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Staging Christmas – A Dickens Holiday Romance by Kathryn Hills is a Celebrate Weddings Bookish Event pick #holidayromance #romance #weddings #giveaway

Title: Staging Christmas – A Dickens Holiday Romance


Author: Kathryn Hills


Genre: Holiday Romance / RomCom / Smalltown Romance / Later-In-Life Romance / Contemporary Romance / Wedding Romance


Book Blurb:


A comeback queen with a tarnished tiara. A computer nerd in over his head. All it takes is a car crash, a rescue dog, and a century-old ski lodge to make them believe in holiday magic.


Kendall Worthington lands herself on the naughty list the moment she crosses Dickens’ town line. No one anticipates a car accident. But leave it to her to wreck a local woman’s car. Not just any car. A wedding present from the lady’s beloved groom. It’s no surprise since Kendall considers herself cursed when it comes to love, romance, and all things weddings. After all her own nuptials disintegrated. Now she’s sworn off men—especially rich, entitled men—and relocated to the place known for its holiday cheer to start over as a single, independent woman.


Jamie Frisk knows all about challenges, the latest being how he’s going to pay off the astronomical mortgage on the mysterious Dickens landmark he purchased on impulse. What’s a software engineer going to do with a massive, fixer-upper like Iron Gate Lodge? Open it to paying guests again? His family thinks he’s crazy, and he’s beginning to agree with them. Thankfully, he’s got one very special woman with a flair for staging a comeback on his side.


Amidst all the spackle and paint—plus a hefty dose of holiday hijinks—these misfits manage to breathe new life into a place steeped in a legacy of love. Could they possibly host a wedding by Christmas? Working together they might just pull it off. And, with the help of Dickens’ magic, they may even fall in love along the way.




“Kendall?” Jamie attempted to mask his look of delighted surprise upon discovering the beautiful woman in the hardware store. He glanced around, feeling awkward and exposed.


“Hi,” she said in a soft voice.


His insides melted a little more when she smiled and blushed. “Cute dog. Is he friendly?” Following her nod, he reached out to pet the large dog glued to her side. “Hey there, big guy. What are you two up to?” he asked, launching eagerly into conversation while Kendall fidgeted in place and the dog sat there looking bored.


She gave a clipped laugh. “I’m still looking for work and a place to live.”


His smile disappeared.


“Everything is super-expensive or not what I’m looking for. I should have thought this move through more. It was rash, relocating to Christmas town one month before winter starts.” She gave him a longer look, and it was Jamie’s turn to squirm. “What are you here for?” she finally asked.


He held up his crumpled to-do list. “This is just the start of things that need fixing or replacing.” He blew out an exasperated breath. “That castle I bought… Well, it’s more like an ancient temple. You know…crumbling and in ruins.”


“Oh, no, a real fixer-upper?”


“That’s putting it mildly.”


Her rigid stance relaxed into a more friendly pose. “I guess we’re both finding the transition to Dickens challenging.”


“And your dog?” he asked, giving in to a silly smile. “How does he like being here?”


“He’s not mine,” she said sadly. “He’s a rescue. I volunteered to walk him until he finds his forever home. I’d love to adopt Georgie—we’re kindred spirits—but I can’t even handle a houseplant until I find a place to live and steady work.”


The store owner joined them where they were talking alongside a cluttered counter. “Bad news,” he told Jamie. “I don’t have anything that’ll fix your front door problem. You need an antique shop not a hardware store. Or, maybe, a fairy with a magic wand. Now…if you want an entirely new door… I could order something from a manufacturer. It’ll take about two months, maybe more. And it’ll cost ya. Special orders do. That’s the downside of historic homes. Plenty of curb appeal, but they’ll suck you dry. Real money pit, a place like The Iron Gate Lodge.”


Jamie grimaced.


The store owner turned his attention to Kendall. “What can I do for you, missy?”


She gave Jamie a pleading look as if to say… Sorry, but I need some alone time with this man.


