Friday Feature: The Mistletoe Contract

Today’s Featured Book:

About the book:

Confirmed bachelor, Nathan Rutledge shut his heart to romance when he was forced to break the heart of the only woman he ever truly loved. Now, with his father’s retirement from the family conglomerate, the torch has been passed to him. But there are two problems—first, he needs a wife in order to take over the family business. Second, someone has been embezzling company funds. With the pressure mounting, and time expiring to find both a wife he can trust and the thief, Nate needs a Christmas miracle. 

Forensic Accountant, Meredith Mitchell’s life is in a shambles. Her mother needs a lifesaving transplant, Mom’s medical bills have bankrupted Meredith’s meager savings, and she’s sold everything of value, but it’s still not enough. To make matters worse, she’s now tasked with discovering accounting errors for a new client—none other than Nathan Rutledge—the same man who gave her a broken heart for Christmas eight years ago.  

Meredith wants to run. Nate wants the chance to right his wrongs. So, naturally, when he proposes a modern-day marriage of convenience, she balks at the idea. But he desperately needs a wife, and she really needs the money he offers. Is this the answer to her prayers? Or will this mutually beneficial arrangement re-open old wounds that can’t be healed?  

Excerpt:

Meredith closed the door with a soft click and propped herself against the wall. Tilting her head up, she released a huge sigh. She hated lying to her mother. Weariness settled deep in her bones. Her to-do list for the wedding grew with each passing hour. She had a lot to accomplish between now and Friday morning.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

Meredith’s eyes popped open. “Nate! You scared me!” Facing off with her fiancé, she straightened her spine. “What’re you doing here?”

His back against the wall, he crossed his ankles. Even after working all day, Nate still appeared fresh. When she glanced at her gray dress pants, the red sauce stain from her rushed dinner glared at her. She was wrinkly… and frumpy.

Nate frowned, his gaze roving over her.

Meredith moved her purse from her shoulder and held it in front of the stain. “I’m sorry. That was unkind.”

“I didn’t mean to intrude.”

She pulled herself up to her full height. “You didn’t. It’s… I didn’t expect to see you.”

At least, not until their wedding day, giving her a couple of days to steel her emotions against his all-American boy-next-door charm. Why did he have to ruin her well-thought out plan? His nearness sent her pulse into overdrive.

Nate turned toward her and rested one hand on the wall above her head. He was so close she saw the golden flecks ringing his pupils. “Can’t a guy see his fiancée before the wedding?” The low timbre of Nate’s voice raised goose bumps on her arms, and her heart rate kicked up another notch.

Butterflies fluttered in her stomach, and she licked her dry lips before her gaze settled on his mouth. “Yeah, sure.”

Nate’s free hand came up and traced a line down her cheek. Meredith closed her eyes. She had to stop this flood of emotion. Why was he doing this to her? His spicy cologne wafted between them. Comforted her. Shoot. Nate smelled good.

“Nate… please… someone will see us.” Meredith swallowed hard, and her breaths came in short gasps.

“So?”

“This is supposed to be a business relationship. No funny business. You promised.” Meredith scooted out from under his arm and hurried down the tiled hallway, her steps echoing in the empty space. She needed air. And personal space. “Is there a reason you stopped by?”

Nate fell in step beside Meredith. She scampered down the hall to the elevator bank. Nate touched her arm, and they stood facing each other in front of the elevator. “Have a cup of coffee with me?” His blue eyes held a glimmer of amusement.

Shock or maybe desire rooted Meredith’s feet to the floor.

The elevator door opened, and two nurses in scrubs emerged. Meredith entered and jabbed the first-floor button. When she looked up into the polished steel doors, she met Nate’s steady gaze. Turning to face him, she crossed her arms. “Why, Nate? What are you trying to do to me? We have an agreement.”

Nate matched her stance, a smirk on his face. “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”

Meredith snorted, and her lips stretched into a sneer. “Oh, come on. You cannot seriously be this clueless.”

He stepped closer, his hands in his pockets, causing her to back up a couple of steps. “This attraction—you’re not immune to it, either, are you?”

Shaking her head, Meredith braced her back against the elevator car. “No, you’re wrong. This isn’t the type of relationship you’re thinking about.” She bit her lower lip.

Nate’s warm breath whispered against her ear, and chill bumps raced up and down her arms. “But it could be. Think of how much fun we’d have.”

His nearness muddled her mind. But she was older now. Wiser. Fool me once and all that. She’d be doggoned if he’d fool her again with his sweet talk. Before she answered, the elevator doors opened with a whoosh. Saved by the bell.

Meredith darted into the parking deck. “I don’t think so,” she said over her shoulder. “I’ll see you tomorrow at 4:00 to finalize the details.”

About the author:

Ever since she was a little girl, living in her small town in New York State, Jennifer has been a voracious reader. During the summer months, she would ride her bike to their library and return with a basketful of books. Her dad’s job moved them to Charlotte, NC in her teen years, but the memories of growing up in a small community have stayed with her. A Yankee transplant, she has grown to love the grace and charm of the South. In fact, she even married a native Charlottean. 

Website: www.jenniferchastain.com 

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/JenniferChastain  

Facebook: https://facebook.com/JenniferChastain.writer 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/JenniferChastain.author 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferCwrites 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jennifer-chastain-cover-photo.png

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: