When Millie's boss asks her to work over Christmas, she's hesitant to give him any more overtime. She has plans for her life that include quitting this job and starting her own photography business, and she promises herself to quit by New Years.
Andrew Holmes has no desire to go back to his tiny hometown for the holidays, but his manipulative grandfather gives him an ultimatum that he just can't refuse. So in order to get the last project of the year finished in time, he asks his assistant, Millie, to make the trip with him.
With a disgruntled brother, a sister-in-law struggling with infertility and a little boy who shows up claiming that one of the Holmes men is his father, Christmas is about to get complicated...
"So, Millie says she'd like to stay," Andrew announced.
"Good." Louise shot her a smile. "Do you like fruitcake, Millie?"
"I think so." Mille sank into a seat next to her boss.
"Me, too..." Louise disappeared into the fridge, her voice meandering out from the chilly depths.
Except I always hate the fruit in it. So I just make the cake. But the cake is rather dry."
"It's more like a Christmas cracker," Andrew murmured, and Millie repressed a laugh.
The dense, dry confection that landed with a heavy thud on the tabletop looked nothing like the fruitcake she'd seen in the past.
"Guests first." Louise announced cheerfully, and when Millie shot Andrew a "help me" look, he pointed under the table.
"Give it to the dog," he mouthed.
The dog? So far, Millie hadn't seen a dog in the house, and when she slowly raised the plastic tablecloth to peer under the table, she was met with the biggest canine face she'd ever seen in her life. Stifling a yelp of shock, she turned her ashen face towards Andrew.
"That's Edgar," Andrew said.
He nodded. "Get used to him." When she turned her attention to the plate deposited in front of her, Andrew leaned in and murmured in her ear. "Thanks for coming, by the way."
Patty Froese writes from Alberta, Canada, where the winters are ong and cold. This suits her just fine, since it gives her plenty of time to write and she can enjoy the snow from the right side of the window. She has her degree in English Literature and has written in other genres, but she particularly enjoys writing romance. Patty also writes for Harlequin Love Inspired under the name Patricia Johns.
Patty, why did you write this novel?
I started writing this novel at Christmas last year, after my publisher said that they were looking for Christmas stories for the upcoming year. It was particularly fun to write a Christmas story during the holiday season, but I wanted to make sure that I showed a family--the real kind--with quirks, kinks and dysfunction all over the place. I also wanted to show how Christmas and faith can make all the difference in the middle of a mess.
Tell us something topical, interesting, funny, or something we would not expect about the writing or research of this novel.
This is a romance that follows two couples--a CEO and the assistant that he can't live without, and a married couple who struggle with infertility. I hadn't meant for the married couple to get so much space into the book, but once I started working on it, they took on flesh and bone and really intrigued me. I enjoy pairing a more idealized couple with a more down to earth couple in my novels. While the hero and heroine let us fall in love all over again, the other couple serves to balance out the sweetness--some sea salt on the dark chocolate.
Desert Breeze Publishing. http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/a-christmas-bonus-epub/