Title: Stars Stripes & Xmas Bells

Author: Kaitlin Maitland

Genre: Erotic Contemporary

Length: 35,000 words

Release date: December 18, 2012

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A hand reached down and plucked Ash off the ground. It was warm and firm with a gentle grip that promised the owner knew how to handle a woman. Her nerves sang from her fingers all the way to her toes. She felt like a schoolgirl who’d just discovered the difference between girls and boys.

“Are you all right?” The impromptu rescuer led her a slight distance from the crowd of airmen. “Some of us military types forget that not everyone is trying to stab us in the back.”

“I’m fine, really.” Ash stared up at the tall, broad-shouldered man in khaki cargo shorts and a plain gray T-shirt. It was too dim on the lawn to see what color his eyes were, although his short hair was dark. Was it possible to tell by someone’s aura whether or not they were hot? Because this guy’s aura was screaming gorgeous.

Gorgeous, provocative, seductive, alluring—how many other words can I come up with for yummy?

“Are you out here by yourself, ma’am?” He hadn’t let go of her hand and was now scanning the people milling about as if he was determined to find somewhere to put her.

She had to swallow a few times before her voice would work. “I’m meeting my friends by the steps.”

“Your boyfriend shouldn’t let you walk around the fair alone, ma’am. It’s dark, and there are a thousand lowlifes skulking around out here.”

“I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment.” Ash couldn’t help it. She laughed. “And skulking lowlifes? Really?”

“Sorry, was that a little too dramatic?” Even in the reflected light of the fireworks, she could see the smile on his face. His features were bold, especially his strong jawline. “My name is Trip, by the way.”

“Well that’s ironic.” She wondered who’d given him the nickname and why. Surely that wasn’t his real name. “I’m Ashton.”

“Nice to meet you, Ashton.”

He brought her fingers up to his lips in a gesture that made the bottom drop out of her stomach. The delicate sensation of his lips brushing over her skin sent tendrils of warmth licking silkily over her entire body. She’d never been attracted to someone like this. Never.