Excerpt: Christmas in Cape May - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Devon Pratt loves many things in life. The beauty of flowers. The yin and yang of energy. The power of positivity in people. And everything to do with the Christmas season.

As a floral shop owner in the beach town of Cape May, she looks forward to decorating both the town and running the annual holiday party to benefit the local animal shelter. Too bad the new owner of her favorite venue is more like the Grinch than Santa. Working with him will be a challenge, but she’s too full of seasonal cheer to let him annoy her, right?

Jameson Franklin hates many things in life. Crowds. Fake cheer. Ostentatious décor. And especially Christmas. The season is full of things he’d rather avoid, but since taking over the popular restaurant Vintage temporarily for his cousin as a favor, he’s trying to play nice with the locals. Too bad the florist is insisting on overrunning his sacred space with blooms, dogs, and an endless positive persistence that pushes all of his buttons. But when too many heated confrontations lead to heated encounters, he begins to wonder what it would be like to love not only Christmas, but Devon Pratt.

Let the festivities begin.

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Excerpt: Christmas in Cape May
By Jennifer Probst

Excerpt: Christmas in Cape May

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Probst comes a new story in her Sunshine Sisters series. CHRISTMAS IN CAPE MAY is out this week and you can read an excerpt below right now!

“Devon! Did you hear?”

She looked up at her friend, Jordan, who stared at her with wide dark eyes and flushed cheeks. “Let me guess. Vera is finally retiring and giving you the bridal shop.”

Jordan gave an annoyed grunt. “Very funny. That would be when hell freezes over, and though it’s cold out there, this place isn’t hell. At least, not yet.”

Devon grinned. Vera was a retired prima ballerina who ran the only bridal shop in town with an iron fist and a talent to please the pickiest of brides or grooms. Jordan had been working for her the past few years, and hoped to finally get her shot to buy it from Vera. “Sorry, couldn’t resist. What’s up?”

“Mac got called out of town. He won’t be back for the Fur Gala.”

Devon groaned. “No! The invites went out already, and we have no backup place to hold the event!” Her sudden selfishness hit her, making her pause. “Wait—is Mac okay? His family?”

“He’s fine. His sister is pregnant and her husband is overseas. She asked Mac to come help her out for a while in Paris. He couldn’t say no.”

Devon relaxed. Good, she didn’t have to feel guilty. “Well, I can’t blame him—who could say no to Paris? Plus, he’s the best brother ever so I can’t be mad. But what are we going to do on such short notice?”

“No, that’s what I’m here to tell you. Mac sent his cousin to run Vintage for the next two months. He’ll do the fundraiser and everything.”

“Oh, that’s great.” One look at her friend’s mischievous gaze had Devon frowning. “What’s the catch?”

“Babe, he’s hot.”

She blinked. “Who?”

“Mac’s cousin! His name is Jameson—isn’t that so sexy?” Jordan gave a delicious shiver. “And even better? He’s single.”

Devon fought the dread already forming in the pit of her stomach. There was simply nothing worse than a new single male coming into town, especially around the holidays. The busybodies came out in droves, proudly chirping about their fears over Devon’s single status and how they didn’t want to see her die alone and childless near the beach. Now, she’d have to deal with embarrassing gestures to try and set them up, which never worked. The last few men who’d come into town temporarily had not been even close to her match.

How could she be so happy with her life, but feel guilty for not doing what the town so badly wanted?

Settle down in a long-term relationship.

Devon shook her head hard. “No, Jordan. I’m done with matchmaking and gossip and humiliating attempts to set me up. He’s here temporarily and I don’t want to get involved. Do you understand?”

Jordan chewed her lip. “Sure.”

Devon threw up her hands. “I mean it! Tell everyone to back off and let the poor guy run Vintage for his cousin without interference. Okay?”

“You haven’t even met him yet! What if he’s your soulmate?”

She spun on her heel and began closing up. “He’s not. I’m grateful he’ll be taking Mac’s place so the animals don’t suffer. I’ll be nice and neighborly but that’s it. And I demand your respect. You’re my best friend for God’s sake!”

“I know, but that’s why I don’t want you to leave any stone uncovered. You’re amazing, Dev. The funniest, sweetest person I know and I’m pissed no male in this town has scooped you up yet.”

Her anger softened at the kind words. “Dammit, don’t be nice or I can’t be mad at you.”

Jordan winked. “Then my plan worked. I gotta go, but maybe you should head over to Vintage and introduce yourself? I’m sure he’d love to chat about the Fur Gala.”


Jordan chuckled and gave her a quick hug, then walked out, her short blonde curls bouncing over her shoulders. They’d immediately bonded when Jordan first came to town, and Devon had to admit it had been nice having a single girlfriend to hang out with. They’d hit Atlantic City, Bethany Beach, and Wild Wood clubs till late at night, until Jordan ran into the love of her life at a bachelorette party—a curvy, fiery redhead named Sistine, who stole her designer purse on a dare and then stole Jordan’s heart. Now, they were living together happily in Cape May and talking about getting married within the next few years.

Devon was thrilled but a tiny bit sad she’d lost her wing woman. Still, she adored Sistine and traded in one best friend for two. Not a bad bargain.

Maybe Jordan was right. She’d pop into Vintage tomorrow and welcome Jameson to town. It must be overwhelming to inherit a packed itinerary in a restaurant he wasn’t familiar with. She’d offer her assistance and warn him of the town’s shenanigans when it came to single males. They’d laugh about it and have some fun planning the Fur Gala.

Devon locked up the shop and headed home, whistling happily to “Jingle Bells.”

Christmas was the best.

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