The New York Novellas:
Not The Same Season
Holiday Cure for the Cursed
by Lindsey Gray
Publication Date: December 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Novella
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Not the Same Season . . .
This was a cute, quick read with a second chance for two divorced and broken individuals. Their divorces left them wanting, fearing, and feeling like things may never quite be the same. But this holiday season things changed for them both. I found Mitch and Hannah a joy to get to know and watch with this holiday quickie.
Two broken hearts embarked on a holiday season in a way they never had before. Divorced.
Mitch had been badly burned by love, but was willing to take a chance . . . with the right woman.
Hannah had lived everyday with the grief love had brought her and followed her everywhere.
Can two hearts find love and heal each other during the most difficult season of the year?
“Shit, speaking of high school, don’t look now.” Of course, he looked. “Becky! Hi. How are you?”
Mitch’s eyes went wide as he saw that seventeen years had not been so kind to his high school girlfriend, Becky. She had gained several pounds and several children, including the one attached to her hip.
“Austin. Mitch, is that you? Oh my, God, I thought he was pulling one over on all of us. You’re really back.”
“I’m really back.” Mitch smiled and raised his hands up in front of him in mock surrender.
“Well, give me a hug.” Becky pulled him in tight, which brought the child with her. Her son didn’t seem to happy to be smooched into some strange man’s chest and showed his dissatisfaction as he spewed his dinner all over Mitch’s shoulder.
“Shit!” Mitch jumped back as if he had been burned by the fires of Hell.
“Oh my God! I’m so sorry.” She turned to her son. “Buck, are you ok?” The child began to wail, disrupting the tranquil atmosphere of the evening.
Hannah ran over to see what the disturbance was. She came face to face with the vomit-covered man of her dreams.
“Well, Mr. Turner. What have you gotten yourself into this time?” Hannah bit down on her lip in an attempt to contain her laughter and shock at the fact that he was actually standing in front of her.
“Oh, Hannah. Buck just up-chucked. Can you help Mitch get cleaned up?” A mortified Becky rocked Buck back and forth in her arms, his little teeth protruding past his lower lip.
“Sure. Come with me.” Hannah offered her hand.
“Always.” Mitch tossed his jacket to Austin then laced his fingers through hers. They made their way through the winter wonderland into a back room.
Hannah nervously dug through a box of T-shirts until she found the one she had hoped to.
“This will have to do. I can wash your shirt or give you a bag to take it home in.”
Hannah watched in rapt fascination as he unbuttoned his shirt.
Mitch enjoyed the sight of her flushed cheeks and licked his lips in the hopes that they would be needed to be pressed against hers soon.
Once his shirt was off and the new one was on, he finally found his voice.
“So, this is your farm?”
“Yep. And your Austin’s older brother.”
He nodded as he took a step closer. “This means I live just down the road.” He raised his palm to cup her cheek. “And we can do this whenever we like.” He pressed his lips gently to hers. Her fingertips trailed up his ribcage as she opened her mouth at his tongue’s invitation.
The feeling was so familiar, yet so new. The realization that they were so close and could actually have a normal relationship overpowered them both. They almost took things to an entirely inappropriate level before a slam of a door in the distance brought them out of their impromptu reunion.
Hannah jumped back at the noise. They looked at each other for a few seconds before they broke into a round of hysterical laughter.
Once slightly calmed down, Mitch brought Hannah into his arms. “Let me take you on that date tomorrow night.”
“So, does that mean no New Year’s Eve?”
He grinned as she fluttered her eyelashes at him. “I’ve already made the reservations, so this will just be a bonus.”
“What will we do?” Hannah was curious. The nightlife in Clarkstown was nowhere near the hotbed of activity the city was.
“Austin’s restaurant closes at five. You can come after that, and I will make you a special private dinner. Please?”
“Hmm. It’s hard to turn down a man that can cook.” She ran her fingertip along the collar of his shirt.
“Then don’t.” He leaned in and began to peck small kisses up her neck until he reached her lips. He hovered above them and whispered, “Please?” He lightly placed three kisses on her lips before she sighed.
