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Josh and Gemma 2

Win Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around!

Do you want to win a paperback copy of Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around? Now is your chance on Goodreads.

win a paperback of Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around. cover featuring Josh and Gemma reaching out for each other against a colored background. This is the highly anticipated sequel to the best selling Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by romance writer Sarah Ready

Coming January 2023.

Do you want to know what happens next with Josh and Gemma? What do they name the baby? What about the wedding? So many questions that will all be answered on January 26, 2023.

You can pre-order now at:

www.books2read.com/joshandgemmathesecondtimearound

so you can jump right in when it’s released!

Can’t wait until January, enter my Goodreads paperback giveaway now for your chance to win Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/355992-josh-and-gemma-the-second-time-around


Gemma Jacobs has life figured out. She’s upbeat, positive to a fault, and the master of her own destiny. She has a wonderful career in social media marketing, lives in a trendy apartment with her fiancé Josh Lewenthal, and is pregnant with their much-loved baby.

Her life is wonderful. Absolutely perfect.

Except…

What really comes after the happily ever after?

Josh Lewenthal is laid-back, fun-loving, and always finds the humor in life. He writes a wildly successful web comic series, and can’t wait to marry Gemma—the woman of his dreams.

His life is amazing. Terrific.

Except…

What happens when everything changes?

Suddenly Josh and Gemma’s lives are turned upside down, and their love and their future together are at risk. They realize their happily ever after isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning—and now they have to fight for it.

They confront a devastating separation, the return of world-infamous Ian Fortune, and the question of whether or not their love can truly survive when everyone says…it’s already gone.

Romance Writer Sarah Ready. Contemporary romance, chick lit, romantic comedy, romcom books

“…winning read about a little discussed topic.” Kirkus Reviews on Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by Sarah Ready

Categories
Josh and Gemma 2

What is happening with Josh and Gemma?!

Do you want to know what is happening with Josh and Gemma? What do they name the baby? What about the wedding? So many questions that will all be answered on January 26, 2023.

Pre-Order Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around now!

Coming January 2023.

Pre-order now: Cover of Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around features two people, Josh Lewenthal and Gemma Jacobs walking away from the view. They are reaching to each other but their hands don't quite touch. The colors are vibrant. This is the much awaited sequel to the best selling romance book Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by romance author Sarah Ready.

You can pre-order now at:

www.books2read.com/joshandgemmathesecondtimearound

so you can jump right in when it’s released!


Read the prologue:

When I said that Josh and I would live happily ever after, I believed that love would never die.

I was wrong.

Or maybe I was wrong in that I never thought about the moment I would die. For thirty-three years I galloped through life without ever considering the moment of my own death.

A hot tear slides down my face.

Does love die when you die? I think it must. It feels like it does.

There’s a heavy, dark silence smothering me and the world frays apart at the edges, unraveling at a frightening pace. The color leaches away, like threads pulled from a cloth. Soon, I’ll only be left with black.

Would I do it all again? Knowing that I’d end up right here, my breath gone, my life leaking away?

Yes. I’d do it a thousand times again. And each time I’d make the same choices that led me here. To this place.

I focus on the bright sky above. The blur of Josh’s bone-white face. He begs me not to leave him, not to leave, don’t go, don’t go, don’t go.

I want to tell him a million things, a million and one, but most of all I want to tell him to take care of our baby.

To love him. To save him. To care for him.

But I can’t. I can’t talk. I can’t breathe.

Instead.

I go.

I think…I die.

This has to be death.

Because the love, it’s gone.

***


Find out what is happening with Josh and Gemma on Jan 26th, 2023!

Pre-Order

Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around

now!

Romance Writer Sarah Ready. Contemporary romance, chick lit, romantic comedy, romcom books
Categories
Josh and Gemma 2

Win a Paperback!

Do you want to win a paperback copy of Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around? Now is your chance on Goodreads.

win a paperback of Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around. cover featuring Josh and Gemma reaching out for each other against a colored background. This is the highly anticipated sequel to the best selling Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by romance writer Sarah Ready

Coming January 2023.

Do you want to know what happens next with Josh and Gemma? What do they name the baby? What about the wedding? So many questions that will all be answered on January 26, 2023.

