Today’s Stocking Stuffer is Upon a Midnight Bear by Aurora Russell. Check it out!!
Christmas has held no joy for Serena since her husband died. This Christmas Eve, all she wants to do is go home, shut the door, and curl up under a blanket with her cat until the holidays are over. When her sexy and mysterious neighbor, Ivan, invites her over for a cup of cocoa, the holiday starts to get interesting.
Later that night, she gets the shock of a lifetime when she finds the most unusual bear she has ever seen delivering an unexpectedmidnight gift destined to thaw her frozen heart—and body.
Almost before she knew it, she was nearing her little farmhouse at the edge of town. And in such a small place, saying “edge of town” wasn’t a figure of speech. There was a distinct line where the town ended and the country started. The roads stopped being paved, the houses grew much farther apart, and almost all of them had barns and livestock. Of course, the town had been even smaller when Nonny and Poppy had built the house as newlyweds in the 1940s. Sometimes Serena could almost hear Poppy’s voice lamenting how busy and crowded the neighborhood was getting when two other houses had been built on their little dirt road.
When Nonny had passed away last year, leaving the house to Serena, she hadn’t been quite sure what to do with it. Thinking about all the happy memories she had in the old farmhouse from many summers spent with her grandparents, and contrasting them with all of the ghosts lurking around every corner of the house she’d shared with Colin, she’d made a snap decision. Throwing caution to the wind, she’d given notice at her job, packed up a few suitcases and Chas the cat, put everything else up for sale or in storage, and moved to Greening, Minnesota.
Walking home, she had to pass by what her Poppy had called the Upstart Houses. A flutter of pleasure and excitement coursed through her when she saw that her neighbor had chosen that exact time to come out to get his mail from the mailbox next to the road. She slowed her steps a little bit, taking in the view. And Good Lord, he was worth getting a little chilly for.
Ivan Dorogev was tall and muscular, with dark eyes and a face that was as handsome as it was rugged. He wasn’t wearing a coat—presumably he hadn’t taken the time to put one on just to dash out of the house—and she could see his huge muscles moving under his dark sweater and jeans. She’d noticed before that he had a slight limp, but it didn’t prevent him from moving with a surprising grace for such a large man. His limp, and the indefinable air of sadness that always seemed to hover around him, made him just imperfect enough to draw her in even further. What had brought him to Greening? And why did he often seem so alone?
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Aurora is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, wonderfully silly son, and two of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January.
She doesn’t remember a time that she didn’t love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways.