Were you thinking that you needed another vibrant, fun, romantic, easy Christmas read? I thought so! That’s why I wrote The Engagement Cover for you.
I invite you to come meet Teresa and her family. They’re warm, inviting, and a little bit loud. Lol Readers have compared them to the Portokalos family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But the Bradford/Alverez family is partially Hispanic, not Greek, so you’ll get your fill of Christmas tamales.
He nearly ruined her life. Now he’s the only one who can help her.
After a disastrous dating app experience that nearly destroyed her modeling career, Teresa Bradford knows what she wants, and Justin Reynolds seems to check every box. But when her family pressures her to bring him home as her fiancé in order to ease the mind of her dying grandmother, their relationship takes a weird turn, and his absences create the need for a fill-in fiancé.
Since his mom’s passing, and with his dad working out of state through the holidays, Alex Landry misses the feeling of home. So, when his friend Marc Bradford asks him for a strange favor with the promise of family for the holidays and all the tamales he can eat, he’s all in. What he didn’t expect was Marc’s sister to be the girl he’d gone on an awful date with two years ago.
Committed to a fake engagement to fulfill a dying woman’s wish, Alex and Teresa form a rocky friendship. As first impressions change and it becomes clear that Alex fits in better with her family than Justin does, Teresa is forced to reconsider what she wants. She’s drawn to both men for different reasons, but the one who nearly ruined her life might be the one to help her find what truly matters.
Read a special excerpt from The Engagement Cover:
Momma held the phone to her face and covered her gasp with the other hand. “You have a man and you no tell me?” She cut injured eyes to me, then back at the phone.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, leaning over to see the screen. Staring back at me was a rather intimate pose of me and Justin from that afternoon. Not the kissing shot, thank goodness.
This is why you shouldn’t bring your best friend along for a photoshoot. Ever.
“Perfecto!” Momma handed the phone back to Emery, who immediately began wiping away the semi-dried masa from the phone. “Sorry, mija.”
“It’s no problem,” Emery said.
She wiggled her finger at me. “You bring that man here.”
My face blanched. “Ma, you can’t be serious!”
Emery pointed down to a cooling tamale, her silent question clear.
“Si, mija,” Momma said to Emery, before turning back to me without missing a beat. “Of course, I am serious. What have we just been discussing? Huh?”
“I said I would tell Abuela I had a man. I didn’t say I’d bring him here. If you want to show her the picture, fine, do it. But I can’t bring him here.”
Momma froze, her tamale partially rolled and her eyes dead centered on me. “And why not? You can flirt with him, but you cannot bring him home?”
“I wasn’t flirting with him, Ma; I was working. That picture was from the photoshoot.”
Momma stared at me and moved her jaw similar to the cows on the outskirts of town who chewed their cud. Not that I was calling my mother a cow.
“Do you know him?”
“I barely know him. I just met him today. That’s all.”
“That’s not entirely true.”
I glared at Emery, her face half-stuffed with a tamale. She didn’t seem to sense the tension in the air around her, but Momma pounced on the opportunity.
“What do you mean?”
Emery grinned. “I’m just saying that I was there, and these two had a real spark between them. And she can’t deny it because he gave her his number before he left today.”
Emery reached for a second tamale and shrugged. “I think there’s a good chance he’s the real deal; the one we’ve been waiting for.”
Momma turned to me with so much hope in her eyes that it was all I could do not to rush out the door. “You bring this man home, Teresa.” There it was again, my name in Spanish and spoken like a genuine warning.
I huffed. “I barely know him, Ma. I can’t call him and invite him over so he can pretend to have a more serious relationship with me. I’m likely to scare him off for good.”
She waved her hand at me. “I feed him; he stay. You will see.”
I almost laughed. I reached out to grab one of the tamales off the battered, and much loved, cookie sheet, but my mother slapped my hand. I jerked back in surprise.
“No man, no tamale.” She thrust her finger at me. “You want tamales, you bring home a man.”
“Ma! How could you?”
She shrugged and went back to work as if her ultimatum was the most natural thing in the world. First of all, there was nothing natural about being cut off from tamales, especially not at Christmas time when even the least of the Hispanic families served tamales.
“I mean it, Teresa,” she said in a low tone.
“Fine,” I mumbled and walked away from the counter.
To help us celebrate the new release, Project Scrooge is on sale for .99! This is a great time to visit another precious family in Garland, Tennessee. I promise you won’t want to leave.