But will Aidan be able to see beyond his own pain to the love Liya has to offer and realize that their passion doesn’t have to last for one Christmas only?
Liya nodded. She couldn’t fault him for holding on to his memories. She guarded the memories of her parents and brother fiercely. Nothing would ever delete those precious people from her heart or mind.
“Are you spending Christmas here? What about your in-laws?”
His lips quirked, giving him a boyish appearance. “They’ll be fine without me this year.”
“All right. I’m gonna leave now.” She issued him a rueful smile. “I’m sorry you came here and saw me.” He stood beside her as she rested her hand against the car door. Taking in a tremulous breath, Liya turned to him. She hoped her words would give him some peace. “If I could find a way to give her back to you, I would. I swear it, Aidan. I know that might not mean much to you at this point, but I want you to know I get it. You don’t have any space left in your heart.”
His lids lowered as he stalked closer. “And if I did? What if I wanted to make space for someone else, do you think it’s that easy? Who would want to be with me?”
He was testing her. She held his gaze. “I would. I’d want to be with you, Aidan Keegan. I know the man who exists beneath the sadness.”
“Do you feel sorry for me, Liya? Are you thinking of ways to bring some Christmas joy into an old man’s heart?”
“Don’t diminish my feelings for you.”
“I never should have hired you,” Aidan confessed, his voice taking on a raspy edge. “I should have slammed the door in your face and told you to stay the hell away from the clinic.”
Liya folded her arms. “But you didn’t.”
“Why are you making this so damn hard? I came here to find some peace. You walked out of the clinic. I tried to call you today and I thought––” He paused and lowered his head, letting out a loud whoosh of air before lifting his head. Stormy eyes greeted her. “Damn it, Liya, I thought it was the last time I would see you.”
Liya gazed at him. “You care? Would it bother you if we never saw each other again?” All she needed was an affirmation from him. Something to show he cared as much as she did.
“I care. God help me, I shouldn’t, but I do.”
Liya hedged closer, seizing the moment. “Do you want to spend this holiday alone, Aidan?”
His eyes held hers captive, pain as harrowing as the blade of a sledgehammer, slicing into her. It all became clear to her. Aidan was a man fighting an internal battle. He didn’t want to be alone, but was terrified of starting over.
Slowly, he shook his head. The guilt and confusion flickering across his face caused her chest to wheeze in anguish. Aidan thought he was weak for allowing himself to feel again. Liya swallowed back the nerves and hurt feelings. She cared too much about him to let him suffer alone, even if it meant wearing her heart on her sleeve and relinquishing her pride. “Three days,” she stated. “We have the weekend together. For three days, Aidan. Let’s pretend it’s just us. No past. Nothing between us. I won’t ask for a commitment from you and you won’t do the same to me. After that, I’ll walk away.”
She could see the rise and fall of his chest as he contemplated. “You don’t know what you’re suggesting.”
“I do,” she beseeched, placing a hand on his chest. “Let me take care of you. We’ll take care of each other for these three days, and then you’ll go back to your life and I’ll return to mine. No guilt, Aidan. It’s not like there’s a chance of you losing your heart to me. Sarah will still be your number one.”
“It’s not fair to you…” Anticipation dripped from Aidan’s words. He wanted this as much as she did. Needed it.
Liya locked her eyes with his, hoping Aidan could see the honesty and candor within. “I don’t want to spend the holiday alone. We’re two adults, right? I just want to pretend for a little bit how it could have been between us. I know you do, too. You can’t lie to me about that. I know what’s deep inside you, beneath all those layers.”
He glanced at her hand on his chest. “I never realized how selfish I was until this moment.” Touching his forehead to hers, he whispered, “I want that so much, sweetheart. God help me, Liya. I don’t want to be alone either.”
Liya felt his body relax into her touch. Carefully, she weaved her arms around his waist and held him close. “We don’t have to be. It’ll be just you and me. Aidan and Liya. Just three days and then you can return your heart to her.”
His lips brushed across her cheek and she felt his warm breath against her ear like a lover’s caress. “Don’t make me lose my heart to you, Liya. I can’t do that, sweetheart. Please don’t make me lose my heart.”
