Hi all! Today I’m sharing another contemporary romance in prep for the holiday season. A VERY MARRIED CHRISTMAS by Erika Marks is a reconnection story–of spouses. It was a bitter, and then sweet, novella.
About the book:
Cookbook author Marley Chambers can’t think of a more festive way to spend Christmas than at a friend’s holiday wedding in her hometown of Magnolia Bay. If only her soon-to-be ex-husband, all-star pitcher, Beckett “Beck” Chambers wasn’t bringing his new girlfriend—and if only he wasn’t still the sexiest man to ever walk out onto the mound…
Beck never wanted the chaotic life of a sport star—especially not at the cost of his marriage to the only woman he’s ever truly loved. But his career is a runaway train—and he’s afraid it’s too late to hit the brakes.
But when a mix-up leaves Beck and Marley stranded together for Christmas Eve on the barrier island where Beck proposed years before, old memories burn bright—and sparks fly hotter than a bonfire on the beach.
Could the magic of the season bring the gift of a second chance, just in time for Christmas?
I wasn’t sure how I’d handle this. It’s never easy to read a story about estranged partners. Marley and Beck are high school sweethearts weeks away from a divorce. They nearly made it to their 10th anniversary when Marley decided she just needed a break.
See, Beck is a pitcher in the big leagues. Marley did the serious wife thing, living for her hubby’s games and being there whenever needed–and it wasn’t very fulfilling. She wanted more for her life, and she achieved it–getting a cookbook published. Yet, Beck wasn’t happy. He was downright petulant, and the tension caused by their joined acrimony led to Marley walking out.
Only now, seeing Beck with his sportscaster girlfriend, Marley’s having the buyer’s remorse. She hasn’t stopped loving Beck and with days until their first Christmas apart, in the company of all their friends for a holiday wedding, Marley’s downright frustrated. For his part, Beck is seeing Marley in a new light. Men are hitting on her, she looks poised and confident, and the joy she has chatting about her book is really something he never appreciated. In their year apart, he’s had a lot of time to sample the wares available. Turns out lots of women are career-oriented. Huh. Who knew?
Guess it’s true: You don’t know what you got, ’til it’s gone.
As Beck begins to reconcile his expectations for a wife with Marley–and his new gal’s devotion to her career over himself–he recognizes that he’s been, well, selfish. Good thing he’s big enough to admit it. Especially when he and Marley find themselves in a place that evokes the best memories of their life together.
This is a solid HEA, with a more upbeat vibe than I had expected. Both Marley and Beck make sacrifices to repair their marriage, and it’s that kind of cooperativeness their marriage had previously lacked. I was happy to see Beck and Marley reconnect in an equitable way. I bet most readers will like this, too.
About the Author:
Erika Marks is a women’s fiction writer and the author of LITTLE GALE GUMBO, THE MERMAID COLLECTOR, THE GUEST HOUSE and IT COMES IN WAVES (July, 2014). On the long and winding road to becoming published, she worked many different jobs, including carpenter, cake decorator, art director, and illustrator. But if pressed, she might say it was her brief tenure with a match-making service in Los Angeles after college that set her on the path to writing love stories (not that there isn’t romance in frosting or power tools!) A native New Englander, she now makes her home in Charlotte, NC, with her husband, a native New Orleanian who has taught her to make a wicked gumbo, and their two little mermaids.
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