Home for Christmas by @maddiejames is a Super Sale pick #holidayromance #99cents #giveaway
Title: Home for Christmas
Author: Maddie James
Genre: Holiday Romance
A star-crossed, holiday romance story of young love, old love, holding on, and letting go.
During the summer of 1989, Jenny Anderson meets Ben Matthews during a beach vacation with their families. Fresh out of high school and ready to get on with life—Jenny to Penn State in the fall and Ben to work for his uncle at Dickens Hardware—they didn’t expect to fall in love. But love-at-first-sight happens anyway. This long-distance relationship doesn’t deter them. After a summer of love letters and clandestine trips in the fall, Ben asks Jenny’s father for her hand in marriage over Thanksgiving weekend. Much to Jenny’s horror, her father angrily denies his request. That’s when Ben and Jenny devise a plan to elope, enjoy a Christmas honeymoon in the mountains, and settle into life in Dickens, the Christmas Village. Jenny hopes her parents will come around, finally give their blessing, and welcome Ben into the family. But plans go awry when Ben’s truck breaks down not far out of Dickens. The young couple takes refuge from a fast-approaching snowstorm at an old farmhouse with elderly occupants. The pause in their getaway causes Jenny to have doubts—until she witnesses first-hand the power of love and the magic of Christmas.
“What have you got there?”
She looked up and Ben was suddenly awestruck by her eyes—round as sand dollars, deep brown with gold flecks. She held his gaze for several seconds, while his heart kicked up a cadence and every inch of his breath exited his lungs.
He grew a little dizzy.
She batted her long lashes twice and slowly stood.
Ben thought he might pass out from lack of oxygen.
“Hi. I, uh…” She looked at her sandy fingertips where she held a small piece of blue glass. “Sea glass, I think. See?” She held out her hand.
Ben thought his chest might explode with pent-up energy inside that he didn’t know what to do with. He took a deep breath, felt a little steadier, and exhaled.
She reached for his hand—small sparks zinging up to his elbow when she did—and laid the sandy object in his palm. Her fingertips lingered over his.
Ben lifted his gaze to look into her eyes again. “I think you’re right. It’s sea glass.” He hadn’t even really looked at it.
“I’ve been collecting all week.”
“Well…” Ben looked away and shuffled his feet in the sand. “I’ve seen you.”
She said nothing, but the hint of a smile raced across her lips.
“I’m not a stalker,” he blurted out.
Her puffy lips stretched into a smile then. “I’ve seen you, too. Was wondering when you’d come off that porch.”
Grinning, and silently relieved, he handed the sea glass back to her. “For your collection.”
But she folded his fingers around it. “Keep it. Maybe you’ll think of me next time you see it.”
She turned and took a few steps toward her beach rental, two doors down from his, pausing once to glance over her shoulder and send him a teasing grin. He stood there soaking up every bit of her lingering gaze until she swiveled back and jogged toward the beach house, while he stared after her like a needy puppy craving attention.
Palming the glass in his hand, he shoved it into his pocket. Somehow, he didn’t think he needed the sea glass to remember her.
Jenny’s heart pounded as she rushed up the wind-and-salt battered steps of the beach house and crossed the porch. As she opened the wooden screen door to slip inside, she glanced down the beach to where the boy was crossing the walkway, two houses down.
She had finally lured him off that deck. After two days, it was about time. He looked her way and Jenny ducked into the house, not wanting him to know that she was watching him, too.
“Finally meet porch boy?” Her sister, Candy, looked up from her magazine. She sat in an overstuffed chair upholstered with a beachy fabric of turquoise shells and seahorses. It was a bit much, to Jenny’s liking anyway, but screamed vacation beach rental.
“None of your business.” She headed for the stairwell.
“What’s his name?”
Well, shoot. Neither one of them shared names. Did they? “I didn’t ask.”
Candy stood, the magazine dropping to the chair. “Oh, my God. You didn’t even get his name?”
Jenny shrugged, tossing off her response. “No biggie. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again. I’m headed for the shower.”
Candy rolled her eyes. “Whatever.”
Jenny took a couple of steps up the stairs, smiling. Yes, they would run into each other again. She was sure of it. She’d make sure of it. No boy had ever looked at her like he did—that deep, longing, satisfying, and fulfilling stare that made her heart nearly jump out of her chest, and sent icy shivers all the way to her toes on this hot summer day. Not to mention the spark that traveled from her fingertips to her core when she’d touched him. That had nearly taken her breath away—and the sensation had taken her quite by surprise.
Sighing, Jenny reached the landing and stripped off her coverup.
She might just marry that boy.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
E-copy on sale for 99 cents!
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Home for Christmas is book 1 in the Holly Hill Inn, Dickens Holiday Romance series. The story lays the family foundation and provides the setting for the Holly Hill Inn storyline. Early reviews share that Home for Christmas is a must-read!
“The story is enjoyable and holds your attention as you wait to find out how things will work out for this precious couple.”
“A great Christmas love story.”
“This story was just like reading a Hallmark movie.”
Enter to win a $20 Amazon (US) gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Canada account to win. Runs September 21 – September 29, 2021. Winner will be drawn on September 30, 2021.
Maddie James writes to silence the people in her head—if only they wouldn’t all talk at once!
From flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles—often mixed with a dash of suspense or a hint of paranormal—Maddie pens stories that frequently blend a variety of romantic sub-genres. The happily-ever-after, of course, is non-negotiable.
Affaire de Coeur says, “James shows a special talent for traditional romance,” and RT Book Reviews claims, “James deftly combines romance and suspense.” Maddie is the award-winning author of over fifty titles of fiction—from short stories to novels—and a Top 100 Amazon Bestselling Author.
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