All he wants for Christmas
Is a second chance…
Derrick Bright’s baseball career may be over, but his brother’s is just starting—until a scandal threatens to end things. PR specialist Anne McGrath hasn’t spoken to Derrick since he left her eleven years ago. But she agrees to help for his brother’s sake. Escaping the press in Pacific Cove allows them to reconnect. Will she accept Derrick’s vow and make his Christmas dreams finally come true?
“I didn’t even know you were participating in the auction until I saw the program tonight. Before I could find you myself, a friend introduced me to Todd, and Todd asked if I’d be willing to meet you…” Derrick’s mouth pulled up on one side like he was trying not to smile. He was all boyish innocence and every bit as appealing as Anne remembered as he added, “He, uh, he actually asked me if I’d flirt with you a little.”
Anne choked out a surprised laugh. “Thank you for sparing us both that awkwardness.”
Grinning, he assured her, “It wouldn’t be awkward for me.” His gaze traveled down and settled on a spot. “You have a little smudge of something on your dress. Let me guess—ice cream?”
She frowned. A combination of embarrassment and discomfort blazed through her. How dare he draw on their former intimacy like this?
Glancing down, she tugged clumsily on her wrap and thought up a lie. “No, it’s, um…oil.”
“Oil?” he repeated skeptically.
“Yep.” She shrugged and stared him down. “Moonlighting on the oil rig.”
He started to smile, to call her out, but then seemed to pick up on her back-off signal. He cleared his throat and composed his features. “How have you been, Anne?”
“For all eleven of the years it’s been since I’ve seen you?” She heard the clear edge in her voice. There was a chance she hadn’t gotten over this quite as well as she’d believed. But you know what? What he’d done had been really…hurtful, and perhaps she was still a tad angry. Now that she thought about it, there was no rule stating she had to make this reunion easy on him.
About the Author
USA Today and national bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small-town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of free-range parents, she developed a love of adventure and the outdoors at a very early age. She’s grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.
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Ends December 29, 2021