You can pre-order now at:

www.books2read.com/joshandgemmathesecondtimearound

so you can jump right in when it’s released!

Can’t wait until January, enter my Goodreads paperback giveaway now for your chance to win a paperback copy:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/355992-josh-and-gemma-the-second-time-around


Gemma Jacobs has life figured out. She’s upbeat, positive to a fault, and the master of her own destiny. She has a wonderful career in social media marketing, lives in a trendy apartment with her fiancé Josh Lewenthal, and is pregnant with their much-loved baby.

Her life is wonderful. Absolutely perfect.

Except…

What really comes after the happily ever after?

Josh Lewenthal is laid-back, fun-loving, and always finds the humor in life. He writes a wildly successful web comic series, and can’t wait to marry Gemma—the woman of his dreams.

His life is amazing. Terrific.

Except…

What happens when everything changes?

Suddenly Josh and Gemma’s lives are turned upside down, and their love and their future together are at risk. They realize their happily ever after isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning—and now they have to fight for it.

They confront a devastating separation, the return of world-infamous Ian Fortune, and the question of whether or not their love can truly survive when everyone says…it’s already gone.

Romance Writer Sarah Ready. Contemporary romance, chick lit, romantic comedy, romcom books

“…winning read about a little discussed topic.” Kirkus Reviews on Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by Sarah Ready

Categories
Scrooging Christmas

Scrooging Christmas is Available Now!

I am so happy to announce my latest Soul Mates in Romeo Romance romcom book Scrooging Christmas is available now everywhere! When Miss Christmas and Mr. Scrooge meet, sparks fly.  Check out Book 7 in my Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series today!

3D cover of Scrooging Christmas by Best Selling romance author Sarah Ready. Scorrging Christmas is available now!

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A SCROOGE?

Professional holiday decorator Natalie Fiorre loves tinsel, gingerbread, and the magic of Christmas. She believes there isn’t anything in the world that a dash of Christmas Spirit can’t fix—until she meets Gabe. Perpetual Scrooge Gabe Cavanaugh loathes candy canes, jingle bells, and all things merry and bright. He believes Christmas is the worst time of year. 

So when Miss Christmas and Mr. Scrooge meet, sparks fly. 

When Gabe threatens to evict Natalie and her neighbors on Christmas she does what any right-minded Christmas-lover would do… Natalie has two days to stop the evictions and help Gabe discover the magic of Christmas, but a lot can go wrong in two days, and in Romeo, the soul mate capital, there’s another kind of magic in the air. 

Book 7 in my Soul Mates in Romeo series Scrooging Christmas is available now.  

“A fun and sweet love story…” Kirkus Reviews on Chasing Romeo by Sarah Ready

“…winning read about a little discussed topic.” Kirkus Reviews on Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by Sarah Ready

You can get your copy of my best latest romcom Scrooging Christmas everywhere books are sold!

SarahReady.com: https://bit.ly/3EmDQTt

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3CbtfrK

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3SZ0S6T

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ElezJe

Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/3MenYV8

Amazon Australia: https://amzn.to/3MeANyv

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/scrooging-christmas

Nook: https://bit.ly/3CC0UMJ

Other: https://books2read.com/ScroogingChristmas

Categories
Scrooging Christmas

Opposites Attract Christmas Romcom

Sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas, the best new RomCom coming October 18th. Best selling romance author Sarah Ready. Features a couple on a snowy landscape.

My newest opposites attract Christmas romcom is coming out October 18th, 2022 and I wanted to share another sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas with you.

What would you do with a Scrooge? When Christmas-loving Natalie Fiorre goes head-to-head with perpetual Scrooge Gabe Cavanaugh all bets are off. Opposites clash over holiday cheer in this cheeky, Christmas romcom full of laughter and steam – the perfect holiday romance read.

Check out this sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas:


Sneak peek of opposites attract Christmas romcom Scrooging Christmas

Gabe:

“What’s your name?” I ask, and when I do the woman looks at me with wide eyes, as if she’d forgotten I was here. 

“I thought you knew.”

“Marley?” I ask, thinking of her obsession with Scrooge. 

“No.” 

