As a security guard, accidents can't be tolerated, but accident-prone Gilly's latest mishap results in her demotion: to the Dog Squad. Too bad she's deathly afraid of dogs.
Jarrod the dog handler is instantly attracted to her, but the last thing he needs is a distraction, for he and his brother plan to steal the world's largest opal statue, the Manushya –- the mythological goddess of shape shifters.
Gilly impresses Jarrod with her courage in overcoming her fears of Satan, his vicious Doberman Pinscher. Her bravery fuels Jarrod's hopes of her overlooking a little defect of his own and accepting him for what he is.
Gilly would never believe that she'd ever be attracted to a dog handler, but that's not the only surprise Christmas has in store for her...
Praise for The Christmas Kiss
"It is the relationship he builds with Gilly that is the focal point of this story and how they work together to become what they were always meant to be…all intertwined with some seriously hot sex. Follow along in this twisting tale and enjoy Ms. Ash's Christmas Kiss."
4 Stars! -- Trang, Ecataromance Sensual
"Right from the start I was intrigued and entertained by the ridiculous situation that Gilly finds herself in and how she is introduced to Jarrod.... This was an entertaining, relatively swift holiday read that was very enjoyable and a definite recommend."
-- Viscaria, Whipped Cream
"The author weaves together the characters into a superb story full of great eroticism and players who are not what or who they seem to be. Shape shifters, curses, magic and people who live their life to do the right thing always make a great tale for a Christmas story or any time of the year. Ms. Ash gives four people a unique gift and us a great read."
--Dee Dailey, The Romance Studio
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The Christmas Kiss
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2007 Mikala Ash
Just five more minutes.
Gillian Stone, Gilly to the few who knew her, checked the front doors of Digital Electronics and, satisfied they were secure, lodged her Triple A Security calling card in between the sliding doors as evidence of her visit.
It had been a long, slow night and the store was her last call for the morning. She was keen to get behind her own front door and snuggle beneath warm blankets. She desperately needed to relax after her twelve-hour shift.
She hurried back to her white Triple A Security van and contemplated getting inside to finish her paperwork, but decided she needed to push herself just a little bit more. Doctor Nab's instructions were that whenever she felt the urge to get into a safe and secure place she should delay for a few minutes to gradually extend her endurance.
Okay, Doctor, just for you.
Gilly rested the leather-bound logbook and set of keys on the roof of her van. She fished a beautiful opal encrusted fountain pen, a present from her father, out of her breast pocket and, after confirming the time on her similarly opal encrusted wristwatch, initialed the appropriate box on the shift report.
Thank Shiva I can go home now.
As she snapped the logbook closed and reached for her keys an agonized moan, as if from a wounded animal, came from out of the shadows.
A frisson of fear lanced through her and she instinctively fingered the missing pinkie of her right hand. Suddenly a short skinny man, dressed in a great overcoat, stumbled onto the sidewalk, clutching at his left arm and grimacing in pain. "My heart!" he groaned and fell to the footpath.
Gilly reacted instantly. Resisting her natural disinclination to be near a stranger, she rushed to his side while mentally rehearsing her first aid training.
His breathing was shallow and there was alcohol on his breath. Thank goodness she didn't have to give him CPR. He moaned with every labored breath, his grizzled features contorting in pain.
Gilly activated her collar radio. "Stone to base. I need an ambulance to Digital Electronics, corner of Kendall and Thornhill streets. Pedestrian with suspected heart attack."
Mandy, Triple A's taciturn radio operator, responded with a clipped, " 'Kay."
"Help is on its way," Gilly said to the man as she rolled him onto his side. "Just stay calm."
Gilly slowed her own breathing and pulled her heartbeat back to normal when suddenly the man's body erupted in a series of powerful convulsions. His legs jerked wildly and his heels struck a staccato beat on the pavement.
A dog barked in the distance and the sound of footsteps behind her raised the hackles at the back of her neck. She was too occupied holding the convulsing man down to worry about bystanders.
"Can you help?" she shouted over her shoulder.
Silence. A quick glance revealed no bystander. The fluttering pages of her logbook, which was now lying on the pavement, gave her a stab of anxiety. There was no time for dealing with that; the man's shuddering body needed her full attention.
Where is that ambulance?
Close by a security alarm wailed and the man ceased his convulsions, opened his eyes wide, gave her a broad smile and pushed himself onto his knees. "Thanks, love," he said and sprang to his feet. "Merry Christmas!"
He laughed cruelly and sprinted to the door of Digital Electronics where he was met by a younger version of himself carrying a cash register.
"Shit!" she cried and launched herself after them.