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Her mother’s ridiculous idea to gift her with 'a man' for Christmas is driving Angie Bellini insane! Every bachelor and his brother in Noelle are asking her to save them a dance at the upcoming wedding of Santa Claus Holloran’s daughter. What’s a girl to do to keep her sanity and thwart a scheming mother? Date the one man in town her mother despises, of course.
Wes O’Connor doesn’t like the plan Angie has coerced him into for two reasons: 1) He’s still paying for the last time those big brown eyes made him do something stupid and 2) He doesn’t want to 'pretend' to date the beautiful baker, he wants the fairytale to turn into a real happily-ever-after.
Their ending may not be so happy, though, when they discover they aren't the only players in their little game of make-believe.
Wes shifted in his seat, clenching and unclenching the steering wheel. This is not how it was supposed to go. Sure, at the bakery, after seeing those beautiful brown eyes flare from friendly to frustrated to hopeful all in a span of fifteen minutes, he knew he wanted to get to know her a little better, again. Maybe pick up where his youthful mishap had detoured them. But this was not how he pictured getting the date.
He glanced sideways at her cute little nose scrunched in contemplation—of him.
She played with the zipper on her jacket. “A-are you dating someone?”
“No!” Geez, let a guy get a word in edgewise here.
But she didn’t. Instead, she spun on him, leg back up on the seat as comfortable as if she’d ridden in the truck a thousand times before.
“Then what is it? Is it me? You find me ugly, repulsive?”
“No, Angie, come on!”
In truth, her position grazed her knee against his hip, sending a distinct tightening to his groin. Repulsive? Not even close.
He focused his attention on the mid-morning street, counting the huge snowflakes to cool himself down. How did a simple delivery job get so complicated? Now he realized why he let his father handle this end of the business. Ian O’Connor was a people-person, Wes preferred the uncomplicated company of the farm.
Slender hands latched onto his upper arm effectively melting the snowflake theory.
“Please. I need help and you’re all I’ve got at the moment.”
With tight lips, he stared at her hands then turned back to the road.
“For old times sake, Wes. Please.”
He made the mistake of glimpsing the dark eyes, big and round and rivaling any kicked-puppy-dog-look he’d ever seen. His jaw ticked tight, and he felt himself caving.
Be strong this time, Wes, he warned himself.
The hands around his arm pulled in small, pleading tugs while her lips quirked in a mischievous tilt.
“I’ll bake you a special batch of chocolate chip cookies...” she coerced. “Three batches...no a dozen!”
No use, he was a goner the minute she batted those lashes at him. The only choice left was to chuckle and shake his head in defeat. “Dad likes them too. Make it a dozen and you got yourself a deal.”
“Oh thanks, Wes,” she squealed. “You’re a real pal.”
His smile twitched to a wince as she turned away. Being her ‘pal’ was least on his list at the moment. They’d picked up right where they left off in high school—big brown eyes messing with his good sense. And by this mornings events at the bakery, he wasn’t finished paying for the first time.
The perfect road trip: 2 strangers, 1 truck, and 1500 miles to fall in love.
Detective Justin Hatcher and Cameron McAlister are in a hurry to leave North Carolina—for totally different reasons. He wants to confront his family about a five-year-old betrayal. She wants to escape the remnants of a failed marriage.
Thrown together as unlikely and unexpected travel partners, their trip is filled with both dramatic and humorous situations along the road. But, with God’s constant hand in their journey, can Justin and Cameron discover that…
Yes, you can go home again…especially at Christmastime.
Tears sprang from her fern-colored eyes. “Look I just need to get to Oklahoma City as soon as possible,” she choked. “Can I join you for a while or not?”
”Are you in such a hurry because you’ve committed a crime?”
She looked at him as though he’d just sprouted spaghetti for hair.
“Okay, then. How old are you? You look like a kid in that get-up.”
“I’m twenty-five. Would you like to see my ID?”
She pushed a shaky hand out the end of her sweatshirt sleeve and started fishing in the pocket of her jeans. Wadded tissues popped out and tumbled to the ground. A tearful squeak escaped her lips as she hurried to pick them up.
He had no business taking on a passenger. Not even a cute redhead. Not even an intelligent woman who clearly had great conversation potential. Not even until the next major city.
“Get in,” he grumbled and reached for her bag.
She jumped in the cab and secured his thermos between her feet on the floor while he checked the side mirrors and started the engine.
He put the truck in reverse and placed his arm across the back of the seat.
She pulled her hat off and shook her hair loose, then brushed away the last tear. She turned to him and smiled. Really smiled. Smiled in such a way it rivaled the first sun of the morning now creeping into the eastern sky.
“Thanks for the ride.”
With one click of the seatbelt, Detective Justin Hatcher knew he was in for the most complicated ride of his life – and he didn’t even know her name.