Hiya guys, we have Annabelle Jacobs popping in today with her new holiday release A Kiss for Christmas, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link ❤ ~Pixie~
A Christmas Kiss
Keeping secrets from your best friend isn’t right, but it’s easier than admitting you’ve fallen in love with him.
Sharing a late-night kiss with his best friend, Alex, is Riley’s dream come true. Waking up to discover Alex was too drunk to remember anything is more like a nightmare. Scared the truth could destroy their friendship, Riley keeps quiet and pretends nothing happened.
Alex can’t shake the feeling that he said or did something stupid on their group’s drunken weekend away—why else would Riley be avoiding him? Although the explanation he finally gets sounds plausible, Riley’s still acting strange, and trying to figure out why that is unearths emotions Alex has worked hard to bury.
Riley knows not telling Alex how he feels is probably selfish, but he wants one last normal Christmas before he has to come clean and face the potential fallout.
He should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.
Saturday, 26 November
Riley got two more beers out of the fridge and wobbled back through the open-plan lodge to find Alex leaning against the large picture window, looking out at the darkness. The long, lean lines of his back and shoulders made Riley’s breath catch, and not for the first time that weekend, he wished he had enough courage to tell Alex how he felt about him. Apart from ticking all of Riley’s boxes in the looks department—from his short dark hair to his dark eyes and dimples––Alex was a nice guy.
Riley really shouldn’t get too drunk when they were alone together, because he was bound to do something stupid, but oh… the temptation to just—
“Ow! Who puts a fucking table there?” He’d caught his big toe on the edge of the table leg.
Alex spun round to face him and laughed, his cheeks flushed from a mix of alcohol and amusement. “Normal people, that’s who. You’re just too pissed to walk straight.”
An opening like that was too hard for his beerlogged brain to resist, and Riley grinned, winked, and added a little sway to his hips. “I don’t believe I’ve ever walked straight.”
Oh my God, I’m flirting with Alex. Abort! Abort!
Seven years of friendship was too much to risk on the off-chance Alex might ever feel the same. But….
Alex grinned back at him, wide enough for his dimples to show. “I guess not.” His gaze flicked down to Riley’s hips and lingered there for a second.
With his heart rate rocketing, Riley tightened his grip on the beer bottles as a burst of confidence washed through him, fuelled by alcohol and too many years of looking at his best friend and wishing they were more. Three slightly wobbly steps and he stood in front of Alex, one beer held out in offering. “Here you go.”
If his voice came out huskier than normal, Alex didn’t comment on it. “Thanks.”
Alex’s fingers were cool as they brushed against Riley’s, and the touch sent a lick of heat straight to Riley’s groin. “Cheers,” he managed, raising his bottle and clinking against Alex’s.
That was as far as he got, his hand stilling in mid-air as Alex brought his bottle to his lips, closed his eyes, and took a long slow drink. Everything happened in slow motion, which was probably—no, definitely—due to the amount of beer they’d drunk.
Alex swallowed. The dark stubble on his throat looked particularly inviting as Riley followed the movement of his Adam’s apple. He wanted to get his mouth on it, feel the scrape of coarse hair against his lips as he trailed kisses down to—
The beer bottle slipped dangerously through his fingers until he realised and grabbed it. “Sorry, what?”
For fuck’s sake, Riley, get a grip.
Alex was looking at him strangely, as if his mind was struggling to connect dots that seemed out of reach. Ordinarily, Riley would hope they stayed that way, but tonight he was tempted to shake him until everything fell into place.
“I said I’m only having one more. That whisky I had earlier is making itself known.” Alex swayed in place as if to prove his point. “Gonna go to bed after this.”
The word bed delivered in Alex’s rough, deep voice sent a shiver up Riley’s spine. He was so fucked. “Okay.”
Not sure what to do, he took a drink of his beer, downing half the bottle in one go. Full of liquid courage and with his sense of self-preservation effectively dulled, he set his beer on the windowsill and then did the same with Alex’s.
“Ri?” Alex frowned as he watched his beer get taken and put next to Riley’s. “What’s going on?”
Riley smiled, not trusting himself to speak. He’d never find the right words, and didn’t they say actions spoke louder anyway? Once he did this, there would be no going back, but he’d made up his mind. Without breaking eye contact, he reached up and cupped Alex’s jaw in both hands.
Just as he saw realisation dawn on Alex’s face, Riley kissed him.
He lingered, mouth closed against Alex’s lips, half of him amazed that he was actually doing this, while the other half waited to be roughly shoved away. For several seemingly long seconds, Alex didn’t move a muscle. Riley kept his eyes screwed shut, too scared to see the expression on his face. His hands trembled where they rested on Alex’s skin; every part of him was on edge waiting for Alex to react.
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats.
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
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