When life goes downhill… head to the snow-capped Alps for roaring fires, apres-ski and festive romance.
Lily Jackson loves Christmas. She also loves her childhood friend Jamie, but when her plan to kick-start their romance goes drastically wrong and her job gets her down, Lily decides it’s time to make changes. A job opens up in snowy Chamonix and egged on by her best friend Imogen, Lily decides to go for it.
As Lily settles in with the eccentric Devereux family at their gorgeous boutique ski hotel, she starts to confront her past. But when she meets handsome ski instructor Luc, who hates Christmas, Lily might have taken on more than she can handle.
Can Lily make a new life – with or without skis? And can she get Luc to see how truly romantic Christmas can be?
‘That literally sounds like the most shit night ever,’ Imogen said, her voice sounding tinny. Presumably it was from being up a mountain in France. ‘I don’t blame you for throwing up at the end of it. Nauseating, the whole thing.’
‘Tell me about it,’ Lily said, cradling her phone into her neck as she pulled the sleeves of her jumper over her hands. She was sitting shivering in the pretty back garden of her mum’s house in Kent, having been invited over for Sunday lunch for her mum’s birthday. It was a gloomy autumnal day and the heavy atmospheric weather suited her mood perfectly.
‘So, what are you going to do?’ Imogen asked, shifting into practical mode.
‘Do?’ Lily frowned. ‘I’m not going to “do” anything, Ims. What can I do?’
‘Leave the country?’ Imogen promptly returned. ‘That’s what I’d do.’
‘What, take the job at the ski place with you?’ Lily surmised, rolling her eyes at her predictability.
‘Er… yup. Why not? I certainly wouldn’t sit around watching those two fawning all over each other.’
Lily sighed. She had to admit the thought of seeing Jamie and Ivy together was torturous and she wasn’t sure she could cope with it. Maybe it would be better to just get away. Her job wasn’t making her smile anymore and she had drunkenly told one of her closest friends that she was in love with him. Lily cringed. Could it get any worse?
She looked up and saw her mum waving at her from inside the house. ‘Ivy and Jamie are here! Come inside and say hi.’
‘Oh bloody hell. Did you hear that?’ Lily asked Imogen.
‘What, the sound of you resigning from your job and packing your suitcase full of the cutest ski jumpers and salopettes ASAP?’ Imogen said. ‘Yes, I think I did.’
Lily couldn’t help smiling. God, she would love to be around Imogen right now. That was just what she needed. Laughter and fun and just getting away from all of this stress and heartache – not to mention the intense embarrassment. Lily’s cheeks felt hot just at the thought of Jamie’s horrified face the other night.
‘OK, here’s my plan.’ Imogen always had a plan for everything. ‘I’ve already given your CV to my boss, Celine. Yes, yes, I know. I’m super-bossy and out of order, blah, blah. But she thinks you sound wonderful and all you’d need to do is have a phone interview with her. Then she’d send you a plane ticket. Trust me. So have a think about it and give me a nudge as soon as you want me to arrange the call.’
Lily got up and rubbed her bum, which had turned numb from the cold. ‘I think you’re getting ahead of yourself…’
‘I think by the end of lunch you’ll be on the blower to me, begging me for that job,’ Imogen retorted. ‘Godspeed and all that and I’ll talk to you later.’
‘Bye, Ims.’ Lily ended the call. Taking a deep breath and berating herself for being a drama queen, she headed indoors.
Thank you, Sasha Wagstaff and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Sasha Wagstaff learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Sasha started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer. She also writes under the pseudonym of Ella Harper.