Guiding the Grouch
(Summer Creek, #5)
Publication date: December 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
He’s a billionaire set on escaping the holidays and his demanding family.
She’s a single mom with a sunny smile who keeps her heart safely hidden.
When she makes him her personal Christmas project, what could possibly go wrong?
Gabe Gatlin would do anything to evade the obligatory family holiday hobnobbing that is nothing more than one horrible business event after another, all wrapped up with a gaudy Christmas ribbon. Then the opportunity arises to explore a property in the small town of Summer Creek, Oregon, and gives him the idea to run away for the holidays. This year, he’s skipping Christmas. All he has to do is hide out until January in the quirky little town where the residents have dubbed him Grinchy Gabe. But when a delightful woman starts making his sleigh bells jingle, he might find it impossible to avoid losing his three-sizes-too-small heart.
Single mom and waitress, Dani Latham, has two priorities: give her son the stable life she never had, and spread joy to her friends and neighbors in Summer Creek. When a stranger with a grinchy attitude sits at her table, she makes it her personal mission to make him smile. As she guides him into a flurry of Christmas festivities, she starts to wonder if this grounch’s heart will ever return to normal size. And even worse. . . if it does, who is going to save hers from breaking when he leaves?
Will a little Christmas magic and wonder bring these two lonesome people together?
Discover the joys of the season mixed with humor, holiday fun, and moments that tug at your heartstrings in this sweet contemporary Christmas romance.
As he listened to three more calls from Monique, they got progressively more annoying. The call from just an hour earlier ended with her making threats to “have Daddy fire you” if he didn’t come home and fulfill his holiday obligations.
“Maybe I don’t want to be there,” Gabe said, unaware of his dark glower or that he spoke aloud as he scrolled through a dozen of Monique’s infuriating text messages. “Maybe I’ll skip every holiday from now until the end of time. Maybe I actually despise Christmas and all the hoopla of the stupid, stupid season!”
“Well, aren’t you a grouchy one,” a teasing voice spoke from beside him, “I believe you could use a dose of Christmas cheer before you whip out the phone book and begin alphabetically listing all the people you hate. Or is it loathe?”
Gabe had no idea about her reference to the phone book, and he didn’t care. Irritated at being interrupted, he glanced up and stared at the server.
The stunning woman smiling at him could have been an angel as the overhead lights created a halo around her golden hair. Hers was a rare beauty. The kind that didn’t need makeup to enhance it, although she wore a light coat of mascara and lip gloss. She was of medium height and willowy, with high cheekbones, a generous mouth, and hazel eyes that twinkled with mirth. If she lived in New York City, he had no doubt she’d be in high demand as a fashion model. What was a woman with her looks and seductive voice doing in such a backwater place taking food and drink orders?
He envisioned her in a ruby-red velvet evening gown, strolling on his arm to a symphony performance. The picture in his mind was so real, so clear, he felt the oddest sense of knowing this woman deep in his soul.
Dumbfounded by his thoughts, Gabe felt like someone had sucked the air right out of his lungs.
The woman slid the menu closer to him “Chef Owen is one of the best in the Pacific Northwest. You can choose anything and know it’s going to be wonderful. Take a look at the menu. I’ll be right back.”
The angel strode across the room, walked behind the bar, and disappeared through a doorway before he could engage enough brain cells to utter a single word to her.
Gabe picked up the menu, but it might as well have been written in hieroglyphics based on his sudden inability to read. It was like his brain had just decided to take a vacation and left him in the lurch.
USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes sweet romances rich with relatable characters, small town settings that feel like home, humor, and hope.
Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
When this farm girl isn’t writing or indulging in rich, decadent chocolate, Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. She also experiments with recipes, snaps photos of her adorable nephew, and caters to the whims of a cranky cat named Drooley.
To learn more about Shanna or the books she writes, visit her website http://shannahatfield.com or find out more about her here: linktr.ee/ShannaHatfield
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