January 5, 2024 | Posted in:Blog Tour
By Lane Hayes
The Elmwood Stories, Book 3
The hockey has-been, the barista, and some holiday magic…
Cut from the team, fired my agent…now what?
This can’t be it for me. Unfortunately, the phone isn’t ringing. My best bet is to head home for the holidays and regroup.
Problem: I don’t know what to do with myself. Helping out at the rink might be my ticket out of here, but nothing is happening fast enough. And then there’s Ivan. No, no, it’s not what you think. We went to school together. We’re acquaintance-friends…nothing more.
But you know, I like him. A lot. He’s funny and relentlessly upbeat. I’m a better person when I’m with him—the kind who volunteers to deck the halls and wrap garland on lampposts and—
Whoa. What’s happening here?
I love the holidays! But running the coffee shop on my own during the busiest season of the year is going to be a challenge. And the sudden appearance of my former crush is all kinds of distracting.
See, I spent my formative years mooning over Court Henderson, our high school’s hockey phenom, even though he was out of my league. Thankfully, I grew up and left the silly remnants of my youth behind. Or did I?
Grown-up Court is full of surprises, and under his gruff yet extremely fine exterior, he’s a good soul with a huge heart. He’s charming, sweet, handsome, and— Uh-oh.
My crush is back. Just in time for the holidays…
Holiday Crush is an MM bisexual, small town romance featuring a renewed ancient crush, some mistletoe latte art, and a little seasonal magic.
Holiday Crush is the third book in The Elmwood Stories series by Lane Hayes. I’m loving this series and was so happy to see Ivan get his happily ever after. With a sexy, fun, hockey player who was his childhood crush! Court is back in town and Ivan isn’t going to fall for him again. No matter how sweet and sexy he is. Who’s he kidding? He totally is! But this time it’s not one-sided. I loved Court and Ivan. They are so fun together. They know how to laugh and share their feelings and their sexy times are spicy! Hoping there’s more in the series!
Court shook his head at my amazing, incredible Christmas tree on his way to the door. “I can’t get over that thing. It’s wild.”
I beamed. “I know. I love it. I buy a regular tree too, even though it’s holiday overkill. But who cares? This is my favorite time of year, and I celebrate to the nth degree!”
He shoved his arms into his jacket, a playful grin on his handsome mug. “And do you celebrate by watching scary movies and stringing candy corn and plastic spiders into garland?”
“No, smartass, but damn, that’s a great idea for Halloween next year.”
He chuckled. “So…what do you do for Christmas?”
I braced my left hand on the doorjamb and cast a quick glance at the fireplace to keep from staring at my guest. Standing a foot apart in the cramped doorway between my foyer and living room felt oddly intimate. Court took up space in my tiny abode, with his broad shoulders, towering height, and big muscles. I was more aware of him than ever. It took me a second to gather my thoughts and remember what we were talking about.
“The usual—decorate my house, string lights outside, drape fresh garland everywhere. And yes, there’s always mistletoe. I also watch holiday movies and listen to Christmas music from mid-November till the end of the year. I bake cookies too, which always turn out to be a hot mess, but baking is festive and fun, and my family and friends are kind enough to compliment me anyway. And…I sign up for every holiday event in town, including the Skate with Santa party at the rink, caroling at Wood Hollow’s Home for the elderly, Toys for Tots Sled Fest next to the Christmas Tree Farm in Fallbrook, and of course, Holiday Bingo. By the way, all of those, including Bingo, have volunteer positions…if you’re interested.”
“I’d rather shovel snow in Siberia,” he deadpanned.
I grinned. “Your holiday spirit needs a tune-up.”
“Yeah, yeah. I don’t do holiday spirit.”
“That’s an awful thing to say!”
“Why? There’s no point. I’m usually on the road, so I’ve never bought a tree and I don’t always remember to buy gifts, either. My brother shamelessly shows me up every holiday. Oren bought our folks an oil painting of their ten-year-old golden retriever a couple of years ago. And it was really nice. I bought Mom the same gloves I bought her the previous year and the wrong-sized slippers for Dad.”
“Oh, dear. Well, I’m happy to help you this year. I’m an expert at gift-giving and—what’s so funny?”
Court’s eyes crinkled in amusement. “You’re Elmwood’s emo elf, aren’t you?”
“Ha. Ha.” I moved by him to unlock the door. “Good-bye, Grinch.”
He snickered. “Later. And thanks for tonight. It was fun.”
“Yeah. It was,” I agreed, smiling as he stepped closer.
This was where I was supposed to shuffle out of the way to give him room to slip outside without letting the cold inside, but my feet were seemingly glued to the floor. And now, we were inches apart. So close I could see flecks of gold in his blue eyes and a scar half-hidden in his left brow. I should have jumped away and laughed off this little dance before I accidentally made it awkward.
Ugh. Now I was staring at him and he was staring at me and…his mouth was right there, hovering over mine. I could feel his breath on my lips and smell gin and something woodsy and masculine on his skin. And nope, I couldn’t resist.
I leaned in, set my palm on his chest and pressed my lips to Court’s.
And that was the match that started the fire.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Holiday Crush, Lane is giving away the Winner’s choice of an audiobook or ebook of your choice from her published works!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: https://bit.ly/HC_Giveaway
About the Author:
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. She loves wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and her fabulous pup, George.
Connect with Lane:
My Readers’ Group, Lane’s Lovers: https://bit.ly/3aIbMYg
My Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3cICfaK
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/lanehayes