Release Date: November 13, 2017
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Ah, Mistletoe Key, Florida--a sunny, romantic island where it's perpetually Christmas in paradise...and kissing Santa Claus is encouraged.
Except it's not paradise for the local accountant (who is a total Ms. Grinch). But don't worry, Hunter "Blue" Bowen, bona fide hockey god, is gonna turn her frown--and her whole world--upside down.
Back cover copy
Never-ending sugar cookies, hockey on the beach, Christmas décor galore—Who can be blue on Mistletoe Key?
Kelly Griffin grew up on Mistletoe Key and is so over it—the fake snow, the jangly jingle bells, the forced cheer. Ugh, so over it. All she wants for Christmas is to never have to think about Christmas again. But leaving the only home she’s ever known and starting over where no one knows her name is an impossible wish.
Enter the one man who knows all about what Kelly has lost—Hunter “Blue” Bowen. A hockey superstar trying to keep a low profile while recovering from his career-threatening injuries, Blue starts to fall in love with the kitschy charm of the island…and its grinchiest resident.
Kelly’s wish could come true…if Mr. Hockey God would just buy out her half of the property. But leaving the island also means leaving Blue alone under the mistletoe, and that’s something she’s not sure she can do.
BLUE CHRISTMAS, Book 2 of the Mistletoe Key Series, is a charming island holiday romance for fans of Jill Shalvis, Lucy Parker, and Lauren Layne.
Excerpt from Blue Christmas
If you love Hallmark holiday movies, you're going to love Blue Christmas and Mistletoe Key's Grinchiest resident, Kelly Griffin--and how she finds love (and holiday spirit) where she least expects it...
If it wasn’t one thing, it was five gajillion others.
Chief Delgado had called her in to an emergency meeting with the folks from the Gold Cove condo development. At 8:30 on Friday morning. So special.
Two of their guests had wandered past the beach area—and way past the posted no trespassing signs—yesterday afternoon. They were finally spotted by a fisherman this morning, up in the trees, banged up and a little bloody and bug-bitten. Kelly wouldn’t be so crass as to add that they were also hung the eff over, but it was clear as day what had happened.
It was a fight she was sick to death of having. One day, it wouldn’t be drunk tourists. It would be a free-range toddler or a group of teenagers bent on having a spooky experience worthy of internet fame out at the crumbling old Sanitarium. And it would break what little heart she had left if something truly terrible happened.
But if she heard the threat of imminent domain one more time.
That Gold Cove lawyer. Ugh, that smarmy city-slick jackass. Luckily, Mia had been able to shuffle some things around this morning and go to the meeting with her—which was always a good thing because otherwise she might have strangled the opposing counsel with his polyester tie. Now it was all just a distant, throbbing memory.
Throbbing in time to the world’s most annoying Christmas carol.
Whoever had decided to record a version of little children scream-singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” ought to be tried for crimes against humanity. No, the true offender here was Carlos, who’d winked and oogled her legs when she stepped up into the Sleigh and then proceeded to get on the mic and ask all the kids on board to sing along since it was local legend Miss Griffin’s favorite song.
The only thing legendary about Kelly was the time she’d handed Carlos his ass on a plate when he’d tried to feel her up at the Merry Kissmas dance back when she’d been seventeen and forced to volunteer at the cake walk.
Today, she had no choice but to hang onto the pole as the Sleigh lurched forward. She’d have to hose down with hand sanitizer once she got home. Next week was Thanksgiving, and she’d be pissed if her time off came with a side of DEFCON-level crud.
She should have let Mia go out of her way and drive her home—bill her for it, even. She should have walked miles in her beloved crocodile peep-toed pumps that Mia’s parents had given her when she passed her C.P.A. exam. But no, here she was, on the Sleigh with a bunch of sugared up, scream-singing children, standing next to some booger-eaters because Kelly had been the only human being willing to give up her seat to the thousand-month pregnant woman who’d entered after her.
“Next stop, Nutcracker Lane.”
