On The First Night Of Christmas by Heidi Rice

Title: On The First Night Of Christmas

Series: Harlequin Presents Extra

Author: Heidi Rice

Synopsis: Cassie’s tips for the Perfect Christmas Fling!

1. ‘Tis the season to be daring: Find the perfect Mr. Right Now (extra points for a bad-boy-turned-billionaire) and be brave about getting him—even if that means jumping straight into sexy Jace Ryan’s car!

2. Enjoy the ride: Once you’ve chosen your man, get swept away by the moment! For once, Cassie’s determined to stop worrying about the future, but she must remember one thing…

3. This fling is just for Christmas: Jace Ryan’s a seasonal special. Do not start falling for him, Cassie, no matter how perfect the package or how much you’ve enjoyed unwrapping it.…

Review: This may have been my first Heidi Rice book but it won’t be the last by this relatively new author – 7 books for Harlequin/Mills&Boon since 201, but there’s a reason she’s a USA Today Bestselling Author! 😀

Cassie and Jace (Jacob) are so real, the scenes with them alone, with her friends (cause he didn’t have any real ones then), out shopping together for Christmas gifts, were so well written that I felt as if I was standing right there.

We’ve all experienced heart break or known someone who felt stupid for having been in a bad relationship and Cassie is no stranger to that.

Her wish for Christmas love is one many of us have at some point in time wished would become a reality. Well, for her it does, in the form of physically fantastic, wealthy but emotionally flawed Jacob ‘Jace’ Ryan.

The chemistry between these two in On The First Night Of Christmas  is amazing and it translates into ‘hawt’ sex. 😉

That’s not all though. The each have emotional issues to overcome and how they brave those to experience what starts as a hot fling but which quickly progresses to something more, is the other half of what makes this book so engaging.

No wonder this book was published under Harlequin Presents Extra.

A must-read for sure. Add this one to your shopping list.

Grade: A+

Excerpt: If only my love life were as perfect as Selfridges at Christmas.

Cassie Fitzgerald let out a wistful sigh as she gazed at the explosion of festive bling in the iconic London store’s window display. The Sugar Plum Fairy sparkled flirtatiously on the shoulder of a hunky mannequin dressed in a dinner suit, silver snowflake lights making her tiny wings twinkle. Cassie’s heart lifted. Selfridges’ Christmas window dressing never let you down. It always captured the hope and expectation of the season of goodwill so beautifully. And okay, maybe her love life wasn’t perfect—in fact, it was non-existent—but that was still a big improvement on last year.

A frown creased Cassie’s brow as she recalled the Christmas wish she’d made the year before while standing in front of Selfridges—involving Lance, her boyfriend of three years, and a proposal of marriage.

She wrinkled her nose in disgust, the frozen air making it tingle, as her mind conjured up the image of Lance and Tracy McGellan getting up close and pornographic on the sofa in Cassie’s flat a month after Valentine’s Day. A month after Cassie had accepted that wished-for proposal.

Colour hit her cheeks as she remembered her shock and disbelief, swiftly followed by the shame of her own idiocy.

What on earth had possessed her to agree to marry a dead-beat like Lance?

As Christmas wishes went, it was one of her worst. Right up there with wishing for a pair of inline skates when she was eight—which had resulted in a broken wrist and four hours in Accident and Emergency on Christmas Day. Marriage to Lance would have been worse, but in her typically romantic fashion she’d overlooked all his shortcomings, determined to convince herself that he was The One.

Cassie hunched her shoulders against the brisk winter wind. From now on she was going to stop looking at life through rose-tinted glasses…because all it did was blind her to reality. And she wasn’t making a Christmas wish this year, because it might come true.

It would be a shame not to have anyone to wake up with this Christmas morning—and she’d been in a funk about it for days. She adored bounding out of bed, brewing a pot of spiced apple tea and then savouring the presents artfully arranged under the tree. Having to do all that alone wasn’t quite the same.

But as her best friend Nessa had pointed out, Cassie was better off doing it alone than with Lance the Loser. Cassie huddled in her coat. Absorbing the bright sparkle of Sugar Plum and her beau, she let the thought of her lucky escape from Lance strengthen her resolve.

‘What you need is a candy man—to give your girly bits a wake-up call. Then you wouldn’t need another deadbeat boyfriend.’

Cassie’s lips edged up as she recalled Nessa’s use-him-then-lose-him advice when they’d chatted on the phone that morning. Sometimes she really wished she could be as pragmatic about sex as Nessa. If she could just take sex a little less seriously, maybe she could have some fun without getting tangled up with creeps like Lance…………….

(Jacob) Jace Ryan might be a lot more than she felt capable of handling. But where was the harm in enjoying his company? At least for as long as it took to clean her coat………..

“Tell me something,” she said softly. “Do you try to kiss every woman you meet?”

He smiled. Nuts or not, her candour was captivating. “The answer is no.” Sitting up, he nudged the riotous curls of chestnut hair over her shoulder.”Not every woman.”

Her gaze came back to his and her throaty chuckle made reaction coil in his gut. “You must have kissed quite a few though, if you can’t remember who they are.”

He stifled a groan. Busted. “What can I say? I had a misspent youth.”…..”If it’s any consolation…” he looped his fingers in one of her curls, watched the silky hair spring back against her cheek, “…I can guarantee you, I pay a lot more attention now.”………………

Cassie braced her palms against his chest as his mouth captured hers. His lips were firm, hot, demanding. His pectoral muscles flexed beneath his shirt as he angled his head to deepen the kiss.

Heat scaled the pit of her stomach and radiated out, sizzling and tingling against her skin. He raised his other hand, massaged her scalp to hold her in place. She gasped as reaction raced through her, and his tongue thrust into her mouth, exploring in intimate strokes.

She clung on, poised over him as they sank into the sofa cushions – and desire spiralled and twisted inside her. It had been so long since she’d had a chance to feel a man’s heat, his mouth on hers, the hardness of his chest pressing into her breasts. And she certainly didn’t remember a kiss ever feeling this incredible.

He lifted his head, nipped her bottom lip as he stared into her eyes. His hands cradled her cheeks, his quick smile making the pulse of desire settle lower………….

“Let go, Cassie. Come for me.”

The orgasm roared through her, exploding into a billion glittering sparks like a firework display on Bonfire Night. She heard someone cry out as the wave of pleasure crashed over her. Someone who sounded a lot like her but was thousands of miles away.

Then she buried her head into his neck, dazed and delirious, and whispered, “Candy man.”

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