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Christmas Promises: The Christmas Eve Bride\A Marriage Proposal for Christmas\A Bride for Christmas Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373837674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373837670
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,160,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lynne Graham lives in Northern Ireland and has been a keen romance reader since her teens. Happily married, Lynne has five children. Her eldest is her only natural child. Her other children, who are every bit as dear to her heart, are adopted. The family has a variety of pets, and Lynne loves gardening, cooking, collecting allsorts and is crazy about every aspect of Christmas.

Carole Mortimer was born in England, the youngest of three children. She began writing in 1978, and has now written over one hundred and seventy books for Harlequin Mills and Boon®. Carole has six sons, Matthew, Joshua, Timothy, Michael, David and Peter. She says, ‘I’m happily married to Peter senior; we’re best friends as well as lovers, which is probably the best recipe for a successful relationship. We live in a lovely part of England.’

Marion Lennox is a country girl, born on an Australian dairy farm. She moved on, because the cows just weren't interested in her stories! Married to a `very special doctor', she has also written under the name Trisha David. She’s now stepped back from her `other’ career teaching statistics. Finally, she’s figured what's important and discovered the joys of baths, romance and chocolate. Preferably all at the same time! Marion is an international award winning author.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Rocco Volpe was bored and, as it was not a sensation he was accustomed to feeling, he was much inclined to blame his hosts for that reality.

When the banker, Harris Winton, had invited him to his country home for the weekend, Rocco had expected stimulating company. People invariably went to a great deal of trouble to entertain Rocco. But then he could hardly have foreseen that Winton would miss his flight home from Brussels, leaving his unfortunate guests at the mercy of his wife, Kaye.

Kaye, the youthful trophy wife, who looked at Rocco with a hunger she couldn't hide. His startlingly handsome features were expressionless as his hostess irritated him with simpering flattery and far too much attention. He had never liked small women with big eyes, he reflected. Memory stirred, reminding him why that was so. Swiftly, he crushed that unwelcome recollection out.

'So tell me…what's it like being one of the most eligible single men in the world?' Kaye asked fatuously.

'Pretty boring.' Watching her redden without remorse, Rocco strolled over to the window like a tiger sheathing his claws with extreme reluctance.

'I suppose it must be,' the beautiful brunette then agreed in a cloying tone. 'How many men have your power, looks and fabulous wealth?'

Striving not to wince while telling himself that if he ever married his wife would have a brain, Rocco surveyed the well-kept gardens. Fading winter sunlight gleamed over the downbent head of a gardener raking up leaves on the extensive front lawn. There was something familiar about that unusual honey shade of blonde that was the colour of toffee in certain lights. He stiffened as the figure turned and he realised it was a woman and…?

'Your gardener is a woman?' Not a shade of the outraged incredulity and anger consuming Rocco was audible in his deep, dark drawl. But someone ought to warn Winton that he had a potential tabloid spy working for him, he thought grimly. Harris would never recover from the humiliation of the media exposing one of his wife's affairs.

His keen hostess drew level with him and wrinkled her nose. 'We have trouble getting outside staff. Harris says people don't want that kind of work these days.'

'I imagine he's right. Has she been with you long?'

'only a few weeks.' The brunette studied him with a perplexed frown.

'Will you excuse me? I have an urgent call to make.'

Amber's back was sore.

It was icy cold but the amount of energy she had expended had heated her up to the extent that she was working in a light T-shirt. She could hardly believe that within ten days it would be Christmas. Her honey-blonde hair caught back in a clip from which strands continually drifted loose, she straightened and stretched to ease her complaining spine. About five feet three in height, she was slim, but at breast and hip she was lush and feminine in shape.

It would be another hour before she finished work and she couldn't wait. Only a few months back, she would have said she loved the great outdoors, but working for the Win-tons had disenchanted her fast. Nothing but endless back-breaking labour and abysmally low pay. Her rich employers did not believe in spending money on labour-saving devices like leaf blowers. On the other hand, Harris Winton was a perfectionist, who demanded the highest standards against impossible odds.

'Brush up the leaves as they fall,' he had told her with a straight face, seeming not to grasp that, with several acres of wooded and lawned grounds, that was like asking her to daily stem an unstoppable tide.

You're turning into a right self-pitying moan, her conscience warned her as she emptied the wheelbarrow. So once she had had nice clothes, pretty, polished fingernails and a career with a future. She might no longer have any of those things but she did have Freddy, she reminded herself in consolation.

