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  1. THE PROMISE OF DECEMBER

    Copyright 2016 K.L.Jessop

     

    This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, establishments, organisations, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously to give a sense of authenticity. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

       

     

     Prologue

     

    Tamzin.

     

    Age 9

     

    “Tamzin, sweetheart what’s wrong?” Gran called in concern.

    I ran in through the door and up the stairs on a cold afternoon in late November, heartbroken at how mean the girls from school had been. I was never one of the popular kids. They often looked and treated me differently being raised by ‘older’ folk rather than the parents that stood in the playground talking about what holiday abroad they were going on next. Made fun of me because I’d never been on a plane or didn’t even know where the Caribbean was. I don’t know what other parts of the world look like at that age. London was my home and that’s all I knew. My grandparents were never ones to travel abroad. We just had to make the best in the holidays we could afford down by the coast. Every year we explored a different part of Cornwall to try and find whiter sand than the last. I loved my life. My grandparents didn’t have to raise me but they did, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. They’d taught me the respect I needed to give others as well as the rights and wrongs on how you portray yourself in the world. Just because they were older in their years to the other kid’s parents didn’t jeopardise my upbringing anymore than it would the younger couple next door.

    But Lucy Marshall was a nasty girl. Always had been. And the words she had spoken to me in the playground broke my heart in many ways.

    “Tamzin, honey, what’s wrong?” My grans sweet voice hit my ears as I cried into the pillow. Hot and sweaty as the tears streaked my face, I sat up to face my gran who’s sat in her floral dress and red apron. The house smelled of crumble and pastries.

    My childlike voice was feeble as I choked out my hurt. “Lucy said that he wasn’t real.”

    “Who, sweetheart?” Her voice was always soothing and pretty.

    “Santa. She said that none of it was true and that it’s your mum and dad that bought you presents and that I won’t get any anymore because I don’t have parents.” I sobbed, feeling confused. My grandparents made no secret of the fact my mother had died but Santa always brought me presents at Christmas.

    “Tamzin, look at me.” I wiped my tears with the sleeve of my green school jumper and looked up at her, her eyes twinkling in the light, her short blonde hair rolled back in curls from where her hair rollers had been placed. “I think it’s very unkind for Lucy to say those things. Take no notice.” She paused, looking into my grey eyes as if she was contemplating her next words. “Let me tell you something. Christmas isn’t just about Santa and presents. It doesn’t matter who brings them, how they get here or how many you receive. It’s more than that. Christmas is about the magic and the belief. It’s about spending that special time with those you love and care for, and helping out those who are unfortunate to be alone. It’s about the build up to the special day, believing in what you have and holding onto that forever.” She placed her hand on my chest. “It’s about what’s in your heart. The love that you share and what you feel. You just have to believe.” She stroked my long blonde hair and smiled. “Do you believe in the magic of Christmas, Tamzin?”

    I sniffed back my tears and nodded with a weak voice. “Yeah.”

    “Then that’s all the matters.” She opened her arms out for a hug and I entered her warm embrace, knowing that my grandmother was a wiser woman than what Lucy Marshall would ever turn out to be. “You just have to believe, Tamzin. Always believe in the true magic of Christmas.” She kissed my head and held me tight as she rocked us. “Always believe.”

     

     

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  2. ~ ~ EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT ~~

    The Promise of December 
    Copyright 2016 K.L.Jessop All rights reserved.

     

     

    Tamzin,

    I just get out from having a long soak in the bath when I hear a confident knock on my front door. Knowing it isn’t Evie, as she’s out with friends, one can only assume it’s the local group from the community hall doing their yearly Carol singing to raise money for the Hall roof that seems to have the same leak it did five years ago. Sighing in frustration, I wrap my short silky robe tighter around my waist and stroll to the door. My hair freshly washed, face makeup free and toes all snug and warm in my long winter socks that's pulled up to the knee. Once I open the door, I want to die with embarrassment.

