A Steele for Christmas (Harlequin Kimani Romance Series #253)

A Steele for Christmas (Harlequin Kimani Romance Series #253)

by Brenda Jackson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459214354
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Series: Forged of Steele Series , #9
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 108,937
File size: 319 KB

About the Author

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling. Email Brenda at authorbrendajackson@gmail.com or visit her on her website at brendajackson.net.

Read an Excerpt

Eli Steele's looks should be outlawed.

Stacey Carlson couldn't help reaching that conclusion each and every time she saw him. She had been in town less than a week when she'd heard about the six Steele brothers—mainly from the feminine whispers at the health spa she'd joined. At the time, she had merely rolled her eyes in the sauna room thinking the women had to be delusional. No men could look that good.

She was proven wrong a few months later when she ran into the "Bad News" Steeles at her brother Cohen's birthday party. That's when she met all six of them. All it took was one look and she had to admit they were the most gorgeous men she'd ever encountered in all twenty-five years of her life. And with their Smokey Robinson green eyes, chiseled lips, long eyelashes, dimpled cheeks, sculpted jaws and mahogany-colored skin, they were definitely hotties of the most arousing kind.

There was Galen, the oldest of the group, who'd gotten married six months ago. At thirty-five he'd made millions as a video game creator. Tyson was thirty-four and a gifted surgeon. Eli, at thirty-three, was a prominent attorney in town. Jonas, who was thirty-two, owned a marketing business. Thirty-one-year-old Mercury was a well-known sports agent, and Gannon, who had recently turned thirty, managed the million-dollar trucking firm he'd taken over when their father had retired.

The five single Steeles had a reputation for being womanizers and came with a banner a mile long that warned—Get pleasure now but expect severe heartbreak later. Stacey didn't find the thought at all amusing while she studied Eli out of the corner of her eye as he browsed her gift shop.

Technically, it was his shop since he owned the space. To be more specific, he owned the entire high-rise building, all twenty floors of the Steele Building in downtown Phoenix. She was a tenant and he was her landlord. Her gift shop was on the ground floor, a perfect location that drew both in-house and outside traffic. It was worth the amount she paid each month for the lease.

The only drawback was Eli's daily visits to purchase a copy of the Wall Street Journal. She would open up at nine and, like clockwork, he would walk into Stacey's Gift Shop at nine-fifteen. The only exceptions were those mornings when he had an early court appearance.

With nothing more than a terse "Good morning," he would grab his paper and place the exact amount for his purchase on the counter before walking out with the male scent of him following in his wake and leaving her all but drooling.

Lately, he had gotten into the habit of returning every day right before the lunch hour rush to take his time to browse. She shouldn't complain since he would always purchase something, even if it was only a pack of gum. Still, the fact that he was in the shop was unsettling, mainly because the man was so darn pleasing to the eyes that it was hard to keep her gaze off him. He was so stunning, he could snatch a woman's breath right from her lungs.

She hated admitting that she'd been lusting after him for months. She should be the last person to have that sort of reaction to any man considering the fix Wallace Flowers had left her in seven months ago. Even now, it was hard for her to believe that her fiance had called off their wedding a mere week before it was to take place. He'd told her he wasn't in love with her and had wanted to marry Stacey's friend Gail instead.

Heartbroken and humiliated beyond belief, she had quit the computer programming job she'd hated anyway, packed up her belongings and left Memphis far behind when Cohen invited her to come join him in Phoenix. And it had been her brother who'd convinced her to do something she had always wanted to do, which was to go into business for herself.

After stocking several items on the shelf, she glanced up in time to see Eli walk toward the counter. She pulled in a deep breath and told herself that regardless of the fact he was so brutally male, she would not be attracted to him, especially when she knew better. Eli Steele was a known heartbreaker and she had already gotten hurt by one of his kind, in the worst possible way.

As usual, he was dressed in a business suit that seemed tailor-made for his body, especially for his broad shoulders and all those sculpted muscles. Like the other five Steele brothers, he was tall, six-four at least, and had a suave, smooth walk. No one would doubt the magnitude of his success. He exuded confidence and borderline arrogance.

He placed one of her shop's newest items, an antique brass jeweled picture frame, on the counter. She couldn't help wondering whose picture he would place inside the 5x7 frame. She then asked him the same question she asked all her customers at checkout time. "Did you find everything you needed?"


"Will this be all then?" she asked.


She broke eye contact when her pulse rate increased. Drawing in much-needed breath, she forced her hands underneath the counter to retrieve some tissue paper. "Do you prefer a bag or a box?"


"Would you like it gift wrapped?"


