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Stealing Christmas #MFRWhooks

Stealing Christmas

Secrets abound in Benson's Bakery. A crazed Santa wants something valuable hidden inside the building, and only two things stand in his way...Jake and Sara.

When Sara Henderson receives threatening letters just days before Christmas, she asks sexy bread baker Jake Benson for help. Jake is more than happy to provide the muscle to keep the beautiful cake decorator from harm, but he has an ulterior motive--to steal a kiss under the mistletoe. Sara wants that kiss as much as he does, but first they have a mystery to solve.

Will they find out who is stalking Sara, or will Santa succeed in stealing Christmas?

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Excerpt

Once Tori arrived, Sara returned to the office.  Jake stood in the prep area, still up to his elbows in dough.  He glanced up as she walked by. “I’m going with you to the bank.”

 

“You’re behind on the breads. I can take Tori with me or wait until Seth gets back.”

 

“I won’t be that long, Sara.”

 

She faced him.  “Neither will I.”

 

He plopped a portion of dough on a scale, checking the weight before rounding it in a ball.  “I’ll be done by the time you’re finished with the deposit.”

 

She groaned.  He wouldn’t leave her alone until she agreed to his company.  “Fine, I’ll even start the car to give you extra time.”

 

Jake inclined his head and continued his task.  Sara studied the way he manipulated the dough, used the heels of his hands to push the bread away and his strong fingers to fold it over and bring it back.  Over and over, he tugged and pulled, kneading and twisting. For a moment, Sara envisioned him doing the same thing to her, even when he occasionally pinched the dough to see if it was ready.

 

“You’re staring,” he said.

 

She swallowed.  “I wasn’t. How long will the dough take to rise?”

 

“Depends on how much heat and moisture it gets.”

 

“What happens if there’s too much heat and moisture?”  She met and held his gaze.

 

“The dough gets too sticky and it won’t rise as much.”  He never stopped moving his hands.

 

She wondered what would get a rise out of him.  “I-I’ll be in the office.”

 

He rounded the dough.  “I’ll be here.”

 

She spun on her heel and bumped into the door, her face burned when he laughed behind her. Head held high she entered the office and closed the door.  What was she doing thinking about Jake like that? Could he really want to pursue something with her now? She put her hands to her flaming cheeks, glancing through the door window. He still had his eyes on her. She spun away, and leaned against the door, a hand over her racing heart. A faint smile brushed the corners of her mouth as she went to the safe and pulled out the deposit.

 

Ten minutes later Sara had the money bundled, her change order ready, and her coat on.  She stepped out of the office, digging in her purse for her keys. “I’m starting the car.  It’s snowing again.”

 

“Wait for me. I just have to wash my hands.”  Jake placed the last of the dough in loaf pans.

 

“My car is three feet from the door.”  She shook her head. “I’m just warming up the car!”

 

He chuckled.  “I still have to wash my hands.”

 

With a huff, Sara stepped into the back alley and slammed the door.  She paused, thumbing through the jumble of keys for the right one and peered around the drab gray world.  Her car wasn’t exactly three feet from the door, more like thirty. She pulled her hood over her ebony hair and started forward.

 

She was perfectly capable of going to the bank by herself, but now that she was in a winter wonderland alone, her bravado failed.  Sara crunched across the snow, bare asphalt peeking through in spots. The keys jangled as her foot slid on an icy patch. She stuttered stepped and came to a bone-jarring halt. That could’ve been bad, she’d have to throw down more salt. Drawing in a deep breath, she moved forward again.

 

Rough hands seized her jacket.

 

Sara struggled for purchase while jerking away from her assailant.  How could she have been so stupid? Panic turned her limbs to jelly, her breath came in stuttered gasps. She had to get away. His strong grip held her purse and jacket.  She pried at his hands, but he refused to release her. Twisting in his grasp, she stared into his cold eyes, his thin lips curling into a sneer.

 

“Let go!” she shouted.

 

“Give me what I want!”

 

Sara wrenched away from him, ripping her coat.  He struggled to retain his grip, yanking the purse tangled around her arm. If she could get enough room to maneuver she could get away. His fingers slipped. She raised her foot and kicked, her boot connecting with his shin.  He howled, but didn’t release her.

 

He seized her arms, lifting her. Sucking in a breath, she squirmed this way and that to break his hold. Santa’s sleeve fell back. Her eyes fastened on the bit of ink ringing his wrist. She struggled harder. A shriek left her lips and disappeared into the snow. She kicked her legs, hoping to connect with a body part. Nothing but air. He swung her around. She should’ve waited. The door scraped open. He gave her one final, violent shake, dropped her and fled.

