Baby It's Cold Outside
featuring Heidi Rice
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Four novellas from four of the biggest names in romantic fiction!
'TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA
by Kate Hardy
With the help of a sprig of mistletoe and some snow angels, a recently single pastry chef teaches a highly successful and sexy Scrooge the true meaning of the holidays on a snowy Christmas Eve that quickly heats up.
'TIS THE SEASON TO LOVE SHOPPING
by Heidi Rice
When a Christmas Day blizzard strands an up-and-coming marketing manager and her boss's very off-limits, very hot playboy son in his department store, the two toe the line between naughty and nice as they unwrap their holiday presents—and each other!
‘TIS THE SEASON FOR KISSING
by Amy Andrews
A down-on-her-romantic-luck kindergarten teacher plans to drown her New Year’s Eve sorrows in a gallon of spiked eggnog, but the arrival of her best friend's sexy brother threatens to melt the snow piling up outside the tiny Vermont cabin.
‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE TEMPTED
by Aimee Carson
After the worst year ever, a jilted music manager rings in the New Year alone, swearing off men forever. But things get complicated when her brother's best friend, the perfect man with the perfect body, tempts her to break her vow—if only for one hot night!
Scroll down for an excerpt from
'Tis the Season to Love Shopping
About Heidi Rice...
She also works as a film journalist but loves being a romance writer because it involves sitting down at her computer each day and getting swept up in a world of high emotions, sensual excitement, smart feisty women, sexy tortured men and glamorous locations where laundry doesn't exist ... Not bad, eh.
Then she gets to turn off her computer and do chores (usually involving laundry!)
You can find out more about Heidi here:
Excerpt from 'Tis the Season to Love Shopping...
After Ryder Sinclair and Kate Braithwaite have realised they are now snowed in at Sinclair's luxury department store on Fifth Avenue overnight, Ryder suggests they take whatever they need to survive....
It occurred to her what he was suggesting. "We can’t just take the stuff," she said, trying to push the prickle of alarm front and centre so it drowned out the inappropriate thrill. "That would be shoplifting." She tried to think, not easy when he was looking at her as if she’d accused him of cannibalism. "Although I suppose we could leave an IOU."
"No way," he said, the flirtatious smile replaced by a stubborn frown.
"Because this is an opportunity I’ve been waiting for my whole life, and you are not going to screw it up for me."
"Are you joking?" she said cautiously, and wondered if this had something to do with his apparent dislike of his father.
"No, I’m not. Didn’t you ever have that dream as a kid where you’re in the candy store after hours, and you can take whatever you want? As many Hershey Bars and Baby Ruths and Reese’s Pieces as you can stuff into your mouth?"
"I doubt it, not if it was after hours, it might have been dark," she said.
He gave a rough chuckle, the frown disappearing—and it occurred to her that she’d actually made a joke of sorts about her phobia… Um, paranoid fear.
"Katherine, then you’ve been missing the best dream there is. And we’re now living the adult version of it. We’re stuck here all night. We can take what we want and do what we need to do to survive."
"We’re not going to starve to death in one night," she pointed out, deciding to ignore the thrum of anticipation at the thought of "doing what they needed to do". What exactly was that going to entail?
"And there’s no one here to stop us," he continued, riding roughshod over her objection. "And don’t forget I’m one of the fat useless directors, so I get to make the rules."
"I never said you were fat," she pointed out, relieved that they seemed to have gotten over the pointless argument.
But as he led her up the stairs, she couldn’t deny that she was seriously tempted for the first time in her life to do something reckless, and irresponsible and inappropriate. As a child and then as an adult she’d always been so careful to follow every single rule down to the letter, to read the small print, to be productive and scrupulous and sensible and most of all cautious, partly because her mother had never been any of those things and it had always made her feel hopelessly insecure.
Those characteristics had got her a job she loved, in a city she had come to adore—and she’d still have those things tomorrow. But it had also left her getting dumped via email and feeling lost and alone and worthless on Christmas Day.
Would it really be so terrible to be led into temptation by Ryder Sinclair — just for one night?
"You ever heard the expression “What happens in Vegas”," Ryder asked conversationally.
"Yes, I think so," she said, knowing she should definitely be objecting to this line of reasoning. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," she quoted. "But we’re not in Vegas."
"True enough, but as it happens there is another, less well known statement that begins… “What happens in a snowbound department store on Fifth.”" His voice trailed off, the implication clear as he released her hand, to place one warm palm on her hip.
She stood stock-still, not able to move, as the fingers of his other hand curled round her neck and threaded into the hair at her nape. "We’ve got all night, Katherine." His lips touched hers, the kiss tender and yet hot enough to make her gasp. "We’re here alone, with everything Sinclair’s has to offer at our fingertips. And I don’t know about you." His fingers roamed into her hair, massaging her scalp as he nibbled kisses along her jaw. "But I’m suddenly thinking this could be a Christmas gift—instead of a Christmas nightmare."
Her head dropped back, letting his lips find the pulse point in her throat, and the hot, hard spike of desire, that she hadn’t felt in such a long time, rushed into her sex.
This was stupid, and insane, and very very bad… But when he shifted closer and the solid length of him prodded her belly, she somehow persuaded herself that, after everything they’d already been through tonight, maybe bad wasn’t completely unforgivable any more.
She lifted her arms, let her fingers curl around his neck.
"But won’t this put us on Santa’s naughty list?" she said, surprising herself with the flirtatious comment.
He snorted out a laugh and hauled her closer. "Katherine, I’m counting on it."