She gives a short huff of laughter and walks back to where I’m standing. She reaches down to pull off her fur-lined boots, dropping them beneath the bench. 

“Not Marley,” I say. 

I stretch my hands, moving my fingers, letting the painful pricks of circulation come back. 

“But I bet it’s something Christmas related. All you nutters who love Christmas always have those kind of names. How about…Holly?”

She lifts an eyebrow. “Do you want me to tell you my name?” 

“No, I’m going to guess it,” I stare at her, take in her bright eyes, her curves, how she seems to fit perfectly in this homey rustic cabin. “Noelle.” 

She shakes her head. 

“Mary?”

No.

“Ivy?”

Nope.

“Fruitcake?”

She snorts.

“Carol? Chris? Star? Rudolph?”

With each guess she shakes her head, and when I say Rudolph she actually lets out a strangled laugh. 

“No. Wow. My parents wouldn’t saddle me with the name Rudolph. They actually like me.” 

I look across the living room at the pictures on the mantle. There’s a family photo from decades ago, a dad in a baggy sweater and wire-framed glasses, a mom in a denim dress, and a little girl hugging her younger brother while they all beam at the camera. They’re all standing in front of a scraggly Christmas tree wrapped in paper chains.

“Hmm. I wonder what your mom and dad would think of your descent into crime.” I frown at the picture of the happy family, then say in a mournful tone, “She was such a sweet little girl, kept to herself, nice to the neighbors, no one would’ve guessed what a devious heart lay beneath that Christmas façade.” 

She wags her finger at me. “Okay. Yes. Some might say this is wrong.” 

I give her a disbelieving look. 

She grumbles, “But others might say that this is fate. Destiny. Christmas providence.” 

I shake my head. “No one would say that.”

“Some might.”

“No they wouldn’t.” 

“Maybe two or three.”

I shake my head. “No.”

She sighs. “Fine. They wouldn’t…or they might. My name is Natalie. Nice to meet you.” She holds out her hand.

I let out a laugh. “Natalie. Which means Christmas. I forgot that one.”


Did you love this sneak peek of my opposites attract Christmas romcom Scrooging Christmas?

Preorder your copy

to find out what happens October 18th, 2022!

Romance writer Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance, romcom, romantic comedy, and chick lit.
Categories
Chasing Romeo Love Not at First SIght Love, Artifacts, and You Married by Sunday My Better Life Romance By The Book Scrooging Christmas

Do you love a romance series?

Check out my Soul Mates in Romeo Romance Series!

This romance series delivers a new laugh out loud rom com collection full of heart, heat and fun.

Welcome to Romeo, New York, Official Town of Love, USA where finding true love, soul mates and happily ever after is a town tradition.

Romeo is a small town with a big heart and a famous soul mate predictor who finds your love match – guaranteed.

In a town like Romeo, some people will do anything to find true love and others will do anything to avoid it.

The first book in the series, Chasing Romeo, is a laugh out loud, opposites attract, soul mate chasing rom com romp. A perfect feel-good novel about finding love where you least expect it.

Start the series today.


Book 1: Chasing Romeo

The first in the Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series from romance writer Sarah Ready, Chasing Romeo is a hilarious rom com romp; an Enemies-to-Lovers road-trip romance book you must have!

Start reading now!

Enemies to lovers rom com romance book Chasing Romeo cover

Book 2: Love Not at First Sight

Book 2 in the Soul Mates in Romeo Romance, Love Not at First Sight, is a forced proximity, billionaire romance that will leave your heart pumping with excitement!

Start reading now!

Cover of the latest Contemporary forced proximity, billionaire romance Love Not at First Sight by romance author Sarah Ready features two people facing opposite directions. She tears up a magazine featuring his face and he looks smug.

Book 3: Romance By the Book

Book three in the Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series, Romance by the Book is the best enemies to lovers romance book for you! Everyone loves a grumpy man, twins, librarian romance with an HEA!

Start reading now!

Cover of the the third book in the soul mates in romeo romance series. Romance by the Book features a woman and a man in a pile of books.

Book 4: Love, Artifacts and You

Love, Artifacts, and You is book four in my Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series. This is an exciting action adventure romance you don’t want to miss!

