Saturday, December 11, 2021

Twelve Dates of Christmas by Laurel Greer (Spotlight, excerpt, and review)







 Twelve Dates of Christmas



Laurel Greer 

 Can two rivals create mistletoe magic?

When a local wilderness lodge almost cancels its Twelve Days of Christmas festival, Emma Halloran leaps at the chance to convince the owners of her vision for the business. But Luke Emerson has his own plans—to keep the lodge in the family and protect his grandfather’s legacy. As they work together, Luke and Emma are increasingly drawn to each other. Can these utter opposites unite over their shared passion this Christmas?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.


Boot steps crunched in the snow at the entrance to the path behind her.

A heavy, familiar, confident stride.

Her heart sank. She’d wanted to finish the half-mile stroll in peace.

He approached her with worried eyes, shucking out of his winter work jacket. He didn’t stop walking until he was less than two feet from her, close enough to drape the garment over her shoulders. The weight landed on her like an embrace. His outdoor-spice scent swamped her.

She’d been working so hard to ignore that deliciousness, and now—

He tucked her hair behind her ear with a warm, rough fingertip. “It’s not safe to be out here alone at night.”

Safer than being out here with you.

“I’m fine. Wasn’t going to go far.”

“You could have come across an animal.”

For once, it didn’t feel like he was lecturing her. Something beyond professional concern darkened his eyes. Something like caring.

She stiffened. “We’re surrounded by Christmas lights and people smells. I don’t think any wily bobcat is going to come looking for their next meal.”

“You don’t know that.” His mouth twitched. “They might think it’s a glitzy bobcat buffet.”

A grin pulled at her lips, no matter how much she didn’t want to reward him for his cheesy joke.

He didn’t grin back. Pupils blown wide, he stared at her mouth.

From the dim light, surely. It couldn’t have anything to do with her.

He cupped her cheek. “Emma...”

Oh. Maybe a little to do with her. And those fingers, softly tracing her jaw— She took a deep breath. “I owe you that twenty.”

The satisfaction she would have expected to see on his face never materialized. He bent his head to hers, lips brushing her temple. A hint of a touch.

One she could pretend hadn’t happened, if she wanted to.

She didn’t.

“I thought you looked impressed.” His breath warmed her ear. His mouth, too, nuzzling her cheek. A thumb, stroking the corner of her lips.

Her knees weakened. She slid her palms up his muscled chest. Not for separation. For something to cling to. A weight settled at the base of her spine. His other hand. It pulled her in, the heat of her belly pressing against his hardness.

A gasp filled the forest.


Inside the cocoon of his jacket and his sexy scent, with his flannel shirt warming her fingers, it was impossible to care about the needy admission.

His lips murmured something about sweet lemons against her cheek.

That mouth... Why the hell wasn’t it on hers yet? Splaying a hand, she ran her palm along his beard. Softer than she expected, smelling of some warm, woodsy fragrance.

A nudge, and he claimed her lips.

Holy God, Luke Emerson could kiss.

Tender, purposeful, like all he wanted to do was overwhelm every ounce of her awareness, pulling her into a momentary heaven. A blur of seconds, of minutes, where only his kiss, his hands, existed. And the pleasure she could find there. Her head spun. He tasted like honesty. Like promises and openness and all the certainty she wanted from life. All the things she knew he had no interest in giving to a woman.




Sutter Creek, Montana

Book 1: From Exes to Expecting
Book 2: A Father for Her Child
Book 3: Holiday by Candlelight
Book 4: Their Nine-Month Surprise
Book 5: In Service of Love
Book 6: Snowbound with the Sheriff
Book 7: Twelve Dates of Christmas


Author Bio:


After spending her childhood reading under the covers with a flashlight, Laurel picked up her pen to write Julie Garwood fan-fiction for a junior high English class. She hasn’t put it down since. Ever committed to the proper placement of the Canadian “eh”, she loves to write books with snapping sexual tension and second chances. She lives outside Vancouver with her law-talking husband and two daughters, and at least half her diet is made up of tea. Find her at






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My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars



Emma Halloran has always felt unseen as the middle child in the family. Luke Emerson has his own painful history to deal with. Each of them has definite but opposing ideas of what should happen to the wilderness lodge that has been important to both families. During the annual Twelve Days of Christmas festival, maybe a holiday miracle will happen.


This contemporary holiday romance is part of the Sutter Creek books, but it also starts off a trilogy that centers around the Moosehorn Wilderness Lodge.


I'm still in my bah, humbug slump, so I wasn't sure whether I was ready to read this story, but I was drawn in by both the pageantry of the celebrations, the description of weather that I (fortunately) only encounter through someone else's eyes, and the revelation of the reasons for each main character's stance.


I enjoyed returning to Sutter Creek and getting glimpses of the characters who have been featured in other stories in this series. It always seems to take me a while to warm up to the main characters in this series, but I did come to appreciate their dreams and understand their pain, even as I giggled at the kids’ contributions and savored some of the heartwarming moments. So, yes, I recommend this as a lovely holiday story, and maybe…I’ll start humming a few Christmas carols.



A copy of this title was gifted to me

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