Derek’s world is about to change forever—again.
After his father’s stroke, Derek Weston dropped out of college and returned home to help his parents with the family business, Oak Landing Apartments. Now living on the premises as the groundskeeper and handyman, he never expected the girl he’d secretly crushed on in high school to move into a unit right before Christmas or stir up desires he thought long gone.
Krista Hartley needs a fresh start away from her overbearing parents, but falling for the tattooed hottie who ignored her back in school wasn’t in the plans. Despite old hurts, Derek’s hot kisses and strong arms offer the shelter she craves.
When another woman sets her sight on Derek and drives a wedge between him and Krista, they’ll have to decide if their relationship is real, or just a winter fling.
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Mistletoe in the City is a steamy New Adult holiday romance novella. No cheating and HEA guaranteed.
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(Background for scene: Krista and Derek are on their first date, talking about their past.)
He wrapped his arms around her and teased her hairline with his lips. “I’m sorry I keep touching you. I’ll find the strength to stop if you want it.”
“I don’t, but I think you should.” She rested her hands on his upper arms. “I thought I hallucinated today when you showed up at the McLaren Center. You never noticed me in high school. I didn’t think you’d remember me.”
“What?” He snapped back his shoulders and tightened his hold on her waist. “I noticed you all right. You were shy but also the hottest girl in class.”
“Yeah, right.” She rolled her eyes.
“I’m serious. I liked you because you indulged in your own sense of style. You never flaunted your body as the other girls did, and that made you stand out—at least to me. We hung with different cliques, and high school bullshit kept us apart.” Old frustration and regret seared his veins red-hot. “No, we kept us apart. We both fell victim to peer pressure and stuck with our own circle of friends and ignored each other.”
“You chased the girls who gave it up.” Krista pried out of his arms and stepped back. “I watched you as much as you claimed to watch me, Derek. If what you say is true, then screw you. Do you have any idea how horrible I felt when you flirted with and kissed other girls right in front of me, like I wasn’t good enough?”
“Fuck that. The thought never crossed my mind. I should’ve put all my time and energy into you.”
And he wouldn’t wait any longer.
He yanked her close and clamped his arms around her waist like a pair of steel bands. Her glossy lips opened with a gasp. He seized her mouth and tasted mint. Her tongue danced with his in perfect sync. His heart thumped so hard his ribs ached. Would the organ burst from his chest? A few chuckles pierced his ears, but who gave a damn about the bystanders? Krista might, though. With all the strength he could muster, he released her and dragged in a shaky breath. His erection strained against his zipper, so he rearranged his pants and bit back a groan. A thick strand of greenery embellished with mistletoe hung above the bakery window, and he couldn’t help the smile curling his lips.
He gripped her upper arms and forced his voice to work. “We’re not kids anymore, and we’re on the same page now. Let’s start over.”
She pressed her hands to her flushed cheeks. “I’m game for that.”
He kissed her again.
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I wrote Mistletoe in the City several years ago as part of an anthology for my former publisher. Now, since the rights have reverted to me, I’m re-releasing it as a standalone novella with extra and extended scenes, a new sub-plot, and some revised characterizations. On the whole, it’s the same story as before, but now it’s more detailed and delves deeper into Krista and Derek’s steamy and sometimes rocky relationship. I hope you have a blast reading it.