By Jill Shalvis
Formats and Prices
- ebook (Digital original) $2.99 $3.99 CAD
- Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 2, 2014. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Wild child Chloe Thompson can’t believe how much things have changed. She still can’t get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.
Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen.
Chloe came awake aware of two things: one, she was alone in the bed, and two, she didn’t like being alone in the bed. She sat up and blearily blinked into focus a sight that immediately had her brain clearing.
And her body humming.
“Officer Hottie,” she murmured, and had the pleasure of seeing the big, badass, steely man grimace at the nickname he hated.
Five years and she still loved to poke the bear. And right now the bear stopped shoving things into a duffel bag and looked at her, quiet and assessing, taking her temperature from across the room. “You’re awake.”
“Seems like,” she answered, hearing the exhaustion in her voice.
Evidently Sawyer did as well. His mouth tightened slightly as his eyes scanned her from head to toe. Whatever he saw had him moving from his duffel bag to the side of the bed, where he stood looking down at her. His dark brown eyes could be cool and unreadable—his cop eyes—or soft, melting chocolate, like when he was feeling frisky, though she hadn’t seen that side of him lately.
Your fault, she reminded herself, and tried to swallow the ball of anxiety over the fact that he was leaving for one of his dangerous DEA jobs while they were barely speaking. You’re the one who picked a fight over his job, which is as much a part of him as you are…
She couldn’t help it; the way he was taking on more and more of these types of jobs was a big problem for her. And because of that, it’d become a big problem in their relationship.
“You okay?” he asked, voice low and morning gruff. He hadn’t been up long then, and for some ridiculous reason, this made her feel better. She wanted to think that they’d slept entangled together and that he’d had a hard time pulling himself away from her, but the truth was she didn’t remember a damn thing except her haunting dreams.
The ones where he wasn’t in her life.
“I’m fine,” she said, and when he just looked at her, she shook off his concern because hell if she wanted him speaking to her simply because of worry.
She wanted him speaking to her because he couldn’t live without her, the stubborn ass. “Really,” she said. “Totally fine.”
As if the baby already had a sense of humor, she kicked Chloe in the bladder. Or maybe she was saying “Hey, be nice to my daddy.”
Sawyer’s big, work-roughened hand settled over hers, where she’d been rubbing her belly without even realizing it. “And the Bean?” he asked.
Ah, yes. The elephant in the room. The pink elephant in the form of their unborn daughter in her eighth month in the womb.
To say that the pregnancy had been unplanned was a huge understatement. What could they possibly offer a kid? Because this thought brought on more panic, Chloe shrugged that off too. She had a lifetime of experience of living in the moment, and she was going to keep doing it for as long as possible.
“The Bean’s okay, too,” she finally said, hoping that was really true. She shifted, trying to get comfortable, which was hopeless. As if in agreement with that, the baby turned and kicked her again. The people in Chloe’s life liked to remind her that she’d once been hell on wheels. She had a feeling her baby was a chip off the old block. “You’re leaving,” she said softly.
Sawyer didn’t respond to this because they’d already talked about it, and her husband wasn’t one to mince words. Or waste them. He kept his big, warm hand cradled around her belly for another beat, rubbing in a way that never failed to soothe both baby and mama.
Neither she nor Sawyer knew the first thing about babies.
Or happy childhoods.
Becoming a parent was a role that neither of them had ever anticipated. Aside from the fact that they’d each been raised by wolves, Chloe especially had absolutely zero confidence in her own ability to be a mother.
And then there was Sawyer. He’d had an unhappy childhood, and she had no idea how he felt about becoming a father. He was a man who would always honor his obligations, but it didn’t mean he wanted this baby.
She blew out a breath and looked out the window. Not quite dawn. Two weeks before Christmas and the trees were dusted with snow, as all of Lucky Harbor was.
Winter on the Pacific Northwest coast was only for the hardy.
And there was no one more hardy than her husband. His head was dipped to the task of rubbing her baby bump. He had thick brown hair that contained every hue under the sun and fell over his forehead in front when he was in the shower or otherwise occupied in bed. It was tamed now only because it was still damp from a shower, and he’d clearly used just his fingers to shove it back.
When the baby settled, he dropped his hand from her and went back to his packing. Chloe watched as Sawyer pulled a gun from the safe, checking it with the ease of a man whose gun was an extension of himself, and then it, too, went into his bag. She knew from experience that he had at least one other gun on him, and most likely a knife as well.
