Title: A Home for Christmas
Author: Ann Vaughn
Publication: November 28, 2013
Single mom, Jenna Blackwell wasn’t having a very good start to the Christmas season; her purse got stolen on Black Friday. She’s cursing her luck and herself for even being out in the Black Friday madness when the store manager brings in Riley Stanton, a former Navy SEAL who chased down the thieves and recovered her purse. Jenna is blown away by Riley: his looks, his smile, the fact that he ran down the purse snatchers, everything.
Riley Stanton had no idea when he chased down the kids who stole a few purses that he would walk into a room and have his life changed forever. He looked into the eyes of Jenna and saw a strength in her that he found intriguing.
Riley soon learns that Jenna is everything he ever wanted in a woman. He falls for her and for her son harder than he expected to. Jenna is cautious but welcoming and hopes that she and her son can give Riley the one thing he hasn’t had in years, A Home for Christmas.
Riley followed Cam into the living room and through the crowd so that they were standing at the front of the ring of people who had gathered around Jacke’s piano, his mother on his right and Jenna’s mother on his left. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Jenna’s father began, “I want to thank you for coming tonight. It is an honor and a joy to see so many of you in our home to celebrate this wonderful, joyous season with us. The wait staff is coming around with trays of champagne. Please, take a glass, and as they have done every year since they were five years old, allow my beautiful daughters to wish you and yours a wonderful, Merry Christmas.” Jackie began to play as polite applause lauded their father’s speech. Riley’s eyes were locked on Jenna as the lights were dimmed and she was illuminated only by the twinkling of Christmas lights and the flames from the candles in the room. When she began to sing “O Holy Night”, a chill ran through him at the purity and clarity of her voice.
She sounded, in his opinion, like an angel. Her voice was soft and sweet and reminded him of the times he’d heard the Celtic Woman group perform. When she hit the high note at the end, his breath caught. She was incredible. He placed his hand over his heart and flashed a bright smile to her when she finished, making her give a slight giggle. “This next song,” she announced, “has been on my heart since I met this handsome sailor,” she said, gesturing to him. “The other night, we were talking about the Christmases he spent in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, and even once in Bethlehem while in the Service, and how he missed being home for Christmas so many years. So, Riley, this one is for you.” Jackie began playing, and then, singing in a completely different voice than she had the previous song, she locked eyes with him. Her voice was sultry as she sang, “I’m dreaming tonight, of a place I love, even more than I usually do. And although, I know, it’s a long road back, I promise you…I’ll be Home for Christmas…”
Beside him, his mother placed her hand on his bicep. he reached over to touch her hand, but could not tear his gaze away from Jenna. When she finished, proper or not, he stepped forward and drew her into his arms, giving her a brief, tender kiss in front of the assembled crowd. “Thank you,” he whispered softly into her ear. “I love you, Riley,” she whispered back. He kissed her brow and started to step away but she held him to her with an arm around his waist. “We have one final song. Thank you for spending your evening with our family.” Once again, Jackie began playing, and this time, with Riley at her side, Jenna sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Riley had his hand on her back and could feel the notes reverberating through her as she sang. He was so impressed with her singing; her voice was beautiful, different with all three songs that she sang. Sweet, sultry, soft and gentle all mixed together. He was so unbelievably turned on he was afraid the whole room would know. When she finished singing, she turned into him once more, kissing his cheek when he leaned down to whisper, “You’re amazing,” into her ear.
- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams (for the opening scene when Jenna’s sitting in the store manager’s office…because this version of this song gets on my nerves so it would grate in her nerves while she’s sitting there thinking about how stupid she was to shop on Black Friday)
- Trenches by Pop Evil (during Cam’s race)
- My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark by Fall Out Boy (during Cam’s race)
- Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk
- Coming Home for Christmas by Jim Brickman
- O Holy Night by Celtic Woman
- I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Amy Grant
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
- To Get Me To You by Lila McCann
- Winter Wonderland by Kenny G
- All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey
- Auld Lang Syne by Jim Brickman
Check out Ann’s previous novels:
Tessa had never meant to set into motion events that led to their childhood rivalry, but once it started, she embraced it with gusto…until her world started to fall apart and she realized that Shane was the one constant in her life, her rock who would never leave her and help her find her Long Way Home…
Colt Harris wasn’t on the hunt for love when he looked up from his lunch and spotted Sarah. As cliched as it was, time stood still – all he could see was her. Hearing her laugh sealed his fate; he knew his life was about to change. Sarah Sauter was used to being alone. She lost her parents when she was eighteen and after a really bad love affair, had given up on ever finding love. Since then, her life had been all about simply surviving. Little did she know that when she went to lunch with her co-workers, she would have a chance encounter with a man who would literally turn her world upside down.
When Colt steps into Sarah’s life, he finds that things with her aren’t exactly as they appear to be. Secrets hidden deep in her past begin to surface, dropping Colt and Sarah in the middle of a nearly twenty-seven year old mystery. It will take all of Colt’s strength, patience and resolve Finding Home for Sarah.
About the Author
- Cover Reveal for A Home For Christmas by Ann Vaughn (feedmyreadsusa.wordpress.com)