Author: Emily March
Series: Eternity Springs #12
Release Date: October 4, 2016
My Rating: 5 Stars!
Can Miss Christmas find her spirit again?
After a devastating betrayal, Claire Branham packs up the pieces of her life, along with a twenty-million-dollar secret, and moves to Eternity Springs. She opens a specialty shop—Forever Christmas—and, with the help of a surprise romance with the town’s sexy new handyman, Claire’s heart begins to heal. Until her past comes knocking…
Jax Lancaster never questioned the need to abandon his career as a Navy submariner in order to care for his young son in the wake of his ex-wife’s death. Desperate to help with this loss, Jax straps on a tool belt to give Nicholas the one thing he wants: A life in Eternity Springs. What Jax never expected to find was a second chance at love with a fascinating woman for whom Christmas has become a business. But when the truth about Claire threatens their newfound happiness, can Jax prove to her that in Eternity Springs, the spirit of Christmas is real. . .and will last a lifetime?
In her apartment, he discovered she’d been busy since making the decision to move to Three Bears Valley.
“That’s a lot of boxes.”
“I know. I’m not quite sure how I’ve accumulated so much stuff. My closets aren’t that big. Of course, most of the boxes are filled with books.”
“That sound is my back groaning.”
She glanced at him in alarm. “You don’t have to help, Jax. I planned to hire some—”
He cut off her protest by placing his index finger against her lips. Her full, soft, cherry- red lips. His voice rough, he said, “I was teasing.”
She’d gone still. The pulse at her neck visibly fluttered.
Jax recognized that he’d made a mistake by touching her.
However, now that he’d done it, he couldn’t seem to stop.
He allowed his fi n ger to slide, stroking her bottom lip back and forth. Her mouth fell open. Back and forth. “Do you like to be teased, Miss Christmas?”
“No. Yes. It depends,” she replied, her voice low and breathy.
Jax chuckled softly. “ You’re quite a tease yourself.”
“Why do you say that?”
Had she swayed toward him as she spoke? Maybe so.
“You have mistletoe hung from every doorway in the building.”
“That’s not t- t- teasing. It’s marketing.” Her gaze was locked on his mouth. “Customers who shop with their significant others tend to love it. They linger.”
He lifted his free hand to her waist. “I like to linger.”
“Oh, yeah.” He pulled her closer. “I’ve been thinking about lingering since last July.”
“You ask a lot of questions, Miss Christmas.”
“ You’re delicious.”
“How do you know?” she challenged. “You haven’t kissed me.”
“Now, you have a point right there. But like I said, I like to linger.”
He tilted her face up to him and finally . . . finally . . . lowered his mouth to hers.
Jax hadn’t kissed a woman in a very long time, and he wanted to savor the experience, so he lingered as promised. He nipped and nibbled and leisurely explored, banking the rising heat her response triggered and keeping the moment within the bounds of a totally appropriate first kiss.
So when it suddenly caught fi re, it caught him by surprise. He wasn’t aware of backing her against the wall. He didn’t consciously tug the tie of her apron and free the knot, then slip his hand beneath her blouse to skim across the downy softness of her skin. She tasted of peppermint—
of course she does, she’s Miss Christmas— and smelled of cinnamon and made him ache. For sex, oh, yeah, definitely for sex, but also for something more.
Whoa. That last was just what he needed to shock himself out of the sensual haze into which he’d fallen. He shifted his hands back to safer territory and broke the kiss, lifting his head and gazing down into her upturned face.
The vision of her lips pink and wet and swollen from his kiss proved irresistible. He needed one more taste, so he dove in again.
The one more taste became a second taste and then a third. Only when it threatened to flare out of control completely was he able to release her and take a step back. For a long minute, they gazed at one another in a bit of a daze. When Jax finally found his voice, he said, “Wow. You pack
a punch, Miss Christmas.”
The slow smile that spread across her face was as sweet as a candy cane. “That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a very long time.”
“That kiss is the nicest thing I’ve shared with anyone in a very long time,” he responded honestly.
She opened her mouth to speak, but hesitated. A shadow crossed her face and her teeth nibbled at that sweet lower lip. “What’s wrong?” Jax asked.
“I just . . . well . . . this is probably the absolutely wrong thing to say. Way too presumptive. But . . . after my last romantic disaster, I promised myself . . . you see . . . expectations are a dangerous thing. I don’t ever want anyone to think . . . I don’t want you to think . . .”
“Spit it out, Claire.”
“I like you, Jax. I really, really like you. And Nicholas, too. Like I said, I know this is presumptive, but I’d like to spend time with you. I’d like to share more . . .” She waved her hand about, obviously searching for a word. “More. But I’m not in the market for a relationship, and I want to be up- front about that.”
Copyright © 2016 by Emily March and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
If you're in the mood for a feel-good Christmas story look no further. Emily March has a way about her books. Eternity Springs always makes me feel like coming home, even if gosh forbid I've missed a few books. You get the same smiling faces, and a new heartfelt, and wonderfully romance-y story with a new couple each time. Christmas in Eternity Springs was all that a more. It's a wrench your heart out, twist it a little more and then meld it back together story.
Jax and Claire have a lot going on. He's a single dad with a traumatized child, and Clair AKA Miss Christmas has a whole bunch of other issues, one of which really took me by complete surprise. It was a nice deviation form the normal Eternity Springs books, we normally know everything up front, but the whopper that Emily March hooked into this book just made it that much more bittersweet and amazing.
You can't read an Eternity Springs novel and not want to visit, and wish that these characters were real people. Their spirits fly off the pages, and give you a big 'ol hug each time you turn the page. And really, after all the angst, and turmoil I've been reading lately, what I needed was this. A luxurious journey of two people finding love, a family mending individually and together, a show of strength that will astound and inspire, and a flat-out great read. Christmas in Eternity Springs is a breath of fresh air and I really can't wait to travel back to Eternity Springs soon!
*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.