What was it about him checking his weapons like other men buttoned their shirt that was so damn hot? And how was it that even though she was the approximate size and weight of a buffalo, she still could get aroused just by looking at him?
The silence between them gave her a bit of a reality check. She might be turned on by him, but he wasn’t having the same problem.
“It’s only a week,” he said, and Chloe jumped.
He was at her side again, all lethal stealth. He set her fast-acting asthma inhaler on the nightstand for easy reach and then her cell phone, which he’d no doubt charged for her since she’d forgotten. His bag hung from his shoulder, and he watched her from those fathomless eyes. If she looked closely she could see the gold flecks in them. Sometimes, when he laughed, those flecks danced.
But they were still now.
As still as the man watching her.
“I know,” she murmured. “Just a week. You’ll be back for the town Christmas party. You promised to take me.”
His jaw went a little tight. Parties weren’t exactly Mr. Social’s thing. “We talked about this,” he said.
“Yes, and you agreed to take me.”
He shook his head. “I said it wasn’t a great idea, you exerting the energy to dress up and go to a crowded event.”
“I’m not a piece of china,” she said.
“No one would ever mistake you for one,” he responded, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t a compliment.
“But,” he went on in that voice of steel, “you’re eight months pregnant and suffer debilitating asthma. Give yourself a damn break.”
“I’ve had one,” she said. “Maddie and Tara won’t even let me work at my own spa. I need to get out, Sawyer. I need to see people.” Before her life changed forever… “I’m going.”
“I’ll be back,” was all he said.
“And the party?”
Not exactly a promise, but then again he was careful never to promise anything he couldn’t deliver. His word, when he gave it, was good as gold.
He lifted her chin and looked into her eyes for a long beat. “Dr. Tyler is only a call away,” he said. “Your sisters are close by. Jax and Ford are in your speed dials and are on standby for anything.”
Chloe’s obstetrician was wonderful, and so were her sisters Maddie and Tara and their husbands—Sawyer’s BFFs Jax and Ford. But if there was an emergency, it wasn’t any of them that Chloe wanted.
It was the tall testosterone and attitude-ridden man standing in front of her, already long gone given the look on his face.
“I want you to take care,” he said.
“You heard what Dr. Tyler said the last time we were in her office for false labor.” She patted her belly. “The Bean’s in for the long haul.”
“I meant you,” Sawyer said. “Take care of you.”
Coming from him, the words were tantamount to a shouted vow of love, and they moved her as only Sawyer could. “Always,” she promised, softening. “And what about you?”
“I haven’t had any labor pains, false or otherwise,” he deadpanned.
That got a laugh out of her.
He smiled but it faded quickly. “You know you can text or email me, and that I’ll call when I can,” he said. “And if anything happens—anything at all, Chloe—I can be back here in two hours.”
“Anything?” she asked playfully, trying to lighten the mood, using a voice that once upon a time would’ve made him kick off his shoes and strip and crawl back into bed with her, the hell with obligation and responsibility.
“I’ll be here.” He met her gaze, his own serious. “Always.”
An alarm on his watch beeped. He turned it off without taking his eyes from her.
She blew out a breath. “You’ve gotta go.”
He touched her face. “Chloe—”
- "This is a great Christmas read that will satisfy the soul as well as prompt you to put all the Lucky Harbor books on your TBR (to be read) list!"—Expressions of a Hopeful Romantic on Merry Christmas, Baby
- "Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis is an entertaining short story that wowed me from page one."—Reading on the Rocks
- "Merry Christmas, Baby made me smile, made me sigh, and even had me a little misty eyed. I loved this visit with my favorite couple and being with them and seeing their family grow is the perfect ending to their beginning and a perfect holiday read! "—Blithely Bookish
- "Merry Christmas, Baby was so sweet and so funny and so real I just didn't want it to end."—Hott Books
- "Jill's characters are great; all of them are so unique, with their own quirks and personalities, and, with snappy dialogue and a holiday theme, it was fun to see them interact with each other. ... I recommend this sweet, sexy, and sassy little holiday read for anyone."—Smut Book Junkie Reviews on Merry Christmas, Baby
- On Sale
- Dec 2, 2014
- Page Count
- 100 pages
- Forever Yours