Title: The Christmas Nanny
Author: Maddie James
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Holiday
Harbor Falls Romance, Book 4 When yet another acting rejection stuns Wynter Holly, she decides to give up acting altogether—until her friends’ set her up for potential success with an unconventional, and perhaps unsuitable, intervention. All Wynter Holly, aka stage name Wyn Hall, wants for Christmas is to be cast in a significant role in the upcoming Harbor Falls Actor’s Playhouse production. What she gets is a gig playing nanny to four children who happen to be attached to the casting director of the play—the casting director who doesn’t think she’s suitable for any role in the play. All Rob Black wants for Christmas is happy children and to be home. After all, he promised his brother and sister-in-law he would take good care of their kids while they enjoyed a second honeymoon, and that he’d provide them with a special Christmas. His niece and three nephews deserve a great Christmas but unfortunately, Rob has to fly off to California to satisfy his business partner, and can’t deliver on his promise. Can the nanny come to his rescue? And can Wyn play-act her way through this nanny business? A series of twisted tales set both Wyn and Rob on a path of untruths they finally have to face. Have they both been cast in unsuitable roles? Or are they each exactly where they need to be?
The doorbell rang again.
Rob inhaled deeply and then let it out long. With baby Mia on his hip, he moved slowly toward the door in a fuzzy haze. He was a bachelor. A single guy who liked to have a little fun. Maybe too much fun in the past. It was Sunday morning. Why wasn’t he sleeping? Who was at the door? What the hell happened to his life?
At this point, it didn’t matter. What else could go wrong?
Rob pulled back the inside door and took in the woman standing on the stoop.
She stuck out her hand. “Hello? I’m Wynter Holly. I’m here about the nanny position? I talked with Gina.”
It sounded like a question more than a statement. Like she wasn’t sure she really wanted to be standing there. Rob gave his brain a mental smack and opened the door wider. She stepped over the threshold and he closed the storm door behind her.
“Your name again?”
Rob glanced behind her at the footprints in the snow on the sidewalk—the snow he had not yet shoveled. “Wynter Holly? You’re kidding, right?”
Her eyes remained wide and she shook her head. “No. That’s my name. My mother loves Christmas and I was born in December so—” She stopped talking abruptly and stared.
Hell, should he apologize? But seriously….
“I’m a few minutes early,” she babbled. “I wanted to make sure I could find your house. I found myself wandering the neighborhood… I thought, maybe, you wouldn’t mind if I’m early since it’s kind of cold outside and....”
“Your appointment is at one o’clock.”
“Oh, no. Your assistant said to be here at nine.”
She stared at his right shoulder. Or maybe she was staring at Mia. Rob glanced down. Chocolate. A big stripe of it, right across her face. Mia’s little tongue was going after a glob that had landed in the corner of her mouth.
He jerked his gaze back to the woman. Stunning. She really was beautiful, even behind those horn-rimmed glasses and with her hair pulled back into that ponytail.
She was appropriately dressed, he assumed, for a nanny. A nice pair of denims, sensible calf-high boots, a hooded weatherproof jacket, and a scarf around her neck. Sort of nanny-like. Still, she was gorgeous. With the right clothes and the talent of a great makeup artist, she could rival most any of the women he saw daily. The camera would love her.
Something tripped inside his gut.
Here he was standing in his doorway in boxer shorts, a dirty t-shirt and athletic socks, with a naked nine-month old glued to his body, looking like a fudge-striped cookie.
Wait. He wasn’t conducting an audition here. Nor was he interested in her personally. After his last relationship debacle, he’d sworn off all affairs of the heart… Casual or otherwise. Indefinitely. He was interviewing for a nanny. She looked like a nanny.
“Holly. But you can call me Miss Wyn.”
“Like the Pooh?”
The woman bristled. “No. That would be Winnie with an i. I’m Wyn with a y.”
“All right. Miss Wyn it is.” Rob had no idea what he was doing or saying. All he knew is that he needed to get out of the door dressed like this and get Mia cleaned up.
“May, I come on in?” From the look on her face, he really wasn’t sure she wanted to. Could he blame her? “The baby looks chilly.”
“Of course. Sorry. I’m sort of new at this game.”
She stepped further inside. “Game?”
“Uh. Hiring a nanny.”
He moved in reverse and motioned her further into the entry. She followed and shrugged out of her coat. He pointed to the hall tree in the corner. “You can put your coat there. Please step out of your snowy boots too. You can set them there on the rug.”
She hung up her coat and slipped out of the boots, then stood there in her stocking feet looking a little lost.
“You from around here?” he queried, watching her, and figuring small talk was a good thing.
“Harbor Falls born-and-bred,” she responded. “You?”
“Oh, yes. And no. I mean yes. Born here but…” His words trailed off. That explanation was more than small talk and he didn’t want to get into his life story now. Besides, he was incognito, right? Rob led her down the hall and she followed.
A nanny. The kids. Man, his life….
Then the twins, looking like fudge-striped cookies themselves, laced with peanut butter and marshmallow crème, flew through the great room with a couple of shrieks and headed for their mother’s new sofa.
“Oh no you don’t!” he shouted.
Without thinking, he handed Mia to the young woman and took after the boys. They squealed, and in the ensuing moment, he had all three of them wrestled to the floor, but not without smearing a few sofa cushions and the ottoman with the sticky concoction they were wearing. By that time, however, they had all erupted in fits of giggles and laughter.
Finally, Rob looked up. He’d all but forgotten about the nanny candidate. He guessed things had gotten too much for her because the look on her face was priceless. Appalled, probably. Or frightened. A bit of both perhaps? Of course, he really could not blame her. He guessed his last chance of hiring a nanny today had just flown out the window.
He rose and moved toward her. “I’m sorry. This is a little out of control. They are not usually—”
Then Mia peed. Rob watched a growing wet stain roll off the young woman’s white cotton shirt and travel down her left hip and thigh.
The nanny candidate straight-armed the child away from her body. “Eww,” she remarked, and handed him back the dripping baby.
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Amazon: https://www.amazon.c om/gp/product/B078NCB9FV
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Share a holiday family tradition:
Cookie baking before Christmas and giving cookies away was a tradition that my mom started years ago. I continue to bake cookies most Christmases these days as well (but perhaps not as many as before) as does my daughter, who has turned into quite the little baker. I think that’s why a cookie baking session was important for me to include in The Christmas Nanny. Does it go well? 😊 You’ll see.
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:
Who can resist a (fake) nanny who doesn’t really like children and an uncle who volunteered to babysit his brother’s four kids for a week, knowing nothing about what he was getting into? Toss in the Christmas holiday, a business trip, and some meddling friends, and you get heartfelt, sometimes humorous, sweet holiday romance that gives you all the happily-ever-after holiday feels.
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Runs December 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on January 4.
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—James 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. Learn more at http://www.maddiejames.net.
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