TV landscaper Eli Zorn has always been a fixer. But when a family medical situation teaches him there are some things you just can’t fix, he’s desperate to return to work for a distraction.
The demolition of an old cottage in tranquil Muskoka, Ontario, is just the ticket. Unfortunately, a gorgeous woman has handcuffed herself to the cottage and she won’t let it go down without a fight. Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Nolan has history with the place, and she won’t let Eli and the Handymen team get their hands on her refuge. The cottage belongs to Eli’s mentor.
Not only is Peter Nolan a giant in the landscaping business, he’s also Bernie’s uncle. And it becomes clear very quickly that relations in the Nolan family are more than strained. As Eli and Bernie grapple with old loyalties, they are determined to see each other as the enemy. But this is one attraction that cannot be denied, and one that they’re losing the will to resist…
Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.
She needed a safe place. He was determined to give her one.
What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?
As things begin to get tense between the hero and the heroine in this story, they are stuck together in an old cottage during a storm. The sexual tension is high, but they are still dealing with a lot of conflict because of their opposing goals. It all comes to a head during that storm, and it was really fun to write.
Does your heroine prefer a real or artificial tree for Christmas?
I think Bernie (Bernadette) would always prefer a real tree because the evergreen scent would remind her of being in the woods, near her beloved cottage.
What’s the one present your hero least wants to open Christmas morning?
Cheap garden tools. Eli’s a landscaper by trade, and he knows what he likes.
Would your hero hang mistletoe?
What scene did you adore writing in this book?
Actually, I really enjoyed writing all the scenes that are filled with banter. I really felt like it sparkled between these two characters, and it was so much fun to write.
What is your heroine’s favorite Christmas tradition?
Bernie was really close to her parents, although they’re no longer with her. I think she would still get a kick out of coming together with people who mean something to her.
Does your hero love or hate snow?
Eli is more of a summer loving guy, but because he’s Canadian, he has a high tolerance for snow.
For Christmas, will you be having turkey, goose, ham, prime rib, or something else?
We usually do turkey in our house. My sons really like it, although my husband and I don’t eat much meat anymore. We’ll likely have a couple of options.
What’s the strangest Christmas tradition your family does to celebrate?
I don’t think we do anything too strange. We always watch “A Christmas Carol” and “Polar Express” with our sons. We usually go out to see the lights somewhere nice. Other than that, it’s just a lot of family time.
Bernie had been running on adrenaline from the moment she’d arrived at the cottage, but her pulse had ricocheted the moment Eli Zorn had walked in.
Eli ‘Panty Melter’ Zorn.
Not many knew she’d given him that nickname ages ago, when she’d started watching Handymen in its first season. The only person who knew was her best friend Sidney. In fact, she and Sidney had christened Eli and his brothers with nicknames after a Handymen marathon, one that involved binge-watching all the episodes while drinking peach Bellinis.
Nick had been renamed ‘Pretty Boy’ because, although all the brothers were stunning, Nick was the prettiest. The elder Zorns both had dark hair, whereas Nick seemed to have inherited someone’s tawny locks. Plus, he seemed more comfortable in flirt mode, even on TV. The camera focused on him a lot, and he was always ready with a smile.
Michael’s nickname was ‘The Hammer’. This was due in part to the fact that he extolled the virtues of his favorite tools on the show all the time, but it also reflected his personality. On the show, Michael was succinct, efficient and liked to get right down to business. Bernie and Sidney had joked about how well he nailed things, but that was sometime after the third peach Bellini.
As for middle brother Eli, he had been named ‘Panty Melter’. If forced to admit it, Bernie would probably have said Eli was her favorite of the brothers. Of all the Zorns, he tended to hang in the background more than his brothers did and seemed content to let Michael do most of the talking. She liked that. So many guys she knew spent their time getting in people’s faces so they could make themselves heard. Eli possessed a quieter sort of confidence and didn’t talk for the sake of filling up the air around him.
His reserve drew her in. It made her fantasize.
Besides, with his dark hair and twinkly blue eyes, the man was steamy enough to melt silk.
Unfortunately, he was also the enemy right now.
Rosanna Leo writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her novel, A Reluctant Attraction, Handymen 3, is one of Oprah Daily’s 50 of 2021’s Most Anticipated Romance Novels. Her novel A Good Man, Handymen 1 was the First Place Winner of the 2018 Northern Hearts Contest (Contemporary Romance.)
From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her husband and their two sons, and spends most of her time being tolerated by their cat Sweetie. When not writing, Rosanna works for her local library, where she is busy laying the groundwork to become a library ghost one day.