Kelly looked up at the scrolling sign. Oh no. Oh no, no, no. She’d been so distracted, she’d grabbed the Snowflake instead of the Sugarplum line. Now she’d be forced to go through, she did a quick tally, fifteen stops before she was home.
Maybe she should get off at the next stop and see if Hunter could come get her. No, that wouldn’t work. He was working with Guy longer these days—no more mandatory afternoon siestas—and wouldn’t be home until late.
A family of at least a thousand got on at the Poinsettia stop. If Kelly could have reached her purse to grab her phone, she’d have texted the Chief to have someone flag the trolley down. Surely Carlos was going against an ordinance by packing this many people on the Sleigh.
Something sticky brushed her leg, but there was nowhere to move. Pressing her lips together, she looked heavenward as she gripped the pole, but it wasn’t long before it happened again. Come on!
She looked down and a little floppy-haired child was gazing up at her. Big eyes blinking.
“You’re not singing along,” the creature said.
Kelly grimace-smiled and kind of shrugged. “I don’t know the words.”
“I know all the words,” the child boasted, wiping at its nose with the back of a hand.
“Super,” was all Kelly said, but it got drowned out by the do not, said who tug-of-war fighting that broke out between Floppy-Hair and his (her?) big brother.
Did these kids not have parents? A quick glance around confirmed there was nowhere for her to move, and the kid-jostling was getting more and more aggressive.
“Okay, let’s not fight,” she said, looking desperately at the other adults on the trolley. Nobody chimed in with a stop it Billy or even a quick whistle. She lowered her voice and tried to sound convincing. “Santa’s watching.”
“Santa’s not real,” the older one sing-songed. Floppy-Hair started crying. And now, instead of a chorus of lords-a-leaping, there was a chorus of kid-soul-killing “Santa’s not real! Santa’s not real! You smell like an eel. Santa’s not real.”
Hello, now would be a great time for some parental interference.
“Please stop,” Kelly said. And was totally ignored. The sticky hand was back, only this time, halfway up her thigh. She whirled around, as best she could given the space limitations, only to be foiled by the announcement of “Ho, ho, ho. Wenceslaus Circle, next stop” and the careening, shuttering stop of the Sleigh.
And the electric-green eggnog milkshake coating her from stem to stern.
She looked down in that kind of slow-motion movie magic that usually only happened when you were about to find out some terrible news. Johnny isn’t coming back from the front. Mr. President, we’ve lost communication with the Mars Transporter. It’s cancer.
It was everywhere.
Soaking through the silk and lining of her favorite suit dress and literally dripping down between her breasts to congeal somewhere in the cups of her bra. She wouldn’t even speak of what was happening to her shapewear. And her shoes!
“No food on the Sleigh,” she screamed. “How hard is it to follow the rules?”
Oh, so now there was dead silence on the Sleigh. And lots of disapproving looks and parents collecting their children and holding them tight.
“That’s enough, Kelly,” Carlos’ voice came over the loud speaker. “This is your exit.”
“Seriously?” She looked around, aware that she was the one who looked like a monster but unable to stop. “I’m the one getting in trouble?”
“Santa’s watching, Miss Griffin.”
“Oh, give me a break,” she muttered, not caring that she was slinging milkshake all over the other passengers as she splooshed her way to the exit. Where were all of those super-attentive adults when the Santa’s not real fight had been happening? Huh? “I’ll be filing a report, Carlos. Mark my words.”
“Please do, Miss Grinch. And have a very Merry Christmas.”
She gathered herself with as much dignity as she could manage and stepped off the Sleigh to a chorus of “Miss Grinch! Miss Grinch!” following her.
At the curb, a young family of four in matchy-matchy elf costumes stood, watching in horror, as she regained her composure. (Kind of hard to do when you were coated with green slime.) Kelly just smiled as best she could and said, “Merry Christmas.”
Only to be rewarded for her good cheer by the littlest elf barfing up her cookies and milk on Kelly’s feet.