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The Lobster Cove Series
Penny Beedle’s outlook on Christmas, as her favorite holiday, was destroyed by a messy breakup years earlier and a botched wedding last year—both on Christmas Eve. But since she and her sister now own a greeting card store, and the holidays are their crazy selling season, she has to put on a happy face.
Del Madison has loved Penny since kindergarten. Commissioned by a big greeting card company for a line of Christmas and Valentine’s cards, he has to emerge from behind his alter ego and unveil himself to the public. He chooses Penny Beedle’s shop for the big reveal. If he plays his cards right, he just might gain Penny as part of his life.
Page Count: 95
Word Count: 23890
She gazed across the table. He always had been a cute boy, one of the reasons she hadn’t acknowledged his valentine. She had been so tongue-tied around him she couldn’t find the right words to say. And now she had two devastating long-term relationships under her belt. Should she try for one more? Perhaps the third time would be the charm. Her sister’s voice pounded in her ear. Suck it up, Buttercup. She took a deep breath. “Just how do you intend to make Valentine’s Day fun again?”
He locked his gaze on hers. “By spending time with you. By righting old wrongs. By apologizing to your mother for making the soles of your shoes purple.”
Penny’s breath caught in her throat. Delbert, her childhood sweetheart, had come roaring back into her life. Whatever should she do? Their half-eaten burgers and fries sat on the table, giving her something to play with while her mind buzzed She maneuvered a French fry into the lake of ketchup on her plate. Even though she’d lived in Lobster Cove most of her life, she’d never tired of the taste the town was famous for. She swallowed a bite of the succulent white meat on a bun. “I’d really enjoy spending time with you, too, Del. How convenient that you’ll be in the same block as my folks, since Abbey and I do hang out there a lot. But right now is our busiest season of the year. And, as much as you hate Valentine’s, I hate Christmas.”
Del raised an eyebrow. “Why? Because there’s so much work involved at the card shop? Or because of your bad experiences?”
Penny attempted to corral her wayward musings, but sparks were being set off in her head every time she glanced at Del and goose bumps erupted on her skin. For the first time in almost a year, she experienced very female feelings toward a man. She didn’t need another Christmas casualty. “Because I only seem to make the holiday worse with everything I do. I left Ricky six years ago on Christmas Eve. And then, in an attempt to give myself a good memory, even with the long hours and hectic schedules we keep at this time of year, I decided nothing would do but to get married on Christmas Eve last year.” Her voice wavered, just a bit. “I happened to be a little late getting to our cake-tasting, and I caught Max sampling not only the cake, but the cake decorator, too.”
Del’s forehead wrinkled, and his brows drew together in an angry line. He took a sip of wine before he answered. “I’m so sorry, Penny. How dare he spoil not only your wedding, but one of the best holidays of the year?”
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