Some inheritances have strings attached.
This one requires him to get married…
In her last matchmaking attempt, Zed Evans’s late aunt stipulated he must find a wife—or lose his childhood home. Fortunately, the resolute bachelor needs to be married for only three months. Now he just has to convince Tasha Jenkins to be his holiday wife in exchange for funds to get her dream business started. It’s the perfect plan…until love makes an unexpected appearance.
Buy Claiming His Christmas Inheritance by C.J. Carroll
Tasha Jenkins’s heart fluttered wildly, like the tiny wings of a baby bird. She squeezed her eyelids shut. “You can do it, girl. You got this.”
It’s my first Christmas alone in the world.
Her eyes flickered open, and she stared at the familiar purple Victorian in front of her. A salmon-stained sky, dotted with wispy, cotton-ball clouds, provided a splendid backdrop to the spectacular structure.
Every Christmas since Tasha was eight, she and her single mother had visited the historic Avenue Parkway neighborhood of Vista Peak, Colorado. They loved to admire the turn-of-the-twentieth-century homes’ holiday decorations.
Although it wasn’t the fanciest or most ornately decorated house in the neighborhood, the purple Victorian was their favorite. Its charming amenities, unusual color and the sense of home and family it evoked for them contributed to the special feeling they both had about the place.
But this time there was an empty spot beside her where her mom used to stand, clasping her hand.
Tasha admired the house’s wraparound porch, decorative turret and scalloped shingles. Her gaze roamed lovingly over the carved columns, spindles, ornate molding and lavender trim. Three massive evergreens, lightly dusted with snow, surrounded the house like stoic sentinels.
A large white wreath hung on the front door. Multicolored ornaments filled several oversize vintage lanterns on the porch. Giant red-and-green peppermints on sticks, a nativity scene and a miniature Christmas village were displayed in the yard.
She bit her lip and peered heavenward. Lord, I miss my mom. She was my North Star. Sorrow at the unfairness of her mother’s untimely death, after a hard life, threatened to consume her. Can You hear me, Lord? Do You really care? Grief shredded her heart. A vehicle door abruptly slammed behind her, and Tasha turned to discover a tall, brown-skinned man exiting a silver Ford F-150 truck.
She quickly wiped away rogue tears.
“Miss, are you okay?” The inherent kindness gleaming from his eyes nearly did her in.
“Yeah. I will be,” she said.
Narrowly built, but muscular and defined, the man appeared well over six feet tall. While his crisp white shirt, a forest green-and-red plaid sweater-vest, gold bow tie, black pants and vintage wingtip shoes he wore harkened to another era, the stranger appeared to be around her age—in his mid to late thirties.
“Quite a beauty,” he said.
Shocked at his full-frontal approach, Tasha blushed at the compliment. She was grateful her cinnamon-brown skin hid physical signs of embarrassment—especially when she realized he was looking past her.
Oh my, he meant the house, not me. Tasha quickly recovered. “That it is,” she replied as if she understood his intent all along.
He scrutinized her. Understanding lit his features, and he grinned. “You thought I was complimenting you.”
She winced. She’d never mastered keeping a neutral face. “Guilty as charged.”
A deep-throated, hardy chuckle escaped his lips. Irises the color of sunlight shimmering through honey observed her. “Wait one moment while I uninsert my foot from my mouth.”
She raised her hand in protest. “No worries.”
“You know, the compliment most definitely works both ways.” His eyes grazed her face like a gentle breeze caressing a flower.
Tasha willed her heart to continue to beat normally. Oh, the brotha’s got game. Slow your roll, playa-playa. Your charm won’t work on me. Even if you are as fine as Mr. Michael B. Jordan, Mr. Bradley Cooper and Mr. Idris Elba combined. With a cherry on top.
Nevertheless, she had to acknowledge his kudos was nice. “Thank you,” she replied.
About the Author
An admittedly hopeless romantic, C.J. Carroll first started telling love stories as a child, with her 60-plus Barbie/Ken doll collection. Her goal is to write stories that are faith-filled,funny, flirty and fresh. She hopes that her stories entertain and uplift, and that her readers feel the loving touch of God's hand.