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Authors: Penny Watson

Sweet Inspiration

BOOK: Sweet Inspiration
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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

The Wild Rose Press

www.thewildrosepress.com

Copyright ©2009 by Penny Watson

First published in 2009

NOTICE: This eBook is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution to any person via email, floppy disk, network, print out, or any other means is a violation of International copyright law and subjects the violator to severe fines and/or imprisonment. This notice overrides the Adobe Reader permissions which are erroneous. This eBook cannot be legally lent or given to others.

This eBook is displayed using 100% recycled electrons.

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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

CONTENTS

SWEET INSPIRATION

Dedication

Praise for SWEET INSPIRATION

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

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty One

Epilogue

* * * *

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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

What if the legend of Santa Claus is in fact, true? What if Santa has five big strapping sons who help him run his empire? Five single, sexy sons looking for romance...

Nicholas Klaus is a master pastry chef, a strict disciplinarian, and the eldest son of the legendary Santa Claus. One look at cafe owner Lucy Brewster sends him into an unexpected tailspin of lusty desires. When Lucy is critically wounded, Nicholas makes a decision that catapults their lives into turmoil...

Lucy Brewster, the free-spirited proprietor of Sweet Inspiration, has a flair for concocting sugary confections but no time for adventure. She gets more than she bargained for when she awakens in the North Pole...rambunctious elves, a fitness-obsessed Santa, and the man of her dreams. Does she have what it takes to become the next Mrs. Klaus?

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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

SWEET INSPIRATION

by

Penny Watson

* * * *

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

SWEET INSPIRATION

COPYRIGHT (C) 2009 by Penny Watson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information: [email protected] Cover Art by
The Wild Rose Press
The Wild Rose Press

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0706

Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com Publishing History

First Faery Rose Edition, 2009

* * * *

Published in the United States of America

* * * *

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

Dedication

Sweet Inspiration is dedicated to all of my friends, family, Vassar fangirls, and especially The Quirky Ladies who supported my "quirky" idea to write a romance novel about Santa Claus and the North Pole.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

Praise for SWEET INSPIRATION

Sweet Inspiration won first place in the paranormal category for the 2008 Gateway to the Best contest, sponsored by the Missouri Romance Writers of America. It is also a finalist for the Happily Ever After contest sponsored by the Mid-Michigan RWA.

"Penny Watson really delivers with her delicious look at the Klaus family. Sweet Inspiration is HOT!" ~
Dalton Diaz,
author of Love Cuffs

"My senses are alive with memories of being in my great-grandmother's kitchen, a Russian-Bohemian cook-aholic. I love the chemistry between Nicholas and Lucy in the kitchen and in their desires. What a wonderful book!" ~
Wend Petzler,
author of Curse of the Scarab King

"Sweet Inspiration has an original and intriguing plot, and characters who are fresh and fun. I don't believe I've ever read a grown-up Santa book...so enjoyable I found myself reading straight through without pausing..." ~
Kelsey
Browning, Romance Writer

* * * *

[Back to Table of Contents]

9

Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

Chapter One

* * * *

Surrounded by howling winds and a relentless fall of snow, Nicholas Sebastian Klaus studied the storefront across the street. The windows of Sweet Inspiration were so foggy he could barely make out the lights twinkling inside. Customers who scurried into the shop searching for a warm respite from the wintry weather would not be disappointed. The cozy, fragrant bakery was as welcoming as a nana's kitchen, and as comforting as the first luscious bite of a frosting-drenched cinnamon bun. The patrons would settle down into the overstuffed sofas clutching mugs of steaming cocoa, their eyes closing in bliss as the buttery pastry melted in their mouths. He knew these things were true for he had experienced these sensations every day for a fortnight. And truth be told, Nicholas Klaus was a hard man to please.

The brownstone looked like a gingerbread house, four stories high. Lacy curtains tacked back with garnet velvet ribbons framed each window, and candles flickered against the frosted glass. Branches of bittersweet and rosehip berries overflowed the window boxes, and garlands of fresh greens trimmed the doors
.
A more picturesque shop would be difficult to find, even in this charming little town of Eston, New York.

Of course, the most enticing part of the cafe was not the decadent pastries or the heady scents of cinnamon and 10

Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

cloves. The reason he felt compelled to visit the bakery every day of his extended vacation was hustling down the street, her arms filled with a large basket of apples. Lucy Anne Brewster, proprietor of Sweet Inspiration and baker extraordinaire, was a delicious package he desperately wanted to unwrap for Christmas. A wild mass of red curls escaped from her tight knit cap, and a hooded woolen coat concealed her white baker's uniform. For the first time in his carefully controlled life, Nicholas found himself inexplicably attracted to a woman. And he was annoyed beyond reason.

