With: Charlee James
Happy holidays! I’m so excited to share my new release The Bookworm and The Beast. The holiday season is my favorite time of year. The cold New England air, the shimmering snow, and homes dressed up with the warm glow of lights make everything seem so fresh and beautiful.
I can vividly remember tip-toeing into the living room with my sister at three o’clock in the morning, and we’d just sit and stare in awe at the glossy presents under the tree. The thrill of the season creates its own special kind of magic, and it’s a perfect time for romance! Who doesn’t love the idea of cozying up to a warm fire with someone special or engaging in an impromptu snowball fight? It’s also a time for old and new traditions. Whether it’s stringing popcorn for the tree like my book’s heroine Izzy or searching for a hidden pickle ornament like my hero Derek, each family has unique ways to celebrate the season.
Some of my favorite traditions were cutting down a Christmas tree, driving around with my parents looking at holiday lights, and spending Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house. Now that I have two little ones of my own, I love sharing these moments with them and making new ones. This year, my husband, whose holiday “spirit” mirrors Derek, humored me and took us to the Christmas tree farm I used to visit as a child. My oldest was thrilled by the dog who greets visitors and follows them out into the fields. No matter what your holiday traditions are, I wish you a season filled with warmth, happy moments, and of course romance!
THE BOOKWORM AND THE BEAST
THE BOOKWORM AND THE BEAST
When quiet, bookish Izzy Simon accepts a two-week assignment as an assistant for an author of children’s books, it seems like the perfect way for her to make some much-needed extra money, but the grumpy author claims he doesn’t want or need her services. He might be as handsome as a storybook prince, but his prickly personality and resistance to all things Christmas are sure to make for a chilly holiday season.
Derek Croft never agreed to the cheery temp his staff arranges for him while they’re on vacation. Izzy is his polar opposite, but Derek soon realizes she could be the perfect solution to his interfering family…if he can get her to agree to pretend to be his live-in girlfriend. Before long Izzy’s sweet disposition and unflappable optimism has him decorating a tree and looking forward to late night hot cocoa, but he’s all too aware their time together can’t last.
Forgetting his worries for the first time in years, he fell into the game, quickly piling up balls
of snow and firing them at will. They threw and dodged and ducked until they were both soaked and gasping for air. Her laugh of pure joy rang in his ears, and something stirred
inside his chest. She ran for cover at the edge of the forest, and he followed, still sending a hail of snowballs flying in her direction. One connected with the side of her face and
caught her off guard, sending her into the snow. He jogged over to see if she was all right and extended his hand to her.
Instead of getting up, she kicked out his legs and pulled him down with her. His shock gave her the opportunity to push to her knees and gain the upper hand. Izzy’s hair fell in a
curtain around her face, as she smiled down at him.
“I think we have a victor.” She spoke happily, her cheeks and lips rosy from the cold.
“I wouldn’t be so sure.” His voice was hoarse and edged with danger. In one quick maneuver, he pinned her to the ground. Wet slush seeped through his pant legs, and his
hands were buried in the snow above her head. Suddenly, the world around them melted away, and all he could focus on was the rise and fall of her chest beneath him. She
stared into his eyes, unblinking. Izzy looked so innocent, so vulnerable. His nerve endings stirred and tingled. His hands slipped slightly in the snow, and the flutter of her
heart drummed against his chest. The scent of her hair, lavender and vanilla, made his mouth go dry. Their lips were just inches from one another. He only had to angle his
head to taste them.