Jackson Holt wants to surprise his girlfriend, Meredith with the wedding of her dreams, but a jealous co-worker is bent on keeping the lovebirds apart.

Meredith Baxter is overjoyed at the prospect of a Christmas Eve wedding. When the groom goes missing just moments before the ceremony, she’s left to wonder if it’s a case of cold feet or something much more sinister.

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Did he really think a bunch of silly flowers and puppy dog eyes would make her forgive him? Meredith Baxter snatched the bouquet of pink carnations from Jackson’s hand and tossed it to the icy sidewalk.

He widened his green eyes in surprised amusement. “Don’t be that way, sweetheart,” he said. The warmth in his voice was enough to cause the cold air to melt, but not the hurt and anger surrounding her heart. He rested a hand on her arm. “It was just a misunderstanding.”

She jerked from his grasp and glared at him. “A mis...” she sputtered, then drew a deep breath. “A misunderstanding is showing up an hour late for a date. You went on tour with the band. Without telling me!”

Confusion clouded his eyes and knitted his brows together. “But I thought—is that why you didn’t bother to show up for the last gig?”

She huffed, her breath forming white wisps in the wintry air. “I’d slap your face if I thought it’d knock some sense into you.”

Jackson chuckled, the soft sound moving over her like hot chocolate, soothing and sensual.

“You always had a temper.” He stepped closer, his body heat chasing away the chill from hers, and lifted a hand to brush a wayward snowflake from her hair. “But it never lasted very long.”

She hated that he was right and even now her anger was dissolving with each frigid blast of arctic air, but he would not do this to her. Not today. And especially not after the way he left. She gazed into his face. A couple of cinnamon brown dreadlocks peeked beneath the black wool newsboy cap he wore. He could do with a shave, but the shadowed beard darkening his jaw added depth to his narrow face. She swept her gaze over his mustache and tried not to think about the way the hairs tickled her lip when he kissed her or how his mouth always drove her crazy with its whispered seductions.

Meredith fought her rising desire and stared into his eyes once more. Green. His eyes were a remarkable shade of emerald she’d never seen anywhere or on anyone else. Mix that with his caramel complexion, decadent body and a hell of a voice and she was stuck faster than a compact car in a snowdrift.

His dulcet tones mesmerized her. The way his raspy baritone warbled on blues notes was enough to grab her attention, but it was the haunted look in his eyes that captivated and his selfless giving that kept him in her heart.

He’d always been attentive and caring. But that was three months ago, before he decided to fill in for another bassist. Before he left her without so much as an email or old-fashioned ‘Dear Jane’ letter. She’d have settled for a text message, anything was better than him leaving with her heart and not telling her why. Especially after all the promises he made.

He’d pledged his love, promised her grand adventures, made her believe in the magic of love, then he took it all away.



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