Snowflake Kisses

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Jackson Merritt's first night in London has concluded with an unexpected bang. Acting on instinct, he steps into the midst of an attempted theft that leads him into the life, and heart of Vanessa Colby.   A personal shopper at the world-famous Harrods, Vanessa wants only to savor the...
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Description

Jackson Merritt's first night in London has concluded with an unexpected bang. Acting on instinct, he steps into the midst of an attempted theft that leads him into the life, and heart of Vanessa Colby.
 
A personal shopper at the world-famous Harrods, Vanessa wants only to savor the start of the Christmas season. She's not looking for love, but after being rescued from harm by Jackson, she finds herself falling fast and hard for the handsome American who heads North American operations for her family's IT firm. 
 
But a woman from Jackson’s past shows up in London as well—and if she can’t win him back, she’s bent on destroying his career, and any future happiness with Vanessa.
 
As truths play out, as emotions are faced and reconciled, Jackson and Vanessa must confront the ideas of reformation, forgiveness, and finding a way to love…even in the darkest circumstances.




 


Excerpt


1

I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. Dear Lord, help me. I don’t want to die.

The cold steel tip of a gun pressed into Vanessa Colby’s ribcage, masked perfectly by the black clad, indistinguishable body of a thief. All about her hummed the bustle and verve of a snow-kissed London night. Shoppers pushed to and fro, oblivious as the Christmas season launched into high gear. She was trapped with her front side thrust against the open doorway of what she now realized was a getaway car.

“I’ve been watching you, duchess.”

“I’m not royalty; I’m simply a personal shopper who—”

“Shut up!” Hot, damp breath hissed against her ear, prompting a roll of nausea. “I know what you are. You’re a looker. You’re quite the sexy shaker and mover with all your well-endowed clients.” He emphasized the words well-endowed just hard enough to make them sound lascivious. Growing implications curdled Vanessa’s blood. “Make one more sound and your pretty little face won’t be so pretty anymore.” The words were a whispered warning that invaded her nervous system and slipped a cube of ice-cold dread through her body. “Move so much as a muscle and you’re going to take a nice long ride with us to a spot where we can dump your delicious body wherever we wish. Someplace you’ll never be found.” He hummed—a dark, sick sound. “Once we’re finished with you, that is.”

The man’s free hand slithered against her waist, sliding the silk and cashmere of her blouse and shawl upward into a messy wad. Vanessa gagged.

His wide, rough hand reached her neck.

His breath skated against her cheek.

Her world went into a tailspin, and she wobbled, but he tightened his hold.

“You smell so good, duchess. Maybe we’ll have some fun with you anyway, no matter what you do.”

Cold air curved against her exposed midsection. The business end of the revolver dug deeper.

“What would you think of that, huh?” He shoved her against the open doorway.

Vanessa almost fell to her knees. She whimpered—and Vanessa Elizabeth Colby never whimpered. Expertly blocked from public view, her gaze darted left and right, seeking any means of escape from this nightmare.

The thief seemed to sense her fear, and feed off it, because he began to snicker. “I just love it when a woman sweats despite the cold. Throw those bags you’re hauling onto the back seat. All of them. Now!”

For the first time, his voice rose, but apparently not loud enough. No discernible reaction came from those who passed by; any onlooker would likely figure she was just a holiday shopper standing before the entrance of Harrods, loading merchandise into a car. Vanessa licked her lips; she grabbed for air in shallow, desperate sips.

So, this hoodlum wanted the stash of designer clothes she carried—and the jewelry that accompanied. What Vanessa held was nearly fifty-thousand pounds worth of extravagant purchases just made by the Countess of Willembaech. Fine. He could have them. Vanessa tossed the bags into the car and squeezed her eyes shut, prayed in earnest.

Jesus, I know I’m fairly new to Your Kingdom of believers, but please hear my prayer. Please let me live.

Be still, precious child. I am your help and your strength.

The assurance of God’s presence somewhat soothed her. Vanessa swallowed and attempted calm. “I don’t know who or what you are. You can get away right now. You’ve got what you’re after. Please just leave me—”

A sickening thud accompanied by a loud, pained groan echoed through the airway, and suddenly Vanessa was released from the gunman’s grip. He toppled into a heap. His weapon clattered to the ground, bounced against the curb before it disappeared beneath the car.

Confusion ruled Vanessa’s mind as a squad of security personnel rushed forward through the doorway of the store behind her, efficiently interrupting the escape of the gunman’s accomplice and driver.

Thanks to…

“Are you all right, miss?”

Vanessa didn’t bother to turn; she wasn’t ready to face or acknowledge her benefactor yet. Instead, she sagged against the car while police lights sent blue strobes pulsing against the stately buildings and shops of Brompton Road. Her back remained trained to the famed green awnings of her store—normally her comfort and haven. She continued to gasp for air, swaying heavily as the world blurred. Black spots danced through her vision. Dizziness formed a haze that overwhelmed. Her legs buckled at the same instant a pair of strong arms captured her at the waist and behind the knees.

Just as Vanessa was lifted off her feet—in no more than a heartbeat of time—her world faded to black.

****

Reviews (3)

by Sharon Dean

Snowflake Kisses: A Christmas Romance By: Marianne Evans 5***** Perseverance......-
Marianne has brought forth to us continuing characters from which we fell in love with from London in Book 1 (Finding Home) of this Christmas romance, Peter, Alexa and Vanessa. Snowflake Kisses brings us Vanessa's story of falling in love. Jackson, oh sweet Jackson! He's a new character, and wow, how you swept Vanessa off her feet from the start! And how her perseverance taught you so much and brought you to life and changed you to shine for Him. And she reminded me so much more about perseverance. How to stay strong and face the past, delicately, yet steadfast and look towards the future. A truly strong message of hope, life and love! To persevere and know that with God, all things are possible. Can Jackson and Vanessa find love amidst his heart being so closed off and mindset to keep it that way? Can Vanessa keep strong in her faith and help guide his heart to new becomings? Jackson and Vanessa

by Renette Steele

Snowflake Kisses Marianne Evans “Snowflake Kisses” by Marianne Evans takes you on a splendid visit to London and is a delightful read. Sometimes our biggest hurts and challenges can lead us to our best blessings! “Snowflake Kisses” will captivate you right from the start. Vanessa, who we fell in love with in “Finding Home”, seems to be in quit the predicament. Jackson happens along at just the right moment. Coincidence, chance or divine appointment. You will have to decide as you read. London is full of wonder at this time of year and each snowflake seems to be full of romance and charm for these two. Loving family and friends see the connection long before Vanessa and Jackson, they try to advise, help, support and provide assistance without interference. Marianne tells this in the most delightful way and truly brings these characters to life and your heart. No matter what stage of your relationship with GOD you are in and no matter what stage the other person is in, we

by LoRee Peery

Ms. Evans has a way with words that draws in the reader at the outset. Jackson saves Vanessa from a robber bent on assault. Attraction is immediate, but he’s remorseful over a near mishap with a married woman. This reader wants to see London now, especially the Eye, thanks to vivid description. Yummy, Snowflake Kisses is a beautiful romance.

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