Cover Reveal for Christmas in Kentbury by Claudia Burgoa

 

 

Title: Christmas in Kentbury
Author: Claudia Burgoa

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Andie B.

Release Date: December 12, 2018

 

Blurb
Knightly
If practice makes perfect, I should excel at pretending that Heath
Miller doesn’t affect me. That I’m immune to that wide jaw, taut body, and the
unique woodsy-aftershave-engine-oil scent that makes my ovaries explode.
Since before I could walk, he’s been my champion. My best friend. The
one problem I can’t solve. Why? If I tell him I love him, I’ll lose him and his
adorable daughter. Maybe the best Christmas gift I can give him—and myself—is
to turn in the keys to my B&B and put some distance between us.
Heath
I’ve made my share of mistakes. Lost my MIT scholarship, came home to
fix cars and romance Kentbury’s female tourists—until I wound up a single
father. For all eight years of Cassie’s life, Knightly’s been my anchor.
I’ve changed. Cassie’s the best part of me, and Knightly’s been there
every step of the way. But as Christmas lays its mantle of magic over Kentbury,
she drops a bomb—she’s following a dream to New York City. I’ve got one week to
do everything, say everything I’ve never dared. To convince my best friend to
be mine—ours—for all the holidays to come.

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Excerpt

Prologue
Heath
I hate
surprises almost as much as I hate Sunday brunch at my parents. My family and I
don’t get along. It’s a cliché, but we’re like water and oil. I became
everything they hate and I hate everything they represent. My parents are
judgmental. During my late teens and up until a few months ago, I fucked
around—a lot—in every sense.
Needless to
say, I lost my scholarship to MIT during my sophomore year. The dean called me
irresponsible. My parents wrote me off as a failure until I came back to
Kentbury to take over my uncle’s car repair shop after he died. I try to keep
myself out of trouble and off the town’s radar. I steer away from the women in
town. But I do have fun with the tourists who stay at the lodge. It’s simple.
They’re here for a week or a weekend. Then they’re gone for good.
“But I ran
out of luck,” I sigh and look down.
In the
bouncy chair lies Cassie, my one-month-old baby. The fuss of black hair is
covered by a pink hat. Her arms aloft as if dreaming of cuddling her mother. I
slide my pinky into her open hand and watch as her fingers curl around it. I
feel her soft breath on the back of my hand. Already the tension is melting
away as I watch my sweet little girl sleep in peace. She’s so innocent, she
doesn’t know that our lives have been forever changed again.
“Maybe I
just got lucky,” I whisper close to her ear. “You and I are going to make it
work. I’ll make your proud little one.”
There’s a
slight knock on the door. I kiss her tiny hand before I open it for Knightly.
“That must
be, Knightly, coming to save the day,” I whisper to Cassie and kiss her tiny
hand.
There’s so
much I could tell her about my best friend, but not enough time. I only tell
Cassie what’s important, “She’s going to become your favorite person. We call
her Lee for short.”
When I
swing the door open, I finally relax. Lee’s here.
Her big
brown eyes narrow locking her gaze at me. “I need a big explanation,” she says
handing me the shopping bags she carries with her.
“Hello,
Lee,” I greet her and stare at all the bags she brought as she unzips her blue
parka.
“I got
everything that you asked for,” she says. Bishop is bringing the big items.
What do you need that for?”
Her voice
is neutral, but I know her well. She’s easy to read. The expression on her face
matches her mood. I know when she’s excited about something. I can tell when
she’s tired or cranky. Or, like right now, when she’s upset that I’m keeping
her in the dark. As she takes off all her winter gear and sets her snow boots
on the plastic tray, I close the door avoiding the sight of her body.
I like to
think of Lee Harris as my best friend. One of the boys. She’s the kid who I
hung out with since she could walk. I endless practice not noticing her sweet
curves or the way her long, dark, curly hair cascades over her shoulders once
she takes off her hat. I’m a shitty person and can’t do relationships. I’d
never do anything to jeopardize my relationship with Lee. Ever.
I tilt my
head toward the living room. “Follow me.”
“Oh my God,
did Santa bring me a baby?” She claps once and takes out the tube of hand
sanitizer that she always carries around.
Without
asking, she snaps the belt of the bouncy chair open and takes her into her
arms.
“Hey,
beautiful, welcome to Kentbury. You’re going to love this place.”
Cassie snuggles
closer to Lee who looks beautiful holding my baby. I swallow hard and remind
myself that she’s a friend who deserves a lot more than a guy who sucks at
life.
“You’re not
going to ask anything?”
“The mom
came to the lodge earlier, asking for you.” She sweeps my body with her gaze.
“Tall, dark hair, light blue eyes and was friends with the Lodge’s owner.”
Lee rolls
her eyes and sighs.
“You and
Kingston need to stop sleeping around or…” Lee touches her mouth lightly with
the tips of her fingers. “Oops, it happened.”
“You
could’ve warned me.” I grit my teeth.
“I
could’ve.” She shrugs. “Maybe next time.”
I glare at
her. She’s not funny but I don’t have the energy to deal with her banter.
Though, maybe she doesn’t have much energy either because she’s not as witty as
usual.  
“How are
you handling the news?” She asks with a serious tone, though her gaze remains
on Cassie.
“I’m
dealing, I guess,” I close my eyes briefly taking a deep breath. “Can you
picture me as a father?”
I gesture
to myself, showing her the hot mess that I am. Then, point to the
apartment I live in which is above the car shop.
“I’m a
fucked-up guy who can’t finish anything. I can’t even get along with my
parents. What am I supposed to do with a baby?”
“Love her,”
she answers.
“You should
give yourself some credit, Heath. She has the best dad in the world, and you
two have me and my family.”
I smile at
her and say the obvious, “I can always count on you.”
Lee studies
Cassie. She smiles at her, but her face looks a little saddened. Her brown eyes
are slightly red and watery. Was she crying? I’m sure it’s nothing. Later, when
I’m not busy with my baby I’ll ask her what’s wrong. In the meantime, I have to
learn how to be a dad.
Maybe I can
find a book on how to be a father online. It worked with the car shop, and so
far, I’ve managed it well enough.

 

Author Bio
Claudia is an award-winning, international bestselling
author. She lives in Colorado, working for a small IT. She has three children
and manages a chaotic household of three confused dogs, and a wonderful husband
who shares her love of all things geek. To survive she works continually to
find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high
quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact. 
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