In addition to his good looks, she'd also discovered he was a man of few words, which made her wonder how he'd won all those court cases she'd heard about. His reputation as a corporate attorney was well-known, and she knew he represented several local powerhouse businesses in Phoenix. She'd heard his law firm took up the entire twentieth floor. Regardless of the amount of words he spoke, his deep, husky voice still stirred everything within her.

She accepted his credit card and tried to downplay her reaction when his hand brushed hers in the exchange. She quickly glanced up and found his gaze on her. Had he felt the same sensation or had it been a figment of her imagination? She wasn't sure and at that moment, she couldn't tear her eyes away from his.

The tinkling of the bell indicated another customer had entered her shop. Only then did she break eye contact and finalize his purchase. She was careful how she handed the credit card back to him, making sure their hands didn't touch again, and did the same thing when presenting the sales slip for him to sign.

"Thanks," she said, handing a copy of the signed sales slip back to him.

Instead of responding, he nodded before turning to walk out of her shop. It was only then that she was able to release the breath she'd been holding.

"Good morning, Mr. Steele."

Eli glanced over at his secretary. Melanie Larson was a fifty-six-year-old grandmother of five who had come highly recommended. Her work ethics were so outstanding he couldn't help wondering where she had been all his life. She had been just what he'd needed after his affair with his last secretary had ended badly.

He should have taken his brother Tyson's advice and not gotten involved with Liz Baker. Although her administrative skills had left a lot to be desired, she'd owned a pair of legs he couldn't resist. And he'd made getting between them a top priority. Problems arose when he got ready to move on to the next pair of legs. Liz wasn't feeling it and got downright possessive by monitoring his calls and deliberately sabotaging his dates. He hadn't wasted any time uttering Donald Trump's famous words, "You're fired!"

"Good morning, Ms. Larson," he said as he entered his office. When it came to women he was a leg man. That was his one weakness. A woman with a gorgeous pair of legs could get to him each and every time. Like Stacey Carlson for instance, the woman who owned the gift shop on the ground floor. Her legs looked better than Liz's ever did. Due to that fact alone, he knew if he didn't keep his head on straight—both the one on his neck as well as the one in his pants—he could end up in a world of trouble.

After placing his briefcase aside, he sat down behind his desk. Leaning back in the chair, he pulled the picture frame he'd just purchased from the box. What in the hell was he going to do with it? He could give it to his mother or to his sister-in-law, Brittany. But the main thing was that he'd purchased it with no intended recipient in mind. And why? Because he had needed an excuse to drop by that gift shop and see Stacey again. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just the legs that allured him, but the woman was a looker as well.

He had been easily drawn to her beauty the first time he'd seen her at her brother's birthday party. It wasn't the kick-you-in-the-gut beauty of some of the women he'd dated, but it was the kind that would definitely grab a man's attention. And it had done so, in a way he hadn't been used to.

There had been something about the depths of her brown eyes, the mass of dark curly hair that framed an oval-shaped face, the smooth and creamy texture of her cocoa-colored skin and what he thought of as a pair of delectable lips. The short blue dress she'd worn that night had fit her sleek and curvy body perfectly.

A smile quirked the corners of his lips. Cohen would probably beat the crap out of him if he knew Eli was lusting after his sister, and his friend's actions would be justified. He and his brothers had met Cohen Carlson around three years ago when he arrived in Phoenix to work alongside Eli's brother, Tyson, as a surgeon at Phoenix Baptist Hospital.

The Steele brothers had liked Cohen immediately and now considered him like a part of the family. They'd known he had a sister but hadn't known what a looker she was until she'd moved to town a few months ago.

Eli was aware of the reason she'd left Memphis. He'd heard the story from Tyson. Her fiance had called off the wedding to become involved with a woman she'd considered a friend. Although he was certain she'd taken the betrayal pretty hard, the attorney in Eli inwardly argued the point that whether Stacey Carlson wanted to accept it or not, she was better off without the jerk.

But Eli couldn't imagine any man wanting to give up their bachelor status to marry…period. He would admit his brother, Galen, seemed happy enough and his own parents' marriage was still holding strong after thirty-plus years. In fact, they were still so much in love it was enough to make a person gag if he was around them for too long. But he and his five brothers were used to them, and were smart enough to know the love affair between Drew and Eden Steele was not the norm. And he could say the same thing about Galen and Brittany. He knew it wouldn't be that way for him, and to be quite honest, he didn't want it that way.

Eli opened the bottom drawer to his desk. He shook his head before placing the picture frame inside to join other items he'd purchased at the gift shop over the last couple of months just because it gave him a few moments to be in Stacey's presence without being so outright obvious about it. Damn, it looked like he had purchased enough chewing gum to last for the next twenty years. He wondered what she thought of some of the items he'd purchased from her shop. She probably assumed he had been buying gifts for his lover, but he didn't have one currently—and he intended to keep it that way for a while.