Start reading now!

Book four in the Soula Mates in Romeo Romance Series Love, Artifacts, and You.

Book 5: Married By Sunday

Married by Sunday is book five in my Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series. This is a hilarious opposites attract romance you don’t want to miss!

Start reading now!

Married by Sunday is an opposites attract romcom by sarah ready. This is the cover featuring two people facing off over a wedding cake.

Book 6: My Better Life

My Better Life is book six in my Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series. What’s better than a billionaire with amnesia living as a working man in West Virginia?

Start reading now!

Book 6 of the Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series by Sarah Ready. Best selling romcom book has a woman and man on a farm featuring farm animals and the man is in a tuxedo.

Book 7: Scrooging Christmas

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A SCROOGE? Pre order romance book 7 in my Soul Mates in Romeo Romance series – coming October 18th, 2022.


Join my newsletter to get sneak peeks and bonus epilogues!

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Romance writer Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance, romcom, romantic comedy, and chick lit.
Categories
Scrooging Christmas

Shake the present!

Shake the present - Sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas, the best new RomCom coming October 18th. Best selling romance author Sarah Ready. Features a couple on a snowy landscape.

When you were a kid, did you ever shake the present to try and guess what it was? Well if you shake the present this year you will find it is full of laugh out loud moments and a sexy yule log romance!

My newest Christmas romcom is coming out October 18th, 2022 and I wanted to share a sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas with you.

What would you do with a Scrooge? When Christmas-loving Natalie Fiorre goes head-to-head with perpetual Scrooge Gabe Cavanaugh all bets are off. Opposites clash over holiday cheer in this cheeky, Christmas romcom full of laughter and steam – the perfect holiday romance read.

Check out this sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas:


Shake the present and get a sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas

“So today we’re going to cut down a Christmas tree and decorate it.” 

I shake my head, “No we’re not.”

She stares at me, and I’m pretty certain she’s surprised at my resistance. 

The coffee has slowed to a drip, so I take down two mugs and pour the steaming black liquid, enjoying the rich smell. I shove one across the counter toward her and take a long drink of the hot liquid. 

“Just like that?” she asks, frowning at me. 

“Just like what?”

“No. Just like that?” 

I take another sip. It’s good coffee, then say, “Of course. What are you going to do? Make me?”

She pulls the pan off the stove and holds it high in the air. “Here’s the deal. You come Christmas tree cutting with me and you get delicious sausage and pancakes. You don’t…and you get…you get…”

“The lotion?” I ask straight-faced. 

Apparently she’s not a fan of horror, because she waves that away.

“No. Last year’s fruitcake. It’s in the cupboard, soaked in rum. And lemme tell you. It’s fluorescent green and goopy brown. There are oozy bits. And when you take it out of the tin, it makes a squishy splooshy noise. Like it’s exhaling.” 

I stare at her, appalled at her fruitcake description. Maybe she is a fan of horror. “This is a real thing? A breathing fruitcake?”

“Of course. You should see the one we’re saving from 2012. Actually, maybe I’ll give that one to you.” She shakes the pan at me, the sausage smell drifting over. “You decide. Sausages and pancakes. Or respirating fruitcake.”

“You are diabolical.” 

There’s no way she knows that I can only cook two things: toast and microwave meals. And I didn’t see any bread or microwaveables in the pantry. So…am I actually at her mercy? 

I consider the pan of sausages, the maple scent drifting across the kitchen. It’s a homey smell, sweet and savory, matching the warm wood cabinets and the butcher block counters. My stomach lets out a growl, reminding me of how hungry I am. 

I haven’t eaten since yesterday’s lunch. A microwave noodle bowl that I half-ate while going through emails and making calls. 

I weigh the options. Go hungry. Go Christmas. Go hungry. Go Christmas. 

“Fine. I’ll kill a tree with you then decorate its carcass in lights and shiny balls.” I take the plate from the counter and hold it out to her, “Serve it up. Even prisoners get two hots and a cot. Something you’ll be learning very soon.”


Did you love this sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas?

Preorder your copy

to find out what happens October 18th, 2022!

Romance writer Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance, romcom, romantic comedy, and chick lit.
Categories
Scrooging Christmas

Nook Readers Deal!

