Baggage Claim by Juliana Smith Publication date: November 26th 2022 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Olive Moore has been avoiding her hometown for three years now. But a phone call with her mom has her agreeing to spend the holidays back home with her family, she lets it slip she will be bringing a boyfriend with her. The only problem with that is she has no boyfriend. That is until she meets a handsome—albeit annoying—stranger on the plane who makes her an offer she can’t refuse.
Finn Beckett has always had good luck, as demonstrated by the gorgeous blonde he’s seated next to on a flight to Aspen. One drink too many leads to Olive spilling her problems in his lap, and he feels compelled to help. So he makes her an offer: he’ll pretend to be her boyfriend to keep her family off her back and make this the best Christmas ever.
Olive and Finn spend the next two weeks going on spirit-filled Christmas dates with her family. Their ruse is working perfectly, but Finn can’t help but notice Olive is holding something back. Something that could ruin everything.
Their relationship may have taken off smoothly, but with all this turbulence, will they ever make it to baggage claim?
“Olive,” I said, her name like a prayer. I didn’t have anything else to say; I only wanted her to see me.
Her bright green eyes lifted to mine, and I melted. My hand reached under her chin and rubbed my thumb across it. So beautiful. She took a step closer, her chest brushing my midsection, and I nearly groaned from the simple contact. She leaned into me like she was on autopilot, and I was her only destination. I cautiously slid my hand from her chin to the back of her neck. She swallowed, and the movement of her throat pulled me in like runway lights calling me home. I moved closer, hesitantly, our faces only inches away. She would have stopped me, right? She would have given me that sassy attitude and pushed me away if she didn’t want this. The Olive I knew wouldn’t let me get this far. I paused, unsure.
“Tell me to stop.”
I needed to hear it. To hear her yell at me. To have her say, “I told you no kissing,” and give me a shove. If she didn’t, I would take her on this bed right now, without a care of who else was in the house.
She grabbed my white button-down and pulled me impossibly closer. “No.” It was quiet, barely a whisper. I tightened my grip on her neck and leaned forward.
This was it. Everything you have thought of nonstop since that flight. I was going to kiss the hell out of her. I was going to leave her lips swollen and numb until she was dizzy and floating.
I tilted her head up with my spare hand and inched my lips toward hers slowly, ready to throw all caution to the wind.
“Finn.” She moaned my name before my lips were even on her, and I forced my heart not to explode. We were a dyad, two halves of the same whole. She was the best I ever had, and I hadn’t even had her yet. My lips were a centimeter from hers. Finally. Finally.
About the author:
Juliana Smith is an author in a small town in Alabama. She is a full-time realtor, and part-time author, but she spends a lot of her time with her husband and daughter. Juliana writes heartfelt romance filled with laughter and warm fuzzies. She can usually be found in a Chic-fil-a drive-thru or listening to Star Wars theory podcasts, often at the same time.