When you write a romance, you can become so involved with your characters, you find yourself speculating as to what happens to them outside of the published story!
As Christmas approaches, I found myself doing just that with Abby and Jack. Warm Hearts in Winter takes place mainly in late winter as spring approaches, but the other day, I caught myself wondering what their Christmases would be like and how the one before they met would be so very different to the one after …
The Christmas before …
Abby would have been happy in her job, no doubt attending and maybe even arranging the office Christmas party. She would also have spent plenty of time with her best friend Casey, shopping and having fun. She certainly never would have guessed that just a couple of months later she would be hounded out of that job, her only piece of luck being that Casey, as manager of a temping agency, finds her an assignment working for a widowed novelist … in the middle of the Yorkshire moors in the worst winter weather in years.
Jack wouldn’t have celebrated Christmas at all. He would have dutifully attended any parties and functions required of him and braved the shops to buy presents for friends and relatives … but with his heart still grieving for Beth, the wife he lost in an accident three years before, he would have holed up in his London flat as much as he could and tried his best to shut the festivities out.
He wouldn’t have been tempted to spend Christmas at his Yorkshire retreat. That was somewhere he spent Christmas with his wife, and although he stays there at other times of the year for solitude and to write, the memories would be too painful in December. Little would he have imagined Abby would soon be breezing into his life to help heal his heart.
The Christmas after …
Abby and Jack would spend Christmas at Jack’s house in Yorkshire, away from the crowds and relishing precious time alone together. They would take brisk walks across the moors, then warm up in front of the log fire with hot tea or maybe mulled wine. Jack would buy Abby something special to show her how much he appreciates her being in his life, and that she means as much to him as his late wife. Maybe he might even be bold enough to make that something special a diamond, since he now knows he wants her in his life for keeps.
Would Abby accept? She’s had a roller-coaster year, but after all their ups and downs, she understands Jack loves her for herself, not as a poor substitute for Beth. She wants to spend the rest of her life with him, and she only needs to be sure that he’s sure.
Yes, she would accept!
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