Excerpts: You Had Me at Christmas Anthology

Posted October 21, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment


You Had me at Christmas Anthology
Release Date: October 17, 2016

What’s better than a little romance at Christmas?

Five romances at Christmas!

Snowbound friends become lovers. Enemies discover they mean far more to each other than they ever dreamed. A marriage in trouble is saved, and strangers find connection in delicious encounters… It’s Christmas, and everything is possible.

A gift to you. Five beloved Contemporary Romance authors bring feel-good magic to the holidays in this specially-priced box set.

PLAY by Karina Bliss
a Rock Solid romance

Rock star Jared Walker is within reach of career glory…but his marriage is in the pits. Determined to save it, he talks his wife into holiday dates with only one rule: they must pretend they are strangers.
But when he discovers what Kayla really wants for Christmas, will he be able to give it to her?


Workaholic Kate never expected to find herself looking for love online on Christmas night. Then John appeared on her screen and her whim to escape loneliness turned into the hottest sex of her life – even if it was via text. John knew Kate was too classy for his ex-con ass, but he was about to learn that Kate knew how to fight for what she wanted. And she wanted more of him.


Escaping her abusive father and small hometown to follow her dreams takes money Selina Lumina doesn’t have. After a millionaire software developer offers her a ride out of town, she has to decide whether to follow her aspirations or take a chance at love. Could a snowbound night on the road turn into a Christmas miracle?

SNOW-KISSED by Laura Florand
(previously published as part of the Snow Queen Series)

After the utter destruction of her marriage and her happiness, Kai knew it was better to shut herself away from the world than to hurt and be hurt.

Holed up in her mountain cabin, Kai plans to spend her Christmas alone. Until her not-quite-ex-husband shows up as the first flakes start to fall. Now should she send him back out into the cold? Or can she be brave enough to let this winter snow bind them back together?

(previously published in the Sweet Dreams Anthology benefiting Diabetes research)

Growing up in the mountains of Wyoming Trina and Dean had been childhood friends until the bitter feud between their families drove them apart. When the magic of Christmas Eve tips the star-crossed lovers together year after year, will they be able to make sure this holiday is not their last?

Order the Book:



Play by Karina Bliss
A Rock Solid Romance

The cocktail waitress arrived, leggy and blond, with a professional smile that got real when she looked at Jared Walker. Her gaze darted to Kayla, assessing and then dismissive in an unconscious gesture that would have been insulting if Kayla hadn’t become so used to it.

A pretty woman carrying some baby weight was a six, at best, in Hollywood, where even the waitresses—many of them would-be models or actresses—were often eights.

“Welcome to Joy,” The blond angled her body toward Jared. “May I take your order?”

“Your call, Betty.” Jared used the psuedonom Kayla had suggested for their “meeting as strangers” date. Stay…or go?”

She shrugged off her coat. Her husband was good at buying clothes but the dress was tighter than she’d worn since having kids, with a deep cleavage she had to stop herself adjusting. “Let’s have a drink, and see what happens.”

His eyes were hot as he glanced down her dress, and a shiver of anticipation quickened Kayla’s blood. A heady sense of power.

She looked at the waitress, who was clearly revising her grade. “Mulled wine, please.”

“Sure. And for you, sir?”

“Another beer for me, thank you.” The slow curve of his smile was still there as he looked up. The blond sucked in a breath.

“I see you chose one of our craft beers, let me tell you about the others.” As the waitress launched into serious flirt mode, Kayla surreptitiously checked her cell in case the sitter was having trouble settling the kids.

A masculine hand covered the screen. “Remember the rules—cells only for emergencies.” Jared confiscated it. “And give me your wedding ring.”

The waitress blinked.

Kayla tugged it off. “I see you’ve already removed yours,” she commented. The wedding band of cheap, shiny gold—all they could afford then—gleamed as she dropped it into “Bob’s” outstretched palm.

“No ties, no responsibilities and no guilt,” he reminded her. “This evening we’re all about…pleasure.” His pause left no doubt as to what that pleasure entailed. Tangled sheets and tangled bodies.

“I’ll get your drinks,” the waitress murmured.

“Was that wise?” Kayla said, when she’d left. “Your face has been everywhere the past couple of months.”

