November 18, 2011
Christmas Romance - THE PRICELESS GIFT
By Anna Kathryn Lanier
The last thing Christina Scott expects Santa to bring her is a sexy—and very familiar—cowboy. Gavin Holloway’s just as shocked to discover she’s the woman he’s sent to pick up from the airport for a Christmas visit with her brother. They'd spent one hot week together months ago—a week where they both left their identities and individual problems behind. Neither ever expected a reunion.
Little do they know, Santa's elf has more than coal up his sleeve. Ho ho ho and a badgering we'll go before reindeer two-step on their rooftop and deliver THE PRICELESS GIFT that will leave their snowy days sizzling.
What People are Saying About
THE PRICELESS GIFT
Anna Kathryn Lanier's romantic novella is a perfect read for the Holidays. It was filled with warmth and love that would melt all of the snow in Montana at Christmas time. Fabulously detailed characters and scenery made The Priceless Gift enjoyable to read. It ended so soon, I was left wanting more. Ms. Lanier has a way with touching the reader's heart, which is why she is getting 5 Hearts from me.
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The Fallen Angels 4 Angel Review:
This is a very short story, but Ms. Lanier quickly gets the reader into the crux of the problem and twists your emotions with sympathy for these two wounded souls. ~ Stephanie B
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Ms. Lanier hooked me from the first sentence. Gavin is larger than life, sexy and hot. Christina is a perfect match for his don’t-mess-with-me character. I felt their emotions and passion and wished the story was a full-length novel. Ms. Lanier wove real life into her hero and heroine. I recommend The Priceless Gift to anyone who is a hopeless romantic and believes in a Happily Ever After. ~ Reviewed by Jannine Corti Petska, THE LILY AND THEFALCON
THE PRICELESS GIFT
Gavin Holloway was a leg man and the legs standing beside the information desk had more than his attention on alert. A short skirt showed off nearly all of her sexy, lightly tanned legs and molded the cutest ass he’d seen in quite a while…not since he’d been with Lynn on that cruise in June.
He adjusted the Stetson on his head and stepped further into the small municipal airport waiting room. He was fifteen minutes late and hoped Jacob’s sister didn’t mind the delay.
Michael Martin Murphey sang Two Step 'Round The Christmas Tree through the overhead speakers as Gavin scanned the waiting area decorated with holiday greenery. The other six occupants were either male or too old to be the woman he’d been sent to pick up. His eyes landed on the long-legged blonde. She had to be Christina Scott.
His boots pounded out a tattoo as he crossed the concrete floor. The attendant behind the information desk turned his way, an appreciative look in her eyes. Gavin tipped his hat but turned his attention to the blonde. The familiar scent of lilac swirled around him. He closed his eyes briefly and thought of Lynn. Shaking his head, he pushed away the memories and concentrated on the present.
“Christina Scott?” he asked a moment later. She turned and his back stiffened. It couldn’t be. “Lynn?”
Hazel eyes widened in surprise. “Oh, my God. Paul?” She threw her arms around his neck and hugged—tight. He wrapped his around her waist and held her close, the feel of her body against his awaking memories he’d relived many a night in the past six months.
Her lips brushed his neck, then she pulled back to look into his face. “What on earth are you doing here?”
Holding a dream.
What the hell was she doing here? Reality crashed in and he stepped out of the embrace.
“Are you Christina Scott?”
Scalding rage swept through him. What was Jacob about?
He glanced up and noted the girl behind the desk watched with avid interest. He gripped Lynn by the arm and pulled her across the room. He might’ve had the best sex ever in his life with this woman. He might’ve even tried to find her after they’d gone their separate ways when the ship docked. Yet, he never thought he’d run into her at a municipal airport in the middle of nowhere Montana. Nor did he ever imagine to discover she was his friend’s sister.
“You lied about your name,” he accused.
Her gaze narrowed. “No, I didn’t. I am Christina Lynn Scott.”
“What are you and Jacob up to?” he demanded.
Her face drained of color. “You know Jacob?”
“Don’t play me for a fool, Lynn. You know I know Jacob.”
“How would I know that? Why would I know that?”
“Because I own the Triple H Ranch—where your brother’s lived for the last two years.”
She sat hard on a plastic molded chair. “No, no. Gavin Holloway owns the Triple H Ranch.”
