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Holiday Op
by Lori Avocato, Anne Elizabeth, Tara Nina

Category: Romance
Description: AIR FORCE, MARINES, NAVY, COAST GUARD, & ARMY Five sweet romantic stories delving into the world of Special Operations from authors whose family and friends are part of the military community. The stories--MISSION MISTLETOE, CHRISTMAS TO THE RESCUE, and THE STOCKING--will bring intrigue, merriment, and joy while TIED WITH A BOW and ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A MARINE will engage your spirit and capture your heart. Five Sweet Contemporary Romances dedicated to the our wonderful Spec Op warriors and their families and loved ones. A portion of the proceeds donated to Special Operations Warrior Foundation In HOLIDAY OP, it's a pleasurable duty charged with love. THE STOCKING by DC DeVane--Marcy Grayson had been in love with Paul Callahan for years. She'd dreamed of a proposal, a ring, and a happily-ever-after since the day she first met him. The winter holidays always brought out the romantic in her, and in him, but how could she possibly have guessed that love--and a 'Proposal Paul Style'--would involve a dog, a rubber raft, and the Army Rangers. TIED WITH A BOW by Anne Elizabeth--According to EOD Specialist Captain Devin Walds, love and bombs have a lot in common. First, it is vital to know the inner and outer workings of both. Second, understanding when and how to get the job done is absolutely crucial. Third, believing it is worth risking your life is mandatory. For Kathryn Marie Pente, he would do anything. From the first moment he saw her, he knew she was extraordinary. It wasn't just her unusual artistic talent or her daring beauty, this was a woman who fought for what was right, and she was worth living ... and dying for. CHRISTMAS TO THE RESCUE by Lia DeAngelo--Petty Officer Annabelle Foster lives her job as a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. Until she meets the most delicious sugar cookie snowman ever created, and its equally decadent creator, Food Service Specialist, Tony Lombardi. Little does she realize that one snowy mission on a patrol boat decked in lights and holly will lead to one romantic treat after another, and the sweetest rescue of all--her own. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A MARINE by Tara Nina--Locate, identify, observe, and report. That's what Staff Sergeant Mitch Sinclair's squad of Force Recon Marines did best. When the objective shifts, it becomes an extraction of a hostage Mitch will never forget and it's up to him to fulfill her Christmas wish. MISSION MISTLETOE by Lori Avocato--When an Air Force nurse falls out of a helicopter (don't even ask!) she thinks that's the worse that could happen. That is, until the paratrooper who parachutes into the desert to save her is none other than the cocky-as-hell guy with jet black hair, Newman blue eyes, and teeth she's convinced are Da Vinci porcelain--because no one was born with such a perfect smile--she's been calling "Slick." Sure, he's a damn good looker, but he'd been following her around the base for weeks--and now falls from the sky with a sprig of Mistletoe in his pocket! Lori Avocato, Anne Elizabeth, Tara Nina, DC DeVane and Lia DeAngelo
eBook Publisher: Highland Press/A Wee Dram, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: November 2009

eBookeBook

13 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [285 KB]
Words: 61555
Reading time: 175-246 min.


"Get ready for special operations men the way you've never seen them before. For holiday adventures you'll never forget, be sure to treat yourself to this wonderful collection by Avocato, Nina, Elizabeth, DeVane and DeAngelo."--Christina Skye, Author

"On a cold winter's night (or pretty much any time of the year) there is nothing better than cozying up to a hunky hero, and Holiday Op is the perfect indulgence. These couples are wonderfully matched, and inspire all sorts of spicy thoughts to dance in your head. Each story has a fantastic blend of humor, heroism, and just enough romance to warm you right up. So BUY THIS BOOK, and know that your money is going to a great cause, a portion of the proceeds is going to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation."--Lototy, CoffeeTime Romance


Chapter One

* * * *

"Happy Holidays," said the FedEx guy as he delivered the heavy box onto her front porch, scooted the handcart out from underneath it, and hurried down the walkway to his waiting truck.

"You, too," Marcy called after him.

He waved without even looking back, stowed the dolly, and sped away.

Marcy Grayson looked at the package for several moments, wondering who in the world would have sent her such a huge, heavy 'whateveritwas.' She ran her hands over the box looking for the sender's return information, but only her name and address were on the top. Curious, she pulled at the twine and tape holding the plain brown paper in place and worried the container loose. After several minutes struggle, the last of the protective outer wrapping fell away to reveal a beautiful red and gold patterned foil package with a big card on top.

'Love, Paul'

She squealed. A Christmas present from her sweetie! Marcy quickly reached down and pulled the card loose from the package to look at it more closely. Awwww ... Paul had signed it 'Love.' Funny, there was a string attached to the back of it.

