Ghosts of Christmas Past Haunted Holidays # 1
By: Jessica Aspen
Released August 6th, 2014
Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It's the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss.
And that’s not Jen’s only problem.
The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.
Dare to discover Jessica Aspen’s sexy, new adult, contemporary, Gothic romance, today.
Jen turned, gazing over the bare winter fields to the tangle of trees. No explanations, no obligations, no complications. For two whole weeks she could just hide here, and write.
The first genuine smile she could remember since April spread her face wide.
Then the pickup arrived.
Black, large, and full of male attitude it parked right next to her vacation house, dwarfing her small car and taking up the entire drive.
“Oh, there’s Nate now.” Mrs. Castlebury waved at the man pushing an eager black Labrador back into the cab while trying to exit the vehicle.
He got the door shut, faced them, and grinned. Dressed in New England casual of laced-up work boots, jeans, and plaid shirt under a denim jacket, Nate Pierce, striding across the snow, hand out in welcome, was a commercial for settling down. Tall. Good-looking in a rugged, works-for-a-living kind of way. And he had a dog. A big, sloppy, super-cute dog, wagging its tail and drooling on the driver’s side window.
For one impulsive moment Jen wished this was her life. She loved big dogs, the country, and secretly, men in plaid shirts, but she hadn’t had the opportunity for any of it since her dad’s death. Their daddy-daughter fishing trips, where he’d gotten to get out of his suit and she’d gotten to be free of her school uniform, had stopped cold the year she’d turned twelve.
This was the first time since then she’d ventured outside of somewhere hot and warm with a very clean, very controlled hotel. Her mom’s idea of a vacation. Of course, neither her mom nor her ex, Jason, tolerated dogs of any size. And as for living outside of the Boston city limits?
Neither of them would consider the horror.
She squashed the sudden surge of loneliness and desire for something she’d probably never have, and pasted on a smile.
Mr. Good-Looking Country Boy tramped through the snow to the porch, pushed his overlong forelock of sandy brown hair off his face, and held out a hand. “Hi, I’m Nate Pierce, your landlord.”
“My what?” She shot a quick look at Mrs. Castlebury.
“Your landlord, dear. I’m just the listing agent. Nate owns the house and he’ll see to any upkeep you need.”
“In fact, I’ll be back in an hour or so after you’ve gotten settled and bring the Christmas tree.”
“The Christmas tree?” She’d forgotten. She’d purchased the Christmas in New England package because it had been cheaper than renting by the day. “That’s not necessary,” she said, her voice chillier than she’d intended.
“I’ve already cut the tree down.” Nate’s friendly grin wavered as did his hand hovering in the air between them. “It would be a shame to waste.”
She didn’t want to be friendly with the neighbors. She wanted to hide out and recuperate. Make up her mind as to what in the world she was going to do next. But good manners won out.
Jen repressed a sigh, reached out, and slid her bare hand into his. As it disappeared into his tan callused grip, her hand seemed slim and small. He squeezed gently and a tingling warmth spread across her skin.
Hot caramel sensation slid from the connection between them, up her palm, along her arm, and through her entire body. Her hand tightened automatically, and a responding spark lit in his eyes.
Jen swallowed. Shoot! She wasn’t ready for this. She was here to lick her wounds, not some guy’s abs. And given the strength in his hand and his wide shoulders, she’d bet he had some killer abs.
She gazed up into Nate’s warm chocolate brown eyes and his face blurred. For a moment she saw another face superimposed over his. Same brown eyes, same tanned, rugged New England skin, but more boyish, broad-boned and black haired.
Every hair on her scalp tried to climb out of its slicked back, ponytailed restriction.
Then her new neighbor’s sharper, more intense features came into focus. Jen panicked and jerked her hand away. Wiping her buzzing palm on her long red wool coat she backed up, nearly running into Mrs. Castlebury.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Pardon me.” She circled around, putting the older woman between herself and Nate Pierce.
What the hell just happened?
Jen tucked her hands into the safety of her coat pockets, surreptitiously rubbing her tingling right palm along the silk inside her pocket. Trying to get rid of the strange feeling spreading along her skin and telling her pounding heart that everything was fine. That something bizarre hadn’t just happened to her. And that life was safe and normal.
Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at her website.
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