A Snowlit Christmas Kiss
Regency Christmas Kisses Book 1
by Larissa Lyons
Genre: Holiday Regency Romance
Santa claws? A roguish feline plays matchmaker for two lonely souls.
A mischievous feline and a case of mistaken identity land two lonely souls together during a wretched, snowy night. Arguing over the business end of a shovel, they take refuge from the storm and find that sparks and kisses warm their frigid selves as much as unexpected laughter. But he’s engaged, and she’s decided to never marry, so in the morning they go their separate ways, leaving pieces of their hearts behind…
Battle scarred and bone-weary, the prodigal Lord Redford finally returns home—intent on pushing everyone away. Only he’s greeted not with the small welcome party he expected, but with a house full of people ready to celebrate his engagement. Which is going to prove rather a challenge, given how he’s never met his betrothed… Or has he?
When Anne rushes to the door, ready to give her tardy intended a sound dressing down and inform the lout who’s ignored her since their betrothal began that she has no use for marriage—or him—she’s greeted with a host of surprises.
Merry mistress or marriage? Or mayhap, nothing at all?
A Snowlit Christmas Kiss is a sweet and spicy Regency Christmas extended novella of 40,000 words (with hot kisses and just a bit more).
All Regency Christmas Kisses books are HEA standalones and can be read independently. A Snowlit Christmas Kiss takes place chronologically first, and is followed by A Frosty Christmas Kiss and A Moonlit Christmas Kiss, which occur at the same time but in different locations.
As though the remembered burn of her tantalizing touch—her fingers within his—flamed to cinders his resolve, when he heard the shovel’s blade strike sodden, stubborn earth yet again, he wrested it from her. “Give me that.”
What a cork-brain! Offering to bloody help on such an asinine task—and in the middle of the night?
In the snow—and resulting mud. And all for a blame mouser?
And him—with one blighted hand?
And there it was, in all its ugly glory.
The core of what ailed him these last weeks: ineptitude. Regret.
“I vow,” he grunted, turning his body at an awkward angle, hoping in vain for a sturdier grip on the shovel. “If I’d known what an imbecilic task I was setting myself to”—the aborted stump of his arm slipped against the metal and he swore, viciously—“I never would have sought out the beckoning lure of your lantern.”
“Stop that.” She wrenched the handle from its loose position against his middle as he cursed the tender stump and white spots whirled in front of his dark vision.
Fire burned up his arm and into his neck and he prayed he wouldn’t lose consciousness. Faint face-first—and sore body—in the pitiful hole they had managed to spoon out.
Then he realized that the shovel was gone and she was there—cradling his broken arm—metaphorically broken, that was—within her palms, brushing her sure, soft touch over his person—in such a way he wondered if she might soothe his broken spirit as well.
“’Tis a recent loss, is it not?” She kept on touching him, for God’s sake. The gentle probe from her fingers reaching through the dark and chill and fear—that he’d never be the same, never feel like himself (or like a full, complete man) ever again—
He damn certain felt now. A host of inappropriate things.
“Now you’re going to be exasperatingly silent?” Though she sounded rather vexed by that notion, the dangerously soothing caress only stroked up his arm, to his shoulder and neck, feathered over his jaw, his lips… His bottom lip. His top. She traced them both. And by blazes if his blade didn’t stir anew.
His good—er, remaining—hand shot out to shackle her wrist. “Just what are you doing?”
The harsh, chastising growl that should have emerged sounded more like a whimper.
Damn his needy soul.
What are you doing?
Anne ignored the strident protest.
“Your lips are cold.” The inane statement whispered between them and even with his fingers upon her wrist, she kept touching…
What was she doing? “Wondering how you might kiss.”
The supple, chilled lips beneath her fingers trembled. Firmed. Then parted to chide, “Maryann, you cannot say such a thing.”
Her stomach swooped and circled.
Did its own little illicit waltz as she caught a whiff of the man. The strength, despite his recent injuries.
Beneath the cold, the weariness of the day, the sadness and joy, the fear—delivering three babes while comforting panicked child, wailing toddler and distraught mother had roused such a cacophony of emotions…
Anne wasn’t used to feeling so very raw—ever.
Anne, the responsible, dutiful, afraid to dream, or hope for more than pleasing her parents daughter, for once, allowed herself to be a little reckless. “I cannot say such a thing? No matter that it is the truth? Then mayhap I shall only do such a thing.”
All right, a lot reckless.
Needing to banish the sorrowful memories of the day, the anxious thoughts of the future, she stood on her toes and replaced her questing fingers with her lips.
A Frosty Christmas Kiss
Regency Christmas Kisses Book 2
A Frosty Christmas Kiss is an expanded version of the previously published Miss Isabella Thaws a Frosty Lord; this updated version contains additional chapters and characters.
Blind from a young age, a Regency heroine risks her overbearing father’s displeasure by attending a holiday house party, never dreaming she’ll meet a formidable lord who will discover all her secrets and still want her for his own.
A pair of ghostly matchmakers warm two chilly hearts.
Dominated by her father’s rigid ways since a twist of fate stole her sight, Isabella uses the magic of Christmas to steal away for an adventure of her own when invited to join friends for the holidays. Oh, how she adores Christmastime!
How he abhors Christmastime! Hiding his war wounds beneath a frosty exterior, Lord Frostwood lives up to his name, freezing out everyone who tries to get close. Everyone, that is, until a spirited wench falls at his feet and proceeds to warm his cold existence, thanks to some strategically placed mistletoe and their resulting Christmas kisses.
