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Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler, October 23, 2017

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message 1: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments One of my all-time favorite tropes is the Marriage of Convenience! It’s a really hard one to manage in a contemporary but some creative authors find a way to do it. Basically, putting the hero and heroine together for an extended period of time and seeing what develops. If they can do it with a Christmas theme and throw a kid or two in there, I’m in heaven. This excerpt would have me pushing the 1-click pay button on Amazon! LOL
“You want me to come work for you here? I was the assistant manager of a small three-star hotel. What do I know about providing luxury hospitality services in a private home?”

“If you knew my family, you would understand they don’t need luxury. You won’t find more down-to-earth people anywhere. I think you’ll like them and I know they’ll like you and Maddie.”

How was she supposed to respond to a job offer extended in the middle of the night when she was wrapped in a blanket, for crying out loud?

“It can’t be that much different from what you would have been doing as the manager at the Inn, just on a smaller scale. As I see it, the goals are the same—making everybody feel welcome and keeping them happy. All you have to do is make sure Pop stays out of the kitchen, find entertainment for the little ones and make sure the teenagers have enough to keep them busy and out of trouble.”

“That’s all?” she said faintly.

“I just want everyone to enjoy the holidays together, whatever it takes.”

“You basically need somebody to play hostess to your family.”

“Wow. In a manner of speaking, I suppose that’s exactly what I need.”

What he needed was a wife. But of course, she could never say that.

“Look, I’m the first to admit, I have many bad habits,” he said. “One of them is a single-minded focus on whatever project I’m working on. I can get a phone call and forget everything else but solving whatever problem is on the other end. If that happens, I would love to know somebody else is here besides Sue to make sure my family doesn’t feel ignored.”

She wanted to suggest he just turn his phone off but, again, it wasn’t her business.

“The job would include room and board for you and Maddie as well as a salary I think you’ll find more than fair,” he said, naming a gulp-worthy sum that actually made her palms begin to sweat.

“That’s entirely too much.”

“I promise, you will earn every penny of it. My family is great but they’re crazy and wild, too.”

She didn’t know how to answer him. On the one hand, this would be an answer to her prayers. Working and staying at his home through the holidays would give her a little breathing room, time to send out some feelers about who might be hiring and to really plan out her next step instead of jumping out of desperation into a job that might not be a good fit.

In addition, the compensation he was offering for only a few weeks would provide a much-needed financial cushion to tide them over for several months.

She wasn’t a fool, however. Was Hero making this offer because he genuinely needed help or was it driven by his guilt over hitting her with his SUV?

Could she really afford to let that matter to her?

“It’s late,” he said after a moment. “You don’t have to make a decision about this right now. Think about it overnight. I do think Maddie would have fun playing with my niece and nephew. Carter is just about her age. He’s a real character but fun. His sister, Faith, is a few years older and one of the sweetest girls you’ll ever meet. The other kids are older but they’re all really decent human beings.”

“I will think about it,” she said, even though she already knew what her answer would be. She wasn’t particularly thrilled about working for anyone connected to *his business* , especially not the founder and CEO, but she had to be pragmatic. For room, board and a salary like that—not to mention the chance to give Maddie a safe, comfortable, welcoming place for Christmas—she would be a fool to refuse.

The past three Christmases had been tough, all the way around. Trent had died in November three years earlier. That year the holidays had been a blur of shock and pain and sorrow. The past two years, Maddie had been in the hospital.

The chance to spend the holidays here in this lovely home where her daughter could experience a genuine family Christmas was too choice to pass up.

She climbed up from the window seat, doing her best not to wince at her various and sundry aches and pains. “We both need to try to sleep tonight. Thank you for checking on me. As you can see, I’m perfectly fine.”

He rose as well, his T-shirt clinging again to those unexpected muscles. “I’m glad,” he said with a slow, sexy smile that made her toes tingle.

Oh, for crying out loud, she chided herself. The man was a gazillionaire who probably had his pick of any hot-bodied bimbo he wanted. He would never be interested in someone like her, a frazzled mom wearing pajamas she bought at a big box store and wrapped in a blanket.

Even if he were interested, for some unfathomable reason, she certainly wasn’t. Right? Not in Hero, who was brilliant and gorgeous and dangerous.

“Good night,” she murmured quickly and hurried to her room before he could even answer.

When she slipped back into the cool covers, her daughter made a tiny sound in her sleep but didn’t awaken. Heroine lay in the darkness while the storm flung snowflakes against the window, listening to the miracle of her daughter’s breathing, as she had done so many times before.

While she might be reluctant to stay at Hero’s home for a plethora of reasons, she would do it for one reason only. Her child.

message 2: by Janga (last edited Oct 23, 2017 09:22AM) (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I know! Great choice, Irish! This one and the latest one are my favorites in the series, probably because I already loved the heroes' family from an earlier series. I love this author, She really does "heartwarming" right.

message 3: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2065 comments Mod
A nice choice and a nice lead in to the series too

message 4: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
No idea.

message 5: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1138 comments oooh no idea! But I like that Janga mentioned "series"!!! I need a new series!

message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Ok, I’m rarely tempted to read contemporaries... it this sounds fun!

message 7: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Rando Giannone | 9 comments Rarely am I able to comment that I know the puzzler. I DO know this one, right from the start. A wonderful book & series. The author does do heartwarming very well. Thank you for the reminder to do a re-read!

message 8: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments Yep! I've grown to love this author and her dependability. I know I'm going to get adults dealing in an adult way with adult situations. LOL And heartwarming is spot on. I always have a happy feeling after closing one of her books! Not to mention that she really knocks it out of the ballpark with her Christmas books!

message 9: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 346 comments I don't know this one. It sounds good.

message 10: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1886 comments Mod
I have a guess as to author going by authors who 1) write holiday books 2) are faves of Janga, Deb and Irish. Let's see how well I know y'all! ;)

message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 655 comments Mmm sounds very good.

message 12: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments This author is one of my favorite!

message 13: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments The answer is Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne. If you'd like a feel good Christmas story - pick this one up.

message 14: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Rando Giannone | 9 comments Yeah! I got it right!

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