STORY: Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.
Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:
1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day
The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.
REVIEW: Elise Dutton has lunch every day in the Food Court of the large building in which she works. She always orders the Sweet Pork salad along with a sugar-free lemonade. She works at her fairly mundane job at a travel company and then heads home to her empty apartment. Her husband cheated on her and then divorced her leaving her unhappy and untrusting. Each day in the Food Court she has noticed a handsome man on the other side of the room and knows that he works in the same building. His name is Nicholas Derr and he is a partner in the law firm of Derr, Nelson, and McKay. One day he approaches her, introduces himself and they slowly become acquainted. Then, he proposes that they act as a couple for eight weeks – up until December 24th – and then go their separate ways. This is to be a totally platonic relationship. After some skepticism, Elise agrees. Each day, Nicholas leaves a small gift for her and as they spend time together she slowly begins to regain her self-self-esteem.
Without spoiling the plot, suffice to say that both Elise and Nicholas are fighting to forgive themselves for events in their pasts. The story takes us through learning to face our demons, redeem ourselves and go on with life.
This is a very touching story that will have the reader feeling compassion for the characters. Life does go on and we all need to know how to get back into it.
Connie for b2b