27 October 2021

First Kiss at Christmas | Excerpt + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours


At 25 years old, preschool teacher Kayla Harris is embarrassed to admit she’s never been kissed. When Tony DiNunzio and his grieving nephew show up in her classroom, she can’t help being drawn to both of them. If only her insecurities-and his guilt over his sister’s death-would stop standing in their way.

As Christmas approaches, can these three come together to form a family… not just for the holidays, but forever?

Publisher: HQN
Release Date: October 26, 2021



A familiar fast song was starting up. Most people seemed to know it and came onto the floor, making it even more crowded. Groups of women put their hands in the air and laughed and danced their hearts out.

Kayla’s eyes sparkled and her cheeks were pink. She moved with easy rhythm, and Tony was hard-pressed to keep his gaze above the neck, but he tried. Her hair whipped around, and he realized he’d never seen it loose before. What would it feel like, he wondered, to run his hands through it?

They touched hands, backed off, touched again. Tony liked to dance, and it was clear that Kayla did, too. He even managed to twirl her a couple of times despite the press of the crowd. When the song ended, people clapped and started to leave the dance floor.

“Uh-uh, don’t stop yet, folks,” Bisky called from the stage. “We’ve got a couple of slow songs before we head over to see Santa at Goody’s. One last chance to hold your girl close, fellas.”

Tony looked at Kayla. She bit her lip and backed away.

“Will you dance a slow song with me?” he asked.

Their eyes met and held, and it felt like he was asking her for something more than a dance.

“What about Norleen?” she asked.

“I’d rather dance with you.” He held out his open hands.

She stepped closer, and he wrapped his arms around her as the little band started a popular slow song.

She fit against him perfectly. She wasn’t tall; the top of her head was at chin level. She felt warm and womanly in his arms. They swayed together, and there was that sense of rhythm he’d noticed on the fast songs, now close up.

Around them, other couples were locked together. He caught a glimpse of Paul and Amber. Mary, the head of the Victory Cottage program, was in the arms of a tall, bald man who looked extremely happy. Norleen was wrapped around Evan, who didn’t seem to mind.

It made his body happy to hold Kayla; he couldn’t deny it. She was all female, and they were dancing pretty close. But that was an experience he’d had before, many times.

What he’d never experienced was the caring he felt—both for her and radiating from her. Long before this moment, he’d learned she was a wonderful person. Jax adored her; all kids did. She was unfailingly kind, but also fun and lively.

He rested his cheek on the top of her head and closed his eyes, just for a moment, savoring her. Yeah. This felt different. This was different.


Lee Tobin McClain is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels. A professor-turned-writer, she finds inspiration in her beautiful and brilliant daughter, her goofy goldendoodle, and her aptly named cat, Trouble. Learn more about her books at www.leetobinmcclain.com.


(1) winner will receive a copy of the first four books in The Off Season series, a Christmas ornament, and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 26, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 2, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



  1. JustRead Tours27/10/21 13:42

    Love it! Thank you!

  2. Love the cover

  3. Sounds like a really good read.

  4. A wonderful story for the holiday season—especially with all the little kids.