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

on December 8, 2011

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?