It’s always been you
Actress Chloe O’Connor has become America’s sweetheart, but back in little Christmas, Colorado, she’s still remembered as a shy, awkward schoolgirl. And there’s no one she dreads (and secretly wants) to see more than her high school crush, Easton McBride. Just one look from the former star quarterback and it’s like she’s instantly transformed from daytime drama queen to tongue-tied teenager. She’s kissed Hollywood actors and famous cover models, so she can certainly play it cool while turning up the heat, right?
After an injury ended his military career, Easton McBride built a good life in the rugged countryside of his hometown. And the last thing he needs is his quiet solitude shattered by a high-maintenance temptress who isn’t anything like the sweet Chloe he misses. While he enjoys the flirtation with this new bold and beautiful woman, he can’t help but wonder whether a kiss could have the power to bring back the small-town girl he’s grown to love.
Nell, her attention on Easton, absently nodded in response to Chloe’s comment. He was playing football with his brothers, and Cat’s fiancé, Grayson, on the lawn to the left of the pool. Chloe had been doing her best to ignore them. It was difficult to see Easton crippled by his injury. He couldn’t run like he used to, and those disfiguring scars . . . But it was the tall and leanly muscled Grayson, with his pale blue eyes and dark hair, that she’d been avoiding looking at. He was so beautiful he hurt her eyes as much as he hurt her heart.
“You get that thought right out of your head, girlie.”
Chloe stiffened. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. He’s my sister’s fiancé. I would never–”
Nell’s darkened eyebrows drew together. “I was talking about Easton.”
“Oh, I . . . Why can’t I look at Easton? Does he have a girlfriend?” She didn’t know what made her ask or why the thought caused a small pinch in her chest. Maybe she was still holding out hope for her win-Cat-back plan.
“Not yet, he doesn’t. But I intend to fix that. He’s the hero in my next book. I just need to find him his perfect match.”
Obviously, from Nell’s reaction, it wasn’t Chloe.
Two years earlier, the older woman had started writing a romance series set in Christmas. Each book featured a couple Nell had a hand in bringing together. All of whom were here today, looking happy and very much in love. Watching them made Chloe realize how much she longed for a family of her own. But where her love life was concerned, she seemed destined to make one disastrous choice after another. Maybe what she needed was a matchmaker with a proven track record. She smiled at Nell. “So, when do I get my book?”
Nell grimaced. “Would you look at that, it’s already three. I better get in there and help with the food,” she said and got up from the chair.
Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.