The Christmas Match
A Castle Ridge Small Town Romance Book 2
The season for second chances.
After heartache at a young age, single mother Danielle Marstrand has finally found her place in her hometown. A good job, a good home, a great daughter—nothing can sway her from her course until Luke Logan returns to their small Colorado mountain ski town.
Champion skier Luke Logan is ready to return home to Castle Ridge, even if he’s not quite sure the town’s ready to welcome him. Especially his high school sweetheart Danielle. Nursing an injury that nearly ended his career, Luke’s struggling to get back more than his range of motion…he’s hoping returning to where his career began might help reignite the passion he’s lost. But instead of discovering his passion for skiing he discovered the daughter he never knew he had.
Hurt that Danielle never told him about Brianna, Luke is determined to know his child. Danielle’s reluctant to allow Luke in, fearing he’ll just leave again, but she’s willing to compromise when Luke suggests fake dating with Brianna tagging along. Why then, does a kiss for show feel oh so real?
In this classic reunion story, love finds a second chance.
5 STARS “Second chance romance…never anticipating the hero’s reaction…” Cashmere
“You’re single. I’m single. You’ve changed. I’ve changed. You asked to meet me.” His voice rose in accusation. “Nothing smarmy about that.”
Her eyebrows rose. “Every time a woman asks you to meet does it mean having sex?”
“Pretty much.” His cockiness caused the wine to burn in her chest.
Disgust made it travel the wrong direction. “Not with me.”
His eyes blinked. For a second she thought she’d seen hurt on his expression, but then the suave-macho guy she’d seen in interviews on TV made his reappearance. “Then what do I owe this…pleasure?”
His hesitation told her he meant the opposite of pleasure, but again the imagined images of the two of them together burned. Her entire body felt as if she sat in the fire, not next to the fireplace. She blew out a breath and focused on what she came to do.
Tell Luke. Tell Luke. Tell Luke.
The room seemed to close in on them. The few people in the dining area were normal people having normal conversations. They weren’t about to change someone’s life. They weren’t about to alter their own reality. And their daughter’s.
The fire roared louder. The flames spurted higher, taunting. Other people’s laughter spiked through her head. The clanging dishes echoed and burst in her brain.
She blew out a slow breath, knowing she just needed to spit it out. “I need to tell you something and I want a promise you won’t yell or make a scene.”
“I promise.” His snippiness set the wrong tone.
Nerves scraped in her stomach making the wine go sour. Nausea rumbled and burned up her chest. She felt as if she was going to heave on the table. She pinched her lips together and then forced her mouth to open. To speak.
Nothing came out.
“I haven’t seen you in thirteen years. There’s nothing you could say that would make me angry.” He grabbed his mug and took a long pull.
She froze at his statement and his casual action. He didn’t believe anything she said mattered? Her iced body cracked and heated. Fissures formed with her fury. He didn’t think she mattered? Her brain popped and her veins burst in a torrent. He probably wouldn’t think their daughter mattered either. Her hands curled into cold claws. She wanted to scrape the annoying expression off his handsome face.
Instead, she scooped up her coat and lunged out of the booth. “Oh!”
To hell with him.
“Well?” His impatient tone yanked her to a stop, goaded her.
Her heart thumped once. Deviousness had her swirling back around. So, he didn’t think anything she said would affect him, did he? She was going to give him the shock of his life.
She took a step forward, leaned toward him, and whispered, “Brianna is your daughter.”