My upcoming release

Scrooging Christmas

is now up for pre-order on

Barnes and Noble!

Cover of the most anticipated holiday romcom, Scrooging Christmas by best romance author Sarah Ready features a tablet, a phone and a paperback book. Pre-order on Barnes and Noble today.

If you have a Nook eReader pre-order on Barnes and Noble today for only $0.99 and only for a limited time!


WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A SCROOGE?

Professional holiday decorator Natalie Fiorre loves tinsel, gingerbread, and the magic of Christmas. She believes there isn’t anything in the world that a dash of Christmas Spirit can’t fix—until she meets Gabe. 

Perpetual Scrooge Gabe Cavanaugh loathes candy canes, jingle bells, and all things merry and bright. He believes Christmas is the worst time of year. 

So when Miss Christmas and Mr. Scrooge meet, sparks fly. 

When Gabe threatens to evict Natalie and her neighbors on Christmas she does what any right-minded Christmas-lover would do… 

Natalie has two days to stop the evictions and help Gabe discover the magic of Christmas, but a lot can go wrong in two days, and in Romeo, the soul mate capital, there’s another kind of magic in the air. 

A delightfully cheeky rom com romp through the holidays, Scrooging Christmas is Book Seven in the Soul Mates in Romeo Romance Series by Sarah Ready. 

“A fun and sweet love story…”Kirkus Reviews on Chasing Romeo


Scrooging Christmas will be released on October 18th, 2022.

Pre-order on Barnes and Noble today for the special $0.99 deal.

Categories
Josh and Gemma 2

Pre-Order Now!

Pre-Order Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around now!

Coming January 2023.

Pre-order now: Cover of Josh and Gemma the Second Time Around features two people, Josh Lewenthal and Gemma Jacobs walking away from the view. They are reaching to each other but their hands don't quite touch. The colors are vibrant. This is the much awaited sequel to the best selling romance book Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by romance author Sarah Ready.

Do you want to know what happens next with Josh and Gemma? What do they name the baby? What about the wedding? So many questions that will all be answered on January 26, 2023.

You can pre-order now at:

www.books2read.com/joshandgemmathesecondtimearound

so you can jump right in when it’s released!


Here’s the blurb! 

Gemma Jacobs has life figured out. She’s upbeat, positive to a fault, and the master of her own destiny. She has a wonderful career in social media marketing, lives in a trendy apartment with her fiancé Josh Lewenthal, and is pregnant with their much-loved baby.

Her life is wonderful. Absolutely perfect.

Except…

What really comes after the happily ever after?

Josh Lewenthal is laid-back, fun-loving, and always finds the humor in life. He writes a wildly successful web comic series, and can’t wait to marry Gemma—the woman of his dreams.

His life is amazing. Terrific.

Except…

What happens when everything changes?

Suddenly Josh and Gemma’s lives are turned upside down, and their love and their future together are at risk. They realize their happily ever after isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning—and now they have to fight for it.

They confront a devastating separation, the return of world-infamous Ian Fortune, and the question of whether or not their love can truly survive when everyone says…it’s already gone.

Romance Writer Sarah Ready. Contemporary romance, chick lit, romantic comedy, romcom books
Categories
Scrooging Christmas

Sneak Peek of Scrooging Christmas

Sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas, the best new RomCom coming October 18th. Best selling romance author Sarah Ready. Features a couple on a snowy landscape.

My newest Christmas romcom is coming out October 18th, 2022 and I wanted to share a sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas with you.

What would you do with a Scrooge? When Christmas-loving Natalie Fiorre goes head-to-head with perpetual Scrooge Gabe Cavanaugh all bets are off. Opposites clash over holiday cheer in this cheeky, Christmas romcom full of laughter and steam – the perfect holiday romance read.

Check out this sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas:


Sneak peek of Scrooging Christmas

December 21, 11:12 p.m.

The Christmas carols are horridly, ear-numbingly loud. The sleigh bells, the trilling trumpet, and the joyful voices boomerang inside my skull and jolt me out of unconsciousness. 

I lie still, my cheek scratching against cheap, prickly carpet, the scent of pine and gasoline sharp in my nose as I struggle to brush aside the veil of confusion. 