* * * *

Ahhhhhh unft ... ummm pfttt ... pant pant pant ... umfffft . . .

"NO!" had been the last intelligible word she'd been able to utter before the air whooshed from her lungs. Marcy was stuck spread eagle, smushed up against the wall and not happy about it in any way, shape, form, or fashion. She pushed at the unwieldy black rubber blob that had become the entirety of her universe. It gave way in some places, pushed back in others. She tried again, only to be thrust back against the wall even harder. Being pinned into the corner of the small enclosed porch of her modest home was soooo NOT how she wanted to spend her holidays. She couldn't even manage to get her hands down by her sides to work her cell phone out of her pocket and call for help.

Okay, this was becoming less funny by the minute. Not only was it frost-butt cold out there on the porch ... never mind that it wasn't supposed to be this cold in Huntsville, Alabama, winter or no winter ... she was tired, and chilled, and it was getting harder and harder to breathe as the enormous rubber raft attempted to wrestle her into submission.

The end of the raft sticking out through the front door kept it open, giving the cold air plenty of room to seep in around its squishy edges. Marcy wondered vaguely why none of her nosy neighbors had come to see what monstrosity was sticking out of her porch door like an enormous hippo butt stuck up in the air. For once, just when she wished they would poke their noses into her business, they were strangely AWOL. Oh well, so much for 'Neighborhood Watch!'

As she pushed again with all her might against the solid wall of black blobbiness, the absurdity of the situation set in and her irrepressible sense of humor began percolating up to bubble over. She giggled.

Paul was such a dead man! She was going to kill him when she saw him. He'd threatened her with this if she . . .

At that last memory. Marcy's giggle escalated into peals of laughter. Yep ... she was just going to have to kill him. No way around it. Kind of like the raft holding her immobile at the moment ... an inescapable fact of life.

* * * *

That straightjacket-tight pantyhose made the derriere look better under a knit dress was an inescapable fact of life. Marcy turned to stare at her backside in the full-length mirror in her bedroom. She ran her hands down over her trim waist and hips, then turned around to enjoy the sight of her well-rounded breasts in the soft, clingy fabric.

She wanted to look especially nice tonight. Paul would be there shortly to take her 'somewhere special' for dinner. Since this was their usual date night, she wondered exactly what was up that he was making it into such a big deal. Hmmmmm. Well, there were a few things she could think of that might qualify. She reached over and got the pearl earrings her mother had given her for her twenty-first birthday and carefully hooked them into her ears. Her gaze came to rest on her hand, focusing in on her bare third finger. Was he about to ... " Her eyes widened, the breath catching in her throat as she bit her lower lip and let her heart hope.

She added the matching pearl necklace ... just for luck.

* * * *

Bridge Street Town Center. Conner's Steak & Seafood on the water by the footbridge. Candlelight dinner overlooking the manmade lake. The full moon reflecting down in the water, smiling back at her from above and below. Good food, good wine ... very good company. Even a romantic fire in the fireplace right there in the restaurant. Check. Check. And check. Yessssss. All the elements were in place as Marcy lingered over the gourmet coffee and slice of German chocolate decadence she and Paul were sharing. Any minute now.

She put down her fork and reached over to touch her ring finger. It must be psychosomatic. It had been itching like crazy all night long. Several times she had to consciously stop herself from scratching it right in front of Paul. She smiled to herself. Well, what do you know? Her finger was as excited by the prospect of an engagement ring from Paul Callahan as her heart was.

And her heart had wanted him to be all hers from the first time she'd set eyes on him; back in tenth grade when she'd transferred to the new school and he was The senior stud all the girls were dying over. One look at him and she had almost walked into a wall. He was tall and handsome and had a sexy 'big man on campus' swagger when he walked. He was also dating Becky Carter, a girl she had taken an instant dislike to for the completely obvious reasons that she was a sweet, blue-eyed blonde cheerleader who was built like a Barbie Doll ... and dating 'Marcy's boyfriend.' The fact that Paul had no idea the flat-chested little sophomore girl with the head full of brown curls was even on the planet at that point was irrelevant. He was hers ... or going to be just as soon as he woke up and realized it. She could wait. In the meantime, she had wondered if mojo dolls and stick pins really did work or if the gris-gris woman she'd met when they were stationed overseas had just been pulling her leg.

She hadn't had long to wait. Within a month Paul and Becky had parted ways--as usually happened with high school romances at the end of the summer--and with no help from Marcy.

Her mind came back momentarily from the past when the waiter brought Paul the check. She watched the face of the man before her and remembered the boy he'd been. While he handled the paperwork, she let her mind drift back down the years to that first day--that amazing, life-changing day--when Paul had saved her and 'They' had begun.


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