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IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS is my contribution to SWEET CHRISTMAS KISSES 4
The previous Christmas anthologies presented by the authors of Sweet Romance Reads have all been USA Today bestsellers:
Sweet Christmas Kisses in 2014
Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 in 2015
Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 in 2016
A few years ago, I was caught in a blizzard while flying to Chicago. Unable to land, our plane was rerouted to Detroit where we waited for more than twelve hours for the bad weather to subside. Many things can happen in a crowded airport when you don’t have anything to do but watch the board covered with canceled flights.
What if the toddler sitting in his mother’s arms, next to you, got sick and threw up on you?
Trust me it wasn’t a pleasant moment, and I’ve never forgotten it. Yet bad things don’t last forever and may lead to the beginning of a happy ending. At least they did for my heroine, Dr. Sylvia Reynolds.
IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS is the story of two workaholic people dedicated to their careers and too busy to waste their precious time waiting for endless hours in an airport or playing with small children. When brought together by a five-month-old baby during a blizzard, the young pediatrician and the successful lawyer have no choice but to cope with the bad weather, the cancellation of flights and the adorable baby who has no one else to care for her.
What better way to spend time when stuck in a plane with a baby than to chat with a smart beautiful woman?
“Well, tell me the baby’s story.” Dr. Sylvia Reynolds narrowed her eyes—large hazel eyes, their almond shape accentuated by dark lashes and dark hair pulled back into a ponytail.
“A messy story. My brother Joshua, a Navy doctor, had an affair with a French-American artist.” James sobered and glanced at his niece lovingly cuddled in Sylvia’s arms. “She got pregnant but wanted to abort. Josh insisted he wanted his child. They signed an agreement. She would leave after the delivery to go back to France and her career, and he would raise the child and let her see it if she so desires.”
“Quite noble on his part.”
“Now, Josh has been deployed to the Mediterranean. My mother offered to keep Clementine during the time he’ll be away. Unfortunately, my mother broke her leg a month ago. She’s still in physiotherapy. The maternal grandmother who lives in Chicago didn’t mind keeping the baby for a week until Mom returns home.”
“Poor Clementine.” Sylvia brushed a kiss on the baby’s silky hair. “No mother, and shuffled right and left.” Did he detect a note of scorn in her voice?
Clementine dug her head into the crook of Sylvia’s neck and whined.
James squinted at the smart baby. “Right now, she’s telling us she likes it in your arms.” No doubt he’d like it too if he had the chance to be in Sylvia’s arms—or better, if he could hold her in his arms. He frowned, puzzled by his sudden attraction to a woman he’d just met. He’d never believed in love at first sight—love meaning desire or interest in his vocabulary. Why today and why with this serious pediatrician who didn’t look anything like the elegant beauties he often dated?
“You want to sleep, little doll.” Sylvia laid the baby in her arms and rocked her.
A moment later, the baby slept peacefully.
“I’ll put her in the car seat.” James took the baby and received a loud shriek of reprove when he bent to set her in her seat. The little angel screamed her head off as if he had tortured her.
“Give her back, please,” Sylvia insisted. “She was so comfy. How would you like to be awoken abruptly and almost thrown on the floor?”
“Huh… on…no…no.” Indignation made him stutter. “I was very gentle, and never threw her.” Ungrateful kid. I took a day off for you and you make me look like a monster in front of pretty Sylvia.
Sylvia held the baby and James let go to avoid a tug of war.
“Relax, sweetie-pie. Everything is okay.” Clementine clutched Sylvia’s sweater and let out a big sigh.
Sylvia cast him the reproachful look of a principal expecting a student to apologize, and caressed the baby’s head until she resumed her nap.
“You really know a thing or two about babies.” In awe of her easy bonding with his niece, he considered her with respect. And amazement. And… She had such a pert profile and luscious lips. To avoid temptation, he spun his head toward the window. Not a reassuring view. Beneath the plane, a gray carpet of clouds forecasted storms and problems in the area they overflew.