Sick of tending to everyone else’s needs around the holidays, divorced barmaid and granny Sandra ferries it from London to Belfast. All she wants for Christmas is some peace with a romance story in front of a roaring fire in a remote Irish castle. What she gets is a most unexpected Christmas present from her friends at Bell’s—A 1Night Stand with a young Irishman.
Can she hack it in the real world of romance, or are life’s complications and treacherous snowstorms best left to the pages of a book?
Newly widowed Ardan Draighean owns Ballygalley castle. Once run as a hotel with his late wife, the stone building now serves as a home for him and his son. After hearing about Madame Eve’s matchmaking skills, he contacts her in search of the perfect match. Although much older than him—by fifteen years—Sandra is his ideal woman. Be damned if he’ll let a good story get in the way of his happy ever after with her.
Hot winter kisses are all this couple needs to stay warm this Christmas, but will the heat stay long after the magical season of mistletoe has finished?
“No phones! But I’ve got to call the family and let them know I arrived safely.” “We’re stranded here until the roads have been cleared.” “Heck, I’m meant to travel to Dunluce Castle the day after tomorrow. I’m
booked in for their Christmas Eve dinner special.” “You should make it fine. The snow never sticks around for long with us being
on the coast. But we’re not likely to get any more bookings, at least not today. It’ll just be yourself and Mr. Draighean as guests, by the looks of it.”
“You met him, I believe. He drove you home through last night’s terrible storm.”
“It’s just us? Here in this castle? With no phones? Stranded here….” What did I say, St Nick? No more fuck ups.
“Ah, here he is now.”
The back door swung open, and there he stood, holding a bird carcass by its feet. “The bird is from ya husband. Reckon ya can rustle up a dumpling stew with this for dinner tonight?” “Of course.” Laura took the dead animal. Holding it at arm’s length and scrunching up her face, she dropped it into a huge boiler pot. She then rushed to the sink to scrub her hands clean. “Eww, why can’t we get our meat from the store like everyone else?”
Sandra snorted. “Do guests usually bring their own dinner ala fresh-from-the- farm?”
“I’ve been coming here years, love. Like family, I am.” He winked at Laura who rolled her eyes and turned to finish making a brew.
“Erm, guess I kinda owe you a thank you for last night.”
“No need. Besides, I think ya kiss was thanks enough.” Chuckling, he motioned to Laura for a drink.
“Not going to let me forget about that, are you?” Sandra backed up against a kitchen cupboard and gulped.
He strutted into her personal space and nudged her chin. “Nope, and I’m only ta happy ta oblige a replay…for memories sake,” he rasped, slinking forward and pinning her against the worktop behind her.
“You cheeky beggar.” Sandra glanced over his shoulder and willed herself not to look him in the eye, for if she did, her knees would buckle and she’d slam to the ground. A nervous giggle escaped her. She placed a hand over his and squeezed at his fingers to get him to release his clasp. There was no budging him.
“I just want….” He moved closer still, his breath grazing her mouth, and she leaned toward him. She tried to stop the forward motion, but it seemed her body knew more about what she needed than her brain did.
“The sugar for me brew.” He reached around her and retrieved the bowl of caster sugar. Relief and disappointment surged through her, and the inevitable happened. Her legs gave way. She swayed a little but grabbed the worktop to save her fall.
Born n bred Brit, JoAnne Kenrick grew up in a wee sea-side town in North Wales and has enjoyed a variety of vocations such as holistic healer, window dresser, and ghost tour guide. Having lived in Wales, England, and Scotland with her dear family, she finally escaped the dull British summers to reside in sunny Australia. After two years, they moved to the States where she endured three harsh winters in Minnesota. She now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two kids and two puddy cats. When they aren’t demanding her attention, or jumping on her head, she strums away on the keys of her little laptop, creating worlds and adventures she could only ever dream of. Come across the pond and faraway….with JoAnne Kenrick! Get exclusive sneak peeks at her new and upcoming releases by signing up to her quarterly newsletter here: http://tinyletter.com/joannekenrick