From the very first day, he was mesmerized by Lucy's smile. Her plump rosy lips caused temporary speechlessness.

The sprinkle of freckles across her blushing cheeks, like cinnamon on a plum kuchen, and blue eyes fringed with long black lashes were nearly his undoing. But when the damned woman bent over to fetch a cookie sheet from the oven, Nicholas felt a flash of fire so unexpected, he nearly toppled over. She revealed a curvy arse packed perfectly into her baker's pants. An uncontrollable flare of lust consumed him as sweat dripped from his forehead, along the side of his face into his thick beard.

And now he stood, like a bloody imbecile, on a freezing street corner in upstate New York, hoping for a glimpse of this red-haired goddess. Good God, his brothers would howl with laughter to see him in such a state. His father would be less than pleased to find Nicholas so obviously distracted from business. His mother, however...hmm, he had the distinct feeling that his mother would unleash that famous-dimpled smile and say, "Finally. It took you long enough, Nicholas."

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Sweet Inspiration

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The embarrassing truth was that he had barely spoken to the woman. He initially visited the shop because a colleague mentioned that Sweet Inspiration had the best sugar cookies he'd ever tasted. Nicholas was a baker. His specialty...cookies. The quest for perfection consumed almost every waking moment of his life. Although he spent many hours laboring in his state-of-the-art kitchen, he also traveled the world to savor sweet delights from every country. He doubted that some little cafe in Eston, New York could best his rich, flaky sugar cookies. And yet, he found himself drawn to this townhouse several weeks ago.

He was hard pressed to criticize the shop. Inside, customers curled up on sofas with plump muffins and a book.

Others clustered around cafe tables with friends, sipping cappuccino from sturdy ceramic mugs. The scent of vanilla and spices permeated the bakery, and twinkling garlands of lights framed the windows.

A young woman, adorned with glittering piercings and bohemian attire, waited on him the first day. Nicholas ordered a sugar cookie. No beating around the bush. He would taste, evaluate, and be on his way. His father expected him back to their village shortly. Cookie production skyrocketed at holiday time, and they needed him at home.

The first bite was surprising. The next, a joy. Each bite reminded him why he was so passionate about baking, why a simple cookie could transform a moment. He felt like a giddy child on Christmas morning, savoring the most delectable treat. This was no ordinary cookie. It was light, yet rich; simple, yet...there was a subtle and fascinating combination 12

Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

of flavors he could not identify. And Nicholas prided himself on his ability to discern
any
flavor. His taste buds were as experienced and worldly as they come. When he found his plate empty, he sighed and eagerly scanned the display case, ready for more.

He leaned down to inspect the other treats and caught a blurry image through the glass case—a nymph in the kitchen.

Long strands of copper-colored curls cascaded down her back.

Delicate blue eyes and a rich lusty laugh caught his attention instantly. Slowly he stood and peered over the counter. She couldn't be more than five feet tall. He watched, transfixed, as she reached back to knot her thick hair. Her little white T-shirt molded nicely to her chest, and two delicious cherries poked out, begging to be nibbled. By him.

He shook his head.
What in God's name is happening to
me? The cookies, ask her about the cookies.

For the first time in his life, Nicholas Klaus found himself tongue-tied. Unable to spit out any meaningful vocabulary, he simply pointed to a tray of gingerbread and whispered, "Two, please." His voice sounded strained, even to his own ears.

The curly haired angel smiled at him, and the sound of bells exploded in his head. She wrapped the two cookies in tissue paper and placed them in a bright red bag, Sweet Inspiration embossed in gold on the front. Nicholas nodded his thanks, and the moment was over.

Except that he could not get her, or her delicious cookies, out of his mind. He discovered her name and a bit of information about the bakery from her employees. After only three years, she had a devoted following in their town. And 13

Sweet Inspiration

by Penny Watson

the owner was clearly adored by her workers. They described her as "sparkling," "talented," and "generous."

Nicholas silently added
, and sexy
. After demolishing a wide assortment of pastries, he staggered back to the inn and slept. His fitful dreams involved pastry cream and Lucy Anne's nipples, plumped up nicely in a red lacy bra. She crumbled sugar cookies over her breasts and laughed at him, pulling his face down to her vanilla-scented cleavage. Nicholas woke up sweating and frustrated as hell. He'd been enchanted by a red-haired goddess.

BOOK: Sweet Inspiration
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ads

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