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I never thought I would meet again the stranger I hooked up with in a bar one night while pretending to be someone else is standing in front of me. The one I kissed and couldn’t get out of my mind.
I thought we would never meet again. How wrong have I been?
Now that circumstances we both dreaded are bringing us into each other’s lives, he won’t talk to me. And even less look at me. Yeah, he kinda figured I lied to him that night. Big time.
Until my life derails and I escape away to a far off place with only one bag and a broken heart.
I never thought he’d be the one to come running after me. And protecting me.
And I certainly never believed for one second, he would be the guy saving me from my own tragic fate.
Together we end up in Mistletoe Creek, a Christmas town, perfect to hide and pretend we mean more to each other than we really do.
What if, in the end, it isn’t all pretend?
Wicked Love is a Christmas standalone love story part of the Carter Hills band universe. It's a Hansel and Gretel retelling with an emotional and spicy twist.
*Due to mature subject, this book is only suitable for people over 18 years of age.
With my elbows propped up on the cold surface of the worn walnut countertop, I people-watched the patrons surrounding me. Some were in this dive bar to get shit-faced. Others were here for a late-night drink with friends. I was part of the first group. My dad had requested I come home this weekend, and I felt no joy whatsoever meeting with him. Sure, I adored my dad. He was the coolest guy I knew, but his new life’s direction didn’t please me, and I had used up all the arguments I possessed to try to make him see the truth as it was. A part of me feared that he would announce the thing I dreaded the most this weekend. A little liquid courage and a night in a hotel would prevent me from facing the reality tonight. Tomorrow could wait. For now.
The air smelled of cigarettes and cheap beer. As if the smoke over the years had welded with the paint and furniture and never dissipated. Good old days.
Rock music from the seventies played in the background, not loud enough to be distracting but soft enough to be white noise.
I hadn’t come to Dick’s Hole often in my life. The name of the bar was the first telltale sign of its crappiness. Everything around me looked dirty and old as fuck. As if it came from another era. If depression could be a place, no doubt it’d be Dick’s Hole on Fourth Avenue in a small Pennsylvania town, a thirty-mile drive from my hometown of Silverville.
Mix-and-match wooden chairs that appeared as if about to die of exhaustion, uneven, round wooden tables, a dusty jukebox that had probably not seen a quarter in ages, and ripped black vinyl stools lining the bar filled the place. Most people in here were old enough to be my grandparents, just missing a few teeth. I used to spend time in Dick’s Hole when I was in high school because they never checked IDs, and my friends and I could get drunk for cheap.
A girl with long bleached blonde hair sat in a corner, three empty beer bottles aligned on the table before her. She looked as much out of place here as I did.
She peeled the label of the bottle in her hand, seemingly lost in her thoughts, her eyes haunted.
I took in the black lines around her eyes and the dark shadows coloring her eyelids. Her top was a cut-off vintage band T-shirt that exposed her midriff, and she accessorized it with a mini black leather skirt and knee-high boots. She looked nothing like the girls I hooked up with, but there was just something about her. An air of sadness clinging to her features—a distinctive vulnerability—that made me want to know more. To uncover her truths and her secrets.
For some reason, I couldn’t seem to look away from her. In my head, I imagined what her story could be. Had she been dumped? Or had she just learned her dog ran away? Or maybe she lived with evil stepsisters and needed a night of reprieve?
She turned my way, and I noticed how pretty she looked. High cheekbones, straight nose, pillowy lips. Too bad she felt like she had to hide under the black armor as if it protected her from the world.
I savored my whiskey while scrolling on my phone until a notification of low battery popped up on the screen. Fucking great.
I got up, careful to not touch anything, and weaved around the tables toward the restroom. A man and a woman in their late fifties were making out—full tongue and groping hands—by the restroom door. In the point two seconds I looked their way, I swore I saw both their tonsils as they were about to eat each other out without an ounce of discretion.
Glad they could get some.
I’d been a monk lately. Since I started my new job in New York, I had the opportunity to fuck as much as I liked, yet I kept pushing away all the women showing an interest in me.
Perhaps I needed that. A reprieve. After fucking my way through college, my dick needed a more than deserved vacation.
Behind me, people started cheering, and I turned around, wondering what the commotion was about.
Hurrying back to my stool, I noticed the girl, who had been nursing a drink alone, standing on the bar and guzzling vodka straight from the bottle. I noticed a butterfly tattoo peeking out from under the waistband of her skirt.
“Chug. Chug. Chug.” Everyone chanted as she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She threw both arms in the air and did a victory dance. Tipsy, she lost her footing, and most patrons were either too dumb or too drunk to notice.
I hurried over and caught her, honeymoon style, before she hit the floor.
