Years ago, I lived in Colorado. Some of the small mountain towns went all out for the holidays in the hope of luring tourist dollars from the nearby ski slopes. One town was really magical – they had carolers dressed in beautiful 1800s costumes roaming the streets. Chestnuts actually roasted over an open fire on the street corner (you could buy them) and they sold goodies like fresh-baked gingerbread and warm, mulled cider. When I was writing The Santa Bargain, I remembered how much fun we’d had experiencing an old-fashioned Christmas festival in the mountains, so I wrote that town’s celebration into my holiday romance.
The Santa Bargain is a contemporary, small town romance about a relationship-phobic single mom and the equally commitment-shy guy who agrees to be Santa in their small town’s holiday parade. In order to get Joe to agree, though, Maria decides to offer him a bargain he (hopefully) can’t resist.
Wishing you Happy Holidays!
Wanting to lighten the mood, he cleared his throat. “I bet Zach is looking forward to Santa’s visit. The holiday is coming up fast.”
He watched a soft smile spread across Maria’s face. “Yes, he is. He’s at that perfect age for Santa – too old to be afraid, but still young enough to believe in the magic of the season.”
She must be working some magic of her own on him because Joe felt the warmth of her smile all the way to his toes. He grinned, remembering his own excitement as he awaited Santa’s visit when he was Zach’s age. “Has he told St. Nick what he wants for Christmas yet?”
“I’ve been waiting until the festival to take him to see Santa because the big guy is supposed to show up there. That is, if I can ever find someone to actually be Santa.” Maria clamped her mouth shut.
He saw a glint come into her eyes as she tilted her head to one side, then squinted at him like she was appraising a prize show horse. “Hmm.”
Joe really didn’t like the way she’d started looking at him. He could practically see the image in her mind – and, in it, he was all decked out in a red suit. He put his mug down on the counter so fast it made a clinking noise as he held up his hands. “Oh no, don’t get any ideas, Maria. I’m the last guy who should be Santa.”
“Why, Joe, I think you’d make a perfect St. Nick.”
He’d swear her voice had dropped by at least an octave. The new throaty tone made his groin twitch.
She picked up her spoon and slowly slid it between her lips. He watched her tongue sweep out to lick a droplet of coffee from it, and he fought to keep from groaning. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t pull his gaze from her mouth.
“You know, I’ve been thinking…if you were Santa, I could be your elf,” she continued in her sultry voice. “Who knows? You might be very happy with what you find under your Christmas tree this year.”
He suppressed a smile as he thought about that. How she could make being a festival Santa sound enticing was beyond him, but she was managing. Joe was very nearly tempted to tell her he would do it, but he held back and waited to see if she’d sweeten the deal.
Santa’s gifts can be both nice…and naughty.
Coffeehouse entrepreneur, Maria Thompson, has sworn off men ever since her young son’s father walked out of their lives. But, when she literally runs into sexy carpenter, Joe Sinclair, she wonders if it’s time to rethink her plan.
Joe Sinclair doesn’t need or want romance or a family. He was raised in the foster care system and learned long ago not to get attached to anyone. Now, if he could just remember that, he could put the sensual owner of Copper River, Colorado’s new coffee shop out of his mind.
After Maria and Joe volunteer to work together on the town’s first Christmas festival, their attraction lights up brighter than a new a string of holiday lights. When Santa comes to town, will they finally find everything they’ve ever wished for under the tree?
Amazon (99 cents sale) or FREE read on Kindle Unlimited.