Hi Fresh Fiction readers!
If we haven’t met before, I’m Stefanie London. Lovely to meet you! As I’m writing this message I’m already in the throes of planning Christmas—where we’re going to put the tree this year (in our never-ending quest to find the perfect spot to fit a 6ft tree in our Toronto apartment), what date I need to send gifts back home to Australia, what I’m going to buy my husband (anyone else find that a constant struggle?)
I love Christmas and all the associated traditions. Every year we marathon the Die Hard movies, we make a big fuss over Christmas lunch and we always over cater.
Naturally, being such a lover of the holidays, I adore Christmas stories too. My November release, Millionaire Under the Mistletoe, has all the things I love about holiday stories—a little snow-bound (or in this case storm-bound) action for the hero and heroine, a decorating the tree scene and, of course, the healing power of Christmas magic.
“With the beauty of a white Christmas, some funny encounters, and a little holiday magic, MILLIONAIRE UNDER THE MISTLETOE is a charming romance that will warm you up this Winter.” – Books of All Kinds.
My favourite thing about this book is watching Stella and Evan overcome their troubled childhoods. One comes from wealth and the other comes from nothing—but they both understand what it means to be left behind by the ones you love.
Keep reading for an excerpt from Millionaire Under the Mistletoe. You can also read the first chapter here.
I wish you all a wonderful remainder of 2016. As Christmas a gift from me to you, anyone who signs up for my newsletter will also receive a free novella. Grab your freebie here.
Trees decorated with winking fairy lights adorned a path. Against the pitch-black sky, the Ferris wheel was lit up in neon blue, vibrant and ethereal. People were ice-skating in a rink beneath it, the sound of laughter and the occasional squeal rising up into the air.
“Have you ever gone ice-skating before?” he asked.
“The only ice we have back home is the kind that keeps my mojito cold,” Stella joked as she watched the skaters whiz past, their scarves flapping behind them like rainbow streamers.
“Come on, then.” Evan grabbed her hand and led her to where they could pay for access to the rink and hire their skates.
Their breath billowed up in soft white clouds, and her nose and cheeks were already numb. For the first time since arriving in England the cold didn’t bother her.
“I’m going to warn you now, the closest I’ve ever come to this is roller-blading. It didn’t end well. There were tears.” She paused as they lined up to swap their shoes for skates. “Not mine, but the man I accidentally pushed over into wasn’t impressed when I roller-bladed into his crotch.”
“Are you telling me I should watch out for my privates?”
“You should always watch out for your privates.”
They paused to change into their skates and Stella held onto Evan’s arm with a claw-like grip as they made their way to the rink. His muscles were hard, totally noticeable even under the layers of puffy clothing. A memory floated to the surface—his strong arms holding her up in the shower, making her feel completely and utterly secure. Completely and utterly protected.
“So, is this a good surprise?” he asked, helping her onto the ice and not even cringing when she squealed as her skates slid unexpectedly.
“Ask me in a few minutes.”
The other skaters flew past with the confidence of people used to ice and a true winter. The children were fearless, zooming around with the kind of “devil may care” attitude that belonged only to people who’d never experienced a broken bone. Stella, on the other hand, treated the ice with the utmost suspicion.
“Relax into it,” Evan said, leading her along slowly while she held on to the railing with her free hand. “Let go of the railing, I’ll keep you upright.”
“But I’ll get mowed down by one of these little demons.” She nodded towards a boy of about ten chasing a girl in a purple outfit.
“Don’t be a chicken.” He gave her a tug and she squeaked as her hand slipped off the railing. “Trust me.”
“You don’t seem super trustworthy right now.”
They moved around the rink, gaining speed little by little as Stella found her balance. She gripped Evan’s hand tightly but started to enjoy the feeling of the wind on her face and the soothing sameness of the rink laps. Even though the gloves prevented skin-to-skin contact, she could feel the hard grip of Evan’s hand guiding her, keeping her safe. Her earlier stress had melted away—or perhaps it was simply frozen into submission.
It’s so nice when he’s naughty.
Stella Jackson would rather stab herself in the eye with her own stiletto than return to England. Especially in winter. But to fulfill her grandfather’s last wish, she has to spend Christmas at the estate she inherited from him…with the one man she wishes she could forget.
Self-made millionaire Evan Foss wants one thing from Stella—her estate. But thanks to their rocky past, he’s the last person she’ll sell to. So when she takes him up on a bet, with the estate as the prize, Evan can’t believe his luck. The only problem is that seeing her now, sexy and all grown up, tempts Evan to finish what started years ago between them.