Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit. This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book. In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading!
Day Four, Book Four
He jilted her sister. She will never forgive him for it. Can her anger survive a snowing in and a Christmas truce?
Emma Caldwell doesn’t hate anyone—except for Hugh Warrilow, the man who jilted her older sister and left like a coward to join the army. Men are clearly not to be trusted, and Emma is determined not to give her heart to one. No, a marriage of convenience is the very thing to suit her.
Hugh Warrilow has been secretly in love with Emma Caldwell for years, so when the time comes to live up to both families’ expectations and marry her sister, he can’t find it in himself to do it. Disgraced and misunderstood, he joins to fight Napoleon on the Continent, hoping he will forget Emma and be forgotten by everyone he has disappointed.
An injury brings Hugh home—just in time for Christmas and the snowstorm that leaves him trapped under the same roof as Emma. How will he explain that his unforgivable act was motivated by how desperately he loved her? Her icy reception doesn’t leave him the chance, nor does it offer much hope for the season’s expectation of peace on earth and goodwill to men.”
Melted snow trickled down her forehead, her cheeks, and her chin.
He bit his lip and then searched in his great coat.
She couldn’t resist a smile. “Is this how you treat your allies, Lieutenant?”
He pulled out a handkerchief, wiping at the small streams of thawing snow on her face. His forehead was wrinkled in concentration, but he grinned. “No, certainly not. But we are only temporary allies, after all.” He met her eyes, and his hand slowed.
Her skin tingled, and her stomach flipped erratically. Her eyes flitted to his mouth, and she forced them back up.
Was this temporary, what she was feeling? It felt like much more than the civil terms of the truce she had suggested. She swallowed. Surely it was simply the combination of their physical proximity, the mystical landscape, the rush of the snowball fight, and the stark contrast between her recent animosity and current friendliness toward him. It couldn’t be anything more. It simply couldn’t.
“Yes,” she said, turning away. “Temporary allies.”
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About the Author
Martha Keyes was born, raised, and educated in Utah–a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University.
Word crafting has always fascinated and motivated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah.
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