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Christmas in the Cove
by Carol Ross
Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 384 pages
December 1, 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Nobody is going to hurt her—not on his watch
A DEA stealth mission has brought coast guard Lt. Commander Eli Pelletier home. But when he ends up aiding rescue swimmer Aubrey Wynn during her own harrowing mission, powerful emotions reignite between them. Except Aubrey doesn't want Eli's protection. She wants answers.
Twelve years ago, Eli broke up with Aubrey without telling her the real reason he was leaving Pacific Cove. How can he try for a second chance if he's forced to deceive her again? Amid suspected drug trafficking and a sabotaged Christmas contest, Eli must find a way to regain Aubrey's trust without compromising his career or endangering the woman he loves.
Amazon│B&N│HarlequinCarol Ross lives with her husband and one loveable miscreant of a dachshund in a small town in Washington close to both the ocean and the mountains. She adores the Pacific Northwest because it provides her with endless opportunities for the activities she loves—hiking, running, skiing, and spending time outdoors. Although she enjoys reading in many genres, she writes what she loves the most—romance, especially light-hearted stories about the fun, flirty, and often-tumultuous path toward a happily ever after.
“Are you still mad at me?” Eli asked when they were alone at the table.
“I’m trying not to be,” she answered without hesitation. “Thank you for the tree. It’s beautiful and perfect. You have always been so good at knowing me and what I like. I can see how hard you worked on it, and I am overwhelmed that you would go to those lengths for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift.”
She hadn’t realized he was nervous about it until she heard his relieved sigh. His shoulders relaxed as his big hands spread across his kneecaps.
At his next words she nearly caved.
“Does that mean you forgive me? You can forgive someone and still be mad at them, you know?”
“Have you been watching talk shows as well as HGTV?” She tried to keep things light because it was Christmas. She avoided answering the question because she couldn’t. Not yet.
“I have another present for you. Well, it’s just more good news, but I’m excited to tell you. You’re back on duty.”
“Really? Already?” Instantly her heart felt lighter.
“Yes, there wasn’t much to it. I didn’t go through the proper channels to suspend you like you assumed. I just asked Nivens not to put you on the schedule for a while.”
“Thank you,” she said, delighted by the fact that it wouldn’t be on her record.
He reached out and took her hand, laying it gently on top of his open palm. He caressed it with his thumb.
His touch was so distracting, so mind-altering, she nearly gave in. She forced herself to focus on his face instead, which wasn’t much better because his expression was this heart-tugging cross between nervous and sincere.
“I really am sorry, Aubrey. I know this will be hard for you to believe in light of the fact that I’ve repeatedly shown otherwise, but I understand now what you mean.”
“I appreciate the apology, Eli. And I want to believe you. But those are just words. We’ve spoken words before and they didn’t hold true. We can’t... I can’t do this until I know for sure that you won’t do it again. You have to learn to let me be me, in spite of this scary and dangerous world.”
He nodded. “I know. Believe it or not, Gale helped me to see that.” He went on a little awkwardly. “If you had the power to keep me from flying, I wouldn’t want you to use it, either. Even if you thought it would save my life, I would want the option to make that decision for myself. I should have given you that courtesy. Even as difficult as it is for me to do where your safety is concerned, I promise from now on to only protect you when you ask. I may not always get it right, but I will listen when you tell me you don’t need my help. And I promise to always help you when you do ask.”
Her mouth dropped open in surprise as optimism welled within her. Did he finally get it? “Wow. That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to get you to see.”
He grinned proudly, reminding Aubrey of the boy she’d fallen in love with. “I know it will take time and other trees and...stuff. But I will prove it to you.”
She smiled and this time it was fueled by joy. “I will look forward to all of your trees, Eli.” She leaned forward and pressed a kiss against his lips. “Thank you. And I take back what I said earlier. If you can really do that, then this is the best Christmas gift you could give me.”
About the Author
Other Books by the Author
December 13th: Launch
December 20th: Grand Finale
- 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and a copy of Christmas in the Cove (signed copy if US, ebook if international)
- Ends December 24th
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