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Once Upon a Holiday

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Once Upon a Holiday

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"Holiday Heat" by Beverly JenkinsFor Eve Clark, winter usually means cold nights alone, until she's persuaded to attend a masked ball. Abandoning her inhibitions, she shares a tryst with a mysterious...
"Holiday Heat" by Beverly JenkinsFor Eve Clark, winter usually means cold nights alone, until she's persuaded to attend a masked ball. Abandoning her inhibitions, she shares a tryst with a mysterious...
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  • "Holiday Heat" by Beverly Jenkins

    For Eve Clark, winter usually means cold nights alone, until she's persuaded to attend a masked ball. Abandoning her inhibitions, she shares a tryst with a mysterious partner. Though she runs the next morning, Leyton Palmer is determined to track Eve down and show her that night was only the start....

    "Candy Christmas" by Adrianne Byrd

    Peace on earth and goodwill to all men? Not if the man is sexy Montel Starks, Candy Lahane's competitor at their ad agency. But on a business trip, rivalry gives way to a red-hot affair that makes Candy realize what she really wants for Christmas....

    "Chocolate Truffles" by Kimberly Kaye Terry

    It started as an innocent drink with a stranger to celebrate her promotion. It turned into the most erotic night of Camille Jackson's life. But the man she was sure she'd never see again is now her instructor in a managerial workshop, and Gideon Taber would love to relive every delicious detail of their encounter....

  • From the book

    Eve Clark looked around at all the goings-on in the large backyard of the home where she'd grown up. She smiled as she took in the legion of Detroit relatives that had gathered at her aunt and uncle's place that Saturday to celebrate her Aunt Rina's fifty-seventh birthday. Spread out across the yard were teenage cousins and their friends, little cousins playing with hula hoops and video games, while the uncles swapped lies and slapped dominoes. Some of the women, mostly Eve's aunts, were seated in lawn chairs underneath the big maple tree laughing and no doubt gossiping, while alternately yelling at grandkids and making sure the food on the picnic tables didn't run low. It was a typical Clark gathering, one of the few Eve had been able to attend because of the demands of her job as an ATF agent based in Chicago. In a few days she'd be back at work, but right now she was on vacation and enjoying just being a member of the family.

    The birthday party, which was the day before Halloween, was originally supposed to be held indoors. But because the weather was so beautiful for late October in Michigan, everything was moved outside to take advantage of the glorious day.

    When seven-year-old Eve had lost her parents in a fire, Uncle Walt and Aunt Rina had stepped in to raise her. Even though they already had a daughter, Shelly, they still loved and nurtured Eve as if she was their own. Eve would be the first to admit that while growing up, her cousin Shelly had been the adventurous one and had gotten them into more scrapes than Aunt Rina could shake a finger at. But Eve's line of work had given her the edge in the adventure department now, even if a good portion of her days involved sitting at her desk doing paperwork.

    Eve sighed as she saw her cousin Shelly making her way over to where she was sitting. She and Shelly were more like sisters than cousins. And for the past month Shelly had been calling and sending endless e-mails, trying to convince her to attend a big Halloween masquerade ball in Detroit. Eve had no desire to attend, but Shelly being Shelly, she'd refused to take no for an answer.

    "Hey cuz," Shelly said, taking a seat in one of the empty lawn chairs. She put her plate of food on the table between them. "I've finished your costume and you are going to love it." Shelly was an award-winning Hollywood costume designer.

    "But I'm not going, remember?"

    Shelly shook her head, using her plastic fork to cut the edge of her ham. "How can a kick-ass woman like you be afraid of a Halloween party?"

    "I'm not scared. I'm just not interested."

    "It's going to be fun."

    "Being hooked up with a stranger doesn't sound like fun to me, just strange."

    "Where's your sense of adventure?"

    "Back in my office in Chicago."


    Eve rolled her eyes.

    Shelly took a sip of her Kool-Aid. "You need to put that ATF badge down for a night and get your freak on. Nobody will know it's you. That's the beauty of it."


    "Suppose you get hooked up with a man who could make you forget all about saving the world."

    "Yeah, right."

    "The people who are invited are all quality, grown-folks, Eve. They've been vetted."

    "I got that part, but I'm still passing."


    "Because ATF agents don't get their freak on. I'm on the national task force, which means I'm on call 24/7. Suppose I catch a case in the middle of this? What am I supposed to do, grab my stuff and run out of the ball like Cinderella?"

    "Suppose you don't get a call? I think you're just looking for excuses, Wonder Woman."

    Eve smiled and looked away.

    Shelly asked, "When was the last time you were with a man who wasn't in handcuffs in the backseat of a squad car?"

    "None of your business," Eve tossed...

About the Author-
  • Ms. Jenkins is known for her historical romance novels that highlight African-American life in the 19th century.

    She has received numerous awards for her works, including: six Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards; two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times magazine; a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writers Guild; and in 1999 was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th century by AALBC, the nation's largest online African-American book club.

    She has also been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People magazine, Dallas Morning News and Vibe magazine. She has lectured at such prestigious universities as Oberlin University, the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan. She speaks widely on both romance and 19th-century African-American history.

    In 2004 Ms. Jenkins branched out into romantic suspense with the publication of The Edge of Midnight. Her latest historical, Jewel, is in stores now.

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