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Every Friday in December I’m going to bring you some of the most exciting, creative, and divinely delicious stories the holiday season has to offer. First up, DARK SOLACE by Rosalie Stanton. This deeply romantic (and utterly erotic) tale tugs at the heartstrings then warms them, beautifully so. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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DARK SOLACE
Three hundred years can change many things, but love is not among them.
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Forbidden to claim the woman he loves as his mate, Gabriel established a yearly meet with Jael to satisfy their hunger for one another. Time has not weathered their need, or made the pain of every other day more bearable. Christmas Eve together might not be much, but pretending for one night that they can belong together is the only way either knows how to survive.
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Except this Christmas, Gabriel can’t go on pretending. Living for one night is no way to live, and he is determined that he and Jael will see the new day together. The only question is, after all this time, is she prepared for the consequences of saying yes?
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Reader Reviews
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“The characters were riddled with strife and needs, and the romantic angst, the taste of the forbidden, made this a great, well-paced read!” – Goodreads review from Deanna
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“This short story has just the right ingredients for a hot Christmas piece – steamy scene, two great characters (that I wouldn’t mind reading about more), and a promise for a lot more.” – Goodreads review from Billie
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Excerpt

His arm curled around her, and he nuzzled her blonde hair with familiar affection that made her heart flutter and ache in the same instance. “God, I’ve missed you.”

“It’s only been a year.”

“Longest year yet.”

“You say that every year.”

“And every year I mean it more.” Gabriel shuddered violently and downed the rest of his drink. “You look gorgeous.”

She flushed. “Thank you.”

“How has your year been?”

Terrible. “Fabulous.”

“Really?”

“Oh yeah.”

A long pause. “Any new men in your life?”

“I keep my eyes open.”

Lie. She shunned every man who attempted to touch her. Her body—heart and soul included—belonged solely to Gabriel.

Her eyes fluttered shut as he edged closer, his lips finding her throat. “You smell divine.”

“Gabe . . . . ”

“Need you now.” He reeled back, his eyes flashing apologetically. “I’m sorry, sweetling. I just . . . can we go now?”

That lent her pause. He was acting strange. Gabriel always enjoyed the pretense that they were strangers instead of what they were. She supposed it was easier for him if it seemed like a chance encounter instead of the most important date of the year. If they pretended they didn’t mean what they did to each other.

If they pretended it was random, so as not to stir trouble in the Order.

“Gabriel?”

His lips swept over hers. “Please.”

She needed no persuasion. No reason. The less time they spent here, the more time they had together. All she needed was him.

“All right,” she whispered.

“Your place still—”

“Around the corner.”

Gabriel tossed a few bills onto the counter and nodded to the bartender, tugging her to her feet. “Never change, do you?”

“You want me to?”

“Not in a million years.”

She smiled sadly. A million years. Would they still be playing this game a million years from now? Three hundred had been unbearable; she didn’t know if she could suffer through a million of them.

But she supposed that didn’t matter. Gabriel was with her now.

And until the sun came up, that was all that mattered.

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