He would be the first to admit that the ordeal with Liz had left a bad taste in his mouth. Hell, he wasn't sure if he trusted women any longer. It seemed they all had hidden agendas. He was a man used to romantic entanglements of the steamiest kind, so quite naturally, lately, his mind had begun filling up with a number of horny thoughts. But what could he say when he was one of Drew Steele's boys. Everyone from Charlotte, North Carolina, all the way to Phoenix, Arizona, knew just what a ladies' man his dad used to be before his mother had put her stamp all over him. So in their defense, neither he nor his brothers could help their playboy ways. It was in their blood. Even his mother would admit to that. But then she was known to let every hair on her sons' heads stand up by predicting that just like she'd brought Drew to heel, there was a woman out there who would do the same to her six sons.

Galen had proved her right when he fell—hook, line and sinker—for Brittany Thrasher. And now his brother, who had once been one of Phoenix's number one players, had easily moved into the role of a doting husband. It was enough to make Eli and his other brothers jump off the tallest building in Phoenix.

The only saving grace was that they all liked Brittany. And having her around had kept their mother off their backs. Eden Steele was too busy spending time building a relationship with her daughter-in-law that she pretty much left her unmarried sons alone for the time being. A person couldn't ask for more than that.

Eli closed the drawer and was about to open the file in the middle of his desk when his buzzer went off.

"Yes, Ms. Larson?"

"Your mother is here, Mr. Steele, and she wants to meet with you."

A frown settled on Eli's face. Apparently, he'd spoken too soon.

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A Steele for Christmas 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 112 reviews.
hebehills More than 1 year ago
A Steele for Christmas -- Kimani Romance # 253 -- October 2011 -- Brenda Jackson --The 9th book of the "Steele Family" series. -- Elijah "Eli" Steele was a corporate attorney and he also owned the entire twenty-floor high-rise building, where Stacey Carlson was renting her gift shop on the main floor. She had a lot of foot traffic coming into the building, which made it an ideal local, for her business. Eli's law firm took up the entire top floor of the building. -- Stacey had moved to Phoenix after her ex-fiancé canceled their wedding, because had he decided that he wanted to marry Stacey's friend instead. That is why Stacey decided that she would move to Phoenix, to be close to where her brother Cohen who was a surgeon at Phoenix Baptist Hospital. -- Stacey had always wanted to open a shop and now she had her chance. After a few months Stacey's gift shop was doing well. Now she didn't need a man to make her happy. -- Eli was one of the five "Bad News" Steele brothers that fathers & mothers hide their daughters from. The Steele brothers were sexy and hottest looking men that would make a woman lose her head. Eli was a sworn bachelor and he intended stay that way. Women were made to be loved and then he would move on the next one. There was a attraction between Eli and Stacey, but Stacey wasn't looking for another man; she knew that if she would get interested in Eli, he would break her heart. But then again why not have a no-attachment affair. They could enjoy each other and walk away in the end without being hurt. -- Brenda Jackson bring alive another hot, sexy Steele man that is to die for. The pages seem to have stream come off of them as I read this love story. Will Eli and Stacey be able to just walk away when the affair is over? I enjoyed revisiting the Steele family and it makes you wonder if every woman would like to have "A Steele for Christmas" this year.
lordofbooks More than 1 year ago
exactly the type of book I love. will buy more from this talented author.
Jacquetta Thomas More than 1 year ago
I really love reading her books good job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm shocked at the positive reviews for this book. It is a quick read, thankfully, because it is not well written at all. The story is repetitive and there is not one surprise in the plot. Don't waste your time or money on this one.
caramelgirlie More than 1 year ago
This is another great and sultry read by Ms. Jackson. A must add to your collection.
glendam More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book!!! It was such a sweet story!!
WanderML More than 1 year ago
I'm shocked it got 4 stars. It was so terribly written. It was like an example of how not to write a book for a middle school writing 101 class. In addition, the plot was very predictable and not all that interesting. That said, I couldn't put it down and needed to share with friends so we could discuss how terrible it was.
DIVA50MH More than 1 year ago
In the traditional continuation of the Steele family, this is a wonderful book. Brenda Jackson "ROCKS" with her Family Series... Like the Madaris Family..
1JUSTAREADER More than 1 year ago
firstlady1 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for the story of Eli and Stacy. A page turner. These Arizona Steeles are something else. So please pick up a copy
Theresa-Martin More than 1 year ago
Definitely worth the wait. One more Steele brother/cousin to fall in love with. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the 4 remaining "Bad News Steeles" to get bitten.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can't help but get lost in one of Mrs. Jackson's novel. They make you want to believe in happily ever after and true love actually existing in the world. I can't wait to read Mercury and Gannon's story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. I'm a hopeless romantic
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Just wondering when are you going to get to the next Steele brother.
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