Read After the Christmas Party Online

Authors: Janice Lynn

Tags: #Medical, #Fiction, #Literature & Fiction, #Harlequin Medical Romance, #Series, #Contemporary, #Romance, #General

After the Christmas Party

BOOK: After the Christmas Party

Praise for
Janice Lynn:

‘Fun, witty and sexy…A heartfelt, sensual, and compelling read.’

—Goodreads Review on


‘A sweet and beautiful romance that will steal your heart.’

— on

has a Masters in Nursing from Vanderbilt University, and works as a nurse practitioner in a family practice. She lives in the southern United States with her husband, their four children, their Jack Russell—appropriately named Trouble—and a lot of unnamed dust bunnies that have moved in since she started her writing career. To find out more about Janice and her writing visit

After the
Christmas Party…

Janice Lynn


Dear Reader

I am so blessed in that I come from a family where Christmas is always a special time and always has been. My family didn’t necessarily get a lot material-wise, but the love and memories we have are worth more than anything a shiny package could ever hold. Sadly, I’ve run across people who have had a tragedy around the holidays, or who haven’t been so blessed, and I think how terrible the holidays must be when there are reminders everywhere one looks.

Nurse Trinity Warren is just such a person. She’s good-hearted, but grew up in a household where Christmas not only wasn’t celebrated, but also became an embarrassment for her because her home life was so different from that of her peers. And getting dumped by her ex in a very public way at her hospital Christmas party sure didn’t do anything to pump up her Christmas joy.

His name might not be St Nicholas, but Dr Riley Williams loves Christmas just about as much as the jolly red-suited man. Not used to being ignored by the opposite sex, Riley finds his interest piqued by Trinity’s seeming indifference to him and her professed dislike of the most wonderful time of year. Showing her the magic of the season is the challenge his bored heart has been searching for, but can he really fall in love with someone whose life motto is bah-humbug?

I hope you enjoy reading Trinity and Riley’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Drop me an e-mail at [email protected] to share your thoughts about their romance, Christmas, or just to say hello.

Merry Christmas!



To my parents, James and Brenda Green, for making all my Christmases so full of good times, good food, and lots of love. Love you both very much!

Table of Contents


Praise for Janice Lynn

About the Author

Title Page


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen




little blonde were a chameleon, Dr. Riley Williams was positive she’d have blended into the hotel ballroom wall long ago.

Who was she? Obviously not someone’s date as only a fool would have left her alone. She had to be a hospital employee he just hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting.

She sipped on a glass of what appeared to be rum punch and nervously surveyed the room as if she’d rather be anywhere than at the Pensacola Memorial Hospital Christmas party.

He took a sip of his soda and continued to listen to Dr. Sanders discuss an upcoming heart program the hospital was sponsoring while Riley’s attention was really on the blonde.

Never had he seen a less likely wallflower. Although she did seem as delicate as one of the orchids his mother loved to grow. Fragile even.

Every bit as beautiful.

Looking almost hopeful, she smiled at a group of women that passed by but they never paused in their hee-hawing to say hello. If anything, she seemed to wilt further. A pity because he’d liked that brief glimpse of a smile.

The need to see that smile again hit hard. Surprisingly hard. He liked women. A lot. Always had. He imagined he always would but he didn’t envision himself ever settling down. The long hours and demands of his career would keep him from ever tying a woman to him. A family deserved time and attention.

A plump pink lower lip disappeared between white teeth. Every muscle in Riley’s stomach contracted and he’d swear the air in the room had thinned.

Never had he had such an instant, strong reaction to a woman.

He placed his half-full glass on a passing waiter’s tray. “Excuse me, gentlemen, but I just spotted what I want for Christmas.”

Several of his colleagues followed his line of vision and grinned.

“Trinity Warren. She just started last week,” a cardiologist who was one of his partners informed him. “On the cardiac unit. I’m surprised you haven’t already noticed her.”

With the way his insides were stirring, so was he. Then again, he hadn’t been around the hospital much this week. He’d taken a few days off work to spend some time helping his mother with odds and ends of Christmas decorations and shopping. For too long since his father’s heart attack sadness had filled her at the holidays. Seeing her renewed joy in the festivities did Riley’s heart good.

“Trinity Warren…” He let the blonde’s name roll off his tongue, wondering at the way his pulse pounded at his throat. “She works on our unit?”

He didn’t usually become involved with women he worked with. Too messy.

“She’s been in orientation with Karen this past week. Quirky sense of humor, great smile, patients like her, seems to really know her stuff.”

Yeah, well, he’d really like to know her stuff too. Up close and personal. Plus, that glimpse of her smile had been great. He could only imagine what her full-blown one would be like. His imagination was working overtime at the moment.

He studied her, watching as she cast her big brown eyes downward to stare into her glass before taking another sip. Her tongue darted out to lick punch from her full lips. He swallowed. Oh, hell. Without even trying, she was sending his blood pressure through the roof.

How much he wanted to see her pretty mouth curved into a smile stunned him, to see her eyes dancing with pleasure. Want was the wrong word. He needed to see her smile, her pleasure.

“You want me to introduce you?”

He glanced at his best friend and one of the several partners in their cardiology group. “Have you ever known me to need you to introduce me to a beautiful woman?”

“Figured you needed all the help you could get,” Trey teased.

