|Название||Once Upon A Christmas|
|Автор произведения||Sarah Morgan|
|Серия||Mills & Boon M&B|
Praise for Sarah Morgan
‘Sarah Morgan puts the magic in Christmas’
‘Full of romance and sparkle’
‘I’ve found an author I adore—must hunt down everything she’s published.’
—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
‘Morgan is a magician with words.’
—RT Book Reviews
‘Dear Ms Morgan, I’m always on the lookout for a new book by you …’
—Dear Author blog
About the Author
As a child SARAH MORGAN dreamed of being a writer and, although she took a few interesting detours on the way, she is now living that dream. With her writing career she has successfully combined business with pleasure, and she firmly believes that reading romance is one of the most satisfying and fat-free escapist pleasures available. Her stories are unashamedly optimistic, and she is always pleased when she receives letters from readers saying that her books have helped them through hard times.
Sarah lives near London with her husband and two children, who innocently provide an endless supply of authentic dialogue. When she isn’t writing or reading Sarah enjoys music, movies and any activity that takes her outdoors.
Readers can find out more about Sarah and her books from her website: www.sarahmorgan.com. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Once Upon a Christmas
MILLS & BOON
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‘MUMMY, I’ve written my letter to Santa.’
Bryony tucked the duvet round her daughter and clicked on the pink bedside light. A warm glow spread across the room, illuminating a small mountain of soft toys and dressing-up clothes. ‘Sweetheart, it’s only just November. Don’t you think it’s a little early to be writing to Santa?’
‘All the decorations are in the shops. I saw them with Grandma.’
Bryony picked up a fairy outfit that had been abandoned in a heap on the floor. ‘Shops are different, Lizzie.’ She slipped the dress onto a hanger and put it safely in the wardrobe. ‘They always start selling things early. It’s still ages until Christmas.’
‘But I know what I want, so I thought I might as well write to him now.’ Lizzie reached for the stuffed mermaid that she always slept with. ‘And anyway, this present is special so he might need some time to find exactly the right one.’
‘Special?’ Bryony gave a groan and picked up the book they’d been reading all week. ‘Go on.’ Her tone was indulgent. ‘Hit me with it, Lizzie. What is it this time—a horse?’ She toed off her shoes and curled up on the end of her daughter’s bed with a smile. This was the best time of the day. Just the two of them, and Lizzie all warm and cuddly in her pink pyjamas. She smelt of shampoo and innocence, and when she was tucked up in bed she seemed younger somehow, less like a seven-year-old who was growing up too fast.
‘Not a horse.’ Lizzie snuggled down, her blonde curls framing her pretty face. ‘Bigger.’
‘Bigger than a horse?’ Bryony’s eyes twinkled. ‘You’re scaring me, Lizzie. What if Santa can’t find this special present?’
‘He will.’ Lizzie spoke with the conviction of youth. ‘You said that Santa always gives you what you ask for if you’re good.’
‘Ah—did I say that?’ Bryony took a deep breath and made a mental note to concentrate more when she answered her daughter’s questions in future. ‘Well, it does depend on what you ask for,’ she hedged, and Lizzie’s face fell.
‘You said he always gives you what you ask for if you’re good.’
‘Well, he certainly does his best,’ Bryony said finally, compromising slightly and hoping that the request wasn’t going to be too outlandish. Her doctor’s salary was generous, but she was a single mother and she had to watch her expenditures. ‘Do you want to show me this letter?’
‘I’ve sent it already.’
‘You’ve sent it?’ Bryony looked at her daughter in surprise. ‘Where did you post it?’
‘I went into the post office with Grandma and they said that if I posted it there it would go all the way to Santa in Lapland.’
‘Oh.’ Bryony smiled weakly, her heart sinking. ‘So it’s gone, then.’
Which meant that there would be no chance to talk Lizzie out of whatever it was that she’d chosen that was obviously going to cost a fortune and be impossible to find in the wilds of the Lake District.
Bryony sensed a trip to London coming on. Unless the internet could oblige.
‘Uh-huh.’ Lizzie nodded. ‘And he’s got until Christmas to sort it out.’
‘Right. Are you going to give me a clue?’
‘You’ll like it, I know you will.’
‘Is it something messy?’
‘Something pink?’ Everything in her daughter’s life was pink so it was a fairly safe bet that whatever was top of her Christmas list would be pink.
Lizzie shook her head and her eyes shone. ‘Not pink.’
Feeling distinctly uneasy, Bryony hoped that her mother had managed to sneak a look at the letter before it was ‘posted’ otherwise none of them were going to have the first clue what Lizzie wanted for Christmas.
‘I’d really like to know, sweetheart,’ she said casually, flipping through the pages of the book until she found where they’d left off the night before. She wondered whether the post office had binned the letter. At this rate she was going to have to go and ask for it back.
‘OK. I’ll tell you, because it’s sort of for you, too.’
Bryony held her breath, hoping desperately that it wasn’t a pet. Her life was so frantic she absolutely didn’t have time to care for an animal on top of everything else. A full-time job and single parenthood was the most she could manage and sometimes she struggled with that.
A pet would be the final straw.