We are so excited to bring you this exclusive excerpt from Flora’s Traveling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin!
‘Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies, and magic under the mistletoe…
Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she’s gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams – and what better place to start than the home of Christmas?
Before she can say ‘sleigh bells’, Flora’s on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can’t wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn’t expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There’s just one problem: Connor hates Christmas.
Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas – and will she find a festive romance along the way?
‘Curse you and all of your friends, you stupid piece of plastic!’ I wipe sweat from my brow, even though it’s about three degrees. How can one teeny tiny little hose be so damn difficult to put on? There must be some sort of mastery to it because for the life of me, I cannot make it work. I do what any sensible adult would do, I throw it, I stamp on it, I bend over and scream at it.
‘Why won’t you do your bloody job and just go where you bloody well BELONG!’
In my perspiring, anxiety-induced rage, I notice a small car has stealthily pulled up behind me and some Norse god alights from it. The car looks downright minuscule near such a man. Whoa. He struts over all powerful and broody as if he’s just come from saving the universe. He stands in front of me, giving me one of those looks usually reserved for escaped criminals. ‘Are you . . . OK?’ he asks warily.
He’s like the god of thunder or something, big and burly with bulging muscles, highlighted by the fact his jacket is too small, or maybe they don’t make jackets in Norse god size? I really don’t know about these things as all my boyfriends have been on the smaller side, which I’ve never really liked, being curvaceous myself. He’s tall and athletic like he runs with reindeer or something; maybe he owns a reindeer farm or something equally Christmassy in which case . . . could he be the Hallmark movie hero! ‘Do you know all of Santa’s reindeer’s names?’
He ignores me for some inexplicable reason but looks on edge. The man mountain leans over and inspects the front of the van. ‘Did you hit something?’ He runs a hand along the bumper as if checking for dents while surprise knocks me sideways that he has an Irish accent. ‘Like your head, for example?’
‘What, no?’ Hit my head? The guys thinks I’m batty! But his Irish lilt throws me; it doesn’t sound exactly Norse god like, but I still can’t help thinking of him this way. ‘My heart pumps fast as I lock eyes with him, because I have this unshakable knowing: he’s the one for me. I feel it in my soul! We’d have a winter wonderland wedding in Lapland. Santa’s village would be ideal, but do they do that sort of thing?
But why is he looking at me like that? Doesn’t he recognise true love when he sees it? Another thought hits: is this heaven? Am I dead? They were toxic fumes! He’s an angel come to guide me on in the afterlife . . . Well thank you, Jesus!
He bends to pick up the offending piece of rubber that up until now was the bane of my existence – right up until he came along, that is.
‘Is this a radiator hose?’
Mechanically minded too, tick!
‘Were you yelling at a radiator hose?’ He frowns as if he can’t quite make sense of the situation. What’s so alarming about me yelling in frustration at a piece of plastic? He gives me a look that suggests he thinks I’m unhinged. This can’t be heaven, angels would surely be more amenable, more friendly – this guy looks like he’s one step away from running. But why?
I cough into my hand. ‘Well, you see, I had a spot of van trouble, which I managed to self-diagnose, being a calm, capable woman who doesn’t need a man to rescue her. I was trying to put the hose back on and I’m not sure what happened but this hose has clearly shrunk and no matter what I do it simply will not fit. Which makes me wonder if perhaps, it’s not the right size hose and that’s why it slipped off in the first place?’ Look at me sounding like an engineer!
‘Hmm,’ he says.
Hmm? Is that it? Is he not feeling what I’m feeling? That there’s the distinct possibility of love in air, once we get past our first disastrous meet-cute, just like in the movies except this knucklehead doesn’t seem to get that. ‘What did you think I was doing?’
‘I thought you were . . .’
Being strong, independent, taking the reins of your own life. The type of woman who doesn’t need a man, but can pick and choose if she wants one. And I choose him!
‘. . . murdering someone. You were incandescent with rage.’
About the Author:
Rebecca Raisin writes heartwarming romance from her home in sunny Perth, Australia. Her heroines tend to be on the quirky side and her books are usually set in exotic locations so her readers can armchair travel any day of the week. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous heroes who have brains as well as brawn, is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true, once in a lifetime love. Her bestselling novel Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has been optioned for film with MRC studios and Frolic Media.