Tue
Nov 29 2016 10:30am

First Look: Sarah Morgan’s Miracle on 5th Avenue (November 29, 2016)

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan
Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love #3)
HQN Books / November 29, 2016 / $7.43 print, $5.99 digital

Is bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade a modern manifestation of Scrooge? Is he first-cousin to the Grinch, determined to ignore the very existence of Christmas? Or is he a handsome-on-the-outside Beast, reluctant to let anyone into his lair of misery? Eva Jordan, on her way to house-sit his gorgeous Fifth Avenue penthouse, is about to find out.

In Sarah Morgan's Miracle on 5th Avenue, Lucas' grandmother hires her to work Eve Christmas magic on Blade’s apartment and prepare it for the holidays in his absence. Some women would cavil at disappearing from the busy Christmas social scene at the height of the season but not Eva. Her business partners are concerned that her dating life is non-existent but Eva is very picky.

“I hate online dating. I prefer meeting people in other ways.”

“But you’re not meeting people at all! You work. You go to bed with your teddy bear.”

“It’s a stuffed kangaroo. Grams gave it to me when I was four.”

Eva’s partners may think the kangaroo is a little worse for wear, and that she needs to replace it “with a flesh-and-blood man,” but Eva loves her stuffed animal that “never lets me down.”

Unbeknownst to Eva and her concerned friends, it seems that she will not be house-sitting, but rather house-sharing, since the owner, Lucas Blade, is very much on-site. When the blizzard of the century invades Manhattan, Eva and Lucas find themselves snowbound companions, albeit reluctantly.

Snowbound romances are a favorite trope. Mother Nature lends a hand in bringing protagonists together, giving them no choice but to join forces. Eva Jordan, in a cab on her way to her assignment, is impressed by the gathering storm.

In a contest between man and the elements, man was most definitely losing. The snowstorm almost obliterated her view of Fifth Avenue, the glittering shop windows muted and veiled by the falling flakes.

When Eva pulls up to the building, high above her in his penthouse, Lucas looks through his floor to ceiling glass windows at the gathering storm, beset by memories, responsibilities, and expectations. Memories of his deceased wife flood his mind, along with the drumbeat of his fans expectations. Lucas has done everything—on the surface—to convince the world that he is fine, just fine. He knows that’s what people want.

They wanted to believe he’d handled it and “moved on.” Mostly, he managed to meet their expectations, except for this time of year, when the anniversary of her death came around.

Keeping his plans a secret from everyone, Lucas decides to have a staycation cum work marathon because his publisher is expecting his next bestseller and there’s not a word on the page. Imagine his surprise when a lovely young woman enters his apartment. And what of Eva?

A hand clamped over her mouth and before Eva could utter a squeak she’d landed on her back on the floor, crushed by the hard weight of a powerful male body.

The man pinned her. One of his hands was across her mouth and other gripped her wrists with brutal strength.

Holy crap.

Trust Sarah Morgan to find the humor in this very physical meet-cute. Somehow Eva, unable to move or breathe, realizes that “her attacker smelled really good.” And furthermore, after wishing and hoping for more than two years that Mr. Right would materialize, when she’s “finally horizontal with a man,” he’s trying to kill her.

By the time Eva and Lucas sort out the mystery, aided by a police officer and Lucas’s doorman Albert, something magical occurs—Lucas wants to write! And his inspiration is Eva.

His mind was like a dry riverbed after a flood, replenished, drenched with ideas. Finally, finally, after months of waiting for inspiration, he’d found his murderer.

The snowstorm has the city on lockdown so Lucas agrees to let Eva carry out her assignment. She may have “visions of sugarplums dancing in her head” as she contemplates this unexpected turn of events but Lucas’s vision is entirely darker. Miracle on 5th Avenue is a mysteriously merry Christmas tale.     

***
Learn more about or order a copy of Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan, available November 29, 2016:

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Janet Webb aka @JanetETennessee moved from the San Francisco Bay to eastern Tennessee. Baseball is my passion: I follow the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Nashville Sounds (farm team of my beloved Oakland Athletics). Social media devotee. Stories on royals and politics catch my eye. Ottawa born. Grew up on Georgette Heyer and Helen MacInnes. I also review at Criminal Element.

 

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