10 New York Times, USA Today, and International bestsellers have teamed up to bring a little heat to the winter holidays. Billionaires, Brother’s Best Friends, and Old Boyfriends abound in this treasure trove of contemporary romance tales, and whether these couples are snowbound or spending the holiday in the sun, there’s one thing they all agree on–there’s no place like home for the holidays.
Inside, you can expect to find the following holiday stories:
Switchblade by Christine Bell
Wild Irish Christmas by Mari Carr
A Christmas Caroline by Allison Gatta
Sanctuary with the Cowboy by MJ Fredrick
A Liberty Christmas by Leigh James
Candy Cane Lane by Maggie Marr
Getting in the Spirit by Erin Nicholas
Don’t Open Until Christmas by Abigail Owens
Holiday with a Billionaire by Mandy Rosko
The Dog Who Stole Christmas by Amie Stuart
EXCERPT of The Dog Who Stole Christmas by Amie Stuart
“It’s a toy—”
“—for your pet.”
Nobody said a word. Especially not me. We just all stared at the large, orange…dog toy. At least, Mrs. Swift said it was a dog toy and, well, the tag said it was a dog toy. I was skeptical, and judging by the snickers that randomly punctuated the silence, I wasn’t alone.
God love her, Mrs. Swift had managed to bring the Bluebonnet Book Club Secret Santa Gift Exchange to a screeching halt with a 12-inch long piece of latex —I slowly wagged it back and forth, mesmerized as it swayed in my hand—or whatever, that looked a lot more like a dildo than a dog toy.
“Do I even want to know where she found that?” Betti Boudreaux muttered from my right.
“No,” I replied, keeping my voice low, “and neither do I.” For the love of football, it was even Longhorn fucking orange. My least favorite color. Furthermore, and most importantly, I did not own a fucking dog, or a cat, or a bird, or even a gerbil.
I sat there for the rest of the party silently praying somebody would steal the doggie dildo thing. A pained smile firmly in place, I kept telling myself that maybe someone would want to use it as a gag gift. Luck was not on my side and I said my good nights an hour later amid pitying looks and knowing, smirky grins from some of the other ladies. Including my sister-in-law, Louisiana.
“Enjoy that…dog toy,” she said as we walked down the sidewalk not an hour later.
“Better a dog toy than a teething ring,” I muttered under my breath. My nephew Moses was teething, and during the party, Louisiana had gone into very graphic detail about how many times he’d bitten her this week. Then a few of her friends had pitched in with their own baby biting horror stories. It was enough to make me want to double up on my birth control pills. When I suggested she stop breast-feeding, the Mommy Mafia had stared at me in horror. I might as well have suggested giving my six-month-old nephew Kool Aid, what with its sugar and Red Dye number 666.
“Oh,” she groaned dramatically and clutched at her chest, “I’ve got to get home and feed Moses before my boobies explode.”
We should be so lucky.
She circled my brother Marsh’s truck and unlocked the doors. “You coming, Matilda?”
“I’ll walk, thanks.” I turned left, away from her and the rest of the departing partygoers.
“Oh, Mattie, don’t be like that,” she shouted.
“I’m not being like anything,” I called over my shoulder. One would think the Mommy Mafia would appreciate the fact that I was walking the two blocks home, instead of wasting gas and trashing the environment their little monsters would inherit one day. “Good night, Louisiana,” I said, saluting her with the, ahem, dog toy, that I planned on ‘losing’ in someone’s bushes along the way.
Amie Stuart is the last of a dying breed: a Native Texan. She writes sexy, emotional contemporary romances set in small towns. In the past, she’s worked as a receptionist, a daycare office manager, delivered pizzas, and was even a hairdresser for five years–all fodder for the writing gig.That and all those Barbara Cartland romances she cut her teeth on.
None of those careers can compare to her favorite job: writer. She’s a storyteller through and through, even when she’s keeping tabs on her almost-grown sons and many pets, or organizing promo and planning trips for her day job as a personal assistant. She smokes, she drinks, she writes–sometimes at the same time.
Anyway here are a few places you can find her: