A Home for Christmas
Author: Katie Eagan Schenck
Publication date: October 11th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
Brad has just one wish this Christmas: to find a real home. Having lost his parents before joining the Marines, he misses that sense of belonging and family. When he meets an introverted flight attendant on his journey to start his civilian life, he wonders if this might be his chance.
After a messy divorce, Shelly has decided the only person allowed within the brittle walls of her broken heart is her daughter, Lilly. At least, until she meets a friendly man who hails from her hometown while working a routine flight. When she learns he needs a place to stay, she offers the apartment over her garage out of the kindness of her heart – and her desperate need for extra cash.
Even as Brad endears himself to Shelly by saving the town’s Christmas pageant, she attempts to keep her distance to protect the fragile stability she’s built since her divorce. But Brad’s willingness to walk the fine line between what Shelly’s heart wants and what her head allows slowly wears down her resolve. And when Brad receives a job offer near the only family he has left, Shelly must decide whether she’s willing to risk her heart again before he leaves her home, and her life, for good.
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“I really appreciate all of your help.”
His head shot up. “My help?”
“Shopping at the store, helping to unload the car, breakfast and the dishes this morning, offering to help with the pageant.” Shelly ticked off the considerate things he had done for her in his short time at her home. A laugh bubbled up in her throat. “And not pressing charges for colliding with you!”
“Well, the statute of limitations hasn’t run out on that last one yet. But in all seriousness, I’m happy to help. I like to be useful. Lilly gave me the sheet music for the pageant, and I plan to spend some time today going over it.” He followed her into the house and set the bags down in the kitchen. “I hope I didn’t make things awkward for you, though.”
“Awkward?” Shelly asked, puzzled. “How would you have made things awkward?”
“At the store, with Donna?”
Heat rose in her face, and Shelly pivoted toward the counter to hide it. “Oh. That.” Her fingers fumbled with the bags as she sorted through them. “I used to be more of a regular at the store when I was married, and I guess I got to know Donna pretty well. Her husband is also the mayor, so we see each other a lot at town events. She noticed when my visits became more sporadic and my groceries lighter, even though I never actually said anything. It didn’t take long for word to spread about the divorce.” She focused on unpacking the groceries and putting them away. “But you did nothing wrong. I honestly hadn’t even considered how it might look to bring you until she started talking.”
“I take it you haven’t brought many other men grocery shopping with you?”
Her hand froze midway to a shelf. Was this his way of asking if she was dating anyone? Wary, she glanced at him. “I, uh, I don’t normally have company when I go shopping, except Lilly.”
“Then I’m honored.” His blue eyes were sincere.
She resumed her work of restocking her kitchen, though her heartbeat irregularly in her chest. It was such a strange question to be asked, and yet, she couldn’t shake the feeling there was a deeper meaning behind it and his response. Her head was spinning as she put the rest of the groceries away.
“I think I’ll head back to my room and try to make heads or tails of the pageant music. Come and get me when Lilly gets home, and I’ll be happy to play lumberjack.” With a charming smile, Brad took his share of the groceries and headed back to his room, leaving Shelly to overthink their entire conversation.
about the author
Debut author, Katie Eagan Schenck, writes sweet romance that warms the heart and gives all the feels. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s either working on regulations for the federal government or binging Hallmark movies. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and their three cats.
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