The trouble, Andrew Blackshear would later reflect, might all have been avoided if he'd simply kept to the main road. His first glimpse of the girl would then have been indoors, seated, with her hair bound tidily back, and their first dialogue would have been an inquisition so tedious as to temper the allure of those great swooping clean-edged curves that made up her prodigal mouth.
But with no way of knowing what lay in store, he hadn't any reason to avoid the detour. The clouds broke above him, he turned down a lane whose towering yews promised a bit of shelter, and trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.
IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SIMPLE...
With one more errand to go—the purchase of a hunting falcon—Andrew Blackshear has Christmas completely under control. As his sister's impending marriage signals the inevitable drifting-apart of the Blackshear family, it's his last chance to give his siblings the sort of memorable, well-planned holiday their parents could never seem to provide.
He has no time to dawdle, no time for nonsense, and certainly no time to drive the falconer's vexing, impulsive, lush-lipped, midnight-haired daughter to a house party before heading home. So why the devil did he agree to do just that?
IT COULDN'T BE MORE DELICIOUSLY MIXED-UP...
Lucy Sharp has been waiting all her too-quiet life for an adventure, and she means to make the most of this one. She's going to enjoy the house party as no one has ever enjoyed a house party before, and in the meanwhile she's going to enjoy every minute in the company of amusingly stern, formidably proper, outrageously handsome Mr. Blackshear. Let him disapprove of her all he likes—it's not as though they'll see each other again after today.
...or will they? When a carriage mishap and a snowstorm strand the pair miles short of their destination, threatening them with scandal and jeopardizing all their Christmas plans, they'll have to work together to save the holiday from disaster. And along the way they just might learn that the best adventures are the ones you never would have thought to plan.
Voted Best Novella/Short Story in the All About Romance 2014 Reader Poll
"Almost every thing that could go wrong does, and written by a less sure writer, this story would seem a farce. In Ms. Grant's deft hands, however, each calamity the young couple faces evinces the ways in which their differences make them perfect for one another."
—All About Romance
"Once again, Ms. Grant has written for us something just a little bit off the beaten path, just a little bit more special, a little bit more thoughtful, emotional without being sentimental. My keeper shelf is small, but this is going on it, to be read every year."
—Mean Fat Old Bat Reads Romances, Mysteries, and Nonfiction
"This novella highlights everything I have loved about Grant's work in the past and would be a great introduction for anyone who hasn't yet picked up one of her books."
—Cooking up Romance
"At the end of the novel, you're not asked to pretend that love has somehow turned a jerk into a good person—a thing that love, for all its power, rarely does. Instead, you're asked to believe that flawed people like Andrew, and Lucy too, are worthy of love. Which seems like a fine message for a romance—and for the Christmas season."
eBook, December 2014, ISBN-13: 978-0-9887568-0-9