Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Excerpt: A Spy for Christmas Kristen James @writerkristenj

A Spy for Christmas

Kristen James
What’s more dangerous? The Oregon wilderness? Hit men? Or the heat in Grayson’s arms?
Robin is flying back into the misty Pacific Northwest for Christmas, which is a bit fitting after her last so-so relationship ended. Alex just wasn’t the right man for her. Things look up when Grayson sits next to her on the plane—he’s hot, charming, witty and very into her. Unfortunately their chance meeting puts her in danger, and suddenly Robin is trapped into spending the holiday with this charming, mysterious man at a secluded mountain cabin.
He vows to protect her with his own life if needed, but the danger isn’t just from the men tracking them down. Robin isn’t sure she can trust Grayson, and yet she’s pulled to his magnetism. Safety is quickly losing the battle to desire…

http://amzn.com/B00A8AMIGQ

Chapter One

Robin Holliday watched the pristine blue Pacific Ocean fade away under the clouds through the plane window as they flew out of Honolulu. She was flying home to Portland, Oregon, for a cold and snowy Christmas. To tell the truth, the chilly, foggy weather in the Pacific Northwest seemed better suited for the holiday. At least this year.
Spending a week in the sun, sand, and ocean had taken her mind off her recent breakup, and even cleared her head until takeoff today. Actually, it had been fun to visit with people from all over the world, sip fruity drinks, and eat shrimp to her heart’s content. Her ex, Alex, was allergic to any and all seafood, so she’d given up her favorite fare for the last four years. Not anymore!
Her seatmate, a petite woman who looked twenty or younger with multicolored hair, leaned toward the window and sighed. “I miss it already. I just spent two weeks at the Kahala Resort for my honeymoon.”
The girl—Arianna, now Mrs. Berkley—kept talking while Robin peered past her, looking for the new husband, only to find a balding, sixty-something man across the aisle. Did Arianna return from her honeymoon alone? Robin wanted to ask, but she really didn’t want to discuss anything wedding-related. Just a month ago, she was buying wedding magazines and dreaming about big, white cakes, but things sure changed. Robin was the one who sighed this time.
“I know, right?” Arianna almost giggled.
“Excuse me.” A man—an extremely sexy man—leaned down toward the girl with a dashing smile on his strong face. “Your husband told me you were back here by yourself, so… I said I would trade seats. I can’t let you two be apart on Christmas.”
For a second, both women stared up at him in silence. The radiance in his eyes drew Robin in, even more than his rugged, strong features. Well, okay, she could definitely stare a while at those brown eyes and that mouth…
“Oh, thank you! And Merry Christmas!” Arianna gushed, then threw her arms right around his neck, but quickly released him to grab her small carryon bag from the floor.  She hurried off with a little finger-wiggle wave and grin.
The man offered Robin a tentative smile and yet still appeared confident. “I hope you don’t mind.” His voice was deep, but not too deep, and very soothing.
She shook her head. “Of course not.” She didn’t mind at all, and wouldn’t mind having a few fantasies about his full lips, either. The problem would arise if he figured out what she was thinking. Duh, every woman watching right now was thinking the same thing!
He sat down and smiled at her, extending a hand. “Grayson.”
“I like your name.” She shook his hand, pleasantly surprised at his manners. “I’m Robin. That really was nice of you.” He was leaning toward her so she could see specks of hazel, yellow, and russet in his dark brown eyes.
“It wasn’t much…but can you imagine not getting to sit with your new husband? On Christmas Day no less?” He settled in and added, “I bet you get a ton of compliments on your hair.”
She glanced over to find his eyes tracing down her red locks. For some reason, it made her blush like a school girl. “I bet the same is true for your eyes.”
Oh. My. Word. Was she flirting? The heat in her cheeks intensified as his smile grew broader. The direct flight from Honolulu to Portland was at least five hours. How was she going to handle sitting next to him all that time?
