Jingle Bell Hop – What do Sexy Spaniards and Stolen Paintings have in common?

UPTATE:  Eva P. and Michelle won the print copies of either Fated or Claimed.  Congrats!

Welcome to the Jingle Bell Hop!  If you’ve fallen off the bus, just click on the logo to the right and it’ll take you right back on.

Happy Holidays, everyone!  Read to the end for a chance to win more books!  So here’s a fun scene for you:

Andreas Gradin/Shutterstock.com

Sasha settled a hand against Diego’s broad chest.  “Do you see them?”

Slowly, with the casualness of a lover, he stroked her head.  His dark gaze stayed on the target.  “Yes.”

Her pretty new sundress hid the gun at his waist as well as the knife strapped to her thigh.  “Let’s hit them.”

“No.”  His hold tightened.  “If we do this, everything changes.”

For the love of pete.  Woman’s intuition whispered in her ear that everything had already changed.  The second she’d placed her hand in his when he’d met her at the airport yesterday.  “They stole the painting, Diego.  I didn’t fly half way across the world to walk away.”

“I told you what would happen if you returned to Spain.”  His voice lowered to a huskiness that had her thighs clenching together. 

She barely bit back a wince as the knife scratched her skin.  Five years ago, she’d left him.  And he’d let her.  “Now isn’t the time to discuss it.” 

His long, talented fingers threaded through her hair.  He jerked her head back, stepping into her, dark eyes flashing.  “Now is exactly the time to discuss it.”  His gaze dropped to her lips, making them tingle.  “You didn’t like my job.  You left.  My job is different now and…you’re back.”

“You were a thief,” she hissed.  As much as she’d loved him and understood his dismal background, she couldn’t live on the wrong side of the law.

“Yes.”  Heat cascaded off his strong body.  “And yet, the second you needed help, you called an ex-thief.”

Well, yeah.  Who else could catch the guys who’d stolen her painting?  Her heart fluttered.  “Ex-thief?”

He leaned in, his face above hers, only an inch separating them.  “I promised you I’d change.  I own half of Beneto Galleries now.  I bought in.”

She gasped.  Figured the ex-art thief would one day own a legitimate gallery.  “That’s fantastic.”

His smile appeared more deadly than charming.  A shiver wandered down her spine.  No fear, but definitely intrigue.  “Thank you.  In fact, I’ve stolen one painting only since the day you left.”

Well, why in the world— She gasped, pushing against him.  He didn’t move.  How could he?  “One painting?”  She turned her head, taking a good look at the ‘target.’  “Philippe?”

The older man turned, whipping a huge hat off his head and patting the box next to him.  “Ah, Senorita.  So good to see you again.  Thank you for allowing us to show your fine painting in the gallery.”  With a twinkle in his eye, he grabbed the box and sauntered away from the area of benches.

Fire flashed through her.  “You son of a—“

Diego’s mouth stopped her words.  Hot, sexy, so damn devastating, he kissed the anger right out of her.  Finally, she nearly sagged against him.

Framing her face, he flashed twin dimples.  “I’ve missed you.  The only way to get you here was…well.”

Her mind spinning, joy ripping through her, she could only shake her head.  Damn, she loved the man.  Always had.  “You stole my painting.”

“You stole my heart.” 

So, thanks for hopping the blogs this weekend!  In addition to the overall prizes, I’m giving away a signed copy of either FATED or CLAIMED (winner’s choice) to one commenter on my blog this weekend.  (Sometimes comments take a while to show up–don’t worry, yours will).  Comment about anything, but if you need a prompt:  So, what are you holiday plans?  Ever been to Spain?  Do you like any particular art?

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71 thoughts on “Jingle Bell Hop – What do Sexy Spaniards and Stolen Paintings have in common?”

  1. Yadira A. says:

    My holidays… crazy amounts of shopping left to do til the big day, stay up late wrapping, then come Christmas day enjoy all of the happy surprised faces of my family (hopefully).



  2. Mary Preston says:

    My holidays plans involve catching up with family. Lots of food & fun. Love & laughter. I’ve never been to Spain. I would love to though. When it comes to art, I like a piece here & there. No specific artist or style.


