Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor
By: Lisa Kleypas | Other books by Lisa Kleypas
Published By: St. Martin's Press
Published: Oct 26, 2010
Available in: Secure Adobe Epub eBook
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor) by Lisa Kleypas - Romance>Contemporary eBook
One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.
The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister's will gives him the instructions: There's no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.
Maggie Collins doesn't dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.
Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home... in Lisa Kleypas'sChristmas Eve at Friday Harbor.
Until his sister's death, Mark Nolan had treated his niece Holly with the usual offhand affection of a bachelor uncle. He had seen her during the occasional holiday gatherings, and he'd always made certain to buy her something for her birthday and for Christmas. Usually gift cards. That had been the limit of his interactions with Holly, and it had been enough.
But everything changed one rain-slicked April night in Seattle, when Victoria had been killed in a car wreck on I-5. Since Victoria had never mentioned a will or any plans she had made for Holly's future, Mark had no idea what would happen to her six-year-old daughter. There was no father in the picture. Victoria had never divulged who he was, even to her close friends. Mark was fairly certain that she had never told the father about Holly's existence.
When Victoria had first moved to Seattle, she had fallen in with a bohemian crowd, a group of musicians and creative types. This had resulted in a string of short-term relationships that had provided all the artistic razzle-dazzle Victoria had craved. Eventually, however, she had been forced to admit that the quest for personal fulfillment had to be balanced with a regular paycheck. She'd applied for a job at a software company and had gotten one in human resources, with decent pay and great benefits. Unfortunately by that time, Victoria had found out she was pregnant.
"It's better for everyone if he's not involved," she had told Mark when he had asked who the guy was.
"You need some help with this," Mark had protested. "At the very least, the guy should live up to his financial obligations. Having a kid isn't cheap."
"I can handle it by myself."
"Vick...being a single parent isn't something I'd wish on anyone."
"The concept of parenting, in any form, freaks you out," Victoria had said. "Which is perfectly understandable, coming from our background. But I want this baby. And I'll do a good job."
And she had. Victoria had turned out to be a responsible parent, patient and kind with her only child, protective without being overcontrolling. God knew where such mothering skills had come from. They had to have been instinctive, since Victoria certainly hadn't learned them from her own parents.
Mark knew without a doubt that he didn't have those instincts. Which was why it was a shock upon shock when he learned that he had not only just lost a sister, he had gained a child.
Being named as Holly's guardian was nothing he had ever anticipated. He knew his own capabilities about most things, and he had a good idea of what he probably would be able to do in situations he hadn't yet encountered. But this...taking care of a child...this was beyond him.
If Holly had been a boy, he might've had half a chance. Boys weren't all that hard to figure out. The entire female gender, on the other hand, was a mystery. Mark had long ago accepted that women were complicated. They said things like, "If you don't already know, I'm not going to tell you." They never ordered their own desserts, and when they asked your opinion on which outfit to wear, they always wore the one you didn't pick. Still, although Mark would never claim to understand women, he adored them: their elusiveness, the surprises of them, their intricate, fascinating shifts of mood.
But toactually raise one...Jesus, no. The stakes were too high. There was no way he could set a good enough example. And guiding a daughter through the treacherous, tricky climate of a society that presented every kind of pitfall...God knew he had no qualifications for that.
Mark and his siblings had been raised by parents whose...