“My hero,” she singsonged.
“I’m nobody’s hero.”
She looped her arms around my neck. “I beg to differ. You’re mine.”
“I think I am dead.” She stared into my eyes and nodded as if to convince herself.
“You look pretty alive to me. Sloshed. But alive.”
“You look like an angel. A troublesome angel, but—” She studied my face, squinting. “A badass angel. One who can’t behave but loves every minute of it.” A hiccup. She placed a hand over her mouth, her cheeks turning an adorable shade of pink. “Sorry. What was I saying...? Oh yes, that you are beautiful.”
I snorted. “Beautiful? Maybe you’re more drunk than I thought.”
“Men are allowed to be beautiful too. We’re not in nineteen sixty anymore. Just say thank you.”
“You’re sure I’m alive? I feel cold.”
I looked at her, not sure how she had succeeded in fascinating me in just a minute. I trained my eyes on her figure. With her in my arms, I had a great view of her cleavage, the band T-shirt she was wearing unable to cover the swell of her breasts and the black lace of her bra. My body tensed in the best of ways, and I grinned. “To me, you feel hot.”
“Oh, you are a smooth talker,” she gushed, batting her eyelashes, her gaze following my line of vision as I admired her voluptuous curves. “Are you ogling me?”
I shrugged. “Maybe.”
“And you have no shame. That’s refreshing. I think I’m in love,” she declared, slurring her words.
“Good for you. I prefer love to war, don’t you?” I chuckled, not drunk enough to engage in her line of conversation. “Well, when tomorrow comes, you may change your mind.”
- False Promises
- BlindSided (Heart Song duet book #1)
- Sweet Agony
- Cruel Destiny (Second Tear duet book #1)
- Beautiful Salvation (Second Tear duet book #2)
- Wild Encounter (BreathLess duet book #1)
- Brittle Scars (BreathLess duet book #2)
- Last Hope
- Midnight Sparks
- Fallen Legend (Lonesome Heart duet book #1)
- Rising Star (Lonesome Heart duet book #2)
- SnowBound (Two of Us duet book #1)
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This is book four in The Mistletoe Creek series and it is Joe and Grace’s story and omg it is definitely a must read. When Joe is in a bar he sees a drunken girl dancing on the top of the bar but when she falls it is Joe that catches her and with there undeniably attractive and chemistry they end up spending the night together only for her to disappear in the morning after giving Joe a false name as they didn’t think that they would ever see each other again. They meet again when Joe’s father wants to introduce his girlfriend’s daughter so you can imagine the shock when it turns out to be Grace which leaves Joe angry that she lied to him so he keeps his distance from her. When Joe realised that things are not what they seem between Grace and her mother he decides to take Grace away from the situation and also go with her and that is how they end up in Mistletoe Creek so that they can both have some time away. Joe and Grace end up having a great friendship and being there to support each other but in the background there feelings and attraction just keeps getting stronger but to them it is more about just understanding how each other feels and connecting as they go along on this journey. Wow the description of Mistletoe Creek felt so real as if you were there living through all the experiences and I absolutely loved Joe and Grace because even through all of life’s ups and downs and everything that they had been through they were still perfect for each other and together. This book was written with so much care and compassion on a very difficult subject along with making you feel so many emotions and I definitely recommend that you read this book and you will not be disappointed.
Since this is my first book by Emmannuelle Snow, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. But it’s great! This story has a lot more depth than I initially thought it would have. A one night stand turns out to become so much more.
I really loved how the relationship of Joe and Grace developed. She’s such a brave girl and he was such a great support to her, with every decision she had to make and every step they took together.
A great holiday read!
What to expect:
Hansel and Gretel retelling
Emotional/ hard topics
Wicked Love is an emotional Christmas novella that brings together two people who are ment to be despite an age gap and the fact they are step siblings. Grace may be 17 years old but has grown up fast due to her rocky relationship with her mother. She may love her body but her mother does everything in her power to make her feel bad about every bite she takes. Joe tried to stay away because he knows he can't fool around with someone who is underage but when he has to get her away from her mother they end up getting to know eachother as friends. I love the town of Mistletoe Creek. All of the authors have done a great job of creating a wonderful beautiful place you can't help but want to visit. If you like age gap books with lots of chemistry while still having emotional moments this book is for you!
I received an advanced review copy for free, and I'm leaving this review voluntarily.
Emotional and surprising age-gap romance.. Very good..
An emotional narrative, this story touches on some challenging issues, that are skillfully navigated by the author. The characters are compelling, exhibiting realistic reactions and significant mistakes, yet demonstrating resilience when it truly matters. Both Grace and Joe, along with Joe's father Philip, captivated my affection