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Love Blooms at Christmas Inn, Paperback

Love Blooms at Christmas Inn, Paperback

book 2 of the Christmas Inn Duet

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My brother, Stephen, has found the love of his life and I'm happy for him. He's ready to move on from Christmas Inn, which means I finally get to run the place. After a car accident took the use of my legs five years ago, I'm ready to finally feel independent. I want to take care of my son. 

When a handsome stranger's car breaks down and he's stranded until it gets fixed, I keep things profession. Problem is, when he looks at me, it feels like he sees me. Not the wheelchair and not the job title...but me. 

Continue with Love Blooms at Christmas Inn if you love: 

  • Stranded
  • Inn
  • Jilted in Love
  • Single Mom
  • Wheelchair Representation

Find out why readers are saying: 

"Was so happy to have Blossom's story. I truly felt where she was coming from, with just the guilt and struggle to be everything everywhere as a working mom, but then to add the challenges of being a single working mom confined to a wheelchair, so many feels!! I really just loved it." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader

MAIN TROPES

  • Stranded
  • Inn
  • Jilted in Love
  • Single Mom
  • Alpha Hero
  • Wheelchair Representation

Synopsis

Blossom has no room for love in her life. In fact, she’d pretty much given up on her fairytale ending after a car accident put her in a wheel chair five years ago. But with her brother’s up-coming wedding, she can’t help but wonder if maybe she’s ready to start searching.

Maybe there is someone who could see past the wheels and see only…her.

Carter lives a fast paced life. As New York’s up-and-coming real estate broker, having his car breakdown in the middle of Massachusetts was the last thing he needed. And a stay at a place called Christmas Inn? Nope. But, with no other options, he reluctantly books a room.

When the sweet, quirky room manager catches his eyes, he can’t help but feel the desire to slow down. Especially when her son just won’t leave him alone, or when Blossom seems to be seeking the one thing he didn’t know he wanted.

Love.

Chapter One Look Inside

Blossom

Blossom lay in her bed, staring up at the streams of bright light that had been creeping across her ceiling the last half an hour. There was nothing more relaxing than summer in Ivy Springs. The sun was up bright and early which meant Isaac, her son, was certainly up bright and early. The drapes on the far window were open, which on any other day would have irritated her. But not today.

Today was Holly and Stephen’s wedding, and she was so excited that her brother had found his happily ever after. Sure, that was a dream she was no longer holding onto for herself, but that didn’t mean she didn’t want it for others. 

Plus, after tonight, they were heading out on a honeymoon and leaving her in charge of Christmas Inn for the first time, ever. 

She was both nervous and exhilarated. 

Blossom stilled her breath as she listened for the telltale signs of her son. He wasn’t graceful, and he entered every room like a jackhammer. 

Today was no exception. 

Her door flew open, and a moment later, Isaac was on her bed. He crawled over to her and she quickly closed her eyes and stilled her features. She waited for the question he asked every morning. 

“Can I get up now, Mommy?” he asked in a whispered yell. 

Blossom paused before she cracked one eye open to see Isaac as he peered down at her. She quickly closed it again, and then very slowly, she shifted her arms and grabbed onto Isaac, pulling him down next to her. 

He squealed and giggled as he tried to escape while, at the same time, flopping down so that Blossom could get a better hold of him. Her fingers found his ribs and she tickled him until he was gasping for breath. 

It was their ritual every morning. 

“You’re already up,” she laughed as she leaned forward to whisper into his ear. 

He shrugged, his cheeks flushed from laughter. “You said I had to ask.”

Blossom released her grip on him and used her upper body to push herself up. Isaac crawled under her blanket and patted the lump his legs made. 

“Are you excited for today?” Blossom asked. Her gaze found its way to the lovely pale-yellow bridesmaid dress Holly had picked out. 

She was excited to wear it, even if she was going to do so while sitting in her chair. Her prison. The aspect of her life that she hadn’t really come to grips with even though it was an everyday feature of her life. 

