printed copy

Unwrapped

Donna Kauffman, Erin McCarthy, Kate Angell

ISBN 9780758251336
Publish Date 10/2/2012
Format Paperback
Categories Kensington, Contemporary
Currently out of stock

Mistletoe and mischief are this season’s hottest gifts...

Santa in a Kilt
USA Today bestselling author Donna Kauffman

The wind-whipped December sands of the isle of Kinloch invigorate Kira MacLeod as she sets out to tame rugged Shay Callaghan, a Scottish bachelor as wary of a wedding ring as a snowman is of the hot sun.

Blue Christmas
New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy

While a blizzard blankets the world outside, Blue Farrow burrows into the arms of her highway hunk at the No Tell Motel. Nice and oh-so-naughty, Blue and her man open up to each other as they keep the Yule log burning.

Snow Angel
National bestselling author Kate Angell

Snowed under in Chicago, free spirit Allie is trapped in Dutton’s department store on Christmas Eve when the lights go off and our snow angel finds herself face to face with a dashing retail heir and her host for a night of winter wonder...

Chapter One

“Santa can suck it.” Blue Farrow kept an eye on the

highway and tried to hit the buttons on the radio to change the station. She was going to grind her teeth down to nubs if she had to listen to Christmas songs for another twelve hours. It was like an IV drip of sugar and spice and it was making her cranky.

Was she the only one who thought a fat dude hanging around on your roof was a bit creepy? And why were those elves so happy in that Harry Connick Jr. song? Rum in the eggnog, that’s why. Not to mention since when did three ships ever go pulling straight up to Bethlehem? She wasn’t aware it was a major port city.

Yep. She was feeling in total harmony with Scrooge. “Bah, Humbug,” she muttered when her only options on the radio seemed to be all Christmas all the time or pounding rap music.

Blue had never been a big fan of Christmas, never having experienced a normal one in her childhood since her flaky mother (yes, flaky considering she’d named her daughter after a color) had done Christmas experimental style every year, never the same way twice, disregarding any of her daughter’s requests. The trend on feeling tacked onto her parents’ Christmas had continued into Blue’s adulthood, and this year she had been determined to have a great holiday all on her terms, booking herself on a cruise with her two equally single friends. She had turned down her mother’s invitation to spend the holiday with an indigenous South American tribe and her father’s request to join him with his barely legal wife and their baby girl, and instead she was going to sip cocktails in a bikini.

Maybe.

The road in front of her was barely visible, the snow crashing down with pounding determination, the highway slick and ominous, the hours ticking by as Blue barely made progress in the treacherous conditions. Planning to drive to Miami from Ohio instead of flying had been a financial decision and would give Blue the chance to make a pit stop in Tennessee and visit her old friend from high school, but the only thing heading south at the moment was her vacation. It was Christmas Eve, her cruise ship departed in twenty hours, and she’d only made a hundred miles in six hours, the blizzard swirling around her mocking the brilliance of her plan as she drove through the middle of nowhere Kentucky.

She was going to have to stop in Lexington and see if she could catch a flight to Miami, screw the cost. Not that planes would be taking off in this weather, but maybe by morning. If she flew out first thing, she could be in Florida in plenty of time for her four o’clock sail time. All she had to do was make it to Lexington without losing her sanity from being pummeled with schmaltzy Christmas carols or without losing control of her car in the snow.

When she leaned over and hit the radio again and found the Rolling Stones she nearly wept in gratitude. Classic rock she could handle.

But not her car. As the highway unexpectedly curved and dipped, she fishtailed in the thick snow.

Blue only managed a weak, “Oh, crap,” before she gripped the hell out of the wheel and slid sideways down the pavement, wanting to scream, but unable to make a sound.

She was going to die.

If there hadn’t been anyone else on the road, she might have managed to regain control. But there was no stopping the impact when she swung into the lane next to her, right in the path of an SUV. She wasn’t the only idiot on the road and now they were going to die together.

Blue closed her eyes and hoped there were bikinis and margaritas in the afterlife.

Santa was the man. Christian Dawes sang along to the radio at the top of his lungs, the song reminding him of his childhood, when he had listened carefully on Christmas Eve for the telltale sound of reindeer paws. Tossing the trail mix out for the reindeer to chomp on, putting the cookies on a plate for Santa, the magic and wonder and awe of waking up to a ton of presents, those were some of his best memories.

Someday when he had his own kids, he’d create all of those special moments for them, but right now Christian was content to play awesome uncle, arriving on Christmas Eve loaded down with presents for all his nieces and nephews. His trunk was stuffed with spoils, and he’d brought enough candy to earn glares from his two sisters and potentially make someone sick. But it wasn’t Christmas until a kid stuffed his face with candy then hurled after a session on the sit and spin. That’s what home videos and infamous family stories were made of.

Unfortunately the lousy weather was slowing him down on his drive from Cincinnati to Lexington. He’d left work later than he’d intended anyway, then by the time he’d hit Kentucky, he’d been forced down to thirty miles an hour because apparently the road crews had taken the holiday off and had decided not to plow. He hoped his family wasn’t holding up dinner for him at his parents’ house.

If he wasn’t gripping the steering wheel so hard he would call someone and let them know he still had a couple of hours ahead of him, but he had no intention of reaching for his phone. A glance to the right showed a car next to him, but other than that, he could barely see the road in front of him. He needed Santa to dip down and give him a lift in his sleigh or it was going to be midnight before he arrived.

What he didn’t need was a car accident.

In his peripheral vision, he saw the car next to him slide, spinning out so fast that Christian only had time to swear and tap his brakes before he hit the car with a crunch and they went careening towards the guardrail. When his SUV stopped moving a few seconds later, despite his efforts to turn the skid, he had the other car pinned against the railing.

“Shit!” Christian turned off his car and leaped out, almost taking a header in the thick snow, but terrified that he’d injured someone. “Are you okay?” he asked, yelling through the howling snow as he peered into the driver’s side window.

The major impact of his SUV’s front end had been in the backseat and trunk, so he hoped if there was an injury it wasn’t serious. But with the snow smacking him in the face and the window plastered with wet flakes, he couldn’t really see anything.

He knocked on the glass and when it started to slide down, he sighed in relief.

“Are you okay?” he said again now that the person in front of him could hear him.

“Are you okay?” she said simultaneously.

He nodded.

She nodded.

And Christian became aware that he was staring at the most strikingly beautiful woman he’d ever seen in his whole life.

About Donna Kauffman:

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at DonnaKauffman.com.

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About Erin McCarthy:

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy first published in 2002 and has since written over sixty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult romance, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Erin is a RITA finalist and an ALA Reluctant Young Reader award recipient and is both traditionally and indie published. When she’s not writing she can be found sipping martinis in high heels or eating ice cream in fleece pajamas depending on the day, and herding her animals, kids, and amazing renovation-addicted husband.

About Kate Angell:

USA Today bestselling author Kate Angell lives in Naples, Florida. She's an animal lover, avid reader, and sports fan. Bookstores are her second home. She takes coffee breaks at Starbucks. Her philosophy: Out of chaos comes calmness. Enjoy the peace. Please visit her on Facebook or at kateangell.com.

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