Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author who writes novels inspired by her fascination with the 1950s and her love of her native American South. Novels in her endearing Caney Creek series, her West Virginia Mountains series, as well as her stand-alone release, Tidewater Summer, are sweet Southern historical romance novels. Visit Jo at her website (“href=”http://www.johuddleston.com”>www.johuddleston.com), where you can sign up for her mailing list and read for free the first chapters of her novels and novellas. 77
EXCERPT: Her Christmas Dream
He joined her, sitting on the other side of the table. “What’s on your mind? You look serious.”
“George, you are so dear to me. You’re my best friend, and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“But…,” he said with a wrinkled brow.
“But, George, you’ve got Addison all wrong.”
George’s demeanor stiffened, and he leaned back in his chair. “You want to talk to me about Addison? You know how I feel about him. About him and you.”
“Yes, I do. That’s why I want to talk to you. You’re wrong about Addison. He’s good to me, he’s polite, and he makes me feel special.”
George blew out a breath and leaned in closer to the table. “Wow! Has he got you fooled. You’re only seeing one side of him. He’s showing you his good side, whether it’s sincere or not. Can’t you see that, Marilyn?”
“No, I can’t! He’s a perfect gentleman around me, and he cares for me. He’s asked me out for dinner next Friday.”
He looked at her, questions in his eyes.
“I said yes.”
He pushed his light brown curls off his forehead. “You refuse to see his game!”
Marilyn didn’t answer.
“For a year, you’ve been so sure no man will ever mess with your heart again. Now, see what you’ve let Addison do? In one week, he’s twisted your emotions all around. You’re completely lovey-dovey over him. He’s convinced you he’s special. You think he’s perfect.”
She was quick with her response. “After the heartbreak and uproar I went through with Bobby, it’s nice to have a respectable, pleasant man pay attention to me. Last Christmas was awful, and now this year, maybe everything will turn out great. I’ll have someone in my life who cares for me and won’t disappoint me. This Christmas will be a dream come true.”
“You forgot one thing about him. He’s charming, isn’t he?”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s charmed you like a magician. Oh, he’s smooth, all right. Too smooth to be true. It’s like he’s doing a card trick in plain sight, but you don’t see his sleight-of-hand because you’re too focused on his pretty face. Marilyn, Addison’s got you hoodwinked, and you refuse to get it.”
Marilyn pushed her chair back from the table and stood, hands on her hips. She hurled her words at George. “We’ve always been able to discuss things together. But you just won’t admit Addison is okay. If I hadn’t known you all my life, I’d think you were jealous.”
George opened his mouth to speak but didn’t. He bowed his head and idly turned his coffee cup in circles on the scratched Formica tabletop. Now her outburst had hurt his feelings. She sat at the table again, leaned toward him, and reached for his hands. “George, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean what I said. You know I sometimes speak before my brain turns on.”
Finally, he raised his head and gave her a slight smile. “That’s okay. You’re the most important person on earth to me—I want the best for you. But, Marilyn, I knew Bobby was wrong for you and didn’t say anything. Look where my silence got you.
“I should have said something then, and now I’m compelled to let you know how I feel about Addison…but if the guy makes you happy, I’ll quit trying to change your mind.”
She tightened her hold on his hands. “You’re also the most important person on earth to me. I’d feel the same way if you dated someone I didn’t think was right for you. I do understand. Thanks for allowing me to enjoy my time with Addison. Let’s all have a wonderful Christmas together.”
More about Her Christmas Dream:
A Christmas romance sprinkled with suspense!
In this sweet romance set in north Georgia, all Marilyn dreams of for Christmas is a relationship with someone who cares for her. Someone who really knows her. A stranger volunteers at the rescue shelter where Marilyn and her best friend George volunteer. George has concerns about Marilyn’s safety if she dates the stranger. When George becomes overprotective of her, will Marilyn choose the bad-boy-stranger or her best friend to spend Christmas with this year?
Read this 20th-century story to find out which one Marilyn chooses.
Jo has offered one lucky commenter a Kindle copy of Her Christmas Dream. Winner will be chosen and announced on 9/9/2020.