  3. Lynn Rush says:

    Great excerpt. You don’t have to enter me in the contest, I have both your books signed already 🙂 I just wanted to say hello. Merry Christmas. 🙂

  4. Michelle M says:

    This Christmas I’ll be enjoying a new baby grand daughter. Plan to spoil her just a little bit.
    I enjoyed this little snippet of a story. Thanks for sharing

  5. Eva says:

    Hahah, the things men do :))
    i loved this scene ♥
    they seem like 2 stubborn kids fighting over a candy, but hey, he had to do something to get her back. All is fair in love and war, right? :)) …or so they say~
    And about art, i love photography, especially those in black and white, and a few paintings here and there.
    Happy holidays Rebecca! ♥

  6. Amy S. says:

    My holiday plans are being with my family and reading some really good books.

  7. Missy says:

    This year Christmas will be somewhat difficult for my family, as my mother passed away from cancer 3 weeks ago. Kind of hard to get in the mood for celebrating this year, but I’m trying for the kids.

    I’ve never been to Spain. All the artwork in my home is either from my children, (unfortunately none of them were blessed with an artists talent) , but it’s jsut fun to put them up on our art wall.

    The only other art I have is wolves, a lot of them. Paintings, sculptures, plates, you name it.

  8. phyllisc7 says:

    Loved the excerpt – want to read more. Not really into art of any kind but I do enjoy looking at photographs and wish I was a better photographer. Plan on spending time with my family through the holidays.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    pnc07 (at) aol (dot) com

  9. Barbara says:

    My holiday plans are spending time with family and friends…eating lots of good food, beating who-ever’s at the poker table…kissing all 9 of the grandkids…staying sane! Happy holidays!

    barbbattaglia at yahoo dot com

  10. Christine says:

    Hi, I won your 1st book already. Thank you for that! I bought book 2 and we loved them. My friend & I can’t wait for book 3!!! Your so awesome! Thanks for the hop. If I win then we’ll each have a copy. cool! 🙂 Thanks!

  11. Happy Holidays, never been to Spain, would be unique.

    Probably picking up MIL and heading to SIL for lunch then back to nursing home. Then to my brothers for a seafood festival for dinner. And of course watching the kids from other side of the USA open their gifts via webcam

  12. desiree says:

    spending time with the family. that is the best part and it is the saddest. i start to realize my boys are not so little any more. would love Fated. I have read both and OMG they are soo good.
    I can’t wait to read what happens in future books. Happy Holidays!!!

  13. Amanda says:

    🙂 love these stories you write!

  14. Cheryl Lynne says:

    My holiday plans are spending time with my family and doing alot of cooking and baking! I have never been to Spain but I would like to go. cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

  15. I am a working Artist (as in I make a living at it). I love Spain; I love Barcelona – on the very rare occasion I get to go there I make sure to schedule around the monthly local artists venue. The local artists set up once a month in the shadow of the Eglesia del Pi (a beautiful cathedra) in the Los Rambla area in the Gothic quarter. My home has an amazing array of work by those local Artists who were weaned on Gaudi and Picasso.

    I LOVE reading stories where the heros heroines or villains are Artists, Gallery Owners or thieves who steal art because they are passionate about it… I think this book may have all of that!

  16. Brenda B. says:

    Spending the holiday with my grandkids and family and catching up on my reading.

  17. dreabecraft says:

    I will be spending my holidays traveling here there and everywhere to visit family. Its always a busy time for me around Christmas but I have tons of fun while I do it!


  18. Marta says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    I’m Spanish so, yep, I’ve definitely been to Spain 😀

    The excerpt was great, I am looking forward to reading the book!


  19. I lived in Italy but never got to visit Spain.

  20. I lived in Italy but, unfortunately never got the chance to go to Spain.

    1. Wow! I have always wanted to visit Italy. I live in the USA. And I have never been outside of my country. And with my health I do not see me taking any trips that far.

  21. My Holiday plan’s are to spend them with family. My older son which lives in NC and is in the US Army and his wife and my grandbabies will be coming here as well as my younger son, that is also stationed in NC in the US Marines. So I will be having what most would call an old fashion Christmas here at home with my children, and grandbabies. We will be celebrating the birth of Christ, and thanking God for sending his son to us. It is very important that to us that our younger children know why we celebrate Christmas, and that it is not just about getting and giving presents. I wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year. May God bless you all.

