The first review is in you can find it on Amazon
I’m hoping for more reviews because it’s the reviews that help sell books
Christmas is no joy for Julia who’s husband, a high-risk investor, comes around only to ask for money. When a handsome stranger and his cute Pomeranian puppy move in next-door, Julia feels guilty for their mutual attraction.
Michael’s not the rescuing type, but when he spies Julia’s husband haranguing her for holiday cash, anger flares and he is determined to rescue Julia from another miserable Christmas.
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Julia sat on the sofa, reading the book she’d checked out of the library as soon as she’d heard it was available. Any kind of romancealways settled her nerves. Damien had called earlier to let her know he wouldn’t be coming home yet again. She closed the book and leaned her head back on the pillow.
Why hasn’t he signed the divorce papers? Money, that’s why. The no good lowlife always wants money from me.
Just three months after the wedding, she’d realized he’d married her for her wealth. Thank God her father was still alive and owned the business her mother had created and turned into a multimillion-dollar company. Dad had supported Mother and had taken care of all the accounting for the business.
Rising, Julia sauntered to the kitchen. She glanced around the open architecture, which had made her fall in love with the house to begin with. Dad always wanted to see her happy, so he’d bought her the five thousand square foot home as a wedding present, with just one catch—the house would remain in his name.
“Why would you do such a thing?” Her voice rose.
“Calm down. You’re a woman in love and don’t see what I see. One day, you’ll thank me.”
Those words kept coming back, and she praised God for her father’s wisdom. Every time Damien ran dry, he came back and asked her for money then disappeared for weeks at a time, sometimes months.
Another conversation came to the forefront, and she leaned on the island, playing it through her mind.
“Why are you doing this? We love each other.”
“Your business is not profitable yet, but one day it will be,” her dad said. “You’re too much like your mother, God rest hersoul, and your business will bring in millions. I don’t want him to walk away with the sweat of your brow.”
She waved the papers she held at him. “This is a prenuptial agreement, are you serious?”
“I’m dead serious. Mark my words, the day will come when you’ll thank me.”
Julia sighed. “Thank you, Daddy,” she whispered. “Mom, you married a wise man. Not like me, who married a complete jerk.”
She opened the refrigerator andtook out the bottle of white wine she’d opened a few nights ago, pouring some in a Waterford wineglass. After corking the bottle and placing it back in the fridge, she curled up on the sofa. Staring into the shadows of evening, she beat herself for having been so blind with respect to Damien. “Love is blind” turned out to be so true. Damn! Could I have been more stupid?
Disgusted with herself to the point she couldn’t enjoy the book, she placed the paperback back on the bookshelf and went up to the master suite to enjoy a hot bath. Julia lit all the aromatic candles and filled the tub. While the water poured into it, she ran downstairs to pick up the wineglass she’d forgotten in the gathering room.
Almost asleep in the jetted tuband with steam filling the large room, it took a while before she heard her cell buzzing. Who could possibly be calling at this hour? She tightened her lips, and scrunched her brow. She stood and wrapped her body in a plush white towel. This was supposed to be her time to relax. Anger and anxiety rushed through her.
“Hello?” she said with a bit more force than she wanted.
“Hey, babe, I’ll be home for Christmas.”
“Damien, where are you?”
“I’m in the middle of an investment deal in Qatar.”
Had she heard right? “Where?”
“Qatar, baby. You know, the Middle East.”
Not in the mood to hear about his new gamble in whatever kind of business venture he’d embroiled himself in, she hung up and shut off her iPhone, returning to the tub of lukewarm water. Letting some of it out, she refilled the tub with steaming water then sank down to her chin and closed her eyes. If anyone needed her, they could just show up at the house.
When her bath cooled again, she slipped into her robe, tied it at her waist, and stretched out on the bed.
Cold crept into her bones, and she shivered. Darkness surrounded her. How long had she slept? Sitting up, she grabbed her cell phone and turned it back on. Goodness, it was 8:15 p.m. Pangs of hunger burned her stomach, but she didn’t feel like cooking at such a late hour. She dialed for delivery.
“Hello, I’d like to order veal Parmesan….”
With the order on the way, she slipped into silky pajamas, French braided her milk-chocolate brown hair, and went downstairs to wait for the food to arrive.
The gourmet kitchen surrounding her had been a joy to create with the help of Marcello DiStoia, a wonderful designer of kitchens and baths. A place where she’d dreamed of cooking with her newlywed husband. He did help for the first few months of marriage, but then all his failed ventures took him to different corners of the earth as he looked to gamble in varied “business opportunities” as he called them. Apparently, now he
was in Qatar, of all places. She rolled her eyes and closed her hands in tight fists. A few deep breaths and she let it all go, reminding herself Damien was not worth a single thought.
A sigh of relief escaped her when the doorbell rang announcing the arrival of the food.
“I love how the author wove the joy of Christmas through out the story.” – Goodreads review
“This is one to read while in your pjs with a mug of hot chocolate. It’s all about falling in love – from the first encounter to the increased heart beats and breathless feeling when you’re together.” – Amazon review
About the Author
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the States, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.