- N. N. Light
Saturday In Serendipity by @MargoHoornstra is a Christmas in July Fete pick #99cents #romance
Title: Saturday In Serendipity
Author: Margo Hoornstra
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Three intermingled stories of love rediscovered. A twenty-year high school reunion changes the lives of six former classmates and leads to unexpected futures. All because each of them wondered…whatever happened to? Barry and Miranda have a past filled with sorrow but must risk falling in love again to reclaim a future they deserve. For Matt and Blane, it’s not hate at first sight, but irritation. Even though they’re financially co-dependent. Plus, he makes it nearly impossible for her to revisit her past when he’s determined to become her future. Jake and Bethany, one-time soulmates, must come to grips with their current differences to take their relationship to the point of no return, once and for all. A lot can happen in the space of a high school reunion weekend. Especially amid old rivalries and new revelations.
Freeing himself from conversational purgatory, he sought the whereabouts of Bethy again as he pretended to seek Carson.
She had moved to another group and looked up at Ed Graves from Admitting who was no doubt telling, make that re-telling, one of his old and tired jokes. Her beautiful glossy lips formed a definite smile as Ed must have recited the punch line. The dimple on one side of her mouth deepened.
He’d forgotten how much he missed it. Sloughing off the thought, he subtly moved within earshot.
“That’s a good one, Ed.” Her response was followed by the unmistakable sparkle of her laughter.
Jake gave into a nasty scowl. He could re-count an old and tired joke as well as Ed. Better even. But chose not to. On a crooked smile with no mirth behind it, he shook his head and, as another wave of partygoers flooded in, was once again obliged to distribute urbane greetings.
“Mrs. Dorman. Nice to see you.”
The society maven’s distraction by a fellow Serendipity social climber saved Jake the trouble of having to engage her in an irrelevant conversation. He turned to seek out Bethy again, only to have his gaze land directly on the alert, darting eyes of Colleen Masters.
Being too far away to converse with her, he raised his glass in silent salute then decided he needed to get some air and headed for the nearest exit. Brutally frigid air smacked into him the instant he stepped through the door. Clear and crisp, the ice cold gusts crackled the tree branches on contact and left frost everywhere else it settled.
Jake stood at the bottom of the garland decorated atrium as a sub-zero draft lifted the bottom of his tux jacket to climb up his spine. Breathing deep, the door behind him opened and he pushed away a shudder. Not now, Colleen. For God’s sake, not now.
The noise from inside the party swelled toward him. On a thump, the same door closed, the noise subsided and he steeled himself with another false smile.
“How have you been, Jake? I’ve missed talking to you.”
His head came up. Then he turned around to look at her, and the beauty he’d only been allowed to observe from a distance, hit him full force.
“Me too, Bethy. We’ve both been busy, I suppose.”
Hand’s clasped in front of her, she walked toward him. “I suppose.”
“Aren’t you cold?” He indicated the bare skin beneath her throat with his gaze then had to look away before his fingertips followed the same path.
“I’m okay.” She picked at the material covering one arm. “This is actually warmer than it looks.”
His answer was a slight nod. “The dress looks good on you.”
“Thank you. That’s very kind.”
He motioned toward the festivities. “Nice party.”
“You don’t believe that.”
Her barefaced honesty startled him for a split second before he smiled. “You’re right. I don’t.” She smelled like pure heaven, fresh, sweet and sexy as hell. “You appear to be enjoying yourself.”
A smile curved her mouth. For another split second, he swore a twinkle hit her eyes. “You mean I pulled it off? Ed didn’t realize I’d heard every one of his tired old jokes before?”
He let out a soft breath. “Didn’t seem to.”
“I remember the first holiday season after Brian and I got married. We had—” She brought her fingers up to cover her mouth. “I’m sorry. I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that.”
He grasped her wrist to pull the hand away. “If it has anything to do with you, I want to hear it.”
The confusion clouding her eyes cleared when she looked up at him. He could drown in those pure, hazel depths. Dive in, sink to the bottom and not care if he ever came up.
“No. You don’t want to hear it, Jake. The story doesn’t have a happy ending.” Taking a deep breath, she went on. “You should get back to your guests and, because I have it from a very reliable source—” She continued to stare at him then winked. “—I have fulfilled my job obligation, so I can go home.”
“Do you need a ride?”
She shook her head, confirming what he already knew. “I’m good. But, thanks.”
He failed to come up with anything that would get her to change her mind when the cell phone vibrated in his pocket. The moment he said hello, he recognized the terror-filled voice of Molly McCarthy.
“Jake. Thank God. Are you at the hospital?”
“No, I’m not. Why?”
“You have to help us. I don’t know how this happened.”
“Don’t know how what happened, Molly? Slow down.” As he tried to sooth one woman, Bethy grabbed his arm.
“I’ve called the police. Ned said I should call you.”
An icy finger of fear rode down his neck.
“What is it?”
He held up one hand toward Bethy as he tried to make sense of what Molly was saying. When he did, his heart stalled.
“You what? When did she disappear?”
Bethy’s fingers stiffened and clutched tighter. “Who? What is it, Jake?”
“I don’t know.” Molly replied between sobs. “She went out on the porch to put her letter to Santa in the mailbox and never came back inside.”
More sobs garbled her words, and Jake put his arm around Bethy’s waist. “You stay at your house. Tina may come back. I’ll start out from here and help look for her.” He shoved the phone off and back into his pocket.
Eyes wide, Bethy’s hold on his arm squeezed like a vice. “What about Tina?”
“She’s disappeared.” Jake headed back into the Inn with his best friend close behind. “They’ve called the police, but I have to see if I can find her.”
“I’m coming with you.”
“I figured you would.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
On sale for 99 cents for a very limited time!
What I love most about the holiday season:
Personal connections are what I love most about the holiday season. Gathering with family. Sharing with friends. Buying gifts for those we care about, getting together with those we enjoy. The people, not the trappings, make the holiday season special.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
Saturday In Serendipity is a must-read to get you in the holiday mood because it delivers three feel-good stories of love rediscovered for three well-deserving couples. The holidays are all about seeking miracles after all, finding happiness with ourselves and others. What better place to start than reading about romance found and love fulfilled?
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Runs July 1 – July 31.
Drawing will be held on August 1.
Margo Hoornstra writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. A communications specialist by trade, she’s worked as a magazine editor, television producer and speech and script writer who now relishes the freedom to write fiction full time, always providing her characters that special happily ever after. A city girl turned country woman, she enjoys hiking around the wide-open spaces near her home, hates to cook and loves to read.
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