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Devon Pratt loves many things in life. The beauty of flowers. The yin and yang of energy. The power of positivity in people. And everything to do with the Christmas season.

As a floral shop owner in the beach town of Cape May, she looks forward to decorating both the town and running the annual holiday party to benefit the local animal shelter. Too bad the new owner of her favorite venue is more like the Grinch than Santa. Working with him will be a challenge, but she’s too full of seasonal cheer to let him annoy her, right?

Jameson Franklin hates many things in life. Crowds. Fake cheer. Ostentatious décor. And especially Christmas. The season is full of things he’d rather avoid, but since taking over the popular restaurant Vintage temporarily for his cousin as a favor, he’s trying to play nice with the locals. Too bad the florist is insisting on overrunning his sacred space with blooms, dogs, and an endless positive persistence that pushes all of his buttons. But when too many heated confrontations lead to heated encounters, he begins to wonder what it would be like to love not only Christmas, but Devon Pratt.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Christmas in Cape May

Jennifer Probst

AVAILABLE NOW

Book Series: 

A brand new story in Jennifer Probst’s Sunshine Sisters series is out this week, and I have a little sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

“You okay, sweets? You look stressed.”

Trisha sighed. “I just want Mac to come back. It’s only been a short time and I’m miserable.”

Concern flared. Trisha was beautiful and warm, which made her easy prey. “Wait—what’s going on? Is he doing something I should know about?”  

“Oh, God, no, nothing like that! He’s just so different from Mac. He said no more changing my schedule, even though I have some family stuff coming up. Said the restaurant needed to be more efficient so no more flexible shifts.”

“Did you explain Mac was okay with it?”

Trish nodded. “Yeah, but it didn’t matter. Jameson said he was making major changes to Vintage. He called a big meeting with the staff. Marcus told me he wanted to quit because of the menu tweaks but he’s sticking it out for Mac. I’m not sure what’s going on, Dev.”

A frown creased her brow. This seemed to be getting worse. “Can I go see him?”

Trisha jerked her head. “Go ahead, just make sure you knock first. I got yelled at for that. I better get back to my tables.”

Her ponytail bobbed as she walked off. What kind of man did Mac sic on them all? Maybe it was a big misunderstanding and no one had let Jameson know how things worked around here? Either way, Dev had heard enough. She wasn’t about to let him pick apart Mac’s restaurant while he was dealing with a family crisis.

Squaring her shoulders, she headed to the back room and sharply knocked. 

“Come in.”

The voice should have warned her. It had that deep smoothness with a touch of arrogance, but she opened the door with a warm smile, figuring she’d kill him with charm. “Jameson?” she asked, cocking her head in inquiry. “Hi, I’m Devon Pratt. I run the local floral shop. Welcome to Cape May.”

She waited for his response, keeping her smile at megawatt level. 

The man peered over thick black framed glasses and pinned her with a cool, direct gaze. Her belly gave an odd little dip as she met those gray eyes that looked exactly like the day’s sky. Cloudless, a bit stormy, and completely commanding.

Jordan was right. He was definitely good looking in a very hot-nerd way. He wore a dark, form-fitting suit that was way too formal, yet made him look perfectly at ease. A narrow red tie and shiny Italian loafers hinted he knew and enjoyed the power of a good accessory. Average height and weight, but broad shoulders filled out his jacket. His hair was slicked back from his face and the color of burnt caramel. Highly cut cheekbones set off his features with a touch of elegance, but his lips were lush and full, giving him an edge of sensuality that kept him from being too prudish looking. All of this was catalogued within seconds while she held her position. 

“Ms. Pratt, it’s nice to meet you, but I’m rather busy. Can I help you with something?”

She refused to stop smiling. “Please call me Devon. I’m here to help. I’m sure it’s been quite overwhelming for you to step into such chaos, and with Mac being out of touch, I wanted to offer my assistance. I hope his sister is safely out of the hospital?”

A tiny crease furrowed his brow. “How did you know about Mac’s sister?”

“Oh, everyone knows. News travels fast in this town.”

He didn’t look thrilled. In fact, he was studying her like she was a bug he was trying to analyze to see if it was worth keeping alive. “How archaic. Yes, she’s safely at home resting.”

“Good. I’m sure taking over the restaurant during the holidays has been a challenge. We all appreciate and support what you’re doing for Mac.”

He slowly blinked. “That’s nice. But I’ve been fine. Everything is under control.”

Devon shifted her feet. Her smile began to slip. “Well, I wanted to talk about the Fur Gala. My friend Jordan—she works at Vera’s Bridal—said you were trying to get it moved to the firehouse.”

“That’s correct.”

“I’m sure it seemed like a solid option but, unfortunately, it can’t really be moved at this late date. Invites have been sent, and the firehouse is too small. That place is used more for birthday parties and anniversary celebrations.”

“I’m sorry it won’t work out. Let me know if you decide to hold it somewhere else. I informed Judith I’m happy to offer a smaller, set menu for the inconvenience. Nice to meet you.”

He inclined his head as if to dismiss her.

Then turned back to his computer.

WTF?

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(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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