“So, Robin,” he started, leaning even closer as if they were discussing juicy gossip. “Do you have a boyfriend, fiancé, or significant other somewhere on this plane too?”
The blatant question took her off guard. She willed herself to breathe and raised a shoulder while giving a playful shake of her head.
His eyebrows rose in what she took for surprised pleasure. His smile tilted up on one side. “So, you’re the teasing type.”
“Well, I could use some practice,” she admitted. Luckily, the words came out sounding a little bit daring instead of embarrassing, as she had feared.
His eyes narrowed a bit in curiosity, but they also held a knowing look. “Hmm, you were on one of those get-your-mojo-back kind of trips.”
Robin halfway expected him to nod and lean back in his seat, ready to ignore her, but he didn’t. Grayson tilted his head and kept his gaze on her face, waiting for her answer. “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
“So Mr. All Wrong was either incredibly stupid, a jerk—”
She shook her head sadly. “He wasn’t a bad boyfriend, for the most part. I’ll give him that, but he wasn’t interested in moving our relationship forward, either. When he said he was happy with the way things were, I realized I wasn’t.” That had been the wake up call. After waiting for him to propose for a year, she learned he “wasn’t into marriage.”
“You wanted more,” Grayson said.
“Yes!” Like passion, excitement, shared dreams. Suddenly, Robin wondered why she was sharing all this with a stranger. It was as if her thoughts wanted to pour out on their own accord. Grayson put her completely at ease with his smile, charm, and thoughtfulness.
She felt so comfortable, in fact, that she openly asked, “What about you? Are you hiding from someone?”
That made him laugh, and she immediately liked the dimple in his right cheek. “Hiding from someone? Hmm, that’s a telling comment about relationships.”
“Oh, you’re secretive, are you?” she prodded, trying not to smile but failing. “Maybe you have a girlfriend who is now stuck sitting with the newlyweds.”
He laughed too and then rested his elbow on the armrest so he could lean on it, bringing him even closer. “I’ve been traveling all over for work, but this is my last trip. Last work trip, that is.” He spoke slowly, considering his words. Instinctively, Robin knew there had to be quite a bit more behind that story.
“Downsizing?” she asked.
“Oh, no. I put in my resignation so I can move on to something else.” After a pause he smiled and added, “And now I can figure out what that something else is.”
He let his gaze fall over her face, the way water slides down a naked body in the rain. Robin really had to fight her smile now. “You must be a risk taker.”
“Aren’t we all?” Excitement warmed his voice. “Here we are in a big, metal bin a few miles up in the air. We take risks every day. I just pick my risks and decide what I want.”
His gaze did that thing again as he said what I want. Her body temperature was quickly reaching dangerous levels, both from her attraction and his contagious fervor for life.
Get the book at http://amzn.com/B00A8AMIGQ
Kristen James
www.writerkristenjames.com
Also by Kristen James:
Point Hope
More Than Memories
A Cowboy for Christmas
Embers of Hope, Bk 1, Second Gift Series
More Than a Promise, Bk 2, Second Gift Series
The Cowboy Kiss – novella
A Special Ops Christmas – novella
A Spy for Christmas – novella

Point Hope Cover
After his Navy career came to an end, Trey became an EMT in his hometown of Coos Bay, Oregon. He struggles with PTSD, which affects his ability to do his job and connect with his family. His wife seems to be living life without him.
Rosette can’t figure out what happened to her marriage, or to Trey—the man she once loved so desperately. It feels like she’ll lose everything along with him. Meanwhile, he’s enclosed in his own world without her.
Their marriage is on its last legs when their family is faced with two deaths and an orphan. They’re already raising two young children and Trey’s teenage brother, Alex. Trey and Rosette make a shaky agreement to play “family” for now so they can take care of Trey’s recently orphaned niece. But can faking it ever be enough?
It’s make-it or break-it time. If they split apart, who will raise Hope?
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Genre - Romance (women’s fiction/ family drama)
Rating – PG13
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