    “Noel… You’re back?” He holds up the item in his hand. “With wine.”

    “I thought after leaving you a little fragile this morning, I’d come and spend the evening with you?” He smiles. Oh god, that smile.

    “Because?”

    “Because you’re probably not doing anything other than sitting on your own and cursing Christmas.”

    He was absolutely right but I frown anyway. “I don’t hate Christmas.”

    “And you’re also a rubbish liar.” His eyes fall over my body and I feel them everywhere. Tingles run down my spine but I put this down to the cold that’s currently sweeping its way up under my robe. But even that doesn’t cool the hotness I feel for him between my thighs. There is something about this man that makes my body react even when I fight it not to.

    His grin widens as he focuses on my legs. “Excellent choice of socks, Miss King.”

    I look down at the long red and grey patterned wool and wiggle my toes. “Thank you. I like my legs to be warm.” His brown eyes are looking right at me once I bring my head back up. He’s delicious. The smell of his citrus fragrance hits my senses as he leans in close, resting a shoulder on the door frame, still wearing that smile.

    “It’s a little cold out here, Tamzin.” His voice is low and dreamy. “This is where you invite me in so we can share a drink and get to know each other better.”

    My heart instantly speeds up. “And why would I want to do that?” I murmur.

    “Because you can’t seem to keep your eyes off me.” Jesus, he’s full of himself. I roll my eyes and open the door a little wider for him to enter but not far enough that he can pass with ease. He brushes against me, never taking his eyes off mine. My breath catches when his hand placed the bareness of my thigh as he whispers. “Thank you, Tami.”

  3. ~ ~ EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT ~~

    Found By You
    Copyright 2016 K.L.Jessop All rights reserved.

     
     
    Marcus.
     
    The sun was downing to set and the sky becomes illuminated in vibrant oranges and reds as we sit against the dunes drinking wine and talking about our childhood memories. Even though there’s still an air of hesitation, Amelia’s more relaxed too when I first picked her up earlier and moulds perfectly beside me.
     
    “Tell me something true,” she murmurs, twirling the stem of the glass between her fingers.
     
    “What?”
     
    “It’s a game me and mum played when I was a kid. It can be anything. Big, small or completely ridiculous as long as it's true.”
     
    I take a sip of my wine and try to think of what truth I could possibly say, there were so many things that ran through my head when it came to this woman. “You’re beautiful.”
     
    “Ugh, I’m serious.”
     
    “As am I. Your turn.”
     
    She thinks for a little before a cheeky grin forms her face. “I had a slight crush on Andrew when I first moved here. Everyone think he’s an ass but he’s just a pussycat behind a mysterious mask.”
     
    “My favourite colour is blue.”
     
    “I hate my laugh, it sounds weird.”
     
    “It’s sexy,” I replied, finishing my drink. “When was the last time you slept with a guy?” What the fuck did I say that for?
     
    Her head snaps up to look at me, a flicker of anger and pain in her eyes. “There aren’t questions in this game, Marcus, just truth.”
     
    “Exactly. So tell me.” I request softly, unsure if this was right of me to even ask. She’s already closed off; the last thing I want her to do is freak out and run, yet as she searches my face I see her anger subside. Exhaling an unsteady breath and closing her eyes for a moment before her line of sight is fixed solely on the ocean.
     
    “I don’t know,” she murmurs. “The last time I recall being with a man and feeling anything was around seven years ago. The last time I had sex with him was a little over five, and by then all feelings had died.”
     
    “You stopped loving him?” The silence was icy as her eyes glassed with unwanted memories and sorrow.
     
    “I stopped loving him long before that. By then I’d stopped living.”
     
    Lifting her chin, I cup her cheek, smoothing my thumb over her soft skin. How can anyone as beautiful as her feel so low they needed to stop being who they were. More to the point how can anyone make her feel that way, to begin with.
     