  22. I live in the USA, in the state of West Virginia, and I have never traveled outside of my country, and if I were in better health I would find it very interesting to visit other countries.
    But I am looking forward to reading your book. I find that I can travel through my reading of many books, from many different authors. With them I travel the world!!! And love it!!!


  23. Hhhmmm, something in common. Oh, I know, they both contribute to a good read in front of a fireplace with a hot buttered rum while it’s snowing outside. LOL
    Thank you for a chance to win one of your books.

  24. Marcia C says:

    Good Story!

  25. Chelsea B. says:

    My Holiday plans are to watch lots of Christmas movies, eat lots of yummy food and just enjoy 🙂

  26. Lyn Taylor says:

    No plans this holiday season. Can’t go anywhere – too many animals LOL! Merry Christmas

  27. Rae M. says:

    Well my holiday plans coming up mainly include to eat as much chocolate as I can. Frankly I’ll use any excuse to eat it, so that’s just this months excuse! I’ll finish decorating the house and I love watching all the holiday movies and old cartoons.

    Never been to Spain, but I’d certainly wouldn’t turn down the chance to go!
    I love art, mostly Italian Renaissance paintings and sculpture. But I also really love baroque architecture.

  28. StacieD says:

    I have been to Spain. I only visited Barcelona but it was gorgeous. I think I put on 10 pounds that week!

  29. Brenda Hyde says:

    Wow, that was amazing! I’ve never been to Spain, but would love to go there with my husband. I think it would be so romantic and the food would be heavenly.

    Thank you for the scene-the picture made it even sexier!

  30. Diane Sallans says:

    I’ve never been to Spain, but I understand it has fabulous museums, so I’d love to.

  31. kimberly Wise says:

    Thanks for doing this Hop… I loved the Halloween one!!!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    (I loved Fated)

  32. cathy m says:

    What a sweet story, Rebecca. I’ve never been to Spain, but my sister lived there for awhile and loved it.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  33. Renee Bennett says:

    Having dinner with my family at my sister in laws house. I’m cooking the food and she’s providing the house cause mine is too small for our family. I am having a wonderful time going to all the sites in Santa’s sleigh! I love visiting with old friends and finding new authors and books to add to my wish list. !!

    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win such a great prize!

    reneebennett35 at yahoo dot com

  34. Ezra Solomon says:

    Do you like any particular art?

    I like lizard, snake, and dragon art and some medieval art. 🙂


  35. Shadow says:

    That was an awesome teaser! Cant wait to read more! Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  36. lisagk says:

    Thanks for scene. For our Christmas we will be traveling to my mother in law’s for family fun, and then another road trip to my brother’s for more gossip and lots of food. Thanks for the hop. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

  37. Tracey Alvrez says:

    What a great scene! My holiday plans are flying with my family to the USA for our first white Christmas – here in the Southern hemisphere it’s summer right now! :0)
    talvrez at hotmail dot com

  38. Krysykat says:

    My nephew is finally old enough to enjoy the Festival of Lights at Oglebay so we are going to go and have fun this holiday 🙂


  39. Shari says:

    Great scene! Happy Holidays!

  40. jennifer mathis says:

    that excerpt made me smile


  41. Tammy J says:

    Hot Spanish men? LOL


  42. Lindsey E says:

    Working Christmas weekend so have to have all the gifts wrapped by next week. Have never travelled outside the US during December but have read about the Christmas markets in Germany.
    linze_e at hotmail.com

  43. Happy Holidays. My plans are to go from one house to another to another. we seem to spend more time in the car then we do at a house enjoying the holidays, but we love it and we get to spend some time with all our family.

  44. I have always wanted to go to Spain – the only place other than Alaska I’ve ever wanted to go. I studied Spanish all through high school and college just to be ready. Been waiting now for more years than I want to admit to. So I would love to win a signed copy of Fated or Claimed to keep me company. That way I can read them over and over again. This is a great blog hop. Thanks for the opportunity to win

  45. Holiday plans involve hanging out with the family and NOT working!:-)

    No, I have never been to Spain, but always wanted to go!

    Sadly, art does not interest me………..

