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One Touch, One Glance

Published by Freya's Bower


Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned romance? Remember reading about a man’s clothed physique, or how a fellow admired a woman in a pretty red dress? How about stories where couples fall in love with just one glance or that first gentle touch?

Then open this anthology and enjoy 18 beautiful stories of love lost, love found, intrigue, heartache healed, the miracles of life, passionate admissions, and tearjerkers that make one sigh with longing. From best friends who find romance to time travel to a bit of Christmas magic, step into the realm of hearts on fire and love everlasting.

:Anthology Authors Gwen Hayes, M.E. Ellis, Maryann Miller, Adelle Laudan, K. Starling, Trinity Blacio, Debbie Gould, Ava James, Faith Bicknell-Brown, Savannah Chase, Lisa Alexander Griffin,
Kensana Darnell, Nicolette Zamora, Kathleen MacIver, Missy Lyons, and Jambrea Jo Jones

  Excerpt From Lisa Alexander-Griffin's Contribution

The Unexpected Gift

Multi-colored lights beckoned Elise. Perched on her hip, her daughter, Jamie, gurgled with delight. Elise pushed through the doors of Willingham’s Toy Store, and the
toddler’s eyes lit with excitement.

They cruised the overstuffed toy aisles. A huge Christmas tree twinkled in the store’s center. Nearing the tree, Elise spotted Santa with a child on his lap. She looked down at her daughter, her heart swelling with emotion. I can actually enjoy Christmas now.

Two long years had passed. She hugged her daughter tightly. Thanks to her precious gift, life moved forward in its never-ending circle.

Elise stepped into the long line and waited. When it came their turn, she moved near Santa’s chair. Her gaze locked with the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. He smiled and took
Jamie onto his lap.

“What would you like from Santa this year, little lady?” he

Jamie grinned, jutted out her two tiny lower teeth, and gazed up at him through innocent brown eyes. Drool spiraled from her mouth, dampening his hands.

“Ba-be,” she babbled.

Elise laughed, and her daughter joined in. Jamie’s tiny arms crossed. She imitated a mother rocking her child.

“She wants a baby doll,” Elise explained. “Also a couple puzzles and a few fairytales. Jamie loves it when I read to her.”

Jamie clapped her hands, giggled, and tugged Santa’s beard.

“Be nice, honey,” Elise scolded. She laughed, reaching for her daughter. “Let’s not disrobe Santa. We wouldn’t want to traumatize the other children.”

The toy store Santa smiled, and Elise’s breath caught in her throat.

“You may think me forward,” the Santa said, “but I’d love to have coffee with you on my next break.”

Shock shuddered through Elise. She stepped back and scrutinized the Santa. His eyes held kindness; his smile seemed genuine. What could it hurt to meet with him? She
needed to move on with her life and stop hiding. In the coffee shop, they would be safe. She looked down at Jamie.

“What time is your break?” she asked.

The Santa glanced at his watch, his smile barely visible behind the snow-white beard.“In ten minutes.”

Elise nodded, mesmerized by his twinkling blue eyes. She hefted Jamie on her hip and eased away.

Ten minutes later, doubt heavy in her stomach, she sat in a coffee shop booth. Reinforcing her hold on a squirming Jamie, she chewed her lip. Never had she acted so rashly before. Why had she agreed to this?

Christmas made her crazy. Why did the lure of a Santa suit and the warm glimmer of his eyes make her feel she could trust this man? Damn, I’m just lonely.

Elise gathered her things, pushed up from the seat, and turned to leave. In her haste, she bumped into a hard chest and looked up. A face like none she’d ever imagined stared
down at her. Hauntingly familiar blue eyes twinkled.

The man was no regular Santa; he was Santa extraordinaire. Heat fused throughout her body, tingled to the tips of her toes. She averted her gaze only to glimpse bronze skin and a light furring of hair through the vee of his blue shirt.

Lord above, it’s been a long two years.



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