The Mistletoe Contract
The Mistletoe Contract
by Jennifer Chastain
GENRE: Contemporary Christian Romance
He needs a wife. She needs money. Is their modern-day marriage an answer to their prayers or a disaster waiting to happen?
Confirmed bachelor, Nathan Rutledge shut his heart to romance when he was forced to break the heart of the only woman he ever truly loved. Now, with his father’s retirement from the family conglomerate, the torch has been passed to him. But there are two problems—first, he needs a wife in order to take over the family business. Second, someone has been embezzling company funds. With the pressure mounting, and time expiring to find both a wife he can trust and the thief, Nate needs a Christmas miracle.
Forensic Accountant, Meredith Mitchell’s life is in a shambles. Her mother needs a lifesaving transplant, Mom’s medical bills have bankrupted Meredith’s meager savings, and she’s sold everything of value, but it’s still not enough. To make matters worse, she’s now tasked with discovering accounting errors for a new client—none other than Nathan Rutledge—the same man who gave her a broken heart for Christmas eight years ago.
Meredith wants to run. Nate wants the chance to right his wrongs. So, naturally, when he proposes a modern-day marriage of convenience, she balks at the idea. But he desperately needs a wife, and she really needs the money he offers. Is this the answer to her prayers? Or will this mutually beneficial arrangement re-open old wounds that can’t be healed?
“Okay, you’re starting to drive me nuts. What is going on?” Meredith blew on her bare hands. She should’ve grabbed her gloves.
“I’ve been thinking. About me and the company. About you. How I need a wife. How you need money for your mom’s kidney transplant. It’s a perfect solution.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not following you. What’s perfect?”
After zipping his jacket, he clasped her cold hands in his large, warm ones. Shoot, his touch shouldn’t make her all fluttery. “Us. I think we should get married. I’d pay for your mom’s transplant and past-due hospital bills, and you’d help me retain the company. It’s a win-win.”
Her mouth hung open. “Wait. What? You want us to get married? You’re nuts!” She yanked her hands out of his grasp and stormed off the porch. She should’ve grabbed a hat, too.
She stopped in midstride next to his pickup. She had to keep it together. Not let him see the yearning in her eyes. Meredith inhaled, closed her eyes, and said a silent prayer.
He circled around her and lifted her chin with his forefinger. “Hey, I know I screwed up, and I’m truly sorry. Think of this as my way of apologizing.”
“What are you trying to do to me, Nate?” she whispered. Her mouth was dry, like she’d sucked on a hundred cotton balls.
“Nothing. Nothing at all. It’s a business proposition. We’ll call it the Mistletoe Contract.”
Shaking her head, she was certain she’d misunderstood him.
About the Author:
Jennifer Chastain is a member of ACFW, ACFW-NC, and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. Several of her other stories were finalists in the Blue Ridge Mountains Foundations contest and she was a finalist in the Touched by Love contest, sponsored by the Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers. Her contemporary romance stories contain the themes of redemption, grace, and forgiveness.
A hopeful romantic, Jennifer loves dark chocolate, Diet Coke, old movies and a good romantic movie. She loves to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen and when not cooking, she’s reading or conducting more research for her stories. Growing up in the snowy North, Christmas has always been her favorite holiday, with the scents of cinnamon, vanilla, and pine scenting the air.
She and her husband have been married for over 25 years and they are permitted to co-exist with their black rescue cat.
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