“Yep.” He tapped his chest with his fingers. “Gavin Paul Holloway.”
Luminous eyes looked at him. “You told me you were a businessman.”
He stuffed his hands into the pocket of his jeans. “I am. I own a working ranch, with cattle and horses. You told me you were a…actually, you didn’t tell me anything about you, did you? Including the fact you had a brother named Jacob.”
She jumped to her feet, forcing him to step back. A well-manicured finger jabbed him in his chest.
“You were the one who approached me, remember? You said no strings. You didn’t want to share stories about ourselves.”
He stared at the finger poised to poke him again. It curled into a fist and the hand dropped. He let silence fill the air, mainly because, damn it, she was right. He was the one who made the first move in the ship’s bar after he’d followed her there. He was the one who didn’t want to know more than her name. Every time she’d started talking about herself, he’d stopped her—usually with a kiss.
Jesus, how’d he get himself into this mess? There were two kinds of women a man just didn’t get involved with. One was the married kind; the other was a friend’s sister.
But Jacob was the one who talked Gavin into taking the non-refundable cruise ticket when Jacob decided to go to Paris with his girlfriend instead of on the cruise. What the hell was going on?
“Does Jacob know?” she asked in a near whisper.
“Does Jacob know what?” he taunted. “That I had a week of mind blowing sex with his sister? How could he? I didn’t know you were his sister.”
Alarm danced in her eyes. “But he knows you had…‘mind blowing sex’ with someone?”
Unbidden memories flashed through his mind and he rubbed a hand over his face to blot them out. This was neither the time nor the place to relive those moments. “Yeah, he knows,” he said in a low voice. “A guy just can’t keep something like that a secret.”
But it seemed one guy could—Jacob. Suspicion narrowed his eyes. His ex-fiancée Stephanie and her brother had been good at keeping secrets and it nearly cost him everything he held dear. So what secrets were Christina Lynn and Jacob keeping from him?
“Was it really?” She blushed.
Confusion whirled around him. “Was what really?”
“Was the sex mind blowing?”
“You have to ask?” he growled. Had she forgotten already? He sure hadn’t. He doubted he ever would.
She shrugged. “You’ve had time to reflect, to rethink, to adjust to the real world.”
“I haven’t had that much time, lady.”
She blushed again as her gaze moved around the room, then stopped on him. “Where’s Jacob?”
“He had an emergency and sent me to get you.”
Her brows knitted. “What sort of an emergency does a mineral rights lawyer have?”
“Hell if I know,” he replied. “He called me this morning and said he had to get to Helena and file some brief with the Supreme Court. Then he asked if I’d pick up his sister at the airport and bring her to the Triple H.”
She blinked a couple of times and chewed her lower lip. He’d watched her do that several times during their week together. She was mulling something over. Was she going to confess she was in on this...whatever it was Jacob was up to?
After a moment, she let out a sigh. “Jacob said it was a two hour drive. I guess we’d better be going.”
She sounded as if that was the last thing she wanted to do and spending two hours alone with her right now wasn’t his idea of fun either. Unfortunately neither had a choice.
She waved a hand at a pile of luggage to her left. “Those are my bags.”
He retrieved two large suitcases and a computer case. His gaze slid over her body, a body he knew every inch of intimately. Not for the first time since he’d recognized her, his body reacted. The form-fitting pink shirt hugged her body, while the gray skirt showed more leg than it covered. She was dressed for a Hawaiian summer, not a Montana winter.
“Put your coat on. The heater went out on my truck last week and I haven’t had time to get it fixed.”
She looked at him as if he had two heads. “I lived in Hawaii. I don’t own a coat.”
“You don’t own a coat? Didn’t Jacob tell you Montana’s frigid in December? Hell, the forecast is for six inches of snow by tomorrow evening.”
“I’m aware of the weather conditions here. Jacob said he had one I could use.”
He shifted her luggage in his hands. “He didn’t say anything to me about a coat.”
“Great,” she mumbled, slipping into a lightweight jacket that matched her gray skirt.
“You didn’t think to at least wear jeans?” he asked.
Flashing hazel eyes met his stare. “I had a job interview in San Diego this morning before flying here. Jeans just didn’t seem appropriate.” With a flip of her hair, she turned and defiantly walked out of the terminal.
Anna Kathryn Lanier 2009 Copyright
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