Summary from Amazon
Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.
After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.
But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.
However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…
Settle down with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine as you devour this irresistibly festive Christmas tale. The perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.
(published by Avon)
She breathed in the sharp smell of the lime bath foam in the steam that was rising to prickle her skin. Or perhaps the tingling was actually the excitement of being wanted, of being fixed in the tractor beam of his gaze. She had to lick her lips before she could speak. ‘Your bath’s big enough for two. Is that clear enough?’
His smile flashed. ‘Even for me.’ He hesitated no more, lifting his hands to rest lightly on her shoulders before dipping his head to kiss her, letting the kiss deepen as they learned the taste of each other. Then he touched her body slowly, as if exploring a new land.
Heart pounding with every new caress, she let him undress her before she reached for him, unfastening the dusty denim of his jeans, releasing him. Enjoying his shudder as she caught him in her hand, savouring the brush of his body hair, the heat of his skin.
Somewhere along the line he’d paused to turn off the tap. Now he tested the water then lifted her, stepping over the bath side, sinking down into the delicious bubbly warmth until the foam threatened to overflow.
Their bodies slipped and slid familiarly, as if they’d known each other for years. He cupped his hands and rinsed the dust and cobwebs from her hair, sending it streaming back from her forehead. Then he turned his attention to her body and soaped her from top to toe, stoking her desires until it was all she could do to concentrate on soaping him in return, learning the shape of him and what made him close his eyes and groan.
Finally, she straddled his body.
His eyes flipped open as if in sudden pain. ‘I have no condoms.’
She halted with a groan. ‘Neither do I.’
Then he surged to his feet, taking her with him, reaching for the towels. ‘Let’s take this into the bedroom. A little imagination . . . a lot of possibilities.’
Wrapped in towels and sketchily dried, they padded into the bedroom and he paused to put a match to the fire, crouching on the dusky red rug to feed the flames until they danced high, bathing him in flickering golden light. Alexia sank down beside him. ‘I’ve never seen an open fire in a bedroom. Are you a caveman?’
He turned his head, reaching out to flick her towel open. ‘Sounds impressive but actually I get free firewood.’
Then he secured the guard around the fire and reached for her again.
Alexia didn’t know whether it was the heat from the flames or his hands and tongue that scorched her skin. Every touch just made her hotter, want harder, a wanting he took as his mission to fulfil until, finally, they made it onto his bed to sleep.