Title: Silver Bells
Author: Jacquie Biggar
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Will a Christmas wish give a lonely author a family?
Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.
Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.
Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?
The room was cluttered, filled with varying sizes of glass display cases. Some showcased pottery and native craftsmanship, while others exhibited porcelain dolls and west coast animals made from jade. The walls held framed prints, some in watercolor, others hand-drawn in pencil and crayon. Each an exquisite work of art. An all too familiar view of the breakwater had him swinging around in disbelief.
“You,” he growled.
The woman stood with her arms crossed defensively, but the raised chin and flashing green eyes told him she’d already made the connection.
“What do you want?” she demanded. “How did you find me?”
“So you were telling the truth, you’re not a reporter.” He was tempted to smile at the inelegant snort his comment received. She really was a firecracker, this one.
“I believe I said that the other night. And speaking of stalking…” She raised her pencil-fine brow.
Two new customers entered, setting the bells tinkling again, and her demeanor turned warm and inviting. She glanced at him, hesitated, then strode around the counter to help the clients, her back ramrod straight.
Joel lingered, somewhat bemused. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been made to wait. More often than not, people were so ingratiating it maddened him. This was… refreshing.
Now that he could see her in the daylight she was quite pretty. Not beautiful. Her features were too narrow, her lips too wide. Yet something about her face was striking. Maybe it was those jade green eyes. They reminded him of the ocean in all its tumultuous glory. Or maybe it was the glorious crown of golden-red hair endowed with a life of its own, bouncing and shimmering halfway down her slim back. Her legs were long and athletic looking, encased in those narrow fitted track pants women seemed to favor these days. He’d always thought they looked ridiculous, until now.
He cleared his throat and turned away from the temptation of her curvy backside. Maybe he should just come back later when the owner returned. The last thing he needed to be doing right now was to get sidetracked by the prospect of the chase. Because that’s all it was; once he won, his interest always disappeared.
“So, you never answered my question.”
Her melodic voice floating from just over his shoulder startled him.
He swung around, surprised to see they were once again alone in the store. He hadn’t even heard the blasted bells this time. She was shorter than he expected. Her spitfire personality had turned her into an Amazon in his mind.
“Where’s your boss?” he asked, his tone somewhat abrupt but he couldn’t help it, she threw him off-balance. “Aren’t you rather young to be left running the store on your own?”
Her gaze lit with laughter. “Is that the best you’ve got?”
He looked at her, puzzled. “Best what?”
She tilted her head to the side as though trying to figure him out. “Forget it. Is there a message I can give my… boss for you?”
Joel had the insane urge to reach out and touch her to see if she was real. It was uncanny. She was the spitting image of his heroine. How could this have happened? He’d already written about Rebecca before meeting this woman on the beach the other night so that wasn’t the reason. It made him supremely uncomfortable to look at her and feel like he knew what she was thinking—which of course he couldn’t.
“Have we met before?” There had to be some explanation. Maybe she’d traveled to Scotland and he’d seen her there. Or maybe he’d lost his ever-lovin’ mind. They say everyone has a doppelganger, but this… this was weird.
And no doubt thought him crazy.
“You mean other than our less than friendly meeting the other night? No, I don’t think so.”
Yeah, he didn’t either.
He shook his head, suddenly eager to get home and do some editing. “Tell your boss her landlord was here.”
He stepped out the door, but couldn’t leave without gazing at her one more time. The shimmer in the glass when the door slid closed made her face waver, like an out of focus lens on a camera. A chill wormed its way down Joel’s spine. He glanced at the cloudless blue of the December sky and tugged his jacket closed.
Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:
Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card
An e-copy of one of Jacquie Biggar’s backlist titles (winner’s choice)
(plus more prizes…)
Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST
Author’s Favorite Holiday Food/Tradition:
One of our favorite traditions is to gather up the family (there’s only five of us here J), pile into the car, stop for hot chocolates, and then spend a couple of hours looking at Christmas lights. Some people go all out! It’s a great way to start the holiday period.
JACQUIE BIGGAR is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.
She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart.
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