Her heart ached for him. Pangs of jealousy stabbed at her, seeing the devotion he had for Sarah. What it must have felt like to be loved by him. She stroked her fingertips to his jaw. “I won’t take it from you. That much I can promise you.” I want you to give it to me willingly.
Posted by Unknown on 17th Apr 2012
Liya Emerson is young but she has experienced a lifetime’s worth of hurt. She has lost her entire family but she knows she must go on. When her parents died in the accident they left her and her brother behind. When she was old enough to take care of him she did. She put her life aside until he died of his disease. She knew she would have time to pursue her dreams later, he needed her and she needed to be there for him. After he died she went back to school and she secured a job a clinic with Dr. Aidan Keegan and his partners. She noticed right away that he was locked up, that he was frozen. She finds him immensely attractive and wants to help him. When she finds out that he lost his family too she understands why he is so shut off to the rest of the world. She can sense the pain and wants to help heal his hurt. She wants to be there for him but doesn’t know how. When it is clear that she is unsuccessful at her attempts to warm her way into his heart she leaps at the chance to get away. When Dr. Northrop suggests that she should go to the office party at a cabin in the woods she thinks it is a good idea. Especially when he assures her that Aidan won’t be around to haunt her. When she arrives she is surprised that on one is there. Then Aidan pulls up and she learns that the cabin is his and that there is no office party. When they decide to go ahead and use the cabin together so that they don’t have to be alone on Christmas the sparks will fly. Can she convince Aidan that they truly belong together? Or will she be left out in the cold?
Aidan Keegan is a lonely man. He has chosen isolation since he lost his wife and his daughter 6 years ago. That horrible day is forever etched in his memory. They were on their way to the cabin to spend Christmas together when a drunk driver ended her life abruptly. Their unborn daughter’s life was also ended. They had done everything they could to save them both but were unsuccessful. To make things even worst his hands were damaged so badly he could no longer operate and he was a well known cardiologist. He lost everything that mattered to him that day. He buried himself and his emotions with work. He worked his days at the free clinic and his nights running the cardiology unit at the hospital. Aidan knew this was no way to live but he felt moving on would be a betrayal to his wife and daughter. When he hired Liya Emerson he knew that she fit his practice and that he was drawn to her. He kept her at bay though, especially when she tried to warn her way into his heart. He felt bad that it was starting to work. She consumed his thoughts there was something about her. She was the opposite of his wife in every way but he couldn’t deny that he was attracted to her. What he can’t understand is why she is attracted to him he is older than she is and she could find someone else that was better than him. When his colleague, Dr. Northrop asks to throw a office Christmas party at his cabin he reluctantly agrees, even though he has no intention of attending the party. When Liya confronts him about his personal prison and quits he decides to head out to the cabin to clear his head and to get as much distance between them as possible. His world is about to get shook up. When he arrives at the cabin the only person there is Liya. When they decide to share the cabin together to avoid the loneliness they both feel it will change his life forever. Will he finally let go and be able to move on? Or will he be forever trapped in a prison of fear? Does she truly love him? Or does she just feel sorry for him?
Christmas and Forever is a sweet and heartwarming Christmas story that will remind the reader that love can conquer all. The chemistry between Aidan and Liya is magnetic and engrossing. The pages are filled with spectacular erotic love scenes that sizzle right off the pages into the mind of the reader. Christmas and Forever is an amazing read that I would highly recommend to fans of this genre. I will be looking for more of her books to read in the near future.
Posted by thetbrpile.weebly.com on 11th Dec 2011
I personally don’t like an age gap over ten and so it was hard for me to really believe that these characters had any true connection other than that they had both experienced loss in their lives. However, that’s my personal feelings and I put them aside but I felt the need to voice them for other readers such as myself. I also felt that this was too heavy on the angst for a holiday read, especially a short one at 97 pages. Despite those complaints, I found that I did enjoy the book. The author gave intense descriptions and really brought me into the book. I don’t recommend it for a light holiday read but I do recommend it for a good read on the emotional rollercoaster.