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Once Upon A Texas Christmas

Whiskey River

 

Avery Burton loves her job as assistant to Logan Calloway. A big time Hollywood A-lister, Logan spends all his time on the West Coast leaving her to run his charity in Whiskey River. Staying busy and giving back to the community that is the only real family she’s ever known suits Avery just fine…until Logan announces he’s coming home for Christmas.

Ever since his mother abandoned him as a young boy, Whiskey River hasn’t felt like home to Logan Calloway. Still, he heads home for the holidays, intending to reflect on his career and personal life. When he sees his assistant Avery in his home, Logan begins to realize that Whiskey River has more to offer than just bad memories.

 

As Logan and Avery spend more time together working for the charity, it becomes impossible to deny their chemistry and attraction.

Once Upon A Texas Christmas

Tule Publishing

e-book Nov. 21, 2017

Excerpt

 

Avery Burton was a little surprised that her boss was here in Whiskey River. Paparazzi had caught him coming out of pop star Sunny Hemmings’s Las Vegas penthouse in the very early hours of Sunday morning. Given that Sunny was engaged to legendary music producer Tommy Eno it was safe to say that Logan Calloway’s reputation as a bad boy from the Barrels was intact.

 

“I’m surprised to see you,” Avery said without looking up. They’d talked on the phone numerous times and she’d had a Skype interview before he’d hired her, but those devices had muted the effect of being the in the same room as one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive.

 

He wore a pair of faded denim jeans that hugged his lean hips and thighs. Like any son of Whiskey River he wore a pair of hand-tooled Kelly boots. His were made of blood-red leather and had a series of stars sewn onto them.

 

She skimmed her gaze up his body noticing the demure leather belt, sans large buckle. Logan wasn’t a cowboy and never pretended to be. He had on a designer blazer and a Sunny Hemmings concert T-shirt that clung to his lean abdomen and pecs like it had been tailor-made for him.

 

She finally glanced at his face. He had a strong jaw with a bit of stubble as was fashionable these days but Avery was willing to bet that Logan’s was more due to his lifestyle than a nod to fashion. Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses covered his eyes but she knew they were electric blue and his thick dark hair was mussed as if he’d just crawled out of bed.

 

He oozed sex appeal and he was standing in her office waiting for something from her. She arched one eyebrow at him. She was known for being a bit of a smartass so she really had to bite her tongue. Logan might be a celebrity and he might be the gossip sites’ favorite person to chronicle, but he was also her boss.

 

“Figured I’d lay low for a little while and you did sign me up to be co-chair of this Felicity’s Ball on Saturday,” he said. His voice was a low gravelly sound that sent a shiver down her spine.

 

“Good idea on the laying low. I have a meeting with the WOWR charitable society this morning and I believe that Eli and Harlan are expecting you later in the week about the winery.”

 

“Thanks for your approval on my actions,” he said sardonically, stepping into the room and removing his glasses. As he leaned one hip on the edge of her desk, she noticed that his cologne was spicy, woodsy and very understated.

 

Honestly, the man was one big ball of sexual attraction, rolling into her office on Monday morning. How was a girl to cope when she hadn’t even had her peppermint mocha?

 

“I believe in giving credit where it’s due,” she said.

 

“What else do you believe?” he asked. “I haven’t had a chance to get to know the real Avery.”

 

“I’m pretty much as promised on the label,” she said. She’d heard that on a British TV show and thought it made her sound more sophisticated than she was.

 

He threw his head back and laughed. “I think you are anything but, Avery Burton. Do we have a coffee machine?”

 

Avery realized he’d never been to the office. She’d worked for him for three years and he’d never once come back to Whiskey River. “We do. Would you like the office tour?”

 

“Nah. Just point me to the coffee machine,” he said.

 

She gestured to the hallway. “Second door on the right. The first one is the bathroom.”

 

Even though she was the assistant/manager of the Logan Calloway Foundation she wasn’t sure what he expected of her now that he was here. She had a few appointments for the day but most of her time this week was focused on the ball. She had been using Logan’s celebrity status and connections to get items for the silent auction.

 

So far she had a round of golf with the PGA’s player of the year Murray Tomlinson, box seats at the Dallas Cowboys game for next Thanksgiving, and of course a date with Logan. She had also used his connections to reach out to all of the products he endorsed and had high-end gift baskets from most of them. And a twenty-four-hour loan of a Lincoln MKC.

 

The ball would raise money for the Whiskey River Children’s Home. She’d taken on the head of the committee role because she knew that she had resources that the other women didn’t have and she liked organizing parties.

 

“Uh, do you need me to do anything for you?” she asked following him down the hall. He was standing in front of the Nespresso machine and staring at it.

 

“Embarrassingly I need you to show me how to use this thing,” he said. “What happened to the Mr. Coffee machine?”

 

“You did that commercial for Nespresso and they sent this, so I thought you’d prefer it. I believe you said you like a dark, spicy roast.” She walked into the room and went to the cabinet where the pods were stored and took down the sampler pack that they had sent. She had no idea which one was dark and spicy, since she stopped at Riva’s Java every morning on her way to the office and got whatever seasonal latte she had on special.

 

“Are you going to spout back every ad I’ve ever done?” he asked.

 

“Maybe. Are you going to pretend you like every product you’ve ever hawked?” she asked.

 

“Nope. Where’s my automatic drip pot?” he asked.

 

“Sorry we donated it. But Riva’s Java makes a really nice latte if you don’t want this,” she said.

 

He shook his head. “Just show me how to use this.”

 

She showed him, making a cup of coffee for him and handing it to him.

 

“Will that be all?”

 

“For now,” he said, sauntering out of the break room and down the hall to his office where he closed the door.

 

What did that mean?

 

Extras

At Felicity’s Ball the charity gala held by the Women of Whiskey River there is a signature cocktail called a flat white martini. Here is the recipe in case you want to try it at home and see if you can stir up some holiday magic!

Flat White Martini

Using a jigger, measure 50ml Baileys Original Irish Cream and 25ml espresso and 25ml Smirnoff No.21 into the cocktail shaker. Shake the mixture vigorously until the surface of the cocktail shaker feels chilled. Use a cocktail strainer to strain the mixture into a Martini glass.

Connected Books

ONE NIGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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