From award-winning and international best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes a steamy holiday murder-mystery romance with a psychic twist.
Holidays should be filled with cheer…
CJ Roberts just wants to be a normal girl, have a normal job, normal friends, maybe even a normal boyfriend. Unfortunately, she’s about as far from normal as it gets, because she can See the future. And like two sides of a coin, her twin brother, Matt, can See the past. Sounds like a neat party trick, right? Actually, it’s frustrating and sometimes even dangerous. And if the past is any indicator, CJ can’t do much to change what she Sees.
Drew Davies lives and breathes his job as a chef at one of the hottest restaurants in San Francisco. He’s content to focus on his craft, and dating has always been on the back burner. That is, until he meets CJ. When sparks fly, things heat up quickly between them. It’s an unexpected but welcome connection as the holidays approach.
But just as hope blooms, CJ has a vision that changes everything. She doesn’t know how it will happen, but she knows Drew is going to die. Now she’s left with a decision: Does she risk exposing herself to save Drew, or does she play it safe and let fate deal its hand? Secrecy has protected her until now, but can she really do nothing when the life of the man she’s falling for hangs in the balance?
The evening is just getting started, and I can’t let my nerves get the best of me.
As Anna walks by me heading toward the kitchen with an empty tray, she leans in. “You okay?” she whispers.
I look up at her with a grateful smile, relaxing the death grip I have on my ice water. “Meh,” I reply honestly.
“I get social anxiety too,” she assures me. “Booze helps.”
I give her a wry smile. “My brother — who is also my boss, by the way — has asked that I not drink,” I explain. “Otherwise I probably would.”
“Pffff,” comes a voice behind Anna. Drew appears at her side, having slid out of the kitchen door so quietly that I didn’t notice him until he was upon us. “Hey, Simon. I need a shot of rum. The good stuff.”
The bartender looks up and gives Drew a quizzical look, but quickly pours the shot and sets it on the bar. Drew gives me a pointed look.
Anna looks nervously between us. And I don’t know if I do it to save face or because they’re right — it’s probably exactly what I need right now — but I sling the shot back without hesitation. Besides, Matt’s drinking even though he’s the one who said we shouldn’t. So what the hell. And I’m not a huge fan of straight shots, but Drew knew what he was doing. It actually tastes pretty good.
Drew beams at me.
“So did you just come out here to get me drunk?” I tease. Huh. The liquor already appears to be working. Or my mouth is doing that bypassing my brain thing it does when I’m nervous.
“Just wanted to say hi,” he says, leaning in and resting on the back of the chair next to me.
Someone pokes their head out of the kitchen and calls for Drew. With a heavy sigh, he stands back up.
“Duty calls,” he says, throwing me another of his heart-stopping grins. “Anna, next round of apps are up.” With that, he disappears.
Anna opens her mouth and closes it again.
“What?” I prompt.
“He …” She looks back to make sure Drew is really gone. “He never just comes out of the kitchen to talk to customers. And he’s never that … nice. He must really like you.”
Melanie A. Smith is the best-selling author of The Safeguarded Heart Series and other contemporary romance fiction. Originally from upstate New York, she spent most of her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Los Angeles for college. After that, she spent almost fifteen years in the Seattle Area, and now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas with her family.
A voracious reader and lifelong writer, Melanie’s writing began at a young age with short stories and poetry. Having completed a bachelor of science in electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s in business administration at the University of Washington, her writing abilities were mainly utilized for technical documents as a lead engineer for the Boeing Company, where she worked for ten years.
After shifting careers to domestic engineering and property management in 2015, she eventually found a balance where she was able to return to writing fiction.
Melanie is also a Mensan and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and driving with the windows down and the stereo cranked up loud.
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