There’s a stranger at the door on Christmas Day…
Single mother Paige Summerville wants to give her seven-year-old son the Christmas of his dreams. Jason needs surgery to beat the illness that’s plagued his young life, leaving Paige desperate to make ends meet. So she turns to a charity that grants the wishes of sick children…
Then a stranger arrives bearing gifts for Jason—and for her. He’s Daniel Kinsley, a lawyer who’s grown cynical about family. But his kindness in making Jason’s wishes come true offers him more than he ever imagined. Is there room in Paige’s heart for a man who could fulfill all their dreams? And not just at Christmas!
WHAT WAS IT about the holidays, Daniel Kinsley wondered as he returned to his desk, that seemed to bring out the worst in people?
He was glad he had some time to spare before his next appointment. His meeting with Gloria Farnsworth had put him in a miserable mood. He dropped heavily into his chair and swung it around to stare out the window. Across the street, a billboard displaying a Norman Rockwell–style scene seemed to mock him. It showed a cheerful, ruddy-faced Santa distributing brightly wrapped gifts to an elegantly dressed and ridiculously happy family. The husband clasped his wife’s hand affectionately, and the model-perfect woman stroked the blonde curls of a little girl in a red velvet dress. Daniel snorted. Did anyone really live like that? Not in his experience.
He thought of his own parents and their respectful, polite relationship. When was the last time he’d seen his parents touch? For that matter, his mother’s obligatory cheek kisses aside, he couldn’t recall his parents ever touching him with affection. They never argued. They never fought. But he also wasn’t sure they actually loved each other. A sad statement, especially after forty-three years of marriage.
It didn’t help his mood to remember that he’d agreed to spend more than a week with them in Newport over the holidays. He knew there’d be no Christmas cheer in that. At times he questioned why his parents stayed together. Then again, maybe they had it right. No love, no pain. Not wanting to dwell on it, he allowed his thoughts to come full circle to Gloria Farnsworth.
Daniel turned away from the window and looked down at the open Farnsworth case file on his desk. He’d been tempted to tell Gloria to find another lawyer. But would that really have accomplished anything? More than half his cases disgusted him in one way or another. Okay, maybe none quite as much as the Farnsworth case, but if he wanted to extricate himself from cases that he found morally reprehensible, where exactly would he draw the line?
He picked up his pen and twirled it between his fingers.
Gloria Farnsworth was definitely at the extreme end. She’d torn a strip off him when he told her she should be satisfied with the spousal support her husband had agreed to—generous in his estimation—and accept that she was on shaky ground trying to get child support for a nineteen-year-old who wasn’t attending school and didn’t have a job. Gloria had demanded to know under what conditions she would be entitled. And fool that he was, he’d treated her like a rational person and explained some of the circumstances under which case law might entitle her to child support. He never would’ve imagined that she’d jump on one of the alternatives and willingly label her own son mentally disabled for the sake of gouging more money out of her soon-to-be-ex.