    “Then we need to make you feel alive again.” I could tell by the pleading look in her eyes she didn’t want this conversation to continue, so I diverted back to the original topic and went for the something ridiculous.
    “Seagulls scare me shitless.”
     
    Her laughter was like music to my ears, making me join her with my preposterous but true confession. “You’re so weird.”
     
    “Am not. Have you seen their eyes?”
     
    “It’s just a bird,” she says through the breaks of her giggles. Clearly finding my phobia amusing I jab her in the waist to stop the teasing, making her jump with a squeal.
     
    “Oh, I’ve found a ticklish spot it seems.” My grin was a mile wide as I raise my brows in devilment.
     
    Her eyes widen as she chokes out her words. “Don’t even think about it.” She retreats and was up on her feet in a flash, backing down towards the beach as the grin still plastered my face. “Marcus… you wouldn’t dare!”
     
    “Oh, I totally would.” 
     
    I’m up and charging towards her as she sprints the sand in high pitched squeals and laughter. Turning her head to catch my approach as her red hair flies high in the wind as she heads across the beach. “You can’t run from me that easily.” I’m behind her in seconds, grabbing her hips and pulling her to the sand as she shrieks. Straddling her she twists her body begging me to stop with uncontrolled breathing and laughter as I tickle her ribs.
     
    “Stop! Marcus... I can’t breathe!” she pants as the air leaves her lungs.
     
    “You want me to stop? But you love it.” I chuckle.
     
    “Stop... Please!”
     
    Taking her hands in mine I pin them above her head, both breathing heavy from our hysteria, our eyes hold each other’s heated gaze yet hers show a trace of apprehension. She’s so fucking sexy. “I have a powerful urge to kiss you right now, Miss Weston.”
     
    “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she exhales.
     
    “Why not? You might enjoy it.”
     
    “That’s exactly why it’s not a good idea.”
     
     
  4. ~  EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT ~

    Found By You
    Copyright 2016 K.L.Jessop All rights reserved.

     
    Amelia.
     
     
    “I still can’t believe you won,” I smile as we enter our hotel room, placing my corsage on the table. The magical events of the evening were finished and the Summer Ball was over for another year with Directors and Business Partners ecstatic with their prizes.
     
    “We won baby, you worked hard for this too,” Marcus replies taking off his jacket and bow tie followed by his shoes before heading to the mini bar. This was true, I do work my ass off at that place and more often than not take on things that aren’t even in my job description, but I do it as it keeps me focused.
     
    “It seems as though I’ve hardly work at all these last couple of months. Not since I was swept off my feet by some guy that drives me crazy.” Shit, my champagne slip of the tongue was not what I should have said and not what he needed to hear. I escape his watchful eye to take off my heels and jewellery, trying to ignore the feeling that’s burning a cavity inside me.
     
    I turn when I still felt his smouldering gaze, enjoying the fact his stare was full of yearning and nothing unpredictable. “What are you looking at?” I murmur.
     
    “You.” His voice lustful and raspy. “Does it make you uncomfortable?”
     
    “Only in the best way.” I focus on his panty-melting stare that’s sending my body spiralling. Even in the dim-lit room, I saw his eyes darken as they run full length of my body. The butterflies took flight in my belly with the way he was making me feel, the ache between my legs escalated and my heart was falling heavier for him. “Is this the part where we rip each other’s clothes off and you fuck me hard?” I say, biting my lip with anticipation. He didn’t answer at first, just focused on me with his inevitable gaze.
     
    “No,” he murmured, placing his glass down and slowly moving towards me. My breathing shallowed. Heart thumping harder in my chest with his proximity as he whispered a breath apart from my lips. “This is the part where I take off your dress very, very slow and make love to you.”
     
    My breath caught. He can’t use that word, this is not what this is between us, yet I couldn’t stop the whimper that left my lips when his angel whispered kiss touched the side of my mouth. Closing my eyes as once again the powers of this man have engulfed my body, paralysing me in a mind-blowing way to only his touch.
     