  46. Joder says:

    Cute story. As to my holiday plans, I don’t really have any. My family’s going through some tough financial times so I don’t think it’s going to work for us to get together. Either way I’ll be able to watch 24 hours of A Christmas Story on tv.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  47. What a cute story! My Christmas plans normally involve lots of time with my family. unfortunately, this year my mom is having a bone marrow translpant on the 21st, so she will be out of commission for 3 months. but we got the video cam set up so she can still have christmas morning with us! And i have already read the awesomeness of Claimed and Fated, so don’t enter me in the contest!!!


  48. Fedora says:

    Awesome snippet, Rebecca! No exciting travel plans this season, but I would love to see Spain someday! Thanks for the treat!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  49. Sonia Hernandez says:

    Finally, won the battle with Cancer and now celebrating Life with my family. This will truly be a Blessed Christmas. I’ve never been to Spain but would love to go there someday!! Beautiful Excerpt!!

  50. Wendy says:

    Mary Christmas our family is leaving for a cruise for the week before Christmas. 7 more days and we will be on the ship. I can’t wait!

  51. nancyg5997 says:

    No, never been to Spain. But some of my most memorable gifts growing up came from there. My late uncle was stationed there with the Air Force, and every year he sent me a Senorita doll, and they were treasured for many years. I don’t have the dolls or my uncle anymore, but I still have the warm memories of both.

    nancyg5997 at gmail dot com

  52. elaing8 says:

    Holidays plans are to go to the parents house and have dinner with the whole family.
    Happy Holidays

  53. Renee' S. says:

    Hello Rebecca,
    I enjoyed your short story, “What do Sexy Spaniards and Stolen Paintings have in common?” The both got what they wanted, each other. 🙂
    My Holiday plans are to enjoy spending time with family that my Husband & I don’t get to see very often because everyone has such busy lives today.
    I have never been to Spain but it has always seemed like a very romamantic place to visit.
    Take Care & Have a Very Happy Holiday Season,
    Renee’ S.

  54. Terri says:

    Nice story. 🙂 I love the holidays! I’m working in a school this year, so I’m looking forward to the time off with my son.

  55. acriss22 says:

    My greatest Christmas story is preparing Christmas dinner for my family for the first time. I was so tense being all nervous ( my mom finally let me and i was freaking out) and jumpy. I was great tho, i pulled it with flying colors. Great story, Seasons Greetings! rshereifa at yahoo dot com

  56. Joanne B. says:

    Great short story. I have never been to Spain nor do I know a lot about art. Both the people in the story got what they wanted. Happy holidays.


  57. Pomma says:

    What a great little story1 I loved it…*S* What one will do for love..*S*
    This is a rough year for Christmas with a break in a family, but it is all about the children this year. The innocence of childhood wonder and delight over this holiday season…*S*
    Thank you for being a psrt of this wonderful blog tour…*S*

    pommawolf @hotmail.com

  58. Sherry says:

    My holiday plans will be just spending time with family and friends. And I’m hoping for some reading time too. 🙂

  59. Pamk says:

    just doing the normal for xmas being with family and opening presents. I’ve never been to spain but would love to go.
    Happy Holidays.

  60. Natasha D says:

    Great teaser. Makes me want to find out more of their story. My Christmas will be spent with family then curled up in my hammock with a good book. My idea of Heaven!

  61. WOW – great excerpt! I have never been to Spain. I would love to travel there one day!

  62. June M. says:

    My plans are just to spend time with my family, especially my nieces and nephews.
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  63. books4me says:

    Never been to Spain but I have been to Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Scotland. Will soon be adding England to this list.

    Have a great holiday!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  64. Great teaser! Can’t wait to read the rest of the story!


  65. Ed Bush says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to read this excerpt. I think your writing style is quite good and interesting. I will spend the Holidays at home, reading and eating! Isn’t that what Holidays are for? I now have a Kindle Touch, so I hope some of your books are ready to transfer as I will need your bite to get complete enjoyment out of my reading. 🙂

  66. Tonya says:

    Very good! Thanks for sharing! Happy holidays!

  67. Na S. says:

    My plan is to eat lots of good food, watch some holiday movies and spend time with my family. No I haven’t been to Spain but that would be fun! Happy Holidays!

  68. Oh yeah, that was good. And the pic teaser hooked me in well and truly. Great stuff! Love your writing.

  69. Eva P. says:

    I’d love to meet a sexy Spaniard, can I wish Santa for one? 🙂 Thanks for the excerpt, would love to read the rest!