Bartender River Lundqvist has a damn good reason for hating Christmas. Bangers Tavern is the perfect place to lay low over the holidays—until Charlie walks in. His first encounter with the saucy server nine years ago was utter humiliation. Her reappearance stirs up powerful desires and hopes for a new start. But the timing is all wrong. Back in Tacoma to care for her estranged dad over the holidays, freelance web designer Charlie Khoury braces herself for the suckiest Christmas ever. A temporary job at Bangers Tavern gives her a chance to escape Dad’s criticism and blow off some steam. But why does the hunky bartender seem to hate her? A pretend girlfriend is just what River needs to keep his family off his back—until a kiss under the mistletoe flares hot enough to melt the North Pole. When greedy developers threaten Bangers Tavern, River and Charlie must team up to save it. Their sizzling chemistry feels like the real thing—but everyone knows rebound relationships don’t last. Come to Bangers Tavern for an enemies-to-lovers tale of reconciliation, found family, holiday cocktails, and the sexiest Christmas miracle ever.
Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.
When two Scrooges unite to save a bar in trouble, a kiss under the mistletoe sparks the sexiest Christmas miracle ever.
What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?
I had fun working the favorite “snowed-in” trope into this contemporary romance set in a neighborhood bar. Charlie and River spend the night in a blanket fort she builds under a pool table!
Does your heroine prefer a real or artificial tree for Christmas?
Her parents’ vintage aluminum tinsel tree holds a special place in her heart.
What’s the one present your hero least wants to open Christmas morning?
Another cashmere sweater from his parents.
Would your hero hang mistletoe?
He does–in Bangers Tavern! That’s part of his job as bartender.
What scene did you adore writing in this book?
The Christmas tree lighting ceremony/party in Gig Harbor, Washington–especially since I can’t go this year!
What is your heroine’s favorite Christmas tradition?
Gathering at Aunt Hala’s house for a huge Lebanese-American feast featuring kibbeh (ground lamb or beef pounded with bulghur and spices, then formed into crispy croquettes) and Uncle Fred’s deep-fried turkey.
Does your hero love or hate snow?
He’s neutral. His preferred sport is kayaking.
For Christmas, will you be having turkey, goose, ham, prime rib, or something else?
Me? Probably prime rib.
What’s the strangest Christmas tradition your family does to celebrate?
Not really strange, but we have a fun White Elephant gift exchange. One year I got stuck with an actual elephant–a superbly ugly ceramic statue.
Excerpt from Christmas Rekindled
Her low, throaty chuckle made him want to kiss her again. Though he pretty much wanted to kiss her anytime she was within range.
She laid her hand palm-up on the center console. “The thing is, I’m not looking for a relationship.”
Remembering a bit of Dawn’s wisdom, he nestled his hand into hers. “You never find a relationship when you’re looking for one.”
Her gaze softened, open and vulnerable. “Are you looking?”
Warning sirens blared inside his head. This was a question to answer very carefully. “If you’d asked me a month ago, I’d say, ‘No way.’ But then, I kissed this girl under the mistletoe, and…”
She closed her eyes, lifted his hand, and pressed it to her sternum. Beneath his palm, her heart thudded fast. His pulse sped to match hers. He held his breath.
“I like you, River.” Her whisper matched the brush of snowflakes against the windows.
“I like you too.”
She inhaled deeply, then met his gaze. “Enough to be my friend?”
He nodded, mesmerized.
“Because my life is a mess right now, and I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.”
Her coarse language stirred up a heady swirl of laughter, sympathy, and arousal. He scooted as near as the center console allowed and placed his lips close to her ear. “I’ll tell you a secret. Me neither.”
Fire flickered in her eyes’ inky depths. Her lips parted. A golden thread wound around his heart and tugged him toward her. His thumb stroked the delicate line of her jaw as he closed the distance.
Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance from her new home in Washington State, U.S.A. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays darts (pretty well), plays guitar (badly), and gobbles all the books.