Evie Anderson adored her grandfather and wanted to make him proud. When her parents died, her grandparents took her in and raised her and her grandfather was so proud of her job in London. After being dumped by her fiance just days before she was to be married, she also found out her landlord had changed the locks. Top it off with the billionaire Rico Laccarelli who owned the hotel where she worked was due to arrive at his penthouse suite in 24 hours. The hotel itself was one of the most expensive properties in the world. So she put her belongings in a plastic sack and off she trudged through the snow to the hotel, her clothing soaking wet. Evie had been hired to work in reception but was demoted due to her boss who had tried to kiss her and was now working in housekeeping. With it only being twelve days until Christmas, she was to decorate the huge tree in the penthouse, plus clean it. She stowed her personal belongings in the basement and went to get her instructions. Her nasty boss Carlos noted her state and told her to ready everything, take a hot shower and gave her permission to stay overnight and finish the details in the morning.
Rico Laccarelli before leaving for London met with his lawyer. They had a super-sensitive deal on the table which meant Rico had to be pure as the snow falling in London. His lawyer advised him “no women” and to keep a low profile for a few weeks. He could not afford to have the press publishing any stories about him being with any women. This deal was the most important thing in his life! He was a workaholic, hated Christmas but would never tell anyone why and he was going to arrive early at his London hotel, to shake things up a bit. He had plans to fire the man in charge, Carlos.
What he first found was the security was bad and there was a beautiful, curvy very naked redhead lying on top of his bed. He couldn’t help himself, he kissed her and then a flash of a camera went off. Oh my God, what had he done? He was furious with Evie, he fired Carlos, and the very jealous head of housekeeping. He thought Evie was part of a plan to bring him down until a hotel employee confirmed she worked in housekeeping. Rico threatened Evie within an inch of her life if she left the hotel room until he got everything sorted.
What a mess and how would Rico take care of damage control? Evie was so frightened her “bottom” would appear in the tabloids and what that would do to her grandfather who was now in a nursing home. Rico wasn’t going to let his “secret” deal go under so he came up with the idea that he and Evie had been seeing each other for the past six weeks and they were engaged to be married. He let the press think they had the upper hand when he took her shopping for a ring, to red carpet events, charity balls and made sure they were photographed kissing, touching and dancing. It was all a very clever plan until it somewhat backfired on them both because all of the pretending and touching led to them becoming intimate and unleashing their passion.
Evie had a low self esteem because she was curvy, full busted and very tall. It was hard for her to feel beautiful yet Rico thought she was and in his own way tried to let her know he found her more than attractive. She was constantly on edge, just waiting for the “naked” picture to be published in the tabloids. Rico also smoothed things over with her grandfather and his lawyer was very pleased with his plan of action. Evie was so sure no one would believe they were engaged because how could a rich and ruthless, handsome billionaire be interested in her? However, she charmed his bodyguards, two Russian business men and shocked Rico when he found out she spoke five different languages. Evie Anderson was a charming heroine.
Rico hated Christmas and demanded all of the holiday decorations be taken from his penthouse. He would flinch when they attended functions and there was Christmas music playing and holiday decorations. “He made Scrooge look like a cheerleader.” He was constantly berating her about her wanting to ice skate, build a snowman, and sing Christmas songs. He demanded no decorations in their room and would not share with her why he hated the holidays.
While reading The Twelve Nights of Christmas I knew there had to be more to Rico’s hatred of the holidays and possibly his “secret deal”. Let me just say in the last chapters two secrets are revealed and they are shocking! From then on, I personally cried my heart out because Evie was so caring giving and loving. Once Rico revealed everything to Evie their relationship changed. She absolutely fell in love with him yet she knew he was the wrong man for her because he had told her he didn’t believe in commitment.
One thing was for sure in this beautiful and brilliantly written romance…… Christmas miracles did happen. How Evie spent Christmas was a wonderful surprise! I personally and highly recommend Sarah Morgan’s, The Twelve Nights of Christmas. It’s perfect Holiday reading and for gift giving for that special romance reader..
Behind the Book - The Twelve Nights of Christmas....
"One of my favourite seasonal reads is A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens I’ve always enjoyed following Ebenezer Scrooge's progress from 'Bah! Humbug' to hope and love, so when I started writing a Christmas story for Harlequin Presents I knew I wanted my hero to have a difficult past to overcome. I wanted him to be someone who, like Scrooge, doesn't enjoy Christmas; someone whose emotional journey is challenging. Instead of giving him a trio of ghosts to deal with, I gave him my heroine, Evie, a Christmas loving girl who forces him to face everything he finds difficult. Does my hero, like Scrooge, come out of the encounter with a different view of Christmas? That's for you to find out.......(first chapter on my website www.sarahmorgan.com)" SM