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Message From Rachel
Writing a series of books set in a small town is a dream come true––something I’ve wanted to do ever since I discovered Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series when I was nine or ten. The idea of having recurring characters appeals to me in both my writing and reading choices.
Obviously, I’ve moved on from Enid Blyton, but my shelves now groan with the weight of the books I collect and refuse to part with. The downside of loving a particular series is I have to buy the entire backlist (if I’ve come in past book 1) or keep buying each book the author releases.
To name a few favourites, any series or trilogy by Nora Roberts, The Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis and The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr – each of them has influenced some small aspect of my Harlequin Superromance series set in the fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove.
Until this latest release, Templeton has more often than not basked in the summer months due to the sea, the beach and everything a typical British seaside town encapsulates. Yet, when my editor suggested I might like to try a Christmas themed novel, I was thrilled! One, because I had never written a Christmas story before and two, it would be fun to paint the canvas of the Cove a different colour for book number four.
The series consists of a mix of romantic suspense and mainstream contemporary romance stories, but I decided quite early on I didn’t want to taint the joy of Christmas with a grisly murder, abduction or threat of some sort…so mainstream contemporary it was!
Christmas At The Cove is a reunion story between long-term Templeton resident, Scott Walker and the return of his brief but passionate lover, Carrie Jameson. Carrie has news for Scott – the decision is his what happens next…
About Christmas at the Cove
More family for Christmas?
Scott Walker doesn’t have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news.
Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he’s not one to shirk responsibility. Scott’s issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.
She squeezed her eyes shut. “I’ll stay for another couple of days, but then I have to go home. I can’t stay here for Christmas.”
The soft whisper of his exhalation drifted over her folded hands on the table. “That’s great. It’s more than great. Thank you.”
She swallowed, wanting the words she needed to say out of her body as soon as possible. “You have your life, and I have mine.” She opened her eyes. “Neither of us has to change our plans because I’ve told you about Belle. You can still do what you want to do.”
Be strong, Carrie. Lay down the ground rules. “I disagree.” She straightened her spine. “I get it, Scott. Truly. I understand you think knowing about Belle means you have to change your entire life, but that’s not true.”
“That’s not what I’m––”
“Let me just say this, please.”
He closed his eyes and she took that as permission to continue. She inhaled a deep breath. “I like, and appreciate, you thinking what you should to do and how to do it, but I’m not asking you to change your plans overnight. This is going to take time. I want it to take time. Belle doesn’t need to know about you yet. You can go on with your life and when the time’s right, I’ll tell her about you.”
Carrie swallowed against the dryness in her throat. When she’d been standing outside the holiday park, the decision to see her mission through to the end burning like a flame inside her, she’d thought her words would be strong and clear, delivered with a reverence he couldn’t argue with. Yet now, her stomach trembled with nerves and her hands longed to take his.
Why did he make her feel so torn and her reasoning unfair? Belle was hers. He had no obligation to her unless he wanted one. “I’m not saying that to be cruel, you know.” She sighed. “I’ve looked after her the last year without a partner beside me. She’ll be okay…whatever you decide.”
His continuing silence raised the hairs at the back of her neck, made her fear she drove a bigger wedge between them, but she wouldn’t falter. She had come to Templeton and achieved what she came to do––the gates were open and Scott could step through them whenever he was ready. As long as he realized the hinges wouldn’t creak back and forth on a whim.
About the Author
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington–her debut was released in April 2013 and she has since signed for three more.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!