Hope Parker dreads this year’s Christmas party that takes place at her parents’ house. Her mom has set up another blind date for her and Hope is really tired of these. So when she meets a handsome man at the train station she comes up with a plan to escape her mom’s date.
Unfortunately, her plan takes a small detour when the train goes off the tracks and she’s forced to spend the night with the man at an inn in a close by town.
When I moved to Portland to go to school I was the happiest girl on Earth. My mother told me that I was gonna get bored quickly and that city life can get old. I didn’t wanna believe her, but now, after two years, I, Hope Parker, solemnly swear that I am bored of the life in Portland and I really miss my small, quiet town. And in spite of the cold, long winters, I miss the mountains I could see from my bedroom window.
That’s why I’m always looking forward to going home for holidays.
To say the train station looks forlorn would be a massive understatement. Hasn’t snowed yet and that’s why the image is really gray and sad. The trees are sagging under the rain and the cold. Mud and big puddles of water are everywhere and the sky is still covered with a thick blanket of heavy rain clouds. Drizzle is leaking, making the people sag in their warm clothes.
I pull the hood of my winter coat over my head, and try to push myself even farther into the small nook where I wait for my train. Luckily for me it’s not very cold but I prefer being safe than sorry, so I wear my fingerless gloves just in case, especially since I’m reading a manuscript. Or trying to, anyway. I seem to be very distracted at the moment.
People are walking around the station, leaving or returning. A train that has just stopped is making heavy noises, smoke coming out of the engine like it’s an old grandfather smoking his pipe. I smile watching it and the people climbing on and off.
I like trains. That’s why, instead of driving my car, I prefer to go home by train. My home, the nice town of Gorham, New Hampshire, is only two hours away. On the way I can read and enjoy some sort of free time. Driving takes the pleasure out of traveling. You can’t see the beautiful places you pass or the panoramas, and you most certainly can’t read.
Ten minutes later, my train is called out and I hurry to put my stuff together. Have you ever seen a bookworm after they dropped all their books in a public library and they’re desperately trying to collect them without making any more noise, and without getting even more embarrassed? Yep, that’s me right now! I even have the thick rimmed glasses. And just as I’m running, my backpack hanging on my arm, the manuscript and two other books in my other arm, I step into one big puddle then stumble and fall on my face. My poor glasses fly off, sliding away on the wet asphalt.
“Shoot!” I mumble, getting up. My vision isn’t very clear, and I’m wet like a dog. “Oh, no!”
“Here, I believe these are yours,” a male voice says. I turn and barely distinguish a man holding my glasses.
“Thanks,” I manage.
“I wiped them clean for you.”
Blinking a few times and wriggling my nose to better position them, I sigh and force myself to face the embarrassment of all the others watching me. Starting with the man that’s helped me retrieve my glasses.
Oh, my. He’s gorgeous. He’s only a few inches taller than me, has raven black hair that’s curling behind his ears, and amazing blue eyes. The bluest I’ve ever seen. He knocks the breath out of me.
Still caught in my disgrace, I only succeed a nod and a tight smile for an answer. And I avoid his amused eyes like they’re kryptonite.
“Good, I’m glad. Here, have this, too. It’s not much, but at least it’s gonna help you with the worst.” He pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket and hands it to me.
I swallow, nodding my head and still smiling like a lunatic, take the hankie and begin wiping off my slicker coat. Doesn’t help with the mud stains but it does help with the wetness.
By the time I’m done, the nice man has already collected my things.
“Do you have a train to catch?”
Oh, fuck! My train!