Freddy, the pure joy in her life, who could squeeze her heart with one smile. Freddy, who had filled her with so much instant love that she could still barely accept the intensity of her own feelings. Freddy, who might not be the best conversationalist yet and who loved to wake her up to play in the middle of the night, but who still made any sacrifice worthwhile.

'Buon giorno, Amber…what an unexpected pleasure!'

At the sound of that dark, well-modulated voice coming out of nowhere at her, Amber jerked rigid with fright. Blinking rapidly, disbelief engulfing her, she spun round, refusing to accept her instinctive recognition of that rich-accented drawl.

'Strange but somehow extraordinarily apt that you should be grubbing round a compost heap,' Rocco remarked with sardonic amusement.

A wave of stark dizziness assailed Amber. As she focused in paralysed incredulity on the formidably tall, well-built male standing beneath the towering beech trees a few yards away, her heart was beating at such an accelerated rate that she could hardly get breath into her lungs. She turned white as milk, every ounce of natural colour evaporating from her fine features, her clear green eyes huge.

Rocco Volpe, the powerful Italian financier, once christened the Silver Wolf by the gossip columns for his breathtaking good looks and fast reputation with her sex. And there was no denying that he was spectacular, with his bronzed skin and dark, dark deepset eyes contrasted with hair so naturally, unexpectedly fair it shone like polished silver. Rocco Volpe, the very worst mistake she had made in her twenty-three years of life. Her tummy felt hollow, her every tiny muscle bracing in self-defence. But her brain just refused to snap back into action. She could only wonder in amazement what on earth Rocco Volpe could possibly be doing wandering round the grounds of the Wintons' country house.

'Where did you come from?' she whispered jaggedly.

'The house. I'm staying there this weekend.'

'Oh…' Amber was silenced and appalled by that admission. Yet it was not a remarkable coincidence that Rocco should be acquainted with her employer, for both men wielded power in the same cut-throat world of international finance.

Tilting his arrogant head back, Rocco treated her to a leisurely, all-male appraisal that was as bold as he was. 'Not good news for you, I'm afraid.'

Amber was as stung by that insolent visual assessment as if he had slapped her in the face. Grubbing round the compost heap? The instant he bent the full effect of those brilliant dark eyes on her, she recalled that sarcastic comment. But a split second later thought was overpowered by the slowburn effect of Rocco skimming his intense gaze over the swell of her full breasts. Within her bra, the tender peaks of her sensitive flesh pinched tight with stark awareness. As his stirring scrutiny slid lazily down to the all-female curve of her hips, an almost forgotten ache clenched her belly.

'And what's that supposed to mean?' Amber folded her arms with a jerk, holding her treacherous body rigid as if by so doing she might drive out those mortifying responses. Only now she was horribly conscious of her wind-tossed hair, her lack of make-up and her workworn T-shirt and jeans. Once, she recalled, she had taken time to groom herself for Roc-co's benefit. Suddenly she wanted to dive into the wretched compost heap and hide! Rocco, so smooth, sophisticated and exclusive in his superb charcoal-grey business suit and black cashmere coat. He had to be wondering now what he had ever seen in her and her already battered pride writhed under that humiliating suspicion.

'Why are you working for Harris Winton as a gardener?' Rocco asked drily.

'That's none of your business.' Pale and fighting a craven desire to cringe, Amber flung her head high, determined not to be intimidated.

'But I am making it my business,' Rocco countered levelly.

Amber could not credit his nerve. Her temper was rising. 'Being one of the Wintons' guests doesn't give you the right to give me the third degree. Now, why don't you go away and leave me alone?'

'You really have changed your tune, cara,' Rocco murmured in a tone as smooth as black velvet. 'As I recall, I found persuading you to leave me alone quite a challenge eighteen months ago.'

That cruel reminder stabbed Amber like a knife in the heart. Indeed, she felt quite sick inside. She had not expected that level of retaliation and dully questioned why. Rocco was a ruthless wheeler-dealer in the money markets and as feared as he was famed for his brilliance. In automatic self-protection from that cutting tongue, she began walking away. Eighteen months ago, Rocco had dumped her. Indeed, Rocco had dumped her without hesitation. Rocco had then refused her phone calls and when she had persisted in daring to try and speak to him, he had finally called her back and asked her with icy contempt if she was now 'stalking' him!

