Weary of the tedium of three centuries of life, Drayce Drakehaven, leader of the London Dragon Clan, does something inconceivable. On a dare from one of his brethren, he crashes a Christmas party. Since dragons won't settle for anything but the best, he chooses the social event of the season -- the Christmas celebration at the home of Eadlin Knight, the richest and most sought after woman in the city. But he doesn't expect to look into Eadlin's beautiful eyes and find his forever mate.
Eadlin is tired -- tired of the daily rounds of socializing, tired of the men who are more interested in her father's fortune than her. She longs to find someone special. The one man who can make her heart beat faster. Her soulmate. When she finds her ancestor's diary and discovers her great-great-great aunt was carried away by a mysterious stranger at a family Christmas party, she wonders if perhaps lightning can strike twice. Could she meet her special someone, too?
When Drayce and Eadlin's eyes meet during the holiday festivities, there is an instant snap of connection...of passion. But Drayce's arrogance sparks Eadlin's temper, and she won't fall easily into her dragon's arms. A heated party game may be the only way he can push past her reserves and seduce his lady fair.
But once Eadlin sees the truth about Drayce, will she accept he's the one she's been waiting for? Or will the dragon's seduction go up in smoke?
"Snip! Snap! Dragon! (Reindeer Games)" is also available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes!
Praise for Snip! Snap! Dragon! (Reindeer Games)
"Eadlin and Drayce have an instant and familiar connection... This short whirlwind romance packs a passionate punch that readers will enjoy."
-- Amethyst Nymph, Literary Nymphs
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Snip! Snap! Dragon! (Reindeer Games)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2015 C.J. England
"Now there's a handsome one. Yum. Where has he been all my life?"
Eadlin Knight ignored the comment as she studied the decorative lights she was thinking of purchasing. They would add a festive air to her Christmas party, and she was bound and determined this celebration would be special. But she needed at least thirty strands, and she wasn't sure the vendor had enough. Silently, she started counting.
"Come on!" The blonde girl beside her gave her a sharp nudge. "Look at him. You have to admit he's a bit of a dish. So bright and shiny. He has an amazing smile, too."
Eadlin only rolled her eyes. She was used to her friend Lucina's commentaries on any man who materialized within their orbit. Lucina wanted to get married, and she wasn't afraid to push some boundaries to make it happen. Eadlin often wondered if she would have to bail Lucina out of jail someday. Probably for kidnapping a peer of the realm. Her friend wasn't one to think small.
"Eadlin! For God's sake." Lucina snatched the lights out of her hands. "Why don't you let the party planner do this? Isn't that what you're paying him for?"
"You know I like my parties to have the personal touch," Eadlin responded mildly, choosing another package. Thank God the vendor had the sets she needed. The ballroom would be beautifully festive now. "Father expects me to, and I don't mind doing it."
"But I mind," Lucina growled in frustration. "Here we are, out on a Friday night at Covent Garden, and instead of flirting with all the cute men, you're shopping. That's just wrong."
"This party is important to me. Very important."
"Seriously, Eadlin?" Lucina stopped flirting with the blond stranger across the courtyard and turned to stare at her. "Is this about the diary? The one you found in the attic? Are you still thinking the same thing that happened to your great-great-great grandmother will happen to you?"
Embarrassed color crawled up Eadlin's cheeks, but she lifted her chin. "She wasn't my great-great-great grandmother. She was the older sister. That makes her my great-great-great aunt."
Lucina waved a hand. "Semantics. Call her Granny and be done with it."
"What I call her isn't the point." Eadlin shook her head at her friend. "What happened to her is. My ancestor found the love of her life at a Christmas party. I don't see why I can't, too. Maybe it's fate."
"Right, fate." With her hand over her brow, Lucina assumed a dramatic pose. "And there he'll be. A mysterious stranger who --"
"Handsome stranger," Eadlin interjected, smiling despite herself. "Don't forget the handsome part."
"I beg your pardon," Lucina said with another roll of her brown eyes. "A mysterious, handsome stranger who is supposed to sweep you off your feet and carry you into the sunset to live happily ever after."
"It could happen. It did before. Who's to say it won't again?"
"Oh, Eadlin." Lucina shook her head and sighed. "You are such a romantic."
