A solo getaway at an English country cottage is a pleasant way to spend the holiday—but it takes two to really make things merry . . .
Antonia prefers a quiet Christmas. She’s happy to spend it on her own, watching Hallmark holiday movies in her pyjamas, eating what she wants, when she wants.
Antonia’s friend Jules, on the other hand, loves a big Christmas celebration and plans on travelling to the Yorkshire Dales for a festive break. But when Jules breaks her leg, she persuades Antonia to make the trip on her behalf. Arriving at the little cottage, Antonia meets the handsome property agent Oliver. But she can’t escape the weird locals—or avoid embarrassing situations like mistaking a cow for a burglar.
As Christmas approaches, the attraction between Oliver and Antonia grows. She could choose to return to the bustling city and spend it alone. Or she could choose love and have a not so quiet Christmas . . .
Suzie has shared an extract with us today. Enjoy!
*****beginning of extract*****
Letting agent, Oliver Chase, offers to show confirmed city girl, Antonia, the local sights. He fails to mention that she’ll be seeing everything in one hit. From the top of a mountain…
With my cheek squashed against the icy rockface, I clung to the mountainside like a limpet as if my life depended on it. I didn’t know who or what howled the loudest – me or the swirling winds that whipped around my already contorted face. As the gusts threatened to rip me from what little security I had, flying without wings was not how I’d imagined my final moments. “Tell Jules I’m sorry for ruining her Christmas,” I said while I still had the chance, voice raised and mid-wail.
“I’m the one who’s sorry, Antonia,” Oliver said, calling up from the ledge below. “If I’d have known your legs weren’t long enough…”
“I know, I know. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing!”
“If I could, don’t you think I’d be up by now?” Peeling my cheek off the rock, I carefully glanced about me. Double checking all the nearby indents and protruding rocks, it was no good. They were all out of my reach. I tilted my chin and looked down to see Oliver’s concerned expression and Frank’s head poking out of the man’s rucksack. As tears rolled down my face, I couldn’t believe Oliver had suggested I go first. The other way around and he could have shimmied up with Frank, then reached down and yanked me the rest of the way.
I also couldn’t believe my foolishness. It might’ve only been a small section of our walk as far as Oliver was concerned, but he was used to it. He’d been going up and down Fotherghyll Fell since he was a child. I, on the other hand, was from London. In the city, if people wanted to enjoy the view, they rode on the London Eye or took a lift and dined in a high-rise restaurant. They didn’t scale mountains. No wonder I was stuck.
“You’re doing great,” Oliver said.
Considering my predicament, it was going to take a lot more than platitudes to lift my spirits. Ice seeped through my gloves and my hands felt numb. My lips quivered uncontrollably, and as I continued to battle the wind, I felt so cold my legs began to shake. My heart raced. Not sure how much longer I could hold on, I was convinced I was about to fall to my death.
“Help will be here soon. I promise.”
More tears rolled down my face. Mountain rescue… Like I hadn’t lost enough dignity.
*****end of extract*****
About Suzie Tullett:
Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. When she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.
Suzie lives in a little cottage on the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.