Owl Madness Day 6: Leigh W. Stuart

Eggnog flavored body oil, kittens to save, and a sexy ginger.
Lauren’s cold, winter nights are suddenly heating up.

Lauren Hall has one wish for Christmas this year—raise money to build a new, no-kill animal shelter for the town of Sycamore Cove. And she is prepared to do anything to make it happen. Even dare a man she just met to perform a strip tease for the local knitting society.

Gabe Nicholson has one wish too—obtain the job of a lifetime to launch his career. Only his wishes get snowballed when his best friend's little sister hands him a pair of stripper pants and a bottle of eggnog-flavored body oil.

It’s all sugar plums and mistletoe until a scandal caused by Lauren’s fundraiser threatens to ruin it all. With Gabe's work opportunities disappearing before his eyes and Lauren's fundraising efforts tanking, their game of dares stands to burn them both. Unless it ignites a spark of Christmas magic.

When Lauren mistakes her brother’s best friend for the stripper she hired to entertain the Sycamore Cove Knitting Society ladies, sparks fly and body . The temperature rises right up to the moment that Gabe realizes there’s been a serious mistake… 

With the blood returning to Gabe’s body and more importantly, his brain, things were finally adding up. Street clothes, body oil, two dozen women and a really big cake. 

If the ladies were finished with dinner, he was supposed to be their dessert.

He flipped open the bundle, snapping the fabric to reveal a pair of slim pants with press buttons down the sides. A red thong was included. A stringy, red man-thong with a big pouch hanging from the middle. He held it up between his fingertips for inspection.

“Lauren Hall,” he said, regret bitter on his tongue, “I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Gabe Nicholson, your brother Cooper’s friend from college. He sent me to help you with a cake, but I doubt this is what he meant.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Oh, sweet potato pie. Then you’re not the semi-professional male dancer who loves animals and came tonight as a big favor?” Her hands clenched, a grimace marring her features.

“No. I’m sorry.”

“How would you like to become the amateur male dancer who loves animals and is doing me a big favor?”

“I don’t think so, no.” Gabe’s love for animals only went so far.

“Not even to save kittens?”

“Look, I don’t want to upset you, but this…” He shook his head. Putting on those pants and climbing in a cake wasn’t happening. He drew the line at threatening the future of his career.

“I’ll pay you.”

He stood to go.

“Wait, I have—” She rushed to her bag to find her wallet. Bills and coins spilled on the table as she counted. “Twenty-three fifty in cash, and maybe more tomorrow!”

“I would gladly take you out for a drink later, or save kittens in danger with you, but this?”

Grabbing his arms to prevent him from putting on his shirt, she gazed up at him. Soulful, coffee-bean brown eyes blinked up at him, weakening his resolve. She must practice that look in a mirror. “I’m begging you, Gabe. You aren’t chicken, are you? You think these little old ladies will attack you?”

“No,” he said, spine stiffening. He was afraid of some things, but showing women a good time wasn’t one of them. “I’m no chicken.”

“Prove it. Go out there and show those grannies what you showed me here.” She took a deep breath. “I dare you.”


Leigh W. Stuart was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, daughter to an English teacher. Although she decided to be a writer by the age of six years old, she later talked herself out of it and went on to study French and German in college. She met her husband in Switzerland, where she studied abroad one year, and they now live there with their two children. Love of reading inevitably transformed into a love of writing and she is thrilled to begin a new adventure as an author of romance.

Connect with her *here* for more news on upcoming novels, novellas and short stories, or visit her on Facebook and Twitter!