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When Winter agrees to go to a charity event to support her best friend, she never expects the night to change her life. She meets a brooding, sexy stranger who saves her from a creep, and they share an irresistible attraction. Winter allows herself to give in to temptation, but too soon all hell breaks loose when the fire alarm interrupts their rendezvous and she loses her handsome stranger in the chaos.
Bo has been searching for the woman of his dreams for four long months. When his brother Cory’s fiancée shows up at the family estate pregnant, his world is turned upside down.
Warning: Wrap yourself up in this winter wonderland and stay cozy with us! This secret baby book is everything you want with a side of extra, just the way we love it!
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I fidget, feeling out of place. Cory puts his hand in the center of my back to guide me into the enormous ballroom filled with people dressed to impress. I might have on a fancy designer dress, but I still feel like I stand out. I don’t belong here. It’s the story of my life. You’d think I would have grown used to it by now, but still it lingers.
The smell of champagne fills my nose as a waiter walks by holding a tray full of glasses of the bubbly liquid. Cory grabs one and tosses it back, not bothering to ask me if I wanted one. He knew I wouldn’t. I’m actually shocked he drank one himself. He never drinks. At least anymore.
I’ve only seen him drink once. No, I’ve only seen him drunk once. The very night I’d met him when he almost threw up on my sneakers. That would have sucked. They’d been my only pair of shoes at the time. I might have helped him that night, but he’d been the one who helped me these past few years. Though I’m sure he would argue that fact. He always says I’m the one who helped get him through college, but he’s the one who made my life a heck of a lot easier. He’s always been more than kind to me, and one day I hope to be able to repay him for all he’s done for me.
“Let’s get this over with,” he mumbles. He wants to be here as much as I do. It’s how I got here to begin with. I knew he was dreading coming, so I’d volunteered to come with him. I always want to help when I can. He’s done so much for me. It’s the least I can do, even if it puts me way out of my comfort zone.
“You sure you’re okay?” He stops, looking down at me, and concern shows in his deep blue eyes. I smile and nod even though I’m far from okay. He’s asked the same question a million times because he knows I’m not good with crowds. Never have been. A social worker once told me it’s a remnant of childhood trauma. Being abandoned in a subway as a child tends to leave a mark. They didn’t know how long I’d been there before someone realized I was all alone. I don’t recall any of it. No matter how many times I try and go out into crowds, it never gets easier. I have to grit through it. If it was up to me I’d live far away from the city and the hustle and bustle of the world, but I needed a job and I can’t beat free rent. I cook and clean and Cory covers the bills. To be honest I’m not sure if he even pays rent or if his family owns the penthouse we live in.
“I’m fine,” I reassure him. “It’s good for me.” He gives me a skeptical look before we move farther into the crowd. He glances down at his watch to check the time again. I notice people keep stealing looks at us. Cory warned me they would. He hasn’t been to an event in years. Apparently at the last one he’d gotten out of hand and ended up vomiting everywhere after starting a fist fight with his brother. He called himself the black sheep of the family. I didn’t see how it was possible. He’s too caring and nice to be anything but a source of pride.
Maybe he had been before. That wasn’t the Cory I know. The Cory I know is hard working and caring. How his family doesn’t see that in him, I don’t understand. Maybe it has something to do with the social hierarchies I know nothing about and have never given any thought to. I do know that Cory’s family has to be at the very top of whatever these social rankings are, and vomiting and fighting at some charity event like this one would probably be embarrassing to their family. Even so, I don’t like that they made him feel that way.
It’s rude and uncaring. Maybe they should figure out why their family member drove himself to such a point. I wasn’t even his family the night I met him and I’d at least done that. Cory had been hurting. He hadn’t handled the pain of losing his father. I’d helped him home and lain awake all night listening to him tell me tales about his family before his father’s death. I’d felt jealous at some points and at others I wondered if having a family was worth it if you have to go through the pain of losing them, too. It was bittersweet.
“We have a little while before the ceremony. It shouldn’t take long. My brother hates this shit as much as you do, so I’m sure he’ll make it fast.” He reaches up, straightening his already straight tie. His family is being honored for something. Cory hadn’t given me many details, just that his brother demanded he be here tonight.