“Yes.” She let the word out so softly she barely heard herself. The smile he pressed onto her lips showed without a doubt that he had heard her response.
“I’ve got to get back out there now. We can continue this tomorrow.”
“Defiantly.” Mitch stepped back and fell under the spell of her bright crystal-blue eyes. “I’ll pick you up at six?”
“Yeah, just find me in the lodge.”
One last kiss and they thrust themselves back into the winter wonderland. As they slipped away from each other, they felt an excitement that had been missing from their lives. The excitement of maybe.
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Holiday Cure for the Cursed . . .
I seriously enjoyed Daniel and CiCi. The both had a curse of their existence and both may have found a singular cure for it. But neither of them thought this holiday cure would turn into more. The attraction was plan and the connection just perfect. They had common ground of people wanting them for something the see physically or just adored, money or looks. This year things have turned around for them both.
Daniel Digby is cursed by his good looks. After years of sexual harassment, he’s convinced wearing a wedding ring is the answer to fending off unwanted attention.
CiCi Newport is cursed by her family’s money. When men look her way, all they see are dollar signs. After two years, her “no dating” rule is still in place.
After a chance meeting, they’re entwined for the holidays. What starts as attraction might just be the holiday cure they’re looking for.
CiCi was nervous. She wasn’t sure her dark, skinny jeans and chocolate-colored sweater with her knee high brown boots was her best casual outfit. After changing three times, she’d ended up wearing the outfit she had on in the first place. In all of her twenty-seven years, she could not remember putting so much effort into her appearance to attract a specific man.
The front door of Villanova’s opened, and she realized it was too late to worry any longer.
He had entered the building.
The elusive He noticed her right away and held up a finger, signaling he would get a drink and be right over. She continued to take deep breaths until he came over to join her. He took off his coat and made himself comfortable in the chair across from her.
“No rushing off today?”
“No.” He sipped his drink and sighed. “I don’t have any meetings until mid-morning, so I have a little extra time. What about you? No portfolio today?”
“No. I had a meeting yesterday, but the project is basically finished, so I have a couple weeks off.” She took a long, luxurious sip from her own cup.
He smiled and nodded. “With all this free time on your hands, I suppose having coffee with strange men is out of the question?”
The introduction she had been dreading. As soon as he heard her last name, either the dollar signs would glow in his eyes, or he would run away from the lady who wrote children’s books for a living. Maybe it was time to try something different.
“I’m CiCi. And you are?”
His Adam’s apple bounced when he swallowed. “Daniel.” “Okay, Daniel. Now we’re not strangers.”
He smiled. “CiCi. Not strangers now. Might I be so bold as to ask what you might be doing with all this free time?”
“Besides meeting you for peppermint mochas?” she asked with a mischievous twinkle in her eye.
“Well, that’s a given at this point,” he said with a dimpled grin.
“Maybe see a show. There is an exhibit at the Natural History Museum I wanted to check out.” He raised an eyebrow at her answer. “Or I’ve heard about this roller derby tournament this weekend. Maybe do a little Christmas shopping. Oh, and I’ve been invited to a club opening. I might drop by.”
“Roller derby sounds promising.” He laughed before taking another sip.
CiCi’s heart fluttered, and her stomach flipped at the melodious sound. She knew it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Lindsey Gray typed her first complete novel at the age of twelve and dreamed of making her writing into a career. When her eighth grade class wrote a twenty year reunion story, casting her as a mystery novelist, she wasn’t sure she could make it a reality. After years of writing off and on, she decided to make a go of it. In December of 2010 she finally made her dream come true with her first published novel, Lies Inside. Five years and thousands of written words later, Lindsey is releasing her seventh published work, Nerdy Girl Nation. When Lindsey takes a break from writing, she spends time with her husband of thirteen years and their two children, reading all kinds of romance novels, and hosting her own weekly radio show, Gray Matters, on TMV Cafe Internet Radio.
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