    “Will you let me, Amelia?” he whispered. “Will you let me make love to you?” 
     
    The thoughts in my head and my feelings I have for him were fighting a losing battle. The need to have him now was far greater at this moment than it had ever been in all the times we’d shared together, and I knew that whatever happens between us he would break me one way or another and my heart would yet again face its wreckage.
     
    “Yes,” I breathed.

  5.  

     

    fby.fbcover

    FOUND BY YOU

    Copyright 2016 K.L.Jessop

    License Notes:

    This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favourite book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. All rights reserved.

    **************

     

    Chapter One

     

    Amelia

     

    For the love of god, someone get me a Tequila! This woman gets more intense each day. Commanding at me down the phone as I wait for the next instalment of planning her wedding, when I’m not even a fucking wedding planner. Last time I checked I was a semi-reclusive red-head that lost her way in life. Now suddenly I’m taking orders I don’t need from a celebrity rich bitch I’m yet to even meet.

    As soon as I pushed the speakerphone button my body shuddered with the unpleasantness of her high pitched Botox trapped voice, throwing demands at me down the phone like she was the queen of Hollywood. She’s nothing more than a bratty little rich girl on the cover of magazines because daddy has a healthy bank account. She wouldn’t know a day’s work if it slapped her across the face.

    “Are you aware of the wine glass fountains I want? My crew will bring them over for preparation the day before, I do not want anyone to enter the function room during the time they’re there and after. Is that clear, Miss Weston?”

    I rolled my eyes at Andrew who’s sat across from me looking ridiculously handsome in his grey suit as he listens to our call. “I completely understand, Nadia. Although my crew needs access to the function room at all times. The room cannot be prepared to the high standards you’re asking if you refuse them access. And as part of Management, I can’t stand by knowing they’re not doing the job in hand, regardless if it’s to your needs.”

    I brace myself for another Bridezilla moment, this woman doesn’t do understanding or compromise, everything is about money and status and if nothing goes her way everyone knows. Nadia Lenton is the daughter of one of the country’s high-flying business pricks that thinks by clicking fingers everything and everyone within touching distance will stop and bow down to their needs. Not so long ago herself and Andrew had a full blown argument because she wanted the entire hotel on shutdown and only accessible to her wedding guests.

    The Grand Hotel is a high class seven-star affair located along the west coast, being a tourist attraction is one of our main forms of earnings as well as business associates who use our building for conferences, closing it off to her people would lose us a great deal of income and popularity.

    “Fine! But make sure you only have the same team at all times. This is no ordinary wedding, Miss Weston, this is ourwedding. James and I have people to impress in high places!”

    “Stuck up bitch,” I hiss ending the call.

    “The only reason I’m gritting my teeth and letting that dragon use and abuse us-or you-is because of the hefty payment we are going to receive once done. That’s all that matters.”

    “Even if she has me in therapy in the meantime?” I sigh, resting my head in my hands. Andrew is aware of my stress and anxiety levels. Just after I started working here he had to come to my aid after having an argument with a very angry guest. That was the day we had our break though and talked for hours about how shitty life can get. Not many people take to Andrew, his dark mysterious attitude can leave people hanging with unanswered questions as they try to work him out. He is a great guy but I swear he’s often more hormonal than I am at times.

    “You’re already in therapy, Amelia,” he grins, standing. “Besides Matthews can sort her out when he arrives, he’ll love that.”

    Mr Matthews is the Managing Director of The Grand that Andrew and I run, he comes to spend his summers here at Spring Rose but had to cancel his visit last year. “When is he arriving?” I ask, shutting down my computer.

    “When he decides to let me know. The little prick just turns up when he wants.”

    Grabbing my bag, I head out with him knowing that even though our work day has finished, Andrew will still be here for hours yet. He lived and breathed this building.