Isaac seemed oblivious to her frustration. To him, her wheelchair was a normal part of their life, and she wondered if he ever noticed it anymore. She hated that her six-year-old son had grown accustomed to it when she hadn’t. It was hard not to feel sorry for herself. There had been a time in her life where she’d been able to run. To walk. To not have to worry about where she could or couldn’t go. Or if her chair was going to fit without knocking something over. 

She knew how life was meant to be enjoyed, and her current status wouldn’t allow for that anymore. 

Isaac shook his head, drawing her attention over. “My suit is itchy, and Uncle Steppen and Auntie Holly kiss too much.” He wrinkled his nose. “It’s gross.”

Blossom wrapped her arm around Isaac and pulled him closer as she snuggled down into her blanket and pillows. “They do kiss too much, huh?”

“Who kisses too much?” Stephen’s voice caused Isaac to jump and Blossom to laugh. He was standing in the open doorway with a tray propped on his hip. He had her medication and whatever breakfast Mrs. Brondy had whipped up so Blossom didn’t have to take her meds on an empty stomach. 

Blossom gave Stephen a sideways glare as he made his way into the room and set the tray down on the side table next to the bed. He handed her a glass of water along with a small cup of pills. 

“It’s your wedding day. You should be getting ready, not bringing me breakfast,” Blossom said as she folded her arms across her chest. 

Stephen stared her down as he held out the medication. A typical sibling showdown. “It’s my job as your big brother to take care of you. Holly will understand.” He leaned in and gave Blossom a wink. “Besides, I’m naturally good-looking. It doesn’t take long to whip these features into shape. Fifteen minutes tops and every guest here at Christmas Inn will be asking me to marry them.”

Blossom chuckled as she tipped her pills into her mouth and washed them down with the water. Then she handed the empty cups back to him. He set them on the tray and turned to Isaac.

“Come on, kiddo. Us men have some getting ready to do. Let’s leave your mom to finish eating and then she’ll head upstairs to the girls’ room.” Isaac had already catapulted into Stephen’s arms, and in a swift movement, Stephen had slung him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. 

Isaac squealed and laughed like this was the best thing ever. 

Blossom nodded as she grabbed the tray and slid it onto her lap. “I’ll finish up quick, check with the front desk, and head upstairs.” She took a bite of her toast and lifted a forkful of her eggs. She hadn’t realized it was already so late. If she was going to make sure that the reservation desk was humming along, she didn’t have much time. 

“Britney has that covered. You just eat and get upstairs. Holly’s turning into quite a bridezilla.” Stephen gave her a smile and a wink as he bumped Isaac a few times with his shoulder.

“Right…Holly? I can’t even imagine she would be good at that if she tried.” Blossom shook her head. Her soon-to-be sister-in-law was kind and sweet. Holly had been a tad broken when she returned to Ivy Springs a year ago, but with some meddling from her grandmother—the former owner of this inn—she and Stephen picked right back up where they’d left off. 

If Blossom didn’t love the two of them as much as she did, she would have allowed herself to be jealous. But Holly and Stephen deserved their forever happiness. 

Stephen got a starry-eyed look at the mention of his intended. Blossom gave him a smile and waved him from her room. “Go. She’ll never forgive me if I make the groom late.”

“Ah, she loves you!” he called over his shoulder as he left the room, shutting her door behind him. 

Now alone, Blossom hurried to finish her food and left her tray on the nightstand. Then, she gathered her strength as she pulled her comforter off her lap and, using her arms, guided her useless, sandbag-weighted legs over the edge. 

Her feet landed on the ground, and she blew out her breath as she straightened her back, preparing herself for the monumental task of climbing into her wheelchair. Frustration washed over her, and she closed her eyes for a moment as she attempted to push it down. 

She knew that, compared to a lot of people, she was lucky. The accident four years ago hadn’t taken everything from her. There were parts of her that still functioned, but that didn’t detract from the fact that she’d lost a lot. 

Being a mother and a woman seeking for purpose, the lack of her legs left her feeling raw and deflated. Especially when she thought of all the things she should be doing, all the things Isaac deserved from his mother—the things she couldn’t give him. 

If it hadn’t been for Stephen and Hope, she would have been on the streets, alone. But they gave her a home and a job and a sense of purpose. Their generosity had even allowed her to gain custody of Isaac. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to pay back her family, even if it meant never being a burden. 