“I’m going to tackle my list,” he said, waving his paper. He patted the dog one last time before strolling away. Yet he rounded the corner of an aisle and paused to listen.

“Hi, I’m Kendall Worthington,” she declared in a clear, determined voice. “I recently moved to Dickens, and Becca at Animal Rescue said you might have an apartment for rent.”


“She did, did she?” he said in his rather stand-offish, New England accent. “That’s none of her business. But I rented it to someone just the other day. Hey, are you the woman that totaled Livvy Pemberton’s new car?”


“I…um… No,” Kendall said, sounding annoyed. “It’s not totaled. It needs work, but…” She regrouped before circling back to her goal. “Are you hiring?” she asked firmly.


“Thinkin’ about it,” Miller hedged. “I’m looking for someone. A man if you must know. Folks buy a lot of tools at Christmas. I could use someone strong to unload trucks and stock shelves. Lots of heavy boxes this time of year. You’re just a slip of a gal.”


“I’m stronger than I look, Mr. Miller. You’d be surprised.”




Jamie heard Kendall launch into an exuberant sales pitch before the man could finish.


“I can make this place look amazing. Spruce up your displays, fix your window dressings. I was a sought-after stager in my last position. I make things look great, so they sell faster. You’ll move more tools than any other Christmas. I promise.”


“Do you know anything about tools, though, whatever you said your name was?” the crabby man asked.


“Not so much, but I’m a fast learner. I’d study hard, and—”


Miller cut her off. “I’ll give you an A for effort, but I’m going to have to say no to both the job and the apartment. Don’t allow pets anyway.”


 “But he’s not… Never mind.” She fumbled to defend herself before surrendering. “I’m walking him as a volunteer. Sadly, I can’t adopt this sweet dog until I have a more permanent place to live.”


“That’s a very sad story, but it’s not my problem,” Miller said in a dismissive tone. “The season of giving may be upon us but ask anyone from here. I’m more of a Scrooge than a Santa Claus.”


Jamie sensed the lady’s spirit crumbling, even from where he lurked in the paint section like a creeper. He longed to help. To ride in and save the day for her. Instead, he stared lamely at the paint chip samples, thinking... Come on, Frisk, think of something. He closed his eyes and pressed the place between them when nothing came to him. When he opened them again, he focused on the first color that caught his eye. It was called Make a Wish Winter White.


“Huh,” Jamie murmured. A nudge from the universe? Divine intervention?  “I must be nuts to even think what I’m thinking right now. Yet…what’ve I got to lose?”


He burst from behind the display, startling the two that were still negotiating nothing. “Hey, Kendall, I’ll help you. If you’ll help me. Live with me,” Jamie blurted out in an impassioned plea.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):





What makes your featured book a must-read?


Amazon Reviewers said it best…  


“Sweet, swoony and tender contemporary romance!”


“Enjoyable, captivating, and an easy weekend read. The characters are fun, just as enjoyable as the story and you'll have a smile on your face from beginning to end.”


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs June 7 – June 19, 2024.


Winner will be drawn on June 20, 2024.


Author Biography:


KATHRYN HILLS...Best-selling romance author, ghost hunter, dog lover, and iced coffee addict. She’s hauntingly romantic unless she’s writing sweet. From graveyards to country inns, get ready to explore spooky mysteries and have some sexy fun!


Find Kathryn Hills Online



N. N. Light
N. N. Light
2 days ago

Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing your book in our Celebrate Weddings Bookish Event!

2 days ago
Replying to

Thank you for hosting me! I do love a great wedding. And I love this book because it has TWO separate romances and lots of twists and turns going on. Not to mention the laughs. Ooo...and the secrets! So much happening at The Iron Gate lodge. 😉


Liz Flaherty
Liz Flaherty
2 days ago

A trip back to Dickens is always nice!

2 days ago
Replying to

I wholeheartedly agree, Liz! I'd move to Dickens if I could. Thanks for visiting! 😊

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