In the season of hope, in the season of giving…
How far would you go for your friend?
Alissa Thompson has been the good girl her whole life. Her uninterested parents don’t understand her hopes and dreams. But this Christmas when her steadfast childhood friend Charlie needs her more than ever, she can’t back down. Crossing the line means being braver than she has ever been in her life. It means changing and growing and taking a stand.
Dakota Gray was brave in the face of debilitating fear. But he lost himself in that blood soaked day and has shunned everything he once knew. Now shattered and broken, he hides out in isolation, his wounds beyond healing. His heart closed, his emotions buried, he’s a man on the edge of self-destructing. Little does he know that courage would be found in another searching for the strength to be brave.
Now snowbound in the Colorado Rockies one week before Christmas, Alissa thought this was about her journey and her friend, about setting him free. But from the moment she meets Dakota, she learns about what real bravery is all about. What real love is all about. But is the season enough, her courage enough, her love enough to heal this hero’s brave heart and in the end set herself free?
I was vibrating with the memory of her skin against mine. The sounds of her distress had triggered another flashback. It wasn’t her fault. She hadn’t meant to do it. But after four months of successfully keeping the flashbacks at bay, I’d had two in her presence in less than an hour. She’d only been worried about her own burden. I didn’t know what it was, but I recognized the sadness in her eyes. The loss of something precious.
But it was her scent that had brought me back, the glorious feel of her arms around me. None of this made sense, though. I barely knew her, but it was as if our hearts knew each other. I didn’t normally go in for that kind of crap, but it was true.
I closed my eyes thinking about how close her lips had been to mine. It had been such a long time since anyone had touched me. It had felt so good, so f**king great, but I couldn’t allow myself to get used to it. I’d come here for the isolation, to suffer alone with my failures and pain. No one was allowed to help me. I couldn’t bear it, no longer had the courage to try.
Seeking calm, I focused on getting Alissa’s dishes washed. I knew I had to touch her again and I didn’t want to. But she was injured. She couldn’t walk with her sprained ankle. She probably thought I didn’t want to touch her, but that wasn’t the real truth. I did want to touch her. I ached to. But once the snow stopped and she did what she came to do, she’d be gone. I’d be alone again. That didn’t hold as much appeal as it had only a few hours ago.
I bent down and slipped my arms around her, gritting my teeth as my senses stretched open painfully, like muscles that hadn’t been flexed in a long time. My whole being cried out for the comfort, for the simple human contact. I went down the hall adjacent to the kitchen to the spare room next to mine. I wanted her close, in case she needed me.
You can buy this book or any of the 12 NA’s of Christmas titles on Amazon.
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.