About the Book
Title: A FAMILY BY CHRISTMAS
Author: Viv Royce
Pub. Date: October 14, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Bliss)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo
Chocolatier Emma Miller has a new business selling bonbons to the residents of the quaint town of Wood Creek. When a tiny visitor stops by her shop with an interesting request, Emma is intrigued. The young girl needs chocolates that will help her widowed dad fall in love, preferably with her teacher. What Emma didn’t count on was Casey’s ever so charming and handsome dad, Grant, stepping into her life. She has to remind herself to be cautious because the one thing she learned in foster care is that people always leave.
Pilot Grant Galloway is touched by his daughter’s gift and is curious about the person who made the world-class chocolates. But when he steps into Emma’s shop full of delicious smells and tasty morsels, he forgets to breathe. And it has nothing to do with his favorite dessert. She’s pretty and kind, and when she has to deal with a difficult client, his protective instincts kick into high gear. But he risked his heart once. When his wife died, it left him broken. He’s just now beginning to pick up the pieces, and he and his daughter will be leaving town once the holidays are over.
Thanks to some Christmas wishes, though, these two might discover that their carefully laid plans are about to change.
“Oh, no.” The girl’s cheeks turned as red as her little coat. “I don’t want any. It’s for Daddy.”
“For your father?” Emma asked, a little surprised. Her customers were mainly women who bought the treats for other women—mothers in law, sisters, friends—or who wanted to impress guests at a party.
The girl said, “You have to make them especially. Grandma said it. She said that you can make people fall in love.”
Emma’s eyes widened. “That I can do what?” she asked.
The girl hung her head and said something in a whisper.
Emma rounded the counter and squatted beside the girl. “What’s that? You can say it in my ear.” She tucked the white cotton of the protective cap behind her ear as if to hear better.
“What’s that for?” the little girl asked, eyeing the cloth on Emma’s head.
“It’s for when I work with the chocolate. To prevent any hairs from falling into it. That wouldn’t be nice for the customers. I also wear plastic gloves when I take bonbons out of their tray and put them into a box. So I don’t leave any fingerprints on them.”
The girl giggled. “You’re smart.” She looked Emma over. “I think you can really make people fall in love.”
“Why did your grandmother say that?”
“I don’t know. But it was about chocolate. And you have a chocolate shop here. You can help me to…” She fell silent and eyed Emma as if she was suddenly reluctant to share. She wore a mitten and, turning her palm up, she opened her hand. On the wool rested a few coins, probably not making two dollars. “I don’t know if you sell them like Grandpa sells plants,” the girl said with a weighty frown. “They go one by one or by the dozen. I’d really like a dozen, because then I can be sure Daddy will really fall in love. You see, I don’t think he wants to.”
“I see,” Emma said, furiously trying to process everything.
“Last week Aunt Fay was watching a movie where they kiss, and she asked Daddy to come and watch with her. But he said he didn’t want to see it. And when he noticed I had overheard, he told me that he doesn’t like kissing. That he thinks it’s stupid.” She laughed. “He asked me if I think it’s stupid too and he tickled me all of the time. I had to laugh and laugh until I fell on the floor. Then he carried me to bed.” She became serious again. “Then I thought about kissing. I don’t know if it’s stupid. Grandma and Grandpa kiss all the time and they’re happy. I want Daddy to be happy.” She put her mitten on Emma’s arm. “Please help me make Daddy happy again.”
Emma’s gut clenched. She came to the wrong person, a pestering voice in her head whispered. In all of Wood Creek you must be the only one who knows nothing about happiness. About falling in love. You can’t do this. Tell her your schedule is full, because of Christmas.
She bit her lip. But looking at the bonbons in her counter, her chest widened, and she pulled back her shoulders. I can make chocolate. I can shape it and fill it with the most delicious flavors. I do know about that, and that’s exactly what Casey’s here for. I can help her.
And I will.
Her head whirled with ideas and her hands itched to get started. Even if she had to work deep into the night to find the perfect combinations, she would. This assignment was special. Emma winked at Casey. “I’ll get your order ready for you. You can pick up the first batch tomorrow. Then you can give them to your father over the weekend. I’ll have new ones ready on Monday.”
“Do you think it will work?” Casey asked eagerly. Her eyes shone with a bright confidence that fanned the ideas drifting through Emma’s mind. Salted caramel. Cream with strawberries. Rum and raisin.
“Of course it will work,” she said.
What if Casey’s dad falls in love with Miss Evelyn and she turns out to be engaged or something. You don’t know a thing about that teacher. You’re just throwing yourself into this, but you’re not a kid anymore. You should know better.
She added quickly, “I’m sure that when you wish for your father to be happy again, it will come true somehow.”
Casey exhaled in relief. “I knew it. Thank you.”
About the Author
With the same trademark atmospheric settings, relatable characters and cute canines that made several of her cozy mysteries #1 Amazon US and Canada bestsellers in multiple categories, Vivian Conroy pens romance as Viv Royce, creating heartthrob heroes ranging from rugged pilots to royals reluctant to believe in true love who meet their match in that girl next door or the co-worker with the business ideas exactly opposing their own – happy endings guaranteed! When not frequenting fictional worlds, Viv loves to hike (especially in the mountains), craft with paper, felt and clay, and hunt for the perfect cheesecake. Quite active on Twitter, she’s the founder of #HistFicChat, a live Twitter chat about historical fiction, featuring authors like Kate Quinn, Anna Lee Huber and Susan Spann, and would love for readers to follow her and connect via @VivWrites.
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