It’s a Wonderful Lie
(Heaven on Earth, #1)
Publication date: December 9th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
He was sent to save her life, but ended up losing his heart, memories, and clothes.
Eden Credere should be in Barbados with her new husband. Instead, it was like she married Murphy and his law was ruining her life. She’d lost her dad, her job, her best friend, and her fiancé. After drowning her sorrows with rum and eggnog on Christmas Eve, she takes a tumble in a tree lot with a Douglas Fir, sending Eden over the edge.
Theliel has watched over Eden her entire life, from her first steps to her latest, where she dove in a tree lot. He’s always been there to save her, and this time should have been no different—until it was. As her guardian angel, he’s not supposed to be seen, but one corporeal slip-up later, and he’s got a lot of explaining to do.
As Theliel works to convince Eden why the world is a much better place with her in it, he finds himself the one falling, and it’s Eden who catches his heart. In a twist of fate, Theliel must not earn his wings, but his humanity by convincing Eden they’re meant to be together.
The only problem is neither of them remember who he is when he wakes up on Christmas morning in a snowbank with no memories and no clothes. With the magic of Christmas in the air, love in their hearts, a vision of yoga pants, and maybe a little help from their “friends”, all they have to do is believe.
Swiping my tearstained face, I made my way over to the myriad of trees and tried to make a quick decision. I had to get out of there fast. I couldn’t “people” anymore today. I would either end up a blubbering mess under the blow-up lawn ornaments or in jail from high-fiving the heartless cashier right in the face who couldn’t fork over thirty cents to help a kid buy a Christmas wreath.
In my unstable mindset, I made the poor choice to go for the nine-foot Douglas fir. As I yanked the leaning tree from the fence, little did I know I held a death trap in the palm of my sticky hand. The laws of physics mocked my existence as the tree toppled over, taking my five-foot, six-inch frame with it.
It’s completely true how your life flashed before your eyes in those last seconds of mortality. Mine happened to be stuck on repeat of Grayson stuffing Suzie as I cursed his name in all six languages I spoke. If he hadn’t cheated on me, I’d be in Barbados as Mrs. Jilani, not splattered on the floor of Trees-R-Us as the jilted Eden Credere.
Instead of hitting the cold, snow-covered ground, something strong cradled the back of my head, radiating a warmth that caressed my skin and soothed what should have been my shattered bones. I would have sworn there were no customers around me as I hid my ever-blackening soul in the back forty of the tree lot. No one could have caught me that fast. Then again, one hundred pounds of Douglas fir swallowed my face, so my vantage point skewed a bit.
“Thank you, Lord,” I whispered on the breath that whooshed out of my lungs.
A melodic yet husky chuckle vibrated around me, filling me with the same warmth that held my head in some bubble of safety. Maybe I did hit the ground, and the warmth was a pool of my own blood. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities with as much rum and eggnog as I’d consumed earlier.
“Believe me, I am not the Lord.” A voice surrounded me, and heat tingled straight to my toes, as if his tone resonated just for my ears.
“Oh good, because if you were, I’d be really upset that I’m meeting him in yoga pants and no makeup.” Sometimes the things that came out of my mouth missed the sanity filter in my brain.
Another chuckle vibrated against me before it halted, followed by a sharp intake of air. “You heard that?”
With pine needles burrowing into my closed eyelids, I couldn’t be sure I was actually talking to another person and not just myself. “Heard what?”
“What I said. I didn’t mean for you to hear it.” Worry strained his words as he softened his voice.
“You didn’t exactly whisper it, and seeing as how you caught me like a ninja, you had to be nearby. Which reminds me, I still have a tree on my face. I don’t suppose you’d help get it off me? I’ll buy you a coffee or a beer or something.”
“I’m so sorry. Of course. I…I was caught off guard. Let me help you up,” he stammered.
“Well, I suppose anyone would be caught off guard while having to dive for some stranger being eaten by a tree. Unless you’re like a lumberjack and see that kind of thing all the time.” The spiked eggnog I’d had for breakfast now seemed like a really bad idea as the stupid tumbled out of my mouth in droves.
His harmonious chuckle returned and enveloped me again, like tiny ripples of pleasure bouncing off my body. I loved this man’s laugh, and I hadn’t even seen his face. In the span of thirty seconds, I’d developed some freaky fetish where all I wanted to do was have him laugh near me so I could swaddle in the warmth and happiness of his voice.
Shit, what the hell did I put in that eggnog? Was it expired?
“Hold still,” the mystery man said.
He eased me to the ground. Cold snow soaked the back of my head, my hair sucking it up like a slushy. I cursed the blasted New Jersey winters in three ancient tongues. I’d probably pay for that later, but as an archaeologist, I rarely got to use all the dead languages I studied. Now seemed like a good time.
The tree whisked away from my face, and I blinked my eyes open. The gasp that followed sucked in so much cold air, an erratic series of hiccups erupted. Another sign I was more than likely drunk—Thor hovered over me, or at least he could have passed for his twin brother. Thick blond locks of hair danced across his broad shoulders in the light breeze, framing his marble-smooth, chiseled face. The bluest eyes I’d ever seen sparkled like an ocean, and if I stared into them long enough, I was sure they’d take me to a whole other world. Those eyes looked hauntingly familiar. Where had I seen them before?
“You’ve got quite the naughty mouth, Eden,” he said, warming me with his voice and a smile that probably dropped a lot of panties. He slid his arms under my back and lifted me from the ground as if I weighed nothing. Boy, would he have a backache in the morning.
“How do you know my name? Have we met before?” I blinked again, reassuring myself I hadn’t passed out and that I was indeed alive, awake, and in Thor’s arms.
“Um, your driver’s license was on the ground. Must have fallen out when the tree landed on you.” He glanced away from my inquiring stare.
Hmm, plausible, since I had stuffed my debit card and license in my pocket instead of carrying a purse today. I only planned on getting a tree and going right back home. I dared not go anywhere else on Christmas Eve with all the crazies on the road.
I slipped my hand into my pocket and found both cards there. Did he put it back? Surely I would have felt it. But it had been a while since I’d had a man’s hand in my pants. Grayson and I stopped having sex about six months before the marriage that never happened. He wanted the wedding night to be special. Yeah, so special because he was basting the neighbor.
Wait, he said I had a naughty mouth, meaning this dude knew I cursed in a dead language. Or maybe he assumed it was cursing, since Aramaic and ancient Greek sounded a lot like my angry Italian mother.
Wren hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet and carried her to Texas, where she promptly lost all tolerance for cold and snow. Fueled by coffee, dreams, and men in kilts, Wren promises to bring you laughter, heart-fluttering romance, and action that keeps you on the edge of your seat.