Darkness coats my vision, thick, and absolute. There’s the taste of fresh falling snow in the air, mixed with the copper tang of blood on my dry lips. 

So, there’s snowfall. 

Pine trees.

The icy darkness of the cramped trunk.

My knees are tucked against my chest. Hot needles prick at my calves just above my tied ankles. My wrists are bound behind my back. 

I wriggle my numb fingers, rotate my hands. It’s not rope, handcuffs, or zip ties that hold me, it’s…Christmas lights? 

I’m tied up with the green cordage of a hundred Christmas bulbs? 

The plastic cord digs into my wrists and ankles, cutting off circulation as I struggle. The trunk is coffin-like, too tight to maneuver. 

You’d think, if you were bent on stuffing a six-foot-two man inside a trunk, you’d find a car bigger than a roller skate. But I’m trussed up like a Christmas goose, stuck in an oven. Except this oven is a trunk and achingly cold. The sharp icicle teeth of December bite at my nose and cheeks.

The crunch of ice-filled potholes and snow grinding under the car tires is muted beneath the chirpy high-pitched chorus of Christmas cheer. The carols assault my ears, but I listen for the sounds beyond the singing. 

The night is curiously quiet, there’s only the music, the grumble of the engine, the tires crunching over ice-coated snow, and the claustrophobic noise of my own breathing. 

I’m not in Manhattan then. Not anywhere near my apartment. 

The car jostles around a curve and I roll and slide into the trunk wall, crushing my face against the unyielding metal surface. 

A package bumps into my back, brushing against my hands. Wrapping paper, a frilly bow, I run my fingers over the slick paper surface. 

I’m in the trunk with a present. 

My stomach rolls as we round another curve, bumping over a small hill. I’m on a country road, far, far from home, that much is clear. 

I jerk about and try to dislodge my cell from my suit pocket. Thirty seconds in I realize my phone isn’t in my pocket. I can’t feel the thick bulge of my wallet either.   

I draw in a deep breath of stagnant air and tell myself to think…think…think.  

They have to be after money. A million? Two? More?

I grit my teeth, the bitter smell of Christmas pine and snow lingering in my nose.

I don’t remember anything after hailing the taxi. Is that it then? Did the taxi driver render me unconscious and shove me into their trunk? 

I try to recall their appearance, to picture who is currently at the wheel, driving us farther and farther away from New York. But I can’t. When I rifle through my memories, looking for their face, I only see a blank empty space. 

I kick at the area where the tail light is. Maybe if I knock it out I can signal another car. But the only thing that comes of my efforts is an aching ankle.

I hate Christmas. 

I really, really hate Christmas. 

And wouldn’t it be just the figgy pudding to top it all if I died out in the snowy, pine tree wilds, in the car of some Christmas carol loving maniac?  

A curious calm settles over me, the pine needle smell tickling my nose, my heartbeat slowing to the lull of “Silent Night.” 

The car slows, crawling along at five miles an hour, winding down, I assume, a long country drive, deep in some craggy, forgotten woods. 

This is it then. 

My skin prickles from the icy cold, my blood pumps loud like a drum in my ears, the tang of gasoline and blood coats my mouth. 

The car stops. 

“Silent Night” cuts out mid note. 

I hold still, barely allowing myself to breathe, listening. My muscles tense and a surge of adrenaline crashes through me. 

The night is silent. It’s the silence that comes after a deep, wistful snowfall blankets the earth. For now, everyone and everything is quiet. 

Then the front car door opens with a loud, pained creak, its hinges rusted and misused. 

I lift my head, the carpet roughing my cheek as I turn toward the noise of snow crunching under boots. The car door slams like a gunshot and I stiffen. 

This is it. 

When they open the trunk, I’ll catapult at them, knock them aside, wrestle them to the ground, try…well, I’ll do whatever I can to overpower them. 

I’m not easy prey. I’m not going down without a fight. No matter that I’m tied hand and foot. I won’t make this easy for them. No matter what, I’ll fight. I promise that. 

Another footstep through the snow. I grip my right hand into a fist and strain at the ties. Another footstep. 

