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A Sweet Noel: Seven Contemporary Romance Novellas

By Jackie Castle, Marji Laine, Patricia Pacjac Carroll, Michelle Stimpson, CaSandra McLaughlin, Janice Olson, Lee Carver, Lena Nelson Dooley


Candy Lane Sweet Shop Candyce Barkley tosses the engagement ring, the last token of her past, out the car window. She has a second chance to make something of her messed-up life. If the folks of Madison Creek can forget her history for mischief making. Finley Quinn is a few hours away from his rut in Madison Creek. A stop for coffee results in his bumping into a flash from the past with pink hair and bright tattoos. When Candy shares a ride back home with him, Finn realizes his heart had followed the wild girl, and she still had it, whether she knew it or not. Candy Cane CrushTori Hunter hinged her future on the Christmas promotion for her hometown of Marseilles, Texas. However, the man she hired to help her gets sick, and some new guy is sent to follow through on all of their plans. Are they doomed?Mike Kincaid hoped to never see the town of Marseilles again. But with his associate out of commission, his company needs their best man to ensure success for the town’s Christmas plans. His original thought, “get done and get out” is diverted, though, by the sparkling blue eyes and sincere smile of the project lead. Silver Bells and Cat TailsAfter a disastrous relationship, Laine determines no more dating. She's kept her vow, focusing on her work as a blissfully single dolphin trainer. Until one frosty morning, when the sound of a howl from under the hood of her car brings Laine to the doorstep of Silver Bells Animal Clinic, seeking to fix the broken tail of a stray cat. Zac is better with animals than people, especially those like this lady trying to pawn off her cat. But he's also tired of being lonely. Could this strange woman with the nameless cat begin a new chapter in his rut-filled life?Package DealWhen Megan Beckley receives a mysterious Christmas package that was delayed three years, she hopes with all her heart that the gift is a guilt-offering from her old college sweetheart who ran off with her roommate. She also hopes that he’s still in love with her so, finally, she’ll get the chance to break his heart and move on with her life. But what’s inside the package will bring about a deal with the boy next door, Bryce Woodard, who has an unexpected gift of his own to share.Sweet Christmas SetupThe distance between Primrose, Texas and Afghanistan doesn’t stop Ethan and Christa from forming a close bond. Yet they wonder if their pen pal friendship could be more if they were to meet. Not expected for Christmas, Ethan is severely wounded and returns home a broken, bitter man and … refuses to see Christa. When Christa’s Christmas candy for the troops has Ethan knocking on her door, Christa is unwilling to lose her one opportunity. Without a second thought, she makes Ethan a sweet offer that he can’t refuse.A Cordial ChristmasExercising his sharp business mind and control over his firm, Elena Trackett’s father has chosen his successor to be her groom. Elena has other ideas, causing conflict in their family. She rejects the smooth, handsome man who leaves love out of his proposal.Forrest Kisler’s goal is a position with an honest, reputable investment agency. Still reeling years after his fiancée’s abandonment, he hopes for a fulfilling marriage and family someday. Elena and Forrest meet as volunteers and grow to be close friends. Both seek harmony in their worlds of dissent. Perhaps their relationship will lead the way to a cordial family Christmas.Oh, Fudge!Ulrike Koch has been promised a promotion when her manager retires, very soon. A new man in the singles’ group at church, who will only be in the area a short time, fascinates her. These two things collide, changing her life forever.Roger Cochran is drawn to the beautiful, tall blonde in the singles’ group where his college roommate is the pastor. He knows nothing can come of his fascination with her. Then his reason for being in the area changes dramatically.

Book Takeaway:

Love wins over social status, career aspirations, and awkward family relationships.

Why the author wrote this book:

Friends of mine, all excellent authors, invited me to submit a contemporary romance novella to this Christmas-theme collection. Each was to feature a candy in some way. Instantly, I thought of the double meaning of "cordial" and started plotting. A cordial Christmas with family happiness and love, combined with chocolate-covered cherries.


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