    “So what are your plans for the evening?” he questions, taking the keys to lock my office door before handing them back.

    “A secret love affair with a small blonde,” I smiled.

    “Ah yeah, the Reception girl?”

    “Her name is Megan, Andrew. You know I think you should get to know your staff a little more or at the very least learn their names.”

    “And why would I want to do that, when I have you to tell me who they are?”

    “Because it’s polite. Besides you might find enjoyment out of the office. Fifteen hour days and no play time aren’t healthy for a grown man.” I teased.

    His deep chuckle radiates through the corridor as we walk towards his office. “Christ, what are you, my mother?”

    “Hell, no. That would be some challenge. See you tomorrow, Mr Mysterious.”

    I leave him chuckling as I head down the hall, the need for an over-calculated glass of wine and a cool shower was calling. This is only my second summer in Spring Rose Bay and this year’s humidity and sweat is greater than the last. I loved it here. It instantly felt like home when my feet touched the sand and cool water of the ocean. But it was my job that kept me going. As Assistant Manager I have the daily duties of organising and directing all hotel services, as well as working alongside Andrew who has overall say in Management. The wide six-story building is exquisite. Grand staircases, glass chandeliers and marble floors provide it with elegance and beauty and oozed expense. It's three hundred guest rooms provided the luxurious comfort while the very top floor was primarily for the staff, providing offices and accommodation for workers over for the season.

    Rounding the corner into reception I’m greeted by a wide smile belonging to a pure blonde in the form of my best friend Megan. “Please tell me tonight’s plans are purely alcohol based and swooning over hot guys on the internet,” she asks as I hang up my keys.

    “Sounds like heaven.”

    “You look stressed everything alright?”

    “Nadia-fucking-Lenton.”

    “Ah, that explains the face. You heading off now?”

    “Yes, I need a run, loosen this frustration.”

    She gets up to file some papers, looking gorgeous as ever in her black pencil dress. “You know there’s better ways to relieve frustration than running babe,” she replies with a wink.

    I rolled my eyes and turn on my heels. “Goodbye, Megan.”

    “You know I’m right, though!” she shouts, making me chuckle as I head out the building. I’ve known Megan for seven years, we met working in a Hotel in London and from the moment I met her I knew I needed her in my life, she transferred down here a little while before I did and eventually help secure the job I have now. She’s forever trying to hook me up with any hot guy that walks through the hotel doors, desperate to get me back into the world of sexy times and playful fun. As far as I’m concerned men are purebred assholes that think only of themselves, I don’t want a man in my life and I certainly don’t need one.

     

    ***

     

    My feet pound the dust track as I run the coastline. I was always drawn to the coast; it brought fond memories of holidays as a kid. If the sun was out you wore the swimsuit, if it rained you had it on under dad’s oversize jumper. It’s a place of freedom, washes through my veins taking stress and unwanted emotions with each wave that ebbs out.

    Growing up in the London lifestyle was a different world to the one I live in now. Mirrored buildings stood amongst the streets of endless traffic while suited men delivered another account of high speed living to their day. Then before you know it everything changes. Life has a way of fucking you over when you least expect it. I had great experience, fought each day to stop myself from going under but ended where I couldn't fight anymore.

    As I reach my porch my phone vibrates against my ass that’s zipped in my back pocket.

     

    Megan: If you’re still trying to run off the fact you have a bad case of sexual frustration, you’ve left it too late. I’m heading to yours and ready to get intoxicated. Xx

     

    Me: Just got back and need a shower, smell like a wet cat. Xx

     

    Megan: I hope that’s your way of referring to just been given a ‘wet pussy’ Ha!

     

    Me: Dirty minx.

     

    Megan’s sat on the kitchen counter swinging her legs when I enter the room. Her eyes going wide at her phone. “Check out this bad boy,” the screen is bursting in muscles and curves of a half-naked guy I don’t recognise.

