Debby Grahl – Fall into Magic
Sabrina patted Priscilla’s shoulder. “Your turn will come. You’re only eighteen. There’s plenty of time for you to meet the right man.”
Priscilla hesitated. “Can I ask you something?”
“If I meet someone I’m attracted to, how do I tell him I’m a witch?”
“That’s a tricky one. I was fortunate that Jake came from a family who’d experienced ghosts and magic. My advice would be, if he loves you, he will accept you for what you are. But I’d break it to him gently.”
Priscilla grinned. “I’d imagine so. Perhaps I’ll meet a nice warlock and won’t have to worry.
Vickey Wollan – The Secret Santa Surprise
She turned away to make it harder for him to retrieve his glasses. “Your lenses don’t have a prescription.”
Her stunned confusion allowed Brad to overtake her and hug her from behind as he gently grasped his frames. He whispered in her ear. “Why did you do that? What gave it away?”
She trembled in his arms as his hot breath glided through her hair.
Maggie FitzRoy – Christmas Peril, Christmas Promise
Piper stood at the edge of frozen Lyons Lake, admiring it, and its surrounding beauty. The lake’s sun-kissed surface sparkled, as if sprinkled with diamonds. The evergreens along the shore rose majestically toward the sky, their branches draped in snow. Long shadows cast by birch trees wove intricate patterns across the ice.
Ahead, Rob captured the scene. Then pointed his big camera her way.
She laughed. “You just took a picture of me.”
He twitched his lips in a guilty smile and fiddled with the camera’s long lens. “Just one,” he said, his voice soft and teasing. “Something to remember you by, Piper.”
In the frigid air, Piper went hot. She’d only known this man a few days, but it felt like forever.
Melody Johnson – Fated by Fire
Rumor had it Dr. Marcus Kyle could siphon as well as merge magic, and if he chose to, he had the power to drain entire covens to husks with a single, powerful flex of his will.
In her vivid and increasingly—frighteningly—accurate visions, he was often testing the limits of that power in a parody of Carrie, wearing the blood of his slaughtered witches and warlocks with trembling glee.
In reality, his cheeks dimpled when he smiled.
Jen stood to face him, leaving her lug wrench on the asphalt where she’d dropped it mid-spin at the sight of him. No need to call attention to the fact that in addition to the lug wrench, she’d also dropped her car, having stuttered on her levitation spell. Goddess help her if he’d noticed.
He paused at her rear tire, looking a bit sheepish. “You’ll have to excuse the get up. I was on my way to a costume party, but I couldn’t pass by without asking if you might need help changing that tire?”
Breathe. She’d seen Dr. Kyle’s face in her mind’s eye for years, but her visions hadn’t prepared her for the heat of his direct gaze nor the distraction of his angled jaw. From the curls of his faux hawk to his perfect teeth, beaming at her from behind those lush, parted lips, and every smooth-as-caramel, baby-faced feature in between, he was fresh and friendly. Adorable, even.
She supposed the wrath and violence in her visions had prevented her from truly appreciating his appearance because before this moment, she would have described Dr. Marcus Kyle as dangerous, vicious, and volatile. Now that he was before her in the flesh, the phrase “cutie pie” came to mind.
And holy mother of Earth and Rain, she wanted a bite.
Karen Renee – Holiday Fixation (An O-Town Short Story)
He shook my hands. “I’m in Miami tomorrow until the twenty-sixth. I’m serious, Switzer. One week. If, by the thirty-first, you don’t feel like I do, it’s done.”
I wrenched my eyes from his earnest ones and stared out a nearby dark window. He had lost his mind. His hands squeezed mine, I looked back to him.
“People don’t decide things in a week, Alex.”
His face turned just enough that I knew he conceded the point. “You ever notice I don’t call Ramsey, Otero, or Silva direct?”
I had, but I’d never wasted time trying to figure him out. “So?”
He shot me a look that I figured made perjurers think twice. “I call them direct when you’re out of the office, Dee. Any other time, I hit the mainline just to spar with you. Maybe it’s sick, maybe it isn’t, but it trips my trigger and I know it does the same for you.”
I closed my eyes for a moment. When I opened them, his brows rose in warning. “Actually, it—”
He yanked me forward. “You lie to me, I’ll kiss you.”
I squinted. “You wouldn’t.”
He shrugged one shoulder. “Might do it any damn way.”
My eyes widened reflexively, and he chuckled.
Dammit! I had to control myself. Just then, I felt the ticket in his palm.
I smiled, full and wide at him. His eyes flared until I twisted my fingers, grabbing my ticket.
“Happy Holidays, Chavira,” I said, standing.
I strutted four steps before he grabbed my wrist to whirl me around.
“Nice move, Deanne.” With his free hand, he cupped my cheek. “But, you should pay more attention, sweetheart.”
His eyes gazed up, and mine followed. A small bouquet of mistletoe hung above us. I felt my blood drain and lightheadedness hit me.
“Heard you’re superstitious, so we better not tempt fate,” he murmured.
His lips caressed mine with deceptive gentleness. As obnoxious, pushy, and aggressive as he was, there was no way he kissed like that, all gentle and tentative. Then his hand at my wrist let go, he cupped my other cheek to hold me steady, and I found I was right. Deceptive. He got pushy and his tongue plundered my mouth. His hands let go so his arms could wrap around me.
I put my hands on his shoulders but stopped myself from sliding my arms around him. Even if I enjoyed his kiss –and I did– this wasn’t right. I pushed away to break things off.
Against the laws of nature, his face looked even more handsome with heat, lust, and desire written all over it. The sight took my breath away, but I had to get away from him.
“Good night,” I whispered.
Barbara Whitaker – Thanks for the Doughnuts
“I’ll just go help Delores.” Maybe she could play the records while Delores danced.
Cliff grabbed her arm. “Not yet.”
That arrogant, possessive grin again. She pulled her arm from his grasp. The caveman hadn’t changed.
The music started again. A slow tune.
“Remember this one?”
His arm slipped around her shoulder, and, despite her instinct to pull away, she didn’t.
That song. She blinked.
He swept her into his arms, held her tightly as they danced. The song from before. His strong arms and hard chest.
“Remember?” he whispered.
The same chill raced down her spine. “No!” She tried to pull away from him.
He tightened his grip. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I don’t want to frighten you.”
“Let me go,” she ground out through clenched teeth.
“Not yet. Just relax and dance with me. Please.”
She looked up and met his gaze. Something was different about him. Still frightening but somehow changed.
P.K. Brent – True Love Found
Look at that adorable, goofy smile! I think Alan is flirting with me! If he’d flirted with me two decades ago, my junior high heart would have melted. But now? I’m too busy to deal with complications. Yet he is cute with that curly hair, big green eyes, and brilliant dorkiness. I can’t help it – Alan Corbin is adorable!
Laura Salas – Love on Calle Ocho
“Camels?” Maddie looked around as if expecting the big mammals to show up from the different walking trails in the park.
“Yes, for the Three Kings’ camels.” Victoria jumped in front of Maddie, twirling as she spoke.
“Ah. I see.” But her furrowed forehead said otherwise. She looked at Carlos, waiting for an explanation.
“Victor and Victoria, what do you do with the grass?” he asked.
“So silly, uncle. You know what we do!” Victoria twirled again.
“I know, but I want you children to explain to Miss Maddie. She doesn’t know.”
Victor’s eyes widened. “How can you not know?”
Maddie shrugged and smiled good-naturedly, but Carlos still intervened.