A Winter Bundle Standalone
Author: Kayla Parent
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Release Date: November 9, 2021
Birdie Tenneson and Chase Cyrus met under the stars on Christmas Eve. They shared their deepest secrets, and a first kiss that neither would ever forget…
Chase hasn’t stopped dreaming of that fateful night. Then one evening, nine years later, Birdie serendipitously reappears in his life—but on the arm of his biggest investor. Though Birdie’s even more captivating than she was in his memories, Chase knows that she’s off limits if he wants to have any success with his up-and-coming bakery. But with Christmas magic in the air, the two of them spend more time together, and Chase begins to realize that Birdie’s more than just a fantastic memory. She could be his soul mate.
Birdie hasn’t forgotten Chase either, or the gift he gave her long ago—the ability to find both beauty and magic in small and quiet moments. Now that she’s older, Birdie seems to live a perfect, happy life. She has a burgeoning photography career, a boyfriend who adores her, and a chance to enter the county photo contest to honor her father’s memory. But Chase’s unexpected reappearance in her life turns her whole world upside down. Between sips of gingerbread latte, he shows her that she may be frozen in a life that she doesn’t really want…
…And that he may be the only one who can make her melt.
The door opens, and then as if in slow motion, out walks the boy I’ve thought about every day for nine years. The boy who gave me two precious gifts the night I ran crying into the Vermont wilderness.
But he’s not a boy anymore. He’s a man. And he’s staring right at me.
“Excuse me. I have to use the bathroom.”
I throw my napkin on my plate and shove back from the table.
Rhett puts a hand on my arm. “Wait, Chase is going to explain some of his methods and the new shop we’re opening. Don’t go just yet—”
“It’s an emergency, sorry.”
Looking down at the floor, I book it from the dining room as fast as possible. Despite the chaos inside me, I manage to keep a blank expression, but it’s all I can do to make it to the bathroom in once piece.
After closing the door, I rush to the sink. I splash cold water on my face, but it does nothing to dilute the shock of seeing Chase again. That moment we shared in the forest feels like a dream to me. So much so, that I sometimes wonder if I made it all up, or imagined him as a way to cope with my father’s loss.
For years afterward, I searched for Chase. But I only had a first name and a tentative location to go on, so I never had any luck. He wasn’t on social media and nothing came up in a general search. A few months after Chase and I met, I was able to track down the pastry shop his parents must have owned, but it had since closed with no forwarding number.
Even after all that, I didn’t want to give up. So one year on a whim, I took a trip to Vermont. I tried to ask around about him, but no one knew anything. I wandered around aimlessly for days, going in and out of shops, but eventually had to give up.
I didn’t think I’d ever find him.
And now, here he is, standing in my boyfriend’s dining room.
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Kayla Parent has written over 150 digital stories and amassed hundreds of millions of reads across a dozen different platforms.
Depending on her mood that day, she writes—and loves—both romance and horror. Her goals are to either make you fall in love with her characters, or frighten you enough to worry that one of them is hiding under your bed.
She currently lives in Massachusetts with her swoon-worthy husband Jimmy, her sweet son Garrett, and her mischievous beagle Gus. When she’s not writing, she’s usually reading. She’s enamored with historical romance, mythology, folk tales and true-life crime. She’s also a self-proclaimed champagne enthusiast, a chronic daydreamer, and popcorn fanatic.