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By Cynthia Gail
Beth Sergeant and Nick Chester come from opposite ends of the social food chain. While he sees a rare beautiful woman without an agenda, she sees a wealthy playboy. Can he convince her to let go of her insecurities and take a chance on love, when challenges from his past force her to reveal her most guarded secret?
Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.
After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.
Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick's dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick's past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.
Beth made her way over to the tree to get a closer view. Several handmade pieces intermingled with the sparkling crystal ornaments and gold strands of glass beads. She fingered the row of cotton balls that ran along the edge of a red felt Santa hat. On the top, in glitter writing, it said 1982. “Who made these?”
Nick laughed, but when she turned her head, she caught a hint of sadness in his eyes. “I made them with my mother when I was in grade school. Every year, on the first day of holiday break, we would go to the craft store and buy materials to make a dozen ornaments.”
“A dozen?” She wondered how a person ever got over losing a parent, much less losing both. Or if you even could. And his poor grandfather, losing a child ... Her chest tightened at the thought.
“One for our tree at home, one for Grandfather’s, several neighbors, and the mailman. And I’ll never forget Mrs. Sawyer at the bakery. She used to give me a free cinnamon roll when I came in with my grandfather.”
“We weren’t very crafty at my house. But Mom and I would bake like a storm. Candy, cookies, fudge. We always took packages to our neighbors on Christmas Eve, right before we went to church for Midnight Mass.”
“Do you still go?” The reflection of the tree lights sparkled in his eyes as he spoke. At this very moment, he didn’t look, or act, like the city’s most eligible bachelor. She could feel her resolve slipping. She needed Jenny.
“I haven’t been in years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been since I graduated high school.”
“I haven’t, either. You can imagine my surprise when Grandfather asked me to take him this year.” He glanced back at the tree. “Would you like to come with us?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Home is where you hang your hat. A native Missourian, my family relocated twice during my teenage years, taking me from a high school freshman class of over 1,200 students to living in a small town in Kentucky with a total population of less than 1,000.
Home is where your heart is. Despite the culture shock and challenges of those shy, teenage years, I met my true love in that tiny town and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to experience a community where everyone waves, calls you by name, and treats you like family.
My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our eighteen-year-old son and three dogs. When I’m not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.
I hope you enjoy my stories. Each one touches on modern day issues, fears, and challenges that women face every day. And each one illustrates that love is within reach if you let down those walls and allow your heart to open. Our lives and experiences are so much more meaningful when we have someone to share them with.
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