About the book:
At 35-years-old, Cole Stanton is burned out. His high-paced, uber-successful career has left him yearning to start over. He finds Indigo Island, buys a restaurant and settles into an uncomplicated life. But Christmas is a mess. He has over-committed the small restaurant’s resources again, and is over his head. He finds himself longing for everything he has left behind, until a chance encounter with gorgeous Lily offers a spark of salvation to his business and, perhaps his life.
Beautiful pastry chef Lily Edmonds is thirty years old and heartbroken. It’s just before Christmas and she’s just been dumped by via telephone by her fiancee. Her best friend Avery Putnam invites her to Indigo Island, hoping to add joy back into Lily’s life. A chance encounter with the sexy owner of a local restaurant makes Lily feel an attraction she thought she’d never feel again, and offers her a business challenge to keep her mind focused on something other than her broken heart.
Cole Stanton and Lily Edmonds are both starting over. Will the joy of the holiday season bring them together or will the troubles with Christmas push them apart?
Everyone would be a couple, except for her. That was the trouble with Christmas. There were just too many expectations and not enough sprinkles of magic when someone needed them.
Yep. Lily’s alone again. Her dad abandoned her mother when Lily was a teen. Her mom is/was an alcoholic and out of the picture. And now Bob has cut their engagement, announcing his impeding marriage to a known socialite. Christmas pretty much sucks. Which is why Lily allowed Avery, her BFF, to helicopter her off to Avery’s parents’ estate on Indigo Island.
While there, Lily meets Cole, and his altruism is such a shock to her system. Bob was a narcissist, and Lily–a hardworking pastry chef–never measured up to his, or his family’s, expectations. Being the center of Cole’s attraction is pretty heady for Lily.
Cole’s got 99 problems, but a girl ain’t one. He’s haunted by his free-wheeling days as an investment broker. Cavalier portfolios left a number of his clients financially and psychologically ruined, and the emotional fall out caused him to change paths quickly. Now, all he wants to do is fix the business of Marshside Mama’s, a local eatery, but his high fallutin’ ideas have pushed the restaurant even closer to the brink.
Meeting Chef Lily is a Christmas miracle, if Cole allows himself to believe such exist. The attraction is magnetic, but their cooperation is kismet. Lily applauds Cole’s initiative, but recognizes his skills set isn’t in the kitchen. She works with Sally Ann, the restaurant’s owner and and cook, to create a Christmas menu that brings to locals in in droves. And the way Lily and Cole fit together? Delicious.
This is a fun Christmas novella with good pacing. I was a bit alarmed by how fast the attraction built–from a spark to a blaze–but there are moments where Lily pulls back on the reins and finds that she too can have some power in a relationship. Avery’s family is indeed too good to be true, but I love me some socially-conscious billionaires. I was really happy to see Lily figure out the trouble with Christmas, after all…
The trouble with Christmas wasn’t because of the holiday at all. Christmas was what people made it. It was their choice to focus on the bad things that had happened to them and the people who had hurt them, or choose to focus on the magical, light-filled, sparkling season that promised hope and dreams would come true.
About the author:
Kaira Rouda is an award-winning and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include: Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs; Here, Home, Hope; All the Difference; In the Mirror; and the short story, A Mother’s Day. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel.
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