“I could tell she didn’t recognize me. You look gorgeous,” he added. “I got the size perfectly.”
And wasn’t that like a man. Tight is good, tighter is better. God bless their sexual myopia. “So, Bob.” Channeling a throaty-voiced temptress, Kayla sat back. “Is this the part where you tell me your wife doesn’t understand you?”

“And you tell me your husband takes you for granted.” His tone was wry, and their eyes met in rueful acknowledgment of his earlier slip.

She took pity on him. “Or we can skip that part,” she suggested.

“Let’s skip that part.”

“You’re going to have your work cut out for you, persuading me into an affair, Bob.” She crossed one smooth leg over the other, watching him watch. The light caught the sparkle on her red stilettos—the shoes he’d bought for her when he’d been accepted into Rage. “I’m a happily married woman.”

“Yeah?” He caught the stiletto as it slipped off her dangling foot. “How’s the sex been lately?”

Christmas Eve: A Love Story by Molly O’Keefe

December 24, 2011
6:43 AM

For a minute, before opening her eyes, Trina Crawford allowed herself to believe she was in her own bed.
But there was someone else in this one.

And there had not been a someone else in her bed for a very long time.

Oh no, what have I done?

Trina turned her head on the pillow and nearly bumped noses with Dean.

Dean McKenzie. I did Dean McKenzie.

She clapped a hand over her mouth, squelching a delighted squeak.

Maybe this is a dream… just some strange stress-and-coming-back-to-Dusk-Falls-induced dream.
But when she squeezed her eyes shut and opened them again, Dean was still there. So was the headache pounding behind her eyeballs.

I slept with Dean.

His long, angular face was relaxed in sleep, his black hair like great sweeps of ink across the white pillowcase. His mouth, those wide lips—she curled her fingers against the urge to touch them, trace their edges—they’d been soft, softer even than she’d dreamt.

And she’d dreamt about Dean McKenzie’s lips a lot.

The second half of her senior year, after that night on her porch. Her first year of college. After breaking up with Trevor after the party, she’d spent several long months counting every opportunity she’d missed with her once-best friend.

That all ended last night.

Needing a shot of courage before facing her future—which, oddly enough, looked a lot like her past—she’d stopped at Holly’s on the edge of town, and there was Dean, sitting alone, nursing a beer. Blinking Christmas lights from the mirror over the bar had been reflected in his dark hair.

Like a Christmas sex fantasy come true.

After that, all of it—every moment, every breath and touch—had seemed inevitable.

As if, since their birth, they’d been working their way to this.

I blame Christmas. And our fathers. I blame Christmas and fathers for everything. Romeo and Juliet have nothing on us.

About the Authors


Karina Bliss


I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was twelve but then I forgot and did a lot of other things instead. These included getting an arts degree in English and Political Studies at Auckland University (New Zealand), a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism at the University of London, travelling, having my heart broken a couple of times, meeting the right guy, building a house, having a baby – the usual milestones.

Writing romance was a fantasy I started taking seriously when I turned forty, but then I was always a late developer. But I always loved the way romances took me on an emotional journey and I think that’s the strength of this genre over any other, the way romance makes readers feel. And I certainly went through the whole range of emotions in the five years it took to get published. Some career highlights have included being the first Australasian to win a Golden Heart from the Romance Writers of America. My debut, Mr Imperfect, won a Romantic Book of the Year Award in Australia, and my most recent release, A Prior Engagement, was a Desert Island Keeper at likesbooks.com. My first self-published title, RISE, released January 28, 2015 is a 100,000 word rock star romance. It continues the story of Zander Freedman who first appeared as a villain in What the Librarian Did – a book that made DearAuthor’s Best of the Year list in 2010. Two of my books have also featured in Sizzling Book Chats at SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.

I live with my husband and son north of Auckland, New Zealand.

Molly O’Keefe


Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.

Dishing It Out, her last Harlequin Flipside won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for best Flipside in 2005.

Her Superromance Baby Makes Three won the RT Reviewer’s Choice for best Superromance in 2006. L-length Her novella, “The Christmas Eve Promise” in The Night Before Christmas won the RITA in 2009. And her full length contemporary romance CRAZY THING CALLED LOVE won the RITA in 2013.

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