A Frosty Christmas Kiss is a sweet and spicy Regency Christmas novel of 45,000 words (with hot kisses and one sex scene after marriage).
HEA ~ Standalone ~ Book 2 – Regency Christmas Kisses
The dangling ringlet upon Isabella’s forehead swayed with the motion of her feet. She’d requested the maid arrange it just so, and every light brush was a reminder of how pleasing it was to have her wishes regarded.
Spine flush against the wall, Isabella’s toes rose and fell in time with the lively music. Her right hand, snug upon the strap of her fan, tapped against her thigh in tandem with her dancing toes. She itched to be alone. To indulge in her one vulgar pastime—or so Father labeled it, saying the habit made her look no better than a “bingo mort”, a female drunkard—the activity that had earned her more than one bruised shin and worse, Father’s further disdain. But all the same, the obsession beckoned.
But it was not to be. Not now that the other guests had arrived and she no longer had the privilege of finding herself alone in the great ballroom.
The beginnings of the third set reached her ears. Everyone not already breathless with exertion rushed onto the dance floor at Anne’s prompting. As mistress of the assembly, Anne presided over the dances and called the steps, just as they’d played and practiced when they were younger. Her friend’s happiness was evident.
More than ever, Isabella yearned to join in.
“Dance with me.”
Her head jerked toward the speaker. Startled by the abrupt command, as well as by the rich voice that pronounced it, she blinked. Was he talking to her? Or someone else nearby?
Anne had dispensed with the custom of dance cards, instructing her guests to mingle and make merry as they saw fit. This wouldn’t be the first man to take pity on the blind wallflower in the corner and offer to escort her around the floor. But he would be the first to do so without at least introducing himself or extending a greeting.
“Pardon?” Isabella inquired softly, testing her perception.
He shifted closer. She felt his presence fairly sizzle along her front. “I said, ‘Dance with me’.”
“That is what I thought you said. Well, sir…” Isabella began with true regret, for she longed to dance and for some odd reason given his inexcusable curtness, she especially longed to dance with the owner of the velvet-voiced commands. She certainly hadn’t entertained such longing when declining the four previous, courteous offers she’d received, but then each of those men had been known to her. “I fear I must decline your less-than-polite dictum.”
In direct contrast to his abrupt tone, she gave a gracious nod then turned toward the open doors she knew to be on her left, running her corresponding hand lightly along the wall.
“What?” he snapped the same instant she felt his fingers encircle her opposite wrist, halting her progress. “You reject me?”
Had not her fan been affixed to her arm she surely would’ve dropped it at the unexpected touch—and her reaction to it.
“Reject you? Nay,” she said, trying to dismiss the nuance of hurt she detected in his haughty voice. Just as she tried to dismiss how the fingers above her glove seared her skin. Had she ever felt the touch of a man not family on her flesh before? Why certainly she had… Physicians for one—
Shaking herself free of his hold and her own disturbing thoughts, Isabella reiterated, “Nay, but I do reject your tone for I dislike intensely being ordered about.”
“Ah…then it is I who must beg your pardon,” he said smoothly—too smoothly. It was a rakeshame she had the misfortune to be bantering with, Isabella feared, feeling how the subtle shift in his demeanor caused her insides to riot. “For though I have been returned from war these two years past, I fear old habits of barking commands have yet to leave my lips. Would you perchance care to dance? Perchance to dance?” he self-mocked. “From commander to pitiful poet, I fear. I only ask because you…”
Why was he still hesitating? Though his unexpected humor distracted her mightily, she heard plainly what he refused to voice. So she said it for him. “I am the only pitiable female not yet engaged?”
“No! You…you have a curl in your eye,” he accused as though she’d committed a crime and the pillory awaited.
“Mayhap I like it there.”
“Well, I do not.”
Subduing the urge to twitch her head and dislodge the curl he somehow found so offensive, Isabella wondered why, if she irritated him so, he remained. And why, a foxed pox on her sudden boldness, was conversing with him exhilarating beyond belief?
This daring side she’d released was wont to land her in trouble.
Thanks to her father, she’d learned early and well to hide her love of music and movement. A lesson she’d best not allow a domineering stranger tempt her into forgetting. “Well, sir, as much as I like my curl’s present location, mayhap I wish you gone.”
She thought he sputtered a protest but didn’t give her ears time to decide. “Because I most certainly do not care to dance, especially not with you,” she lied, for she irrationally wished it above all things. “Good evening, sir.”
Quickly, she quit the room before he could—shameless rake or gruff commander, she knew not which—blast through her common sense and have her agreeing. To dance with him of all things.
**On Sale for Only .99 cents!**
$10 Gift Card of Choice from Amazon, Apple, B&N, Google, Kobo or Smashwords! (1 winner)
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
A lifelong Texan, Larissa writes steamy regencies and sexy contemporaries, blending heartfelt emotion with doses of laugh-out-loud humor. Her heroes are strong men with a weakness for the right woman.
Avoiding housework one word at a time ;-), Larissa adores brownies, James Bond, and all things feline. She’s been a clown, a tax analyst, and a pig castrator (!) but nothing satisfies quite like seeing the entertaining voices in her head come to life on the page.
Writing around some health challenges and computer limitations, it’s a while between releases, but stick with her…she’s working on the next one.