Carolyn Jenkins has never had a problem getting a man, but keeping one is another story. After two failed marriages and numerous short-term relationships, she’s ready to wave the white flag and give up on love. Yet, with Christmas quickly approaching, she dreads spending the holiday alone. Will a chance encounter with a handsome stranger make all of her Christmas wishes come true?
After thirty years of a nearly perfect marriage, widower Lincoln Richwood struggles to move on with his life. The idea of dating at his age seems daunting … until he meets the vivacious Carolyn Jenkins. Normally a straitlaced kind of guy, there’s just something about the woman that tempts him to walk on the wild side.
Opposites attract, but will their differences derail their relationship and keep them from embracing the love they both desire?
Carolyn took a sip of her hot tea that the server had delivered moments before. “So why did you ask Paul for my telephone number?” she inquired, unable to contain her curiosity since he’d mentioned it at the gym.
“This might sound cliché, but the first time I saw you standing behind the bar at Paul’s restaurant, I felt a connection.” Lincoln took a sip from his water glass and set it back down, his dark eyes sparkling with interest. “That feeling only intensified when you walked into his office a short while later.”
Carolyn studied him. She had never been one for holding back what she thought or felt, and had no intention of starting now. “I felt the same way. But when I spotted your wedding band, it was like having a bucket of ice water dumped over my head. I was pissed. Partly at you for showing an interest in me when you knew you were married. Or at least when I thought you were married. I was also ticked at myself for not being able to stop thinking about you.”
“Your comment about removing the ring before calling you was the push I needed. For the past couple of years, I wore the ring as a way to remember my wife and ward off women.” Smiling, Lincoln shrugged. He lowered his gaze and fingered the condensation rolling down the side of his water glass before returning his attention to her. “You’re the first woman I’ve met who made me want to remove the ring and start anew.”
Carolyn wasn’t sure how to respond. For her sake, she was glad not to see the wedding band, but she hoped he hadn’t taken it off before he was really ready.
The server returned and Carolyn’s stomach rumbled when the elegantly plated dishes were set in front of them.
“You’re really going to eat all of that?” Lincoln smiled, eying the two entrées she’d ordered.
The smell of the North Atlantic cod surrounded by tomatoes, basil, olives, and zucchini made her mouth water. The Beef Wellington was just as appetizing. “I plan to eat every single bite.” Carolyn loaded her fork, then wrapped her lips around it. Her eyes drifted shut as she savored the enticing flavors. She loved French food. Hell, she loved food period. She wasn’t one of those petite women who ate only salads. No, she absolutely enjoyed food and could out eat anyone she knew, except for maybe her daughter, Martina.
She moaned with every bite until Lincoln cleared his throat and her eyes popped open.
“You’re killing me here,” he mumbled leaning close, desire radiating in his eyes. “I have been around a long time and have never seen a person enjoy food like that before.”
Carolyn wiped her mouth and grinned. “I’m a foodie with a huge appetite, but I’ll try to behave.”
“Don’t stop moaning on my account,” he whispered, shifting in his seat. “If that’s how you behave with every meal, I plan to keep a plate of food in front of you.”
About the Author
Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net