- N. N. Light
Love at the Christmas Tree Farm by @mowritesromance is a Celebrate Weddings pick #romance #giveaway
Title: Love at the Christmas Tree Farm
Author: Monique Brasher
Genre: Sweet contemporary romance
An orphaned tree farmer, a photographer with a young daughter, and their chance to heal the past. When Aiden's tree farm is suddenly in danger, he does the one thing he said he wouldn't: get married. Thanks to an unexpectedly enormous expense and the stipulation to his dad's will that prevents him from getting the money he needs, Aiden Wheeler must face his past to embrace his future. Chloe Brooks just wants to prove she can continue to stand on her own two feet, and provide for her daughter Phoebe. She's got a studio, a cute chalet, and she's finally doing just that. But when a broken pipe floods that studio, she sees everything she's worked for floating away. A chance run-in on a field trip wasn't what either of them expected, but before they process their emotions about seeing one another again, fate thrusts them together. A marriage of convenience feels crazy, but then again, maybe things happen for a reason. Can they work through misunderstandings and pain from the past and find Love at the Christmas tree farm?
He took my hand and guided me through the snow to a little area they’d set up with precut trees and wreaths. Large bulbs hung in rows above us. The dim light from them cast an almost romantic glow, further testing my emotions toward him.
He pulled his phone out of one pocket and a Bluetooth speaker out of the other.
“I had a record player I wanted to use for this, but when we finished setting this up, I changed my mind.” He casually swiped through his phone.
“For what?” I loved old records. I’d always wanted a record player but could never justify spending the money on myself.
There’s no way he actually remembers that.
“Do you have a preference?” He cut through my thoughts as he presented me with a list of classic Christmas songs.
All the classics were there—Bing, Andy, Dean. My favorites. Remembering things like that would make it so much harder to only pretend we were together. I hadn’t had someone do anything like this for me in a long time.
No one since him.
“I think ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’feels appropriate. Or ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.’ They’re both winners.”
“That’s tough.” He drummed his thumbs on the edges of his phone and then nodded. “We’re going with the first one.”
The music began to float along the air as snowflakes floated down from the sky. It wasn’t something out of the ordinary for winter, or even for Colorado, but it still felt magical every time.
“Dance with me?”
“Dance… with you?” Being out here under the romantic lights and listening to Bing Crosby croon over a Bluetooth speaker in the snow made my heart stumble in my chest.
“Yes, dance with me.” He leaned forward a bit, bringing our faces closer together. “Kind of a welcome home first dance.”
Welcome home. First dance. My brain was misfiring rapidly, and I struggled to keep up. Being here felt like home, and even though our ‘real’ marriage was a sham, part of me wanted to play along a little bit longer, to revel in the idea of a private first dance with my husband.
“Stop thinking so hard and get over here. We had a pretty little wedding, now indulge me with a dance. Please?”
“You make it really hard to say no.” I smiled up at him, stepping into his outstretched arms. One hand pressed firmly to my lower back while his other hand grasped my hand, like an old-fashioned dance to match the music. My pulse climbed as he pulled me close to him. The combination of his intent, the way he looked at me, and his touch made it difficult to keep a grip on the reality of our situation.
“I can’t say that I’ve ever slow danced outside in the snow, so you’re going to have to tell me if I’m doing this wrong.” A grin played around his lips as he tried to get me to relax.
“I can’t say I’ve done this before either.”
And a girl could get used to this.
I tilted my head back to get a good look at him. His blue eyes danced as he watched me, and before I could try to guess what he was up to, he spun me away from him.
Delighted, I let him continue to take the lead and pull me back to him. I landed against his chest, breathing in the scent of sweet pine needles and the spice of the apple cider we’d had after dinner. We began to just sway back and forth, and I nestled a bit closer to him, enjoying his warmth. The hand he’d been clasping mine with drew up to cradle my face, and his thumb stroked my jaw as he tipped my face back to look up at him.
“Phoebe is in bed, right?”
“I sure hope so. It’s past her bedtime. Why?”
“I want to make sure we don’t get interrupted this time so I can give you a proper first kiss.” He brushed his lips against mine, the electrical jolt I’d felt earlier morphing into a powerful hum that spread through my body.
Without anyone watching, we could savor each other.
I reached a hand up, running my fingers through the thick hair on the back of his head, pulling him closer to me, lost in that magical moment. His beard scratched against my lips and tickled my skin, but I hardly noticed. Ten years of I missed you, I’m sorry, I love you poured out of me into that kiss, emotions I couldn’t stop if I’d dared.
When we pulled away from each other, our breaths hanging in the cold night air, I was thankful he couldn’t read my mind.
My heart hadn’t just stumbled, it tripped right back into love with Aiden Wheeler. And I had no idea how to handle it.
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Aiden and Chloe are second chance romance, with a past deeply rooted with hurt and get thrown back together at “just the right time” for both of them – and get married. It’s a marriage of convenience story, and honestly, I loved writing it. Aiden lives on a tree farm which feels magical to me in it’s own right, then Chloe and her daughter Phoebe come along, and make him rethink his Grinch-ish ways. (He’s got a good reason to be grinchy, promise.) It’s a sweet romance steeped in all things Christmas.
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Monique Brasher lives in Texas with her husband, four kids, and two pets: Branch is a sweet orange kitty that occasionally gets the shared cell (IYKYK), and Thor is a six month old giant Labrador retriever that keeps the family on their toes. When she’s not busy penning happily-ever-afters, you’ll find her rewatching Harry Potter or Marvel with her kids, binge-watching shows with her husband (currently: FBI), or attempting to snuggle up with a book.
She also pursues her passion of photography with her children while homeschooling them, and requires copious amounts of caffeine that rivals Loralei Gilmore to juggle it all. Writing is a passion she’s explored since a young age, and she infuses a mixture of real life experiences, people and places into her characters. Her current series takes place in small town Colorado, a place that captured her family’s heart the first winter of the pandemic.
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