I wrote Mistletoe in the City several years ago as part of an anthology for my former publisher. Now, since the rights have reverted to me, I’m re-releasing it as a standalone novella with extra and extended scenes, a new sub-plot, and some revised characterizations. On the whole, it’s the same story as before, but now it’s more detailed and delves deeper into Krista and Derek’s steamy and sometimes rocky relationship. I hope you have a blast reading it.
Derek’s world is about to change forever—again.
After his father’s stroke, Derek Weston dropped out of college and returned home to help his parents with the family business, Oak Landing Apartments. Now living on the premises as the groundskeeper and handyman, he never expected the girl he’d secretly crushed on in high school to move into a unit right before Christmas or stir up desires he thought long gone.
Krista Hartley needs a fresh start away from her overbearing parents, but falling for the tattooed hottie who ignored her back in school wasn’t in the plans. Despite old hurts, Derek’s hot kisses and strong arms offer the shelter she craves.
When another woman sets her sight on Derek and drives a wedge between him and Krista, they’ll have to decide if their relationship is real, or just a winter fling.
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Second edition. Fully revised and extended with additional chapters.
Pain flared in her narrowed eyes. She blinked rapidly to fight back the sheen of tears. “You’re not as considerate as I thought. You should respect my feelings, not ignore them.” She pursed her lips and nodded at his phone. “Go ahead and take care of business. Clearly, I’m not as important as the tenant in U3.” She pivoted toward the door.
He snatched her swinging arm. “That’s not fair.”
She jerked away from him. “Leave me alone. I need a little distance.”
“What the hell are you talking about? Everything’s fine.”
A tear slid down her cheek, and she swiped it away. “No, it’s not. I lost eight-hundred-and-twenty-five dollars from my cash fund at work on Thursday, and two-ninety the day before. Today, it was another four hundred.” She dragged in a shuddering breath and released it in a long, slow exhale. “Luckily, my manager knows I’m honest, but he said he’ll have to contact the board if it keeps happening, and then I could be written up or fired.”
“That sucks about the money. I’m sure things are tense right now at work, but how does that have anything to do with us?”
“Don’t you see, Derek? You’re a distraction. I can’t stop daydreaming about you. My life should make more sense now that I’m away from my parents, but I’m still confused. We’re moving too fast. I hate to say this, but let’s take some time apart.”
His heart squeezed. “So I guess I’ll tell Mom that dinner on Friday is a no-go since you want nothing to do with me. Is that slowing down enough for you? Oh, and dinner tonight? Forget it. I’ll eat the soup by myself or pour it down the drain.” He thrust open the door. Tears slid down her cheeks, but he couldn’t let it bother him. “Let’s go, neighbor. I have a call to make. According to you, my job is more important than my girlfriend, so I better live up to that shitty standard.”
Krista rushed out of the apartment.
He slammed the door closed behind her and banged his fist against it. Anger and sorrow clogged his throat and walloped him so hard in the gut he grunted and doubled over. What the hell was wrong with Krista? He always treated her with respect, but he didn’t want to talk about Delia. Why couldn’t she understand that? Didn’t she give a damn about his feelings?
Tears pricked his eyes. He breathed deep to swallow the restraining ball in his throat. “Damn you, Delia.” Everything was fine before Delia messed with Krista’s head. The conniving bitch probably got exactly what she wanted—trouble in paradise.
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