'Where are you going?' Rocco demanded.

Amber ignored him. She had been working near the house. Obviously he had seen and recognised her and curiosity had got to him. But it struck her as strange that he should have acted on that curiosity and come outside to speak to her. A guy who had suggested that she might have stalking tendencies ought to have looked the other way. But then that had only been Rocco's brutally effective method of finally shaking her off.

'Amber…'

Bitterness surged up inside her, the destructive bitterness she had believed she had put behind her. But, faced with Rocco again, those feelings erupted back out of her subconscious mind like a volcano. She spun back with knotted fists, her small, shapely figure taut, angry colour warming her complexion. 'I hate you…I can't bear to be anywhere near you!'

Rocco elevated a cool, slanting dark brow. He looked hugely unimpressed by that outburst.

'And that...


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Harris on March 1, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book contains 3 short stories-all romance stories set around the Christmas holidays with Christmas weddings.

The Christmas Eve Bride by Lynne Graham-Rocco Volpe is an Italian financier. He is spending the weekend at his friend's, Harris Winton, country home. Amber is the gardener there and she lives in the cottage house on the property. Rocco runs into Amber in the garden and they apparently have a past. 18 months ago he broke up with her thinking she was responsible for a tabloid story about him. He left her with a broken heart and he didn't know that she was also pregnant at the time.

A Marriage Proposal for Christmas by Carole Mortimer-Cally and her sister run a business called Celebrations which arranges parties and occasions. Cally lives next door to Noel Carlton and she has confronted him about noise early in the morning with a helicopter arriving at her property. She also harbors a small grudge against him as a few months ago he asked her to dinner but never followed up. Now, the morning when she complained about the helicopter noise, he shows up at her business needing help. His family is coming in for the holidays and he needs help decorating and preparing a traditional Christmas for his family. To make matters worse, Cally takes a bath one day after decorating his house and his family shows up-they mistake her for Noel's fiance.

A Bride for Christmas by Marion Lennox-Guy Carver is the owner of Carver Salons which is a high end wedding salon. He arrives in Sandpiper Bay for his newest buyout of a salon called Bridal Fluff. Jenny Westmere is the owner who sold him the salon and her contract says she will remain on for 12 months to make the transition easier.
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By Mary H. Crowe on January 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Varied stories all about Christmas. I love getting several different stories in one book. Just like presents for Christmas. I would recommend it highly.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Christmas Promises is a beautiful anthology with 3 stories with whirlwind romances and Christmas marriages.

All three stories are very romantic and interesting. The best part is that you get a story that you can read on a break, but will not leave you feeling like there was something missing. The characters are well developed and the stories are great. I hope you enjoy it. ;)

The Christmas Eve Bride by Lynne Graham
Rocco believes that he has been over the woman he loved two years ago, over his love for her as well as her betrayal. But after seeing her from the window of his friend, he can't help but to go after her again.
Amber had been setup, and lost the man she loved when she needed him most and she lost her job. Now after 2 years she is finally trying to make something of her life and be able to be independent and care for her child.
After Rocco sees her they can't deny the chemistry still between them. But after so many things that split them apart, they will have to be open to listening and believing if they are to finally be the family they were meant to be.

A Marriage Proposal for Christmas by Carole Mortimer
Cally Turner is a single mother and only wants the best for her daughter. She has been happy living in the country with her daughter, that is until Noel Carlton moves in and becomes her neighbor. Now she can't stop thinking about him or about his playboy ways.
But when Noel calls the Celebrations, her and her sister's company, for help to decorate and prepare his house for the Christmas before his mother, stepfather and his siblings arrive she had no choice but to spend time with him.
Now as she falls in love with him she will get to see the real him and realize all the assumptions she made of him were mistaken.
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By Mountaineer on November 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I have only read the story by Lynne Graham so far, but I like all three authors.

The Christmas Eve Bride was good. I liked Amber. She was wronged and stood up for herself. I liked Rocco, too. He was sexy and wrongheaded, but eventually sooo sorry.

An enjoyable read for the holidays, complete with children and Christmas trees!

Ps. Graham's story, The Christmas Eve Bride (Mills & Boon 100th Birthday Collection) was published some years ago, as a stand-alone from Mills & Boom. I would guess the stories by Mortimer and Lennox are not new, either.
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By Ms. Dorothy M. Seim on August 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Three stories by three well liked authors.
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