Release Date: June 2009
Reissue Date: December 14, 2015
Former title: We Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Jaclyn Wentworth is on her own with three little kids.
She used to be married to the golden boy–former golden boy–of their small Nevada town. The marriage was a disaster because her ex-husband never grew up. And he sure wasn’t much of a daddy. Now Jaclyn’s living in Reno. And who, of all people, does she run into there but Cole Perrini, bad boy of Feld, Nevada. Former bad boy.
He was her ex-husband’s opposite in every way–and he still is. Because Cole’s made good in every sense of the word. Will Jaclyn and her children get the husband and father they deserve? Not a Scrooge, but a Santa!
This book is available in an E-Book edition.
***Five Star Review ***
“Well, she did it again—Brenda Novak made me cry, not once, but three times! Talk about a whirlwind of an emotional book. …We Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus isn’t worthy of just one read — it deserves two. It’s that good.”
~Lisa Ramaglia, Scribes World
*** 4 1/2 Stars and a “Top Pick” ***
“With strong emotional scenes, full-bodied characters, and sensuality, WE SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS highlights Brenda Novak’s powerful romantic voice.”
~Pamela Cohen, Romantic Times
Once again the talented pen of Brenda Novak creates a heart-warming tale just in time for the holiday season in WE SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS. I can’t help admiring a heroine with enough gumption to slice her husband’s tires and work as waitress rather than keeping a comfortable life. With the characteristic painful situations of divorce and financial survival, Novak’s tale is steeped in realism, yet balanced with hope. Cole’s overwhelming responsibilities in his youth make him a likewise appealing character. Another terrific hit from this author, WE SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS comes highly recommended.”
~Cindy Penn, Senior Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Word Weaving
*** 4 1/2 Stars ***
“What a delight! Typical of Brenda Novak is the heart-warming tale of love in WE SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS. Ms. Novak always manages to bring her characters to life in a special way. They endure struggles that are real and bring about powerful emotions in the reader. Her plots are strong and unique. This was one story I didn’t want to end. Cole was a hero after my own heart.”
~Pam Tullos, Romance Reader on the Run
“Aside from the title, this book is well-worth your time. The characters are full and easy to like. The situations are wonderful, and the emotion is honest. Watching two people struggle has never been so much fun. The pay off is even better. A good book to curl up with for a pleasurable “time to myself” read.”
~Ilsa Wilson, The Old Book Barn Gazette
“Brenda Novak is one writer you don’t want to miss! Her characters are so real with problems many of us have today and she brings a loving romantic solution to them that will have you shedding a few tears and put a great big smile on your face when you turn the last page.”
~Suzanne Coleburn, The Belles and Beaux of Romance
“Sweet and tender, WE SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS is an emotional story of hope and love, pain and regret. Jaclyn and Cole are full of strength and vulnerability. . .making them very realistic. Secondary characters are not just background, but have their own dreams. A poignant love story, WE SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS is the perfect holiday read.”
~Courtney Bowden, Romance Reviews Today
Happy birthday to me… Happy birthday to me… Jaclyn shifted on the office couch, trying to curl into a tight enough ball to fit beneath her coat. It was cold, and she was still wet. Why hadn’t she thought to bring a blanket? Mentally she went through the contents of Cole’s closets, trying to remember if he had any spare bedding but drew a blank. He didn’t buy a lot of extras because he only used his bedroom, the kitchen, and his private office. The other rooms were completely empty.
What a miserable, dismal birthday. She hadn’t thought she’d be able to top last year’s, but this one was worse. An uncomfortable dinner with her ex, followed by an enraging argument, then a midnight tromp through the rain to lay on a cold leather couch until morning.
She thought of Cole sleeping peacefully in his bedroom just a few feet away, his body warm beneath his goose-down comforter, and wondered what he’d do if she simply slipped into bed with him. She deserved to have some fun, didn’t she? She wasn’t getting any younger. And it was her birthday.
Abandoning her coat on the couch, she got up and padded quietly down the hall to Cole’s part of the house. She just wanted to see him sleeping, she told herself. She wouldn’t disturb him.
His door stood slightly ajar, but Jaclyn couldn’t hear anything coming from inside. Was he home? His car was outside.
She slipped into the room, moving as stealthily as possible as she approached the bed, where she had to squint to make out his form in the rumbled blankets. Bending as close as she dared, she watched him for several seconds, admiring his thick dark hair and the handsome contours of his face before realizing that he was looking back at her.
“Jaclyn, is it you?”
She jumped and nearly screamed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“It’s okay.” He paused. “What are you doing here?”
She shrugged. “It’s my birthday,” she said simply.
“Oh.” He scrubbed his face with one hand, then rolled from his stomach to his side. “Do I want to know why you’re standing in my room wearing your pajamas, or does that fall under the heading of looking a gift horse in the mouth?”
“I-I’m sorry. I had to leave home without my clothes.”
“Is everything okay there?”
“Now it is.”
“Great.” He came up on one elbow, and Jaclyn couldn’t help but admire the muscles that bulged in his arm and rippled across his bare chest. “I guess I’m afraid to ask what you want in case it isn’t what I’m hoping.”
He was hoping for something? The thrill of anticipation fluttered in Jaclyn’s stomach, and the song she’d been singing to herself earlier seemed to turn into a full-blown chorus, Happy birthday to me… Happy birthday to me… Happy birthday, dear Jackie….
“What are you hoping?” she asked, silently willing her heart to stop pounding so hard.
“Are you tired?”
“Are you cold?”
“Do you want to get in here with me?”
Jaclyn took a deep, shaky breath. Did she want to get into bed with him? That was a two-sided question, of course. There was want. And then there was reason.
When she hesitated, he pulled back the covers, and she could see that he was sleeping in nothing but a pair of boxer-briefs. She imagined what his warm body would feel like wrapped around her and felt her knees go weak.
“Come on, Jackie. I’ll keep you warm,” he said.
“But my nightgown’s wet from the rain.”
He didn’t even pause. “Take it off.”
Finalist in the National Reader’s Choice
Finalist in the Beacon Award
Finalist in the Orange Rose