Eadlin only shrugged. So what if she was a romantic? She liked the idea of a love that would last forever. Her tender heart had melted when she'd read in her ancestor's diary how the woman had met and fallen for a mysterious stranger at her yearly Christmas party. Daphne -- her great-great-great aunt -- had fallen hard for the attractive and enigmatic man. There'd been no long courtship or big wedding. The two lovers had wed by special license a few days after they'd met.
And then her ancestor had all but disappeared. Nothing more was known of her or her new husband. For a clan who knew every leaf on their family tree, it was a puzzling mystery.
"Look --" Lucina's tone had gone from irritated to soothing. "-- I know you're tired of your father bringing home all those men for you to meet. He's a banker, so he thinks you could fall in love with one."
"No." Eadlin couldn't help but shudder. "I do not want a man like my father."
"I know, I know. And I also know how much pressure he's putting on you. You'd think you were pushing forty instead of barely hitting the quarter-century mark."
Eadlin fought back the memory of the last "discussion" with her father. He'd been furious she'd turned down his last candidate. "He wants grandchildren."
"You mean a grandson."
Flinching, she could only nod. "He wants someone to carry on the family business. Knight's Bank and Financial Services has been around for over a hundred years."
"And you're no banker. Damn it. He should be proud you are such an acclaimed artist," Lucina spat furiously, "not try to make you into someone you're not."
Tears filled Eadlin's eyes. Lucina was a good and loyal friend who understood her pain at not being accepted by her father. "He doesn't think a person who throws pots is an artist."
"Pots?" The word was said at a near shout, making several people look their way. "He only sees the bloody pots? You are a ceramicist! An artisan! Hell, you know more about chemicals than a lot of engineers. You have pieces in the royal household. And he dares say you aren't an artist!"
"Thanks for that." Eadlin gave Lucina a quick hug. "You're a one-woman fan club."
Lucina snorted. "I'd like to take a club to your father."
Eadlin giggled. "Anyway, I want to make sure the party is perfect. If fate is going to smile on me, I want to make sure everything goes right."
"Who says you have to wait for the party?" Lucina argued. "Look around. There are so many men out there to --"
Lucina's words cut off abruptly. Her eyes went wide, and she just stared. It was such a shocking reaction that Eadlin went still, too.
"What is it?" she whispered. "What's wrong?"
"Behind you." Her friend's voice was low and hoarse. "Dear sweet Jesus. He's gorgeous."
Just another man. Eadlin relaxed and started to speak, but Lucina grabbed her arm in an almost painful grip.
"I'm serious. You have to look at this one. Dark, brooding and mysterious. Just like your stranger."
Laughter bubbled up, but the look in Lucina's eyes made her choke it back. Then a prickling heat on her neck made her go tense again.
"He's looking this way," Lucina hissed. "Right at us. At you. Look at him, Eadlin. Look at him."
There was a part of her that knew if she did so, she'd never be the same again. But Eadlin Knight had never been a coward so, ignoring her pounding heart, she turned.
Immediately she saw the man Lucina was talking about. His dark, exotic good looks and smoldering presence were unmistakable. And score one for Lucina.
He was gorgeous.
"Didn't I tell you?" Lucina patted her heart and sighed. "Handsome and built. With that long, dark hair and rugged face, he reminds me of some hero right out of a gothic novel. And his body? Double yum. There's a man who takes care of himself."
Eadlin couldn't say a word. She barely heard Lucina's ramblings. All she could do was stare at the man and try to catch her breath.
Lucina wasn't wrong. He did look like something right off a romance cover. But he was more than that. Oh, so much more.
His gleaming dark hair swept his shoulders, leading down to a body that was muscular and strong. He wasn't classically handsome, but his utter masculinity made him extremely attractive. He had the look of authority about him, but she didn't recognize him. If he was part of her social circle, she'd never met him.
Watching him, she had the sudden impression of mighty forests, a champion's strength and a creature's fury.
It didn't make sense, and Eadlin blinked at the fanciful thought.
But a moment later, none of that was important. Their gazes met, and she could only stare spellbound into a pair of beautiful, clear violet-blue eyes that held such a combination of mystery and loneliness, she was staggered. And even more unexpected was the desire rushing through her like a raging river...