A Gift for Willodean Jackson in Santa, Bring My Baby Back
Charlie McMinn is faced with the challenge of getting his mother, Rock’n’Rolla Hotel owner Willodean Jackson, the perfect gift. Finding something special for the woman who has everything, including her own Elvis-themed hotel, takes some serious thought. Electric blankets are out. He’s tried that already. Volunteering for Willodean’s matchmaking hobby might work, but the hotel’s newest hire, Grace Andersen, and his mother’s misplaced faith in her puts that idea to rest. So…a plane ticket to Hawaii? Been there, done that. A pink Cadillac…maybe. Or maybe he has a chance to fix his mistakes, the only way Charlie can forgive himself and restore their relationship. Free spirit Grace Andersen’s trust in the journey and taking each day as it comes, even if it leaves her stranded in Memphis, might turn out to be the best gift Charlie’s ever received. Santa, Bring My Baby Back is about second chances, love in unexpected places, weddings, and a bloodhound named Misty.
“What about love, Mom? Isn’t that something you think I should be looking for?”
Willodean blinked up at him. “Love? Now that is unexpected coming from you. But here’s what I think. I loved Mason Holloway until the day he died. It started with gratitude for everything he gave us, but he made me love him in a million different ways. I’ll never forget the day you ran in to tell me he’d opened up a trading account all for you.” She shook her head. “Never saw a boy so excited about stock trading. It’s almost unnatural. And I remember every time y’all celebrated a good money day over dinner and how proud he was of you when he talked about you. And I’ll tell you, even if you don’t love a man going in, you see him fall in love with your son that way, and you can’t even help it, you know?”
He watched her smile at the memory. “But we don’t have that, Mom.” He shook his head. “And it doesn’t even matter. I can’t understand why I’m thinking this way. If I look at this logically, it makes sense. It’s time to marry. That much we agree on. Dating is a nightmare. I know this firsthand. She makes me feel . . . different, better. And she wants to settle down with a man with money. With a strong prenup to hedge against the odds that she’ll move on when she gets bored, there’s no reason not to move forward.”
“Of course, you aren’t sure she’ll say yes,” Willodean said with an arched brow. “She is a smart girl.”
“Here’s my only piece of advice, Charlie. If you want her, pursue her. You can think about your criteria and how she matches up to that list, but if you want to be happy, you try to figure out how to be more than a bank account to her. Love, sometimes it’s instant and a thunderbolt,”—she narrowed her eyes at him as he started to interrupt her—“but sometimes it’s just a snowball that grows and gathers speed as it builds. You just figure out how to be a gift to her every day, and I’d say you have as good or better chances of making it stick as anyone I know.”
“A gift, huh?”
Willodean waited for him to meet her stare. “And not an electric blanket, you hear me?”
A bride abandoned at the altar . . . just in time for Christmas? ‘Tis the season for second chances at Cheryl Harper’s Elvis-themed Rock’n’Rolla Hotel.
After trying and failing at acting, modeling, dog grooming, and a dozen other jobs, Grace Andersen thought for sure she’d nail marrying a rich man. But dumped in a hotel chapel and strapped for cash, Grace needs a miracle—and a job.
If it were up to Charlie McMinn, Grace would be a married lady by now. Officiating weddings in gold lamé and a rock star pompadour may not have been his idea of getting into the holiday spirit, but with a gorgeous bride asking for his help, Charlie doesn’t mind sticking around his mother’s hotel a few more days. Especially if it means getting Grace settled …
Grace isn’t sure what to think of sexy, rugged Charlie, except that she can’t deny the attraction between them, or how good it feels to finally fit in somewhere. Is she ready to give a certain place—and a certain someone—a real chance? Or will she abandon a true Christmas miracle?
Whether she’s writing, reading, or just checking the items off of her daily to-do list, Cheryl Harper loves her romance mixed with a little laughter. When she’s not working, you will find her ignoring housework, cursing yard work, and spending way too much time with a television remote in her hand.