A magical tale of how Lilly Rawson's escape from her past sends her crashing into the arms of Logan. Lilly and her four year old son, Ben, are headed to a job Lilly doesn't truly want when she wrecks her car in the snow. Will Lilly take a chance on love this Christmas? Shelli Stevens' tale of finding hope in an unlikely place is both heartwarming and charming. Ben is an endearing character as he makes exactly the sort of remarks one expects from a four year old. Shelli Stevens has a phenomenal career ahead of her with such beautiful stories as "Once Upon a Snowflake."
Lilly padded down the stairs of Logan's house, again pausing to admire the structure. It was a log cabin, only with two stories and modern day facilities. And it was beautiful.
She walked into the living room, which glowed with warmth from a blaze in the stone fireplace. Speakers softly played a country singer's rendition of Have yourself a Merry little Christmas as Logan tossed another piece of wood into the flames.
He glanced up, his slow smile igniting a burn deep in her center. Something she'd thought dead long ago.
"Did Ben go to sleep okay?"
"Of course." She sat on the floor next to him, curling her legs under her bottom. "I told him the sooner he sleeps, the sooner Santa comes."
His mouth twitched. "I think Santa might have already been here."
She looked at him quizzically before glancing at the Christmas tree. Where earlier there had only been a few presents underneath the decorated branches, there now lay piles of brightly wrapped gifts. Only a few of them were from her.
"Oh my. I guess so. For your nieces and nephews?"
"I think some may have Ben's name on them. Maybe even one or two for you."
Lilly's mouth gaped. The idea that he'd bought gifts for Ben and her almost brought tears to her eyes. "Logan..."
"Hey, blame Santa." He took her hand and brought it to his lips, brushing a kiss across the back of her knuckles.
Tingles started in her hand and spread throughout her body. She lowered her lashes and tried not to sigh in pleasure. She felt so at peace, so relaxed being here with him.
"How about some cocoa?" He stood, pulling her with him.
"Cocoa sounds good." She followed him into the kitchen and leaned against the counter while he prepared their drinks.
"How did you learn to cook so well, Lilly?"
She hesitated. "I completed a culinary program at a community college."
"Is the job in California a cooking job?" Holding two cups of steaming beverage in his hands, he led the way back to the living room.
"Yes. I'd be head chef for a wealthy family." She sat on the couch next to him, their thighs almost touching, and accepted the second mug.
He blew on his cocoa. "Do you think you'll be happy there?"
No, but I'll be safe. "Sometimes there are more important considerations." She lifted her cup to her lips.
"Are you running from someone, Lilly?"
Her hands clenched the mug. So he had heard Ben's comment earlier. "It's not what you're thinking."
"Isn't it? Any man that hits a woman isn't worth the spit on the ground. If you're in some kind of trouble—"