“Besides, I’m onto you,” Riley continued, hesitating just a little longer, feeling his friend’s interest in the woman too. “You’re just looking for an excuse to talk to her yourself.”

Trey grinned. “If I’d spotted her first tonight, I wouldn’t have needed an excuse to talk to her. I’d be over there now, rather than talking to your ugly mug.”

“But now?”

“Now I’ve seen the determined look on your face.”
Trey shrugged. “She doesn’t stand a chance and neither does any other man in this room. Go for it.”

Relieved his friend didn’t have a vested interest, Riley didn’t deny his claim. Besides, Trey was right. Trinity Warren didn’t stand a chance when he turned on the charm. Before long she’d be smiling and enjoying her evening—with him.

Nurse Trinity Warren was smart enough to know that facing her fears was the best way to move on, to put her ho-ho-ho hang-ups to rest. But, seriously, had she really had to come to this Christmas party?

Leaning against the hotel ballroom wall, she took a sip of her third cup of fruit punch. Was she nuts or what? By coming here, she was sticking her neck under the proverbial guillotine. Two years ago she’d vowed to never attend another Christmas party, to ban Christmas for ever. Bah, humbug! That had been her motto.

Only she’d relocated two weeks ago and her new nursing director had said she needed to attend. So here she was, pretending she was having a good time and that she wasn’t contemplating a dash to the ladies’ room to toss the liquid-only contents of her fluttery stomach.

She smiled at a group of women who worked in the billing department as they paused near where she held the wall up. She didn’t personally know them. She knew very few people outside the cardiac care unit. But she had seen the trio around. Waving their hands with animation and talking a mile a minute, they didn’t notice her.

“He is so hot,” one of the women said, fanning her face with a bejeweled hand decked out with rakish long
manicured fingernails and a sparkly ring so big it had to be fake.

“He’s yummy in his scrubs, but in those dress slacks and fitted button-down open just right at his collar…” a heavy-chested blonde gave an exaggerated sigh “…he’s outright lickable.”

Trinity followed their line of sight to see who had their tongues wagging. Oh, my. Um, yeah, they were right.

He was hot.

And lickable.

And a lot of other things that had her looking away really fast so her retinas didn’t start smoking.

Startled at her tongue-slurping reaction, she glanced back toward the object of their admiration. Her gaze collided with his. Wow. Something about him made her burn. Probably because he looked as if he’d walked straight out of every woman’s fantasy. The mischievous gleam present in his blue eyes said he was well aware of his many manly charms and that she threatened to spontaneously combust any moment just from his visual perusal. He knew he was that hot.

She gulped back another sip of punch, hoping it would cool the burn. It didn’t.

Which didn’t make sense because she’d banned men right along with Christmas two years ago. Especially a man like the one grinning at her. A man like that one would incinerate the already shattered bits of her heart.

“Oh! Shh! He’s coming this way,” one of the women squealed, slapping the other’s arm and sloshing a little of her Cosmopolitan onto the ballroom floor. All three of the women struck we-weren’t-just-talking-about-you poses and one gave a fake laugh as if whatever they
were discussing was of the utmost interest and batted her lashes flirtatiously.

Really? Trinity wanted to roll her eyes. She glanced Mr. Lickable’s way again to see if he’d caught onto the women fan-girling him.

Yet again her gaze collided with electric blue and this time didn’t let go, couldn’t let go, as if there was some magnetic force at play that held her eyes in place.

She forgot how to inhale. Literally and figuratively. She couldn’t breathe.

Wow. He really was a beautiful man. Dark brown hair that had just a touch of golden curl and looked invitingly soft. Tanned skin that hinted he spent a lot of his time outdoors and, living next to the Gulf of Mexico, he probably did. He had a face and body gorgeous enough to give any movie-star hunk a complex.

Then there were those eyes.

So intensely blue that they had to be contact lenses, because no one’s eyes could really be that blue. Or that full of mischief. No doubt he’d been one of those kids who’d stayed on Santa’s naughty list.

Yes, the women were right. He was hot, so hot her mouth felt like the Sahara but the rest of her rivaled a rainforest and was probably putting damp spots on her dress. Great. Managing to shift her eyes, she took another sip of her punch, draining the clear plastic cup. Oops. Now what was she going to do with her nervous hands?

“Do you want something else to drink?” Mr. Hotness himself asked, walking past the we-weren’t-just-talking-about-you women and planting himself right in front of Trinity.

She glanced to either side, expecting to see some
parched Delilah close by. He couldn’t be talking to Plain Jane her, right? And if he was,

The trio was staring at her in dropped-jaw surprise. She was surprised herself. She wasn’t chopped liver, but she didn’t kid herself that she was the model type this guy most likely dated either.

The last swig of punch had done nothing to help her dry mouth, which was problematic. Her tongue stuck to her palate, refusing to budge. She was positive anything she attempted to say could and would be held against her.

“I’ll be happy to get you more punch,” he added, causing a wave of eyebrow rises from their spectators. “Or anything else you might want.” One corner of his mouth lifted in a sexy grin. “I’m a man who aims to please.”

If the heavy-chested blonde had fallen into a fit of vapors right then and there, Trinity wouldn’t have been surprised. She was about to need resuscitation herself.

He was flirting.

With her.

Eyes narrowing suspiciously, brain reeling, she peeled her dry tongue free of the roof of her mouth. “Then perhaps you should aim elsewhere.”

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