USA Today Bestselling Author
Carly Bishop loved Christmas…
until tragedy struck.
Distraught and grief-stricken over the deaths of her fiancé and brother, she left Hood Hamlet and her Christmas spirit behind, to start over somewhere new. But now, six years later, her family needs her. Carly returns home to face her past and give her niece and nephew the best Christmas ever.
Burdened with guilt, Jake Porter believes he could have saved his two friends on that fateful day and kept Carly from experiencing such a heart-wrenching loss. When she arrives in town, Jake wants to make amends so they can both finally move forward with their lives.
As Jake helps Carly experience the magic of Christmas so she’ll embrace the holiday again, will he also be able to open her heart to something else she’d given up on…love?
Previously published as Rescued by the Magic of Christmas.
The prologue of this book had me in tears. I don’t think there is anything more heartbreaking than to lose your fiancé and brother in an accident. Let alone one where they are doing something they both are very experienced doing, climbing. It’s not only Carly that’s devastated by those events it’s also their best friend Jake. He believed he could have saved them, if only he’d not opted out of the climb that day.
It’s six years later and Carly has returned to Hood Hamlet for Christmas. Well not exactly for the holiday, her sister-in-law Hannah is remarried and expecting a baby any time now. She’s going to be helping with her niece and nephew. She’s a bit surprised to find Jake there as well.
This is a favorite scene.
As snow flurries fell from the gray sky, Carly Bishop stared at the charming log house surrounded by towering fir trees and decorated with strands of white icicle lights. A lopsided, four-foot-tall snowman, complete with carrot nose, stood in the front yard. A single electric candle shone through a wood-paned window, the flickering flame-shaped bulb a welcoming light.
Carly walked along the snow-dusted path, dragging her wheeled suitcase behind her. A green wreath tied with a red velvet bow hung from a brass holder on the front door. The scent of pine was sharp in the air. The same way it had been…
Her breath caught in her throat.
The house, the wreath, the candle, the snowman. It was as if time had stopped, as if the past six years had simply been a bad dream. Any second, Carly expected Nick to fling open the door wearing a Santa hat and greet her with a jolly ho-ho-ho. And Iain…
She closed her eyes, fighting an onslaught of unwelcome memories.
I can’t believe you’re going climbing two days before our wedding. Why don’t you just admit it, Iain? You love climbing more than you love me.
She’d wanted to forget. The argument and tears before and as he’d left to climb. The thoughts about his selfish behavior while he’d been climbing and dying. The grief and guilt after his body and Nick’s had been found.
Carly thought she’d forgotten. Put the past behind her. Moved on.
She forced herself to breathe.
Returning to Hood Hamlet had been a mistake.
She should have stayed in Philadelphia, where she’d made a new life for herself, far away from the shadow of Mount Hood and all the mountain had stolen from her. If only staying away had been an option, but her brother’s widow, Hannah, was expecting a new baby and needed help with her two children.
So here Carly was. Ready to be an aunt extraordinaire for her niece and nephew. For better or, most likely, worse.
All she had to do was survive her time here, including December twenty-fourth, the twenty-fifth, and New Year’s Eve.
How difficult could that be?
Given she hadn’t celebrated the holidays in five years, she didn’t want to know the answer.
Carly tightened her grip on the suitcase handle before climbing the steps to the front porch. With a tentative hand, she reached for the doorknob before remembering this was no longer her brother’s house. She pressed the doorbell and waited.
The doorknob jiggled.
Straightening, Carly forced a smile. Years of working with customers had taught her how to put on a happy face no matter how she felt inside.
The door cracked open.
“Welcome back, Carly,” a male voice greeted her warmly.
She’d expected to see Hannah’s husband of two years, Garrett Willingham, but the man standing in the doorway looked nothing like the clean-cut, non-risk-taking, business-suit-wearing certified public accountant. This guy was too rugged, too fit, too…familiar.
Over six feet tall with brown hair that fell past his collar, he still had piercing blue eyes, a killer smile, and a hot, hard body that made the girls, herself included, swoon back in high school. Those features had only improved with age.
Her pulse kicked up a notch. “What are you doing here?”
“Waiting for you.” His grin widened, the same way it had whenever he and Nick teased her. “Merry Christmas.”
McClone, Melissa. His Christmas Wish (Mountain Rescue Romance Book 1) (pp. 125-152). Cardinal Press, LLC. Kindle Edition.
This is just the beginning of a healing journey for both Jake and Carly. Their attraction is undeniable, and even the children are encouraging them to get it together.
Carly needs find her joy of Christmas again and Jake, well he needs to step out of his comfort zone and court her.
A wonderful Christmas story, with laughter, tears and so much more.
5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!
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USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.
With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.
Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.
Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!