From award winning author Katharine Ashe, comes an enchanting Christmas novella about a shy but imaginative princess and the rakish Earl who could make all her wildest fantasies come true….
The Christmas season has never been so steamy.
Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr is every young lady’s wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl’s kisses. And not only her dreams–her diary too.
But when Cam discovers the maiden’s not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages . . . or in his arms?
“At least you won’t be at a significant disadvantage when you wed,” the princess said thoughtfully.
“There is . . .” Her voice trailed off. She looked out the window and tilted her head. Her stance was relaxed. This conversation did not, apparently, agitate her as it did him.
“The thing is, I have never kissed a man,” she said and looked over her shoulder at him. “Will my husband be disappointed to discover that I have no knowledge of kissing?”
Cam’s throat had gone entirely dry. If she had no actual knowledge of kissing, she certainly had excellent intuition.
“Why do you ask me?”
“I cannot very well ask my brother. How horridly embarrassing that should be.” She scowled but her eyes twinkled.
“You might ask your ladies in waiting, or the Duchess of Lycombe.”
“How would they know the answer? They are women.”
He was nonplused. “Well . . .”
She turned to him fully. “You and I are friends, so I trust you will answer me honestly. I know you have considerable experience kissing women.”
His cravat had shrunk again. “Do you?”
She lifted a single, eloquent brow. She was far too intelligent for him, and far too forthright, and he was far too accustomed to consorting with females of much less acute minds and much baser characters. She was not now flirting with him but making a statement of fact.
He nodded in silent admission.
Both brows perked now, like the shimmering feathers of a raven. “So . . . ?”
“I should think that your husband would be delighted to teach you the finer points of kissing.” And learn a thing or two in the process.
“I suppose you may be correct about that. Men like to instruct women. I think it makes them feel more in control.”
He could not hide his amusement. “You don’t say?”
“Well, doesn’t it? You are a man.”
“Good of you to notice.”
“Do you like it when you feel in control of a woman?”
“I like it when a woman feels she is getting what she wants from me.”
Her fine, expressive eyes widened. Then, slowly, she turned to the pianoforte and began rearranging the music on the stand. Cam studied the clean sweep of her back to her gently curved hips and the straight set of her shoulders. She was not petite, not enticingly round, not anything he had ever desired in a woman. But merely looking at her back and knowing what she imagined of him — of them together — made his heartbeats hard.
“I should like to give it a try before I marry,” she said without turning around. Her voice was pitched a bit low. “Kissing, that is.” She glanced at him. Her cheeks were ever so slightly pink.
“Should you?” He suspected where this was going. He’d been the object of countless women’s flirtations. But never this woman. She confined her attentions to him safely in her diary.
This was a different woman before him now.
“Yes,” she said. “I think it would be a useful experience to take into marriage. Don’t you?” She turned her hungry gaze upon him . . .
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Not everyone will grieve in this order, nor will everyone go through every stage. It’s during the stage of denial when Alex Hart meets Andrew Foster. He takes her one-step closer to acceptance: the stage when new, meaningful relationships are formed. The stage when the realization occurs that this is now the new state of normal.
Just when Alex thinks she is on her way to healing, she enters the bargaining phase. That’s the phase where you wonder what you could have done differently. You wonder “what if?” Specifically, what if the ones you loved hadn’t left you?
Leaving…this is what makes heading off to war so difficult and frightening for Alex. She knows all too well what it’s like to be the one on the losing end of life, which is why she’s made it her personal mission in life to save as many lives as possible. The extreme high she gets from treating trauma victims turns into Alex’s own form of therapy, or so she thinks.
When faced with her world being turned upside down, Alex may just find that her true therapy is in the one who has always saved her.
J.B. McGee was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina. After graduating from South Aiken High School, she toured Europe as a member of the 1999 International Bands of America Tour, playing the clarinet. While attending Converse College, an all-girls school in Spartanburg, South Carolina, she visited Charleston often. It quickly became one of her favorite vacation spots. She met her husband, Chad, during Christmas break her freshman year, and they married in 2001 and she moved back to her home town.
In 2005, the couple welcomed their first son, Noah. J.B. finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2006. During her time studying children’s literature, a professor had encouraged her to become a writer.
In 2007, she welcomed their second child, Jonah, and she became a stay at home mom/entrepreneur. In 2009, the found out their two children and J.B. have Mitochondrial Disease. In 2011, a diagnosis also was given to Chad. Please take a moment and learn more about Mitochondrial Disease. Awareness is key to this disease that has no cure or treatments.