Who are they? What do they want? 

Another footstep, closer, the snow loud beneath their boots. 

Why did it have to be Christmas? 

I bite my tongue and shove down the unwelcome vision of a crooked Christmas tree decorated with a red and green paper chain, the scent of popcorn strung on thread, gingerbread baking in the oven, and the sound of laughter and “Deck the Halls” banged out on an out of tune piano. 

They take three shuffling steps closer and pause at the trunk. And I realize the gingerbread smell isn’t a ghost from my memory, it’s them. 

I can smell them through the trunk, the gingerbread flavor lingers mockingly on my tongue. 

A cold chill grips me and I prepare to lunge. Escape. 

They stand there for five seconds. 

Ten. 

Twenty. 

I can hear them breathing—loud, nervous pants. 

Thirty. 

They scuff their boots in the snow. 

Suddenly, the trunk lid flies open. 

The swirling cold wind bites me. 

I don’t wait to orient myself. I jerk upright, lunge forward. 

But instead of making a heroic leap, I hit the edge of the trunk and hurtle into the hard snow and ice drive. 

The air knocks from my lungs and I gasp, struggling to draw in the freezing, dry air. 

The night is deep, deep dark. Lit only by stars and a sliver of cold moonlight. 

The silent air presses at me, as if it’s that terrifying eternal moment, between the exhale and the inhale. 

Finally, I drag in a shuddering breath. My lungs fill with the flavor of bitter cold snow, cedar and pine, and yes, gingerbread, coated in sugary icing.

I struggle upright, digging my hands into the icy, hard-packed snow, and kick my tied ankles so that I move away from my abductor. 

The snow bites my hands and the slick ice hisses as I scramble back. I fall over a snow bank and land in a ditch. 

The soft snow exhales as I sink into the freshly fallen fluff, half-buried with a quiet whoosh. The snow has a peculiar way of dampening every noise. 

I growl and bare my teeth as I turn to confront whoever was foolish enough to take me from Manhattan, shove me in a trunk, and bring me here. Wherever I am. 

This is it.    

Then, in the silver moonlight—tiny needle points of falling snow sparkling like crystals in the dark—I see her.

It’s lucky I’m already on the ground because seeing her hits me like the winds of a Nor’easter, ripping roofs off in a gale of destruction. 

She’s backlit by the moon and lit by the obnoxiously flashing red and green Christmas bulb earrings and necklace she’s wearing. 

There’s a reason she smells like gingerbread and Christmas spice. She’s Miss Christmas personified. 

I curl my lip and blast her with an icy, contemptuous stare. 

She’s in a red velvet dress that strokes her curves, a handmade snowflake scarf, and black winter boots topped with soft white fur. 

There’s a halo of snow around her head, and she looks like a Christmas angel, or devil, more like. 

Her bright red lips probably taste like candy canes stirred in hot chocolate, but I swear I’ll never know whether they do or not. Because this woman is trouble. She’s worse than trouble.

Her lips turn up, she smiles at me and waves, like she’s Mrs. Claus at the Thanksgiving Day parade.

Her dark, wildly curly hair, her freckles, her button nose, they all shout innocence. But there’s nothing innocent about her. 

“You,” I growl, lacing that one word with everything I hate about Christmas, about Christmas spirit, and about this woman who thinks she can tie me up and cart me off to who knows where. “You are going to rot in prison for a very, very, very long time.” 

She laughs. It’s low, throaty, and warm like a mulled cider in front of a toasty fire. 

Her laugh strokes me and hits me down low, where even sitting in a freezing snow bank and loathing her with everything I am, I can’t stop my body from reacting. 

Her smile spreads into a wide kid-on-Christmas-morning kind of grin and her eyes light up like the Christmas bulb earrings flashing at her ears. 

Her nose crinkles with her smile and she walks over to the snow bank, her boots scraping over the snow. She puts her hands on her hips, and leans over me. Her warm breath puffs out in a whispery cloud curling between us.

Her candy cane-red lips purse together and then she winks. “Ho, ho, ho, Scrooge. And a Merry Christmas to you too.”


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Romance writer Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance, romcom, romantic comedy, and chick lit.