The Holiday Grouch by Beth D. Carter

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0262-9

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Reece Greene has only one thing on his mind: to buy the bed and breakfast that stands in his way. He has plans of developing condos on the ski slopes of Mistletoe Canyon, and although he has the hots for one Calliope Whobrey, he won’t let a pretty face get in the way. 

Callie runs the bed and breakfast with her grandmother, and she wouldn’t trade it for any other life. When the grumpy Mr. Greene shows up she tries hard to ignore her attraction, but he’s not going away without a fight. 

The battle of wills is on. While Callie does whatever she can to irritate him, Reece has plans to steal the cheer right out of Christmas. What must she go through to make his heart grow a size or two?



The front door bell blared again, so she grabbed a dish towel to wipe her hands as she hurried to answer the demanding summons. She threw open the door and blinked up at the man glowering at her, momentarily forgetting how to speak as she absorbed just how gorgeous he was.

Tall, dark and handsome. So cliché yet so appropriate.

Grey threaded through his perfectly groomed hair. Dark eyes perused her up and down. Chiseled cheekbones, square jaw, and lips so full and lush she had an overwhelming urge to suck on the bottom one. Heat flushed through her body and Callie had the sneaking suspicion that she was blushing.

“M-may I help you?” she asked, and had to clear her throat as the words stuck a little.

“I’m here to see Callie Whobrey.”

An excited thrill shot through her, making her mouth go dry. “Um. That’s me.”

One eyebrow went up. “Of course you are,” he muttered. “My name is Reece Greene.”

And just like her giddy fascination with him evaporated. “Wait. The same Reece Greene that called me the other day?”

“The very same,” he replied, an amused grin turning up one corner of his mouth. “I wanted to come in person and discuss my proposal.”

She put her hands on her hips. “There’s no discussion. We’re not interested.”

“We?” he asked, jumping on the word. “Who’s the other owner?”

“My grandmother, but don’t get your hopes up. She’s not interested in selling, either.”

“How do you know? Did you ask her?”

She narrowed her eyes. “What’s your problem, Mr. Greene? Why won’t you take no for an answer?”

“Because I want those condos behind you to be the height of luxury.” He gave a pointed, judgmental glance around her foyer. “And currently, you’re blocking the direct line to the slopes.”

That’s what’s prompting your interest? Just have the owners drive through town.” .

“Potential buyers would pay top dollar for ease.”

“Then I’m sorry to disappoint.”

He studied her for a moment. “What’ll it take to get you to sell? I’m willing to offer you more than market value.”

“No. Thanks. It’s not for sale.”

“Everyone has a price.”

She shook her head. “You’re a sad man if you think that.”

He took a step closer and leaned down. “Hear this. I will own this bed and breakfast before the new year.”

“Are you trying to bully me?”

Reece blinked, looking like her words shocked him. “Absolutely not. I’m shocked you’d think that. Come on, you’re a beautiful woman with a beautiful mind. I’m sure you could use the money to purse more…leisurely activities.”

Callie refused to be intimidated by him. “You must think you’re a terrific negotiator, but truth is, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Greene.”

He gave her a slow smile that devastated her equilibrium. She found her attraction to him very annoying.

Product Reviews

Score: 4 out of 5 (based on 4 ratings)
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The TBR Pile
Written by Fiona on 9th Jan 2021

Reece Greene had a terribly childhood. His mother left when he was very young, and his father was an alcoholic who never gave him any presents, despite his birthday being on Christmas Day. His dad never said he loved him, but did tell him he was lucky he wasn't being "thrown away," like people do with the unwanted gifts they get for Christmas. Grinch-award for that despicable man! Reece is now a very rich man in his early 50's, who makes his living designing homes for the very rich, who expect their smart-technology to control every aspect of their lives. He's never been married, and in the first chapter gets his ring back from the blonde gold-digger he'd proposed to. Life has been very unkind to this man, so it's no wonder he's such a grouch! Reece's partner convinces him to take some time off--both to forget his unfaithful ex-fiancée, and to scout out a new location for them to build luxury condos. Calliope Whobrey was divorced many years ago when her husband insisted she get plastic surgery to keep her looking younger and thinner. She escaped to lick her wounds to a bed and breakfast on the side of a mountain in Colorado, run by her grandmother, Martha Whobrey. They've made a comfortable living by hosting repeat customers year-after-year, for the different holidays. Christmas is their favorite time. Of course, Reece and Calliope feel an instant attraction to each other, in this short romance. We get alternating chapters giving each one's point of view. Martha keeps inviting Reece over to enjoy the holiday season with them, and he's the grinch who tries to steal their holiday cheer and good will. Repeatedly. Until his heart starts to grow warmer, and he realizes the error of his ways. In the Dedication, the author says she is trying to write a Hallmark Romance. Since I've never seen one, I don't know if she succeeded but this is a cute love story that brings together two people who shouldn't have anything in common. Reece has a hole where his heart should be until Calliope and her grandmother fill that hole with love. Through them he learns to love himself, and Calliope finds a man who will stay with her because he loves the image of himself he sees reflected in her eyes. Her love makes him feel lovable, and she's the first and only person who has ever done that for him. He's a grouch no more!

Very enjoyable
Written by Laura on 19th Dec 2020

A sweet and sexy, and surprisingly emotional read. Great holiday story!

A holiday quickie
Written by Laura on 17th Dec 2020

A quick, witty, yet emotional read. Sweet yet sexy as well. Loved the seasoned (mature) characters.

A holiday quickie
Written by Laura on 13th Dec 2020

A quick, witty, yet emotional read. Sweet yet sexy as well. Loved the seasoned (mature) characters.