I love Christmas. Love, love, love it. You might have noticed with how many stories I have that are based at Christmas time! I love everything about the season, the giving, the loving, the tacky decorations, bright lights and the food.
So I jump at the chance to celebrate it more than once a year. In July we pick a day and Celebrate Christmas in the Blisse household. We get out a little tree, a few decorations. I cook a Christmas like meal and we have Christmas cake and gingerbread cookies and watch Christmas films. We also give each other presents. We all have a small amount of money (about £3 per person) to go out and buy a little present for the others. We wrap them up (I always have loads of Christmas wrap!) and enjoy opening them. It’s a real treat. And I often feel it’s closer to what Christmas should be than the one we celebrate in December. It’s certainly a lot less stressful.
Carl, in Always Christmas in Lincoln, has the same love of Christmas as me. He runs an all year round Christmas shop. Here’s the blurb:
Felicity hates Christmas. It reminds her of a traumatic event from her childhood. She thinks the Permanent Christmas shop is tacky, with its windows full of trees and tinsel all year round and would rather it disappeared from her picturesque home town.
When she discovers that Carl, who she lusts over every time she sees him in the tea rooms, is in fact the owner of Ho, Ho, Ho! She’s not quite sure what to think. It takes a sexy meeting in the middle of a fake winter wonderland to make her realise the advantages of Christmas in the middle of summer.
As time passes, Carl and Felicity indulge in more sexy liaisons but as Christmas approaches Felicity doubts whether she is anything more than a sensual distraction for the festive shop owner and when her handsome ex, Sean, sweeps into town on a quest to win her back she finds she has a tough decision to make.
Can Carl and his Christmas cheer win over her hardened heart?
And now an excerpt ‘cos I’m nice like that. ;)
“Yes, I’m mad,” he said. “I know that. I love Christmas.”
“Oh, no, it’s sweet,” I gasped. “It’s just…I’m not a fan of the festive season.” “Really?”
“Really, really. It’s not Christmas, just something happened at that time of year and…well; it kind of poisoned my enjoyment of it.”
“That’s awful,” Carl sympathised. “I hope you work out some way to separate the two, because no one should miss out on the joy of Christmas.”
The silence that fell wasn’t particularly awkward. Funny how quickly a stranger can become a friend, but I was on edge because I could feel him beside me, smell his light cinnamon aftershave, and I just wanted to pounce on him and have my wicked way.
“I guess I should be going,” I sighed. “Not that I want to go out there again—it’s so cool and refreshing in here.”
“Then stay. I’d be grateful of the company while I finish putting together my North Pole.”
“Well, if you’re sure…”
“Yes, yes, stay. I could do with a second opinion on where to place my candy canes.” “All right,” I agreed. “Can I give you a hand since I’m here anyway?”
“Well, go on then. I’m used to doing them on my own, but I’ve seen your window displays and they’re always gorgeous. Can you organise the penguins and polar bears for me?”
“Sure.” I smiled, shut the laptop and picked up a polar bear. It’s not often a person gets to say that, I suppose. We chatted amicably as we positioned and re-positioned soft toys, ornaments and gingerbread houses. I’d not felt so relaxed and happy for a long while. The loneliness had sunk into my soul and I’d barely even recognised it. As I pondered what that meant for me and my life, I miscalculated how far forward I needed to lean to place my singing, dancing penguin, and I slipped. I knocked into Carl, yelped and thankfully landed on the soft toys. Carl’s landing wasn’t quite so soft, since he ended up on top of me.
“Oh, fu—I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” Carl pushed himself up, but I was still very aware of his pelvis pressing against mine. “Don’t worry, accidents happen.”
“I’m sorry, I’ll pay for anything I’ve broken, I’ll put everything back in just the place it was…”
Carl kissed me.
It was far more complex than that, but at that moment my mind went blank and I just couldn’t think. His lips were on mine. They were plump, hot and very skilled. He took my breath away with just the gentlest undulations. I wrapped my arms around him without thought; pulled him close and let out all the passion that had built up inside me. We broke apart and took ragged breaths before our lips pulled us back together again. Our eyes were open and I could see that he was holding back just a little bit, nervous about whether this was what I wanted. I was sure he’d see the same emotions in the sea of my green eyes.
It struck me as funny that two grown adults lip-locked together still seemed so hesitant. I think he felt the smile cross my lips, because he turned up the heat. He rolled to his side and pulled me over on top of him. I laughed, then groaned because I felt the significant bump rising from his crotch. I was now somewhat in control and after a moment, a very brief moment of doubt, I reached out to undo the buttons on his shirt. His fingers crept up my thighs in response.
I kissed down the outline of his jaw; he moved a hand to cup one of my buttocks. I finished unbuttoning him and he clasped me from the other side, so I was surrounded by his
touch and aroused by his gentle squeezes. I continued my kiss trail down over his chest. It was a strong chest, not bursting with muscles—that does nothing for me anyway—but steely, with the kind of muscles that aren’t showy but get the job done well enough, thank you.
As I slipped lower, Carl reluctantly let go of my cotton-covered arse. His breath was ragged as, I am sure, was mine. I felt like I couldn’t quite catch my breath and I was sure that if I were a heroine in a historical romance I’d be experiencing a touch of the vapours.
The real experience waited for me within the casual trousers of the all-year-round Christmas salesman. I was relieved to find plain, black underwear without a Santa, reindeer or Christmas tree in sight, and that the significant bulge inside was all tasty, hot flesh and not a figment of my fevered imagination.
And for more Blissemas in July fun check out blissemas.co.uk and make sure you comment on all the blogs so far as each comment counts as an entry into the Blissemas Draw for a $50 All Romance Ebooks voucher! And of course, comment on this post for your entry, too.
So are you a Christmas all year round kind of person or not? I’d love to know. :)