A Christmas Kiss with Her Ex-Army Doc

By: Tina Beckett

Can a Christmas kiss...

...lead to their happy-ever-after?


Nurse Hollee Cantrell is stunned when ex-army doc Clancy deOliveira begins working at her hospital. Years ago, they shared a passionate kiss—but then Clancy left and Hollee married his best friend. Now widowed, it’s time for Hollee to admit that her marriage was a sham and she’s never stopped thinking about Clancy. And as their desire reignites, it seems Clancy hasn’t forgotten her either…





“Maybe I should go.”


She leaned over and took hold of Clancy’s arm, staring into his eyes for a long moment. Then her teeth bit the corner of her lip before she said, “And if I asked you to stay?”

The fortune that was still curled in his palm seemed to burn his skin, making him remember exactly what he’d thought those words had meant. Something inside him declared war on the rational part of his brain, which was trying to make itself heard. His body wanted no part of that. All it wanted was one thing. Hollee. On that counter. Naked. As if to prove that point, things were already rising to new heights. Just like his fortune had promised.

“Are you asking me to?”

“I wouldn’t have said it if I wasn’t.” She bit her lip. “Please don’t tell me we shouldn’t.”





Dear Reader,

That first crush—do you remember yours? I remember mine all too well. The heady butterflies...and the terrifying angst. There seemed to be no in between when it came to those shivery emotions.

Hollee Cantrell can vividly recall the moment when Clancy deOliveira caught her eye. And she can also remember the awful moment when he turned his back on her. Since then she’s been married and widowed, but she’s never quite forgotten Clancy. Ten years later he’s back, and his effect on her senses is just as devastating as ever.

Thank you for joining Hollee and Clancy as they go on a journey of second chances, learning about forgiveness as they go. I hope you love reading their story as much as I loved writing it.

Love,

Tina Beckett





PROLOGUE


THE FUNERAL MADE her squirm, her grief and tears for her husband having already been spent long ago. The second the news had reached her that Jacob’s chopper had been shot down in a remote part of Afghanistan, Hollee Cantrell had instinctively known he hadn’t survived. But protocol demanded he be listed as MIA until the helicopter and his body were found.

A year later, both had been.

It was official. She was a widow. The ache in her heart bloomed to life all over again.

She stood on the plush lawn of the cemetery beside her parents as guns fired one blistering shot after another until all she wanted to do was press her hands to her ears and muffle the sound.

Instead she stood frozen in place.

The military salute ended and almost against her will her eyes shifted to a spot to her right.

He was watching her. Again.

When he mouthed, Are you okay? her eyes filled with hot tears.

All she could think about was herself, and here was Jacob’s best friend—looking as handsome as sin in his dress blues—asking her if she was okay. He’d separated himself from their little band of friends before she and Jacob had started dating, deciding that playing the field was a lot more fun than hanging out with them. So she was surprised to actually see him here. And even more surprised that he cared about how she felt. If only he’d known all those years ago that, given the choice, she would have chosen...

No, it would have changed nothing.

She forced herself to give an imperceptible nod, even though she wasn’t okay. Not at all. What she felt was numb.

Her dad put an arm around her shoulder and dropped a kiss on her head, which made her tears come even faster.

Using her fists, she rubbed them away and prayed neither Clancy, his sister nor his mother came over to speak to her after it was all over.

She felt the worst sort of traitor. She’d married Jacob and only a couple of years later had she realized she’d made a mistake. But there’d been no going back, even as the ring on her finger had become a noose she had been desperate to escape. She’d planned on having a long talk about their future once he came off deployment. Only he’d never come home.

And now she was done with love. Done with relationships. Forever.

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