“Stop, Daddy!” Hope Claus stood on tiptoe and pointed at the window of The Magic Café. “I want some hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows. Please.”
“Great idea, Sweetheart. Marienne always has something good on the menu.” Kristopher’s stomach rumbled in agreement. He must have walked from one end of the mall to the other at least ten times. He smiled at the thought. Hope must have looked in every single store. My daughter is a professional shopper at five years old. I’m in deep trouble.
A chill wind gusted, pushing hard against his back. He rolled his shoulders and shifted his body to protect Hope. Kristopher shoved the shopping bags into one hand and opened the door.
Hope scampered inside, impatience making her feet dance in place. “Hurry, Daddy!”
“I’m right behind you, Sweetheart.” Once inside, a blast of heat redolent with the comforting scents of cinnamon and peaches wrapped him in its embrace. It hung like a sweet promise in the air. A deep breath assured him it was his favourite dessert. Fresh peach cobbler just pulled from the oven. All he needed was a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. No one made this Southern specialty better than Marienne Tucker.
Hope’s small hand reached for his. Love spilled over at her touch warming his chest sinking deep into his heart. She was possibly the most magically powerful Claus since the beginning of their relationship with the Fae.
He scanned the room for a place to sit. Plenty of seats were available at the moment but people were steadily coming inside. From the sound of the voices they were tired but excited. Thank God! He couldn’t suffer another noisy horde right now. “I’m looking for the best place to sit, Hope.”
“Let me decide.” She put her hands on her hips and turned her body as she looked over the dining room..
“Okay. Let me know when you’re ready.”
Shopping at the end of the season was total chaos and Hope had loved every minute of it. The lights, decorations, and music delighted his little girl all the way down to her Claus soul.
Five years ago when his wife died, part of him had died too. Since Victoria’s death was his fault, he didn’t deserve a second chance at love. His family and his daughter had other ideas. He longed to regain the childlike joy his daughter experienced in everything, to share the wonder with her.
Magic still flowed through his veins but it was tempered. It had been so long since he’d truly felt the continuous strong surge of magical energy he feared he’d lose it. With each passing year it faded just a bit more. Would the dark spot in his heart would ever heal?
Available in Ebook:
Christmas of Hope by Tambra Nicole Kendall
Linette MacDougal is having a tough time this year. The death of her mother and the house she grew up in is about to be stolen by underhanded means. She needs help but doesn’t know how to stop this evil from her past.
The bright spot in her life is Hope Claus, one of her kindergarten students. The attraction to Hope’s father, Nick is unexpected. The more time she spends with him, her ability to believe in the magic of Christmas ignites once more. Despite this newfound happiness, darkness looms over her life.
Nick Claus has struggled with the death of his wife for the past five years. His heart (and his daughter!) are telling him to take a chance on love. In order for him to take this step, Nick needs to have faith and let go of his guilt.
The Oracle of Snow, a powerful Fae Princess who works closely with his family has other plans. Nick doesn’t have much time to convince Linette to be his wife by Christmas. Can he forgive himself and prevent trouble for future Claus generations if he fails?
Will Linette, Nick and Hope have a Christmas filled with love or will the darkness that threatens, ruin all their lives?