    “Do you know him?” I question, pouring us both some wine.

    “I’d like to know him.”

    “You want to know every man with abs and muscle,” I chuckle. We head out to the patio to sit under the evening sun. “So are we going to Felicity’s party on Saturday?”

    Her eyes shoot up from her phone. “You want to go?”

    There was a time when going out never interested me. But since moving here with Megan I’m starting to take back control of my life again. “Yes. Although I do need a new dress.”

    “And shoes. I need new shoes,” she grins.

    “Why? You’ll only end up taking them off, why buy more when you hardly wear the ones you own?” The first time I met Megan was at a party, a table was in the corner of the ballroom and up on top bare foot and a short black dress was Megan dancing to her audience.

    “I’ve told you, a new pair of heels makes the walk of shame seem better.”

    I shake my head grinning at her. “Will you ever learn, Miss Simmons?”

    “Not when Tequila and tables are involved. It’s an easy pass to hard muscle and the ride of your life. You should try it; give your vibrator a break.”

    “I have. It broke weeks ago.”

    Her mouth falls open as her eyes spring wide. In a flash, her phone is out searching web pages for sex toys, alarmed with the fact that not only is it broken, I’ve not had an orgasm in over a month. “Fuck, no wonder you run,” she giggles.

    God, I love this girl.

     

    ***

     

    “Is it on yet?” Megan shouts from the other side of the cubical. I take the purple dress from the hanger and slide it over my body. It did nothing for me, I looked ridiculous. “Oh, now that is so you,” she says sarcastically, sticking her head in through the curtain.

    “I look like a twelve-year-old in a prom dress. Plus, the back is too low.” I turn my body to view my behind in the mirror, revealing the low cut dress that opens down to my lower back.

    “Hmm true, try the next one.” She disappears and starts a running commentary of what she’s trying on whilst muttering to herself. Without looking, I know she’s probably stood with one hand on her hip and a forefinger to her mouth as she looks at what to try first.

    “I don’t know which to try first.” See what I mean? It’s uncanny how we know each other so well.

    “The green one,” I suggest, trying to fight my way out the dress but failing. “Ugh shit, can you help me with this stupid zip please?” I huff.

    She flings the curtain back and spins me around tugging at the zip just above my butt to unfasten it.

    “What do you think about this?” The pastel green dress hugs her body perfectly, sitting just below her ass and showing off her tanned legs and a chocolate coloured birthmark on her right knee.

    “Little short isn’t it?” I’m moved aside so she can admire herself in the mirror.

    “Not short enough if you ask me,” wiggling her brows and handing me my next dress. “Try this one.”

    I slip into the black lace tight-fitting dress with a sweetheart bust and cupped shoulder straps.

    “Now that has sexy written all over it,” Megan says as I twist to check the back.

    I always think people talk shit when they make comment about what I wear or how I look, purely because I don’t see what they say they’re seeing.

    “You don’t think it’s too much?”

    She rolls her eyes. “Uh uh, if I saw you out wearing that, I’d defiantly fuck you.”

    There were only ever five people in my life that I loved, trusted and worshipped the ground they walked on. I put my heart and soul into those five, stood by them when they needed it, helped out when I could and thought nothing of taking on their problems because in return I’d have that love and support back. I was wrong.

    Out of those five, one left me for a place in the stars and the other two betrayed me in the worst possible way. My mother died when I was eighteen and everything changed. Wrapped up in his own grief my father become a part of the betrayal when he decided to take sides with the enemy-my second betrayal, which just so happened to be my first love. Hurt and fear is all I know. What only makes it easier to bare is the beauty that’s hugging the shit out of me right now. Megan and her brother Lucas are my everything and I love them unconditionally. There are no words big enough in which to thank them for their forever love and support. However, I may be able to plaster on a smile and laugh with others but in reality, I’m still suffocating.