Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.
And the last one for the week. Remember, the special introductory price ends on Saturday.
An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Unlocking her door, Lucy opened it and slid in behind the wheel. She closed the door, knowing Cole probably wondered what was wrong with her. Just as she started the car, a knock on the driver’s side window made her jump.
Cole stood there watching her, his face reflecting both a mixture of confusion and amusement. Lucy lowered the window, and he leaned down so they were eye level.
“Are you running away from me?”
Why did he have to be so direct?
He grinned. “That’s the second time you’ve done this. I’m beginning to think you don’t like me.”
She snorted an unladylike laugh. “Right.”
“Don’t laugh. I’m getting a complex.”“
If it’s any consolation, it’s me not you.”
That earned her another perplexed look. “That’s a little cliché. I’m sure you can do better than that.”
Yeah, she could, but she didn’t dare blurt out how much she liked kissing him, and admit that that was what scared her.
Inadvertently, her gaze dropped to his mouth. She noticed the faint shadow of dark whiskers along his jaw, and she suddenly wanted to kiss him again.
“Aren’t you freezing?” she asked, hoping to distract him as much as herself.
“Yes.” He unexpectedly rounded the car, opened the door and took the passenger seat. “That’s better.” He held out his bare hands in front of the vent, which blew mildly warm air.
The scent of his cologne permeated the air, and having him so close started a slow burn inside Lucy’s belly. Who needed heating systems with this man around?
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to get warm.” He looked her way, that smile back on his face. “And trying to get a straight answer out of you about why you keep running away from me.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Is it about that kiss we just shared?” His blue eyes twinkled. “Or about the ones in the airport?”
Both. “I said I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Okay. What do you want to talk about?”
She laughed. “I never said I wanted to talk about anything.”
Cole studied her silently, like he was really trying to figure her out. Lucy felt the intensity of his gaze, and was unable to pull her eyes away. The interior of the car seemed to shrink, and the air pulsed with an electrical energy that prickled her skin with goose flesh.
As if a giant gravitational force was at work between them, she felt herself leaning toward him. Cole slanted closer until she felt his warm breath mingle with hers. She should move away, make some wisecrack…anything to stop this crazy attraction.
Instead, her eyes fluttered closed as their lips connected. Slowly, he moved his mouth against hers, and like a beautifully choreographed dance, she returned the kiss. Heat infused every part of her, leaving her limbs languid.
Her heart thumped wildly, and a sigh escaped as he deepened the kiss. Barley cognizant of her surroundings, Lucy was both relieved and frustrated when Cole ended the kiss and edged slightly back.
“Lucy, I’m coming to pick you up tomorrow.” His voice was rough with emotion, his eyes serious.
She swallowed, and knew it was pointless to argue. “Okay.”
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