I spent the morning baking muffins and listening to Michael Buble sing Christmas songs. I love them. I love his voice. I love the warmth and comfort in being able to sing along with the words and remember where all the holidays that have come before.
Winter Wonderland has always been my #1 favorite, since childhood. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas. Cold December Night. Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees. The Most Wonderful Time of Year. O Holy Night.
Those are just a few. And it just feels right to play Christmas music while baking Christmas treats. What is your favorite?
In my book Arrested Holiday, Michael and Holli don’t sing Christmas songs, but he makes her an amazing hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. I love these moments that lend themselves to making memories…
Holiday ‘Holli’ James looks forward the week between Christmas and New Year’s. This is her one chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of her successful decorating business. The plan this year is a trip to New York City to see the sights and the lights.
The plan didn’t include a side trip to a small town jail in the middle of Pennsylvania. Nor did the plan include Officer Hunky.
A single police officer, Michael is working the holidays — again. With no local family and no interest in accepting the pity invitations to Christmas dinner from his married friends, he’s content to work and earn extra cash. Besides, this year looks to be as uneventful as ever. Until he pulls Holli over for speeding, only to discover she’s wanted on charges of fraud.
Sexual tension spikes as Michael begins to investigate and discovers Holli isn’t who her record says she is. While they await answers, Michael is granted permission to remove Holli from the jail and place her under house arrest.
Only his idea of house arrest is much more personal than the law ever intended.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, bondage, spanking.
This was about as fucked a Christmas as she’d ever had. The concrete walls were like blocks of ice, and the floor wasn’t much better. The cot was hard, lumpy in a few places, and not really any warmer than the rest of her surroundings, even though Officer Hunky had brought her an extra blanket.
And he was…hunky.
Perhaps if she started thinking about him as Michael, the way he’d introduced himself a little while after he’d settled her in the cell, she wouldn’t be so frustratingly attracted to him. The more she watched him though… Nah, he was Officer Hunky. Michael might be his given name, but hunky was what fit him best in her sleep-deprived, decent food-deprived mind.
Damn, but she’d never seen a more perfect-looking man and generally speaking, perfect men didn’t appeal to her. Likewise, she didn’t appeal to them either, so it was never an issue, but this one…with his perfect white teeth, his perfect rock-hard body, his perfect dark voice, and his perfect heated gaze every time he looked at her…well hell, she couldn’t explain it.
Maybe he was just the right kind of perfect, her right kind of perfect. Maybe she was the only woman within a hundred miles and he was horny, but as she looked at him, watched him filling out what seemed to be an endless stack of paperwork, she doubted it.
His regret at having to arrest her was genuine, as was his apology that there wasn’t a decent place open for food in his little hole-in-the-wall town in the middle of Pennsylvania over the Christmas weekend. His touch had been warm and lingering, and the smile he’d fixed on her from time to time, the look he sent her way when he didn’t think she saw it…no, Officer Hunky, with his sheer, unadulterated male perfection, wanted her.
And that little bit of knowledge, however unlikely in the real world outside the police department jail, made being locked up at Christmas almost tolerable.
Holli slowly refocused. Crap. Heat flooded her cheeks. Had she been staring at him this whole time? “Yes, why?”
“You were staring.”
Was that a smile playing around his mouth? “Sorry. I was thinking.”
You and me, naked and rockin’ around the Christmas tree. “About how I’d like to get the hell out of here.” She glanced up at the clock on the wall. Over twenty-four hours since she’d been brought in. Her gut had told her she could make it to Harrisburg and then stop there for gas, but no, she’d had to pee and needed a snack, some caffeine, and now, well, she was in jail. Had she not been speeding down the little two-lane road trying to get back on the interstate, her license wouldn’t have been flagged on what they were finding out was a clerical error.
“I know. I’ve put in a call to the DA and explained the situation. Again. He owes me a favor, and unless he’s gone to his in-laws, he should call me back soon.”
“You’re using your favor on me?” Dear Lord, that sounded so much dirtier than she’d intended. And judging by the smile on his face, he knew it too. Maybe when he’d frisked her earlier, she hadn’t imagined that his hands lingered a bit longer on her hips and thighs than they should have. The idea made her tingle all over. “I mean, shouldn’t you hold on to it for when you need something really big?”
“Yes, I am calling in my favor. This is something big. I’m not sure what you’d qualify as ‘really big,’ but things are kind of screwed up for you and it’s partly our fault. Our meaning the state of Pennsylvania. Over the holidays and on your vacation no less. Derek will have to get in touch with one of the judges about an idea I have for this whole fiasco, but I’d need someone to sign off on it.”
“What’s your idea?”
He shook his head. “I don’t want to jinx it. Let’s just wait for the call to come in.”
She shrugged. Not like she was going anywhere. “Sure. Whatever.” She tried to play it off as no big deal, but if there was a season of perpetual hope, this was it. It might be the day after Christmas, but she could still have hopes and wishes.
“What were you and your friend planning to do in New York next week?”
“Hmm? Oh, shopping, sightseeing. You know, touristy stuff. Neither of us has ever been there. She’s from the Midwest and owns a similar business to mine. We started planning it one night in a hotel bar at a trade show.”
He put his pencil down and leaned back in his chair. “New York… It’s beautiful, especially all decorated for the holidays. It’s crowded. It’s noisy. And right now, it’s cold as hell, just like it is here. But it is beautiful, and you’d have loved it, I think.”
“I’m sure, and I hope she’s having fun without me. We were supposed to check in last night and in true tourist fashion, I was going to leave right after the New Year’s Eve party in Times Square.”
His eyes widened, and he smiled while shaking his head. Holli had no idea how old he was, but when he laughed or smiled, it made him look young, like college age young. She figured him to be close to her own age of thirty-five, though. He was gorgeous, in a rougher, younger Chris Noth sorta way.
“You’d be lucky to get out of there before four or five in the morning.”
“I know. Charlotte’s flight leaves at eight something on New Year’s Day, and I have to start work again on the second. My first appointment is at one in the afternoon. I will get out of here in time to get to that appointment, right?”
It was the first time she’d thought about work. If she didn’t make it home in time, she would need to make a few phone calls to arrange for someone else to take over for her until she got there. There were a few people she could count on, if they didn’t stay out all night partying.
“I’m going to try to make sure you do.”
And she knew he would. She had no reason not to trust that he was doing everything he could to get the clerical fiasco fixed and get her off on her merry way.
Get her off? Had she really thought those exact words? Oh dear God. Not that she’d meant them that way, but now that she was thinking of what way she could have thought them and how it would have sounded had she said it out loud… Hell, who was she kidding? She would love for him to get her off on her merry way. In that way.
I’d like to thank Josee to for having me. For comments, I am offering up a $25 gift card from any online e-tailer of your your choice.
Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.