Which was why she was determined to get through this wedding with as few mistakes as possible. 

It was her gift to her brother. 

Once she got to her wheelchair, she pushed herself over to the dress. After a few soft tugs, the hanger slipped from the top of the dresser and floated down onto her lap. She gathered up the dress and slipped it into the small basket that Stephen had attached to her chair. 

Then she wheeled into the bathroom and quickly washed her face and gathered up her makeup before making her way out to the hallway. On the way to the small elevator, she stopped by the reception desk. 

Britney was there, the phone pinched between her cheek and shoulder. She was talking, so Blossom rolled past her and over to the computer. The virtual guestbook was open, and Blossom took note of the check-ins. 

Most of those staying at Christmas Inn were Holly’s family members and friends. But, in their effort to keep the wedding small, they’d decided to keep a few rooms open for anyone who wanted to make Ivy Springs their vacation destination. 

Sure this was a small town, but there was so much beauty here, and many couples looking for a weekend away managed to find this place year after year. 

“Three checked in. Waiting on one more. One vacant room,” Blossom said under her breath as she scrolled through the list. A woman named Pricilla was expected around two. She had been very particular on the phone about room placement and the temperature she expected her room to be set at. 

Blossom had rolled her eyes as she made the notes. This was one check-in she was happy to miss. 

“Thanks. Yes, we’ll talk to you when you get here,” Britney said, followed by the click of the phone as it was set on the receiver. 

Blossom finished her analysis of the morning and turned her chair so she could face Britney. She was a young girl, eighteen. She’d picked up this job for the summer and was headed for NYU in the fall. 

Blossom enjoyed her company, and even though Britney was a little ditzy and sometimes forgetful, overall she was a joy to work with. Plus, she had energy, and when the occupants needed new sheets or help with the remote, Britney was more than happy to sprint upstairs. 

“Everything okay?” Blossom asked as she studied Britney’s face. 

Britney smiled and nodded, her cheeks flushed. “Just arranging some stays for next week. It seems like everyone is coming in for the fishing competition. We’re selling out fast.”

Ivy Springs held an annual fishing competition at the local lake. People from all over—mostly former residents—flocked here to compete. It was a way to see old friends and claim the coveted fish trophy. Plus the winner got five thousand dollars. 

Blossom nodded. “Every year.”

“I’ve got this covered. You head upstairs and get ready. Holly’s waiting for you.”

Blossom nodded and did one last scan of the desk before she wheeled over to the elevator and pressed the up button. Once she was on the second floor, she wheeled over to Holly’s door—the one that she’d stayed in her first night back—into which Stephen had stuffed over ten Christmas trees just to prove a point—and knocked on the door. 

It opened, and Holly’s cheerful, beautiful face appeared. She cheered as she bent down and pulled Blossom into a hug. 

“You’re here,” she exclaimed as she let Blossom go and then stepped to the side. “Guys, my gorgeous and ridiculously single soon-to-be sister-in-law is here.”

There was a collective cheer from the room. Feeling out of place, but not wanting Holly to sense it, Blossom forced as genuine a smile as she could and began to wheel inside. 

If she wasn’t stuck in a chair, it would have been perfectly simple to weave through all the women in the room. But Blossom’s cheeks heated as she noted all the cords, the shoes, and the purses strewn across the floor. 

Halfway into the room, she’d already knocked over three curling irons and jostled an ironing board that had a few half-full champagne flutes on top of it. Embarrassment coursed through her as she apologized and attempted to pick up what had fallen. 

Even though everyone was understanding and stopped what they were doing to clean up to make the path easier for her, Blossom felt mortified. This was the last thing she wanted. Tears pricked her eyes as everyone gave her encouraging smiles, but she couldn’t help but feel pitied. 

Taking in a deep breath, she reminded herself who this day was for. And even if she wasn’t going to get that brother-sister dance she’d wanted—after all, she was the only one of her family here today to give Stephen away—she was going to force a smile and be happy anyway. 

Once Stephen and Holly left for their honeymoon, life at Christmas Inn would return to normal. And, for Blossom, returning to her new normal was exactly what her ragged nerves needed.

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