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Gluttony: It all begins with Gluttony. (Sin-Eaters Book 2) by Lynn Chantale

Halloween Giveaway: Gluttony #MFRWhooks

 

An ancient sect of gods, known as Sin-Eaters, have one last chance to save humanity from an Emperor God bent on world domination. And it all begins with Gluttony.

Tialoc had one mission, find gluttony and return it to the tlazolli or sin box. He doesn’t expect to find the sin wrapped in a sexy chocolate-skinned woman or that she is his mate.

CJ accepts a trip to paradise to meet Tialoc. When an accident sidelines her before their first date, she’s hesitant to go at all. What she isn’t prepared for is the passion or love they share.

When their lovemaking has unexpected consequences, time is of the essence. Tialoc must convince CJ to embrace her destiny or lose him forever.

 

Excerpt

Tenochtitlán, Sometime in the Past

 

War was inevitable.

Tialoc peered around the marble Pantheon. Great stone pillars disappeared into the high vaulted ceiling. Sculptures of fallen gods, those who’d lost their immortality, littered the cavernous throne room like forgotten trash. Several lesser deities clothed in silver breastplates and feathered headdresses stood at attention beside the doors and strategic points along the wall. Tialoc tried not to smile. He could take them all out with a flick of his wrist and a well-placed lightning bolt.

He was a god, part of an ancient sect known as the Sin-Eaters. He commanded the elements, held enormous strength, and was next in line for the crown. He could do without the throne.

“You demanded an audience, then show blatant disrespect?” A strident voice thundered. “You will kneel before my throne.”

Tialoc merely lifted a brow. The annoyance in Emperor God’s voice did not spur Tialoc forward, instead, he met the other god’s cold stare with insolence. “You have shown little respect for anyone but yourself, Emperor God,” the last bit was said with a sneer.

Moctezuma flashed a cold smile. “And now you keep me waiting as well.”

 

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http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2020/10/
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Gluttony: It all begins with Gluttony. (Sin-Eaters Book 2) by Lynn Chantale

Embrace her destiny #MFRWhooks

 

An ancient sect of gods, known as Sin-Eaters, have one last chance to save humanity from an Emperor God bent on world domination. And it all begins with Gluttony.

Tialoc had one mission, find gluttony and return it to the tlazolli or sin box. He doesn’t expect to find the sin wrapped in a sexy chocolate-skinned woman or that she is his mate.

CJ accepts a trip to paradise to meet Tialoc. When an accident sidelines her before their first date, she’s hesitant to go at all. What she isn’t prepared for is the passion or love they share.

When their lovemaking has unexpected consequences, time is of the essence. Tialoc must convince CJ to embrace her destiny or lose him forever.

 

Excerpt

Tialoc turned from the window. With a quick glance at the bed to assure him that CJ still slept, he ushered Izel from the room but stood in the door so he could watch CJ.

“Moctezuma came to visit her.”

The goddess’ eyes widened. “Does she know who he is? Or who you are?”

He shook his head. “She thinks I’m a guy she met online.”

“Sneaky. I like that.” Izel tilted her head to the side. “Did he say anything?”

“He pretended to be a doctor.”

Izel tipped her head back. “What do you want me to do?”

“She will need some help when she is discharged and if Emperor God is visiting her, she will need protection when I am not around.”

“Why are you so stuck on this one woman? Do not get me wrong, she is absolutely beautiful, but if she cannot protect herself from Emperor God, why would you want her?”

“She is my mate.”

Izel leaned forward and to the side. Tialoc followed her gaze. “But she is so small.”

“And that means?”

She dragged her gaze back. “I meant no disrespect. She just seems small for a human.”

“Izel.”

“Fine. I am just saying. Whatever you need, I will be there for her.” She bowed her head, crossed her right arm, fist closed to her shoulder in a salute. With a blink, she disappeared in a puff of pink smoke.

The goddess always knew how to make an exit. Tialoc stepped back into the room and sat in the chair next to the bed. He leaned forward. With the back of his finger, he caressed her cheek. CJ sighed, her warm breath tickled the hairs on his knuckles, and she moved closer to his touch. Never had he felt skin so soft. It reminded him of the orchids that used to populate the jungles, now so rare they could be considered extinct. Yet with each stroke, he realized there was no comparison. CJ’s skin was much softer.

He reached over and grabbed the roll from the tray. How the hell was he going to get rid of this sin if he couldn’t stop eating? What more did he have to do? He found his mate; shouldn’t his appetite dwindle?

Tialoc stared at the half-eaten bread. Had it been so long that he’d forgotten? The only way to get the sin from her was to break bread and she had to do it willingly.

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