by MJ Fredrick, Tanya Michaels and Trish Milburn
Christmas isn’t always snow-covered with a frosty chill in the air. Sometimes it’s sandy beaches with balmy breezes.
And sometimes we find love in the most unexpected places, a place like Starfish Shores.
Here Comes McBride
Shelby James has only truly loved one man — but Finn McBride broke her heart when emotional baggage from his past came between them. Now, Shelby is serving as maid of honor at a beach wedding where Finn is the best man. Will reuniting with Finn be a Christmas miracle, or the worst mistake she's ever made?
Two Hearts a Leaping
After a break-up with her high school sweetheart, Harley Blume retreats to her brother's home in Starfish Shores to lick her wounds and figure out what she's doing next. But her brother is in the Coast Guard reserves and heading out of town, leaving her in the care of Liam Channing, his best friend since they played college football together. She's never been able to keep her tongue in her mouth when good-looking, easy-going Liam is around. How is she going to find her way if she can't keep her balance?
Cruisin’ for a Kiss
When Avery Phillips loses her magazine job right before Christmas, she heads back home to Starfish Shores to spend the holidays with the grandparents who raised her. The plan is to hit the job search hard so that she has a new position when the New Year arrives. What isn’t part of the plan is heading up a remodeling effort at her family’s beach motel or falling for the man helping to save the business into which her grandparents put a lifetime of work. As Christmas draws closer, will Avery stick to the original plan to leave town again or take a chance with Luke Taylor and a new life she never expected?
Read an excerpt:
Two Hearts a-Leaping
by MJ Fredrick
The pole bent under the weight of the fish’s fight, and Liam put his hand over Harley’s to show her how to reel it in, how to let the fish play it out, then reel it back in. Impatient, she tugged the pole away and worked it herself, using the rhythm he’d showed her, a rhythm that he shouldn’t be thinking was like sex, with its give and take.
Seriously, Sam had been gone a little over twenty-four hours. Liam should have better self-control than to be lusting over his sister already.
He leaned over the edge of the boat, joined by Mia, to watch for the fish. A mackerel, most likely, and depending on the size, it might be good eating. He’d bet she’d let him clean it for her, if she wouldn’t let him help her bring it in.
“What is it?” she asked breathlessly.
“Don’t see it yet. You doing okay?”
She nodded shortly, concentrating on the pole and the reel and the rhythm. Her scarf had fallen loose and her hat was on the deck and her face was flushed, her eyes bright. God, he wanted to kiss her. Bringing her out here had been a bad, bad decision. At least in the bar, on the beach, he could walk away, she could walk away.
He needed to walk away now. He popped to his feet and crossed the deck to retrieve his fishing net. Mia followed, then headed back to the edge of the boat, her tail whipping furiously. Liam leaned over to look. Sure enough, she’d hooked a mackerel. He grinned.
“You want to reel him in, or grab him with the net?”
“I’ll reel him in.”
Liam reached over with the net, guiding the end of the pole to aim the fish, and scooped. He lifted the heavy flopping fish into the net so she could see it.
“Did you bring your phone? You could text a picture to Sam.”
She fished in her pocket and handed it to him. He traded her for the net, which she had to hold with both hands, while he opened the camera app and snapped a shot. Since she was bobbling the net, he tucked the phone in his own pocket and took the net from her.
“Dinner tonight?” he asked as she stared at it.
“Oh, no, I can’t eat him. Let’s throw him back.”
“Are you sure? He’s a good-sized one, and I have a chest right over there for our catch.”
“No, I don’t think I want to eat him.”
“If I catch something, will you eat it?”
“I guess, sure.”
He reached into the net and with some difficulty, snipped the hook from the fish’s mouth, and was about to dump him back into the ocean to swim away.
He froze and looked over his shoulder at her.
“You said Mia would lick him.”
“Right.” He looked from woman to hopeful dog, reached into the net for the wriggling fish and grasped it in both hands before offering it to the dog.
Mia sniffed the length of the fish, then swiped her tongue along its length. Harley was still laughing when he tossed the fish back in the water.
And then Mia jumped in after it.
Christmas is a good time of year to seek out stories that make you feel all warm inside, as you curl up on those cold nights. The three short stories contained in this volume can do just that. Not only do you have smoking hot men sweeping women off their feet, you also have three stories that take place in the South, where snow is almost an unheard of phenomenon. Thoughts of warm breezes fueling a charged air that is already ripe for romance will envelope you as you read about these three couples who are starting anew. The book overall is a quick read. Having three shorter stories within it makes it even better for the hectic holiday season. Honestly, a good beach and a hot romance is good at any time of year. This was a quick, fun, spicy read.
AUTHOR Bios and Links:
MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching elementary music, and diving into her own writing—traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past.
She's a four-time Golden Heart Award finalist, and she won the 2009 Eppie Award with Hot Shot and the 2010 Eppie with Breaking Daylight. She was a 2012 Epic Award finalist with Don’t Look Back.
Connect with MJ online.
Four-time RITA finalist Tanya Michaels is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than thirty books. Her stories incorporate the same elements she values in real life—community, family and a sense of humor. Her current releases include the popular Colorado Cades trilogy for Harlequin American Romance.
She lives in Atlanta, GA with a very patient husband as well as two kids and a dog who are plotting against her. When not writing, reading, or spending time with her family, Tanya watches entirely too much TV. She’s also made Twitter her virtual home. Join her there to hear about her life as a writer and the outrageous things her kids say.
Trish Milburn is the author of contemporary romance for Harlequin American Romance, paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne, young adult fiction for Bell Bridge Books and indie publishes her romantic suspense, women’s fiction and other titles. She’s a two-time Golden Heart award winner, a fan of walks in the woods and road trips, and is a big geek girl, including being a dedicated Whovian and Browncoat.