Santa, if there’s one thing I want for Christmas more than anything, it’s someone to spend Christmas with, not as an after thought invitation because they feel sorry for me, but someone who really wants me to be there.
Full of loss and sadness after the death of her mother, romance author Jenna Heart travels to a December writer’s retreat quite a distance from her home at the other end of the state. The snow covered mountains of East Tennessee are a welcome change from the city lights of Memphis, TN and she looks forward to meeting new people. She’s determined not to explain her loss, to avoid sympathy and to enjoy the retreat for what it is.
Jenna has one wish: she doesn’t want to spend Christmas alone.
Meeting Nicolo Maldini, cover model and actor, could make more than Jenna’s Christmas wish come true. Nicolo is attracted to Jenna’s kind nature and she is attracted to his good looks and big heart. But does their budding romance stand a chance?
Advice from Chyna, Jenna’s book critique partner, makes Jenna second guess whether Nicolo could truly be interested in her. Nicolo is attending the writers weekend with his mother. He’s younger than Jenna, and in his career, is surrounded by beautiful women.
Then there’s Morten, Nicolo’s crazy ex girlfriend, who will do anything to stop Jenna and Nicolo from being together. Will Jenna get her Christmas Wish or have to listen to I’ll Be Home for Christmas all alone?
Romance Author Jenna Heart has been out of the game for a while. Taking care of her mother and then dealing with her grief has left her insecure and floundering a bit. Going to a signing is the best medicine.
One of the attendees is cover model Nicolo Maldini. A pleasant surprise is he is attending with his mother Angela, a breast cancer survivor. Both Nicolo and his mother are lovely people and Jenna enjoyed the time with them, the wolf sanctuary dinner, the signing and the dinner hosted by the sponsor of the event.
This is a favorite scene.
Though she did want to meet Nicolo. Something in the depths of his eyes called to something deep within her.That longing must have shown in her face because Amy said, “Come on, I’ll go up with you.”
She had to get over this thing from the past. This wasn’t high school.
Amy kept her talking until they were in front of Nicolo and then he was looking at Jenna with those deep brown eyes which made her want to melt and she had to say something, anything before the silence stretched too long.
“Hello, Nicolo. I’m Jenna Heart.”
He gave her a warm welcoming smile as his firm, warm hand reached for and now held hers. “Pleased to meet you Jenna Heart.”
Everything about him spoke of warmth and heat. The kind of heat only an adult male, fit and in his prime, could exude.
“Nice to meet you.” she replied, decidedly warm and wondering if her face was bright pink.
“This is my mother, Angela.”
“Pleased to meet you.” She gave his mother a smile and then heard Nicolo speak and turned her attention back to him.
“Are you going to dinner with us?” His gaze, focused entirely on her, made her feel giddy and shy all at once.
“Yes, I’m looking forward to it.”
Two other women pressed forward and Jenna moved back before he could say anything more. It all happened so fast. There was no time for a photo with him now. Everyone was pairing up to carpool to the Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium where they’d hear a program about the wolves while they ate dinner.
She rode up to Bays Mountain with another author named Dora. They found their way by following the car in front of them through a light drizzle of rain up to a large log building in a heavily wooded area. Gray and drizzly, the area was dark and calm. Not one sound gave away the location of the wolves though they had to be near.
Once inside, everyone seemed to have already made plans to sit together in groups as they went to the tables and filled them.
Many of these women already know each other. Amy and Brett’s table is full.
Jenna took a seat on the other side of the room. Too far to see Nicolo. She learned her table mates weren’t with the author reader weekend and had only come to hear the talk on the wolves. Jenna felt isolated, though the people at her table were nice enough. They only wanted to talk about wolves, which Jenna knew little about.
Dinner was delicious and the wolf specialist and park naturabout the wolves on the mountain. Wolves could be solitary creatures, but they mated for life. Fascinated, she listened and ate. Desert was sweeter than she was used to and her head buzzed from the sugar.
After dinner, the park naturalist invited everyone to walk over to edge of the wolf sanctuary to hear the wolves. Though he warned the rain might make the wolves quieter than usual.
She followed the group down the path until they all stood waiting and listening. Drizzling rain colored everything silver dark and shiny as it came down. The cold began to chill her, along with the drizzle, which had dampened her scarf, and everything it touched beyond her raincoat.
One lone wolf howled. The sound was one of the most lonesome and eerie things she’d ever heard.
Another wolf joined in, their howls sending a cold chill into her bones. She shivered. Goose bumps covered her skin. Rain was running down her face past her hood and she could hardly see. She had the primitive urge to run, brought on by the sound of wolves howling in the dark night. She shivered again, wrapping her arms closer about herself.
The rain stopped running down her face and nose as an umbrella appeared over her head. She turned to look up.
Debra Parmley. Jenna’s Christmas Wish (Kindle Locations 176-206). Belo Dia Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Let me say here, her friend Chyna is no friend. Every time Jenna speaks with her it’s all about how Jenna isn’t as beautiful or as worldly as the women seen with Nicolo. He’s an actor and model, way out of her league. My immediate feeling was ‘Jealous Much’? This one needs to be kicked to the curb for good.
Nicolo on the other hand is sweet, attentive and has a problem of his own.
I loved the way this relationship develops in spite of the the negative friend, and Nicolo’s problem. This book is a delightful, romantic Christmas read.
5 Contented Purrs for Debra!
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Fascinated by fairy tales and folktales ever since she was young, Debra Parmley has always ended her stories with a happy ever after. Every story she writes has an element of romance. She started out writing gritty western historical romance and damsel in distress stories. Her first book, A Desperate Journey, was traditionally published in 2008, after competing in the American Title II contest. A hybrid author, she went on to write for five publishers before branching out with her own Indie press, Belo Dia Publishing Inc. Belo Dia is Portuguese for Beautiful Day.
Debra writes historical romance, contemporary romance and romantic suspense. An Air Force veteran’s wife, she writes military heroes in the present and in the future. Debra’s work as a travel consultant gave her the opportunity to visit many countries. Her luggage often carried home folk tales from the countries visited.
Her three favorite things are dark chocolate, visiting the beach and ocean, and hearing from her readers. Each card, letter and email is a treasured gift, like finding a perfect shell upon the beach. For more information about Debra, please visit her website, links below.