shade of pink, with a smooth shaft and tapered head. When I twist its base, it hums into life, so clearly whoever put it in here has thought of everything. There’s a sticky note attached to the packaging. Written in Jill’s big, looping handwriting are the words “To give your honeymoon a buzz!” She must have sneaked it into my bag while she was helping me put on my wedding dress this morning – and how long ago that seems now. Still, providing me with this toy supports her story that she didn’t have a clue about Richard cheating on me.

Part of me wonders where my rat of an ex-fiancé is right now. In the arms of Marcie Grace, most likely. Well, the two of them deserve each other. At least I found out the truth before it was too late; as humiliating as today has been, things would have been so much worse if I hadn’t learned about the affair until after I’d married him.

I turn the shower setting to “tropical”, letting the water beat down on me. The shower gel produces a creamy lather, rich with the scents of coconut and passion fruit, and it feels good to smooth it over my skin. When I close my eyes, a face swims into my mind. Scott, the cute bellboy with the sweet smile. I recall the last remark he made before he left the room, and wonder if my distress over Richard’s betrayal is really so evident.
It would be nice to havelulumahu falls someone around who could help soothe the hurt away. Someone who, if only for a little while, could help remind me there are still plenty of decent, honest men in this world.

Almost without being aware of what I’m doing, I begin to concentrate on soaping up my breasts, brushing my nipples with the pads of my thumbs. In my imagination, Scott stands behind me in the shower stall, his body tight up against mine, and he’s the one who’s caressing my tits. The picture I’m creating is so vivid I swear I can feel the heavy bulk of his cock, trapped between our two bodies. His mouth is pressed to my neck, and he trails soft kisses all the way to the hollow at the base of my throat.

Is it wrong to be weaving a fantasy about a guy I’ve only exchanged a handful of words with? I don’t know, and right now, frankly, I don’t care.

Blurb:

When Dionne runs out on her wedding ceremony, spending Christmas in Paradise, alone, seems like the perfect way to heal her heartbreak. But she hasn’t counted on meeting a very sexy Santa who will make this a sensual holiday to remember …

Buy links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Find Elizabeth Coldwell Here:

Elizabeth Coldwell is a multi-published author and the former editor of the UK edition of Forum magazine. She was the launch editor of Erotic Stories magazine and one of the co-founders of the Guild of Erotic Authors. She has edited for Xcite Books, and written novels for Headline Liaison and the best-selling Xcite Romance imprint. In addition, her short stories have been published by, among others, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Totally Bound, Torquere and Circlet Press.
She lives in East London, and is a season ticket holder at Rotherham United and a keen baker. Her recipe for Yorkshire Parkin is available if you ask nicely…
She can be found online at The (Really) Naughty Corner.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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