Midnight & Mistletoe
By Rebecca Raisin
Releasing December 22
Join Rebecca Raisin for the final festive part of the Cedarwood Lodge serial and see who might be kissing under the mistletoe…
Planning a New Years Eve Party might be the kind of event Clio Winters used to dream about
READ AN EXCERPT:
The golden vocals of Frank Sinatra singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas drifted upstairs to greet me. Feeling decidedly festive, I wrenched the
bedcovers back and raced to the bay window. Outside, the frosty
ground was blanketed by snow and the mountains in the distance slumbered under
dense white. If you squinted you could make out tracks in the snow from Santa’s
reindeers. OK, maybe not, but a girl could dream…
From downstairs came the rattle of cups, the shrieking of the kettle – someone was up and about and, from the scents wafting my way, baking something Christmassy.
Not wanting to miss a thing, I pulled on my robe and went to investigate. Even at thirty-three the joy of Christmas had never left me. Taking the stairs two at a time, I practically bounced into the warmth of the kitchen. Cruz had brewed a pot of gingerbread coffee and handed me a cup. The spicy ginger scent was synonymous with Christmas and gave me the desire to eat my
bodyweight in baked goods – from gingerbread families to
reindeer cookies, and as many of Aunt Bessie’s donuts as I could carry in two
hands. After all, New Year’s resolutions were made for a reason, right?
“Thanks, and Merry Christmas, Cruz!”
“Merry Christmas, Clio. Nice PJs.” He raised a sardonic brow.
Staring down at my ensemble I couldn’t help but smirk. Isla and Micah had gifted us all kitschy Christmas-themed gifts. My pajamas were festooned with grinning red-nosed reindeers and merry mistletoe; the material was so vividly red they
were blink inducing. Let’s just
say you wouldn’t have missed me even if you were in the next town over. My dressing
gown covered most of the garishness but not quite enough apparently.
“Right?” I laughed.
A moment later in walked Amory, wearing her gift from Isla and Micah. Flashing candy cane earrings and a matching headband.
Aww you look so… Christmassy.” I
grinned. I hadn’t seen Amory embrace the holidays with quite so much
flamboyance so early in the morning before.
We laughed at Amory’s usual one word dawn greeting, her Grinch-like tone a total opposite to her flashing festive accessories. Even on Christmas morning she was unable to communicate until caffeine was pumping through her veins. I poured her a gingerbread coffee and she gulped it down, then held the cup out for another, which she sipped a little more gingerly.
I gave her the prerequisite three minutes to let it work its magic before saying: “Did you hear the sleigh bells last night?”
She rolled her eyes dramatically. “Is that some kind of euphemism? Because if you want to know about my sex life all you need to do is ask.”
A shocked giggle escaped me. “Amory!” Cruz turned away and did his best to appear busy, though I could see his shoulders shake with silent laughter.
“What? Isn’t that what you meant?” she grinned, the evil minx she was.
No it isn’t! I meant actual sleigh bells! I think someone in town must have been
marching around as Santa last night. Maybe we missed a Christmas parade or
“Oh, my bad.” Her face was the picture of innocence but it was hard to concentrate when she had all manner of kitschy Christmas jewelry flashing from her head. “Of course something like that would be happening in a town like Evergreen, darling! There seems to be a festival for everything here.”
I smiled as I took a sip of coffee. Amory was right, Evergreen prided itself on having an event for every season. I’d missed the autumn food festival, but the switching on of the town lights and the
ginormous Christmas tree had been truly spectacular. And before long, the
spring flower festival would be here.
“And I see you’re wearing your gift,” Amory said, motioning to Cruz.
On top of Cruz’s head was a novelty chef’s hat announcing, No soggy bottoms this Christmas!
He grimaced. “Well, I figure I have three hundred and sixty-four days that I don’t have to wear it. And I only whipped it on when I heard footsteps and thought it might be Isla checking up on me.” With a grin, he pulled it off and threw it on the bench.
“Oh no, here comes Isla comes now!” Amory hissed. I darted a glance over my shoulder, sure Isla and Micah were elsewhere. They’d left in the early hours of this morning, after our Christmas Eve celebrations finally came to a close, in order to make it to Micah’s family Christmas.
Cruz’s eyes widened and he fumbled and cursed as he stuffed it back on.
“Just joking! Isla and Micah aren’t coming for breakfast today.”
He narrowed his eyes and clutched at his heart. “You’re evil. Pure evil.”
Amory laughed. “But you make it so easy!”
Cruz was the epitome of politeness and it was almost impossible for us not to play practical jokes or tease him mercilessly. He took it in good humor, and it made the busy days a little more fun.
“And,” I said, “Isla has spies, she’ll know if you’re not wearing your hat.”
Shaking his head, he donned the offending item, and said with a smile, “It’s a lovely hat. The best.”
“You’re a lucky man.” Amory stood to kiss him, and I felt a moment of pure joy for my friends. A few weeks
ago it didn’t
look like their love would last, they’d both envisioned different futures; Cruz
sought the American dream: a house in the ‘burbs, kids, a nine-to-five job… and
Amory wanted the exact opposite, and had no desire to have children, ever.
After lots of back and forth they’d managed to compromise because they loved
each other above all else, even if that meant sacrificing their own dreams. It
gave me hope for my own love life… or lack thereof.
“You should see what Isla got
parents. Bright Kermit green Christmas
onesies. With matching slippers. They’ll certainly be warm, if nothing
else.” Amory giggled.
I blamed Henrietta from the gift shop in town for encouraging Isla; still, when we’d given out presents the night before our laughter had turned into a fully-fledged cackle-
fest as the gifts got
sillier by the moment. When she produced a talking elf you could teach to
speak, the night disintegrated into chaos with everyone wanting to take a turn,
teaching the innocent elf some not-so-innocent phrases.
It had been an endless evening of laughter until Micah had presented Isla with her very own real life constellation that he’d named after her; we’d let out a collective
aww, and the night ended on a sweet
note with everyone loved up, and me dreaming of being loved up…
Midnight and Mistletoe At Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Midnight & Mistletoe by Rebecca Raisin is a 2016 publication.
An emotionally stunning, but delightful conclusion to this romantic holiday e series!
This last installment in the Cedarwood Lodge e-series brings friends and family together for the holidays and finally resolves the age- old mystery of why Clio’s mom has such strong feelings about Cedarwood Lodge and explains why she held back from forging a solid relationship with her daughter. Warning… this storyline will require a box of tissues.
The romances that have developed over the course of the series have developed and I am so happy they were able to resolve some big issues and can begin enjoying their lives together.
But, what about Clio and Tim? Or will it be Clio and Kai? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out! However, I promise you will be very happy as the book closes with a promising, upbeat and heartwarming conclusion.
It goes without saying that you must read the first two installments to fully enjoy this book, and I highly recommend doing that.
I really enjoyed this e-series as a whole, and had fun reading it in increments, which gave me something to look forward to and because it was easy to work the installments into my busy holiday schedule.
I came to love and care for all the characters and hope to hear from them again someday. The story is, as always, well written and one that appeals to contemporary romance, chick-lit and women’s fiction readers, and is one that will appeal to anyone who enjoys a sweet, touching story.
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2ha4up0
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rebecca_Raisin_Midnight_and_Mistletoe_At_Cedarwood?id=UjnCDAAAQBAJ
Tour Schedule: http://tours.readingromance.com/2016/12/midnight-and-mistletoe-by-rebecca-raisin.html