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The Rock Star's Christmas Reunion by Heather Heistand

THE ROCK STAR'S CHRISTMAS REUNION
A Charisma Series Novel, The Connollys #1
by Heather Hiestand

Genre: contemporary romance

Twelve years ago, Bax Connolly left his small town behind to find fame and fortune with his guitar. Now the legendary, tattooed rock star is back and has purchased a home. The bad boy of the music industry wants to reconnect with his estranged family by throwing a huge Christmas party. But his tough, working class relatives have no clue how to deal with their ultra-wealthy and famous prodigal son and want nothing to do with him.

Yakima Wannassay's catering company needs a Christmas miracle to keep from going under, but she never expected Santa to deliver her the perfect holiday client—her former next door neighbor Bax. A recommendation from him could take her business to a whole new level. And when she steps under the mistletoe with the irresistible Bax, she finds herself wanting to mix business with pleasure. Too bad a long ago told little white lie could blow up in her face and ruin both Christmas and her future.

The Rock Star’s Christmas Reunion reunites a couple who were never together except in rumor, adds some music industry edge, and mixes in the joy of the holidays!

The front door opened. Framed in the doorway was Bax Connolly, first a boy band star, then a guitar hero. But before all that, he’d been the oldest of the Connolly boys. Her brother’s friends, her tormentors, her champions, her first crushes.

“Bax,” Yakima whispered. An obsessed fan couldn’t have checked him out more thoroughly. His feet were bare, despite the chilly December wind. He wore black jeans, cupping every part of him in just the right places, and a navy Henley, which hid any and all tats. His tousled brown hair blew around his head. He needed a haircut. And a good night’s sleep. He’d never had those circles under his eyes as a kid.

She blinked, cleared her throat. This was a job prospect, not a date. She needed to act like an old friend, not a stalker. Her slight, lifelong acquaintance of Bax and his family had moved into high gear when he was thirteen and his family had moved into a larger house, next door to her family’s home, to accommodate his four cousins who’d been orphaned. She’d been eleven and he’d been her perfect dream.

His eyes went from dazed to focused. “How did you get my address?”

“You left it on my voicemail,” she said, confused. “Bax?” Didn’t he recognize her?

He crossed his arms over his broad chest. “Look, this is a private home. I applaud you for craftiness, but I don’t sign autographs at my front door.”

She knew she was to blame with her fan stalker-ish once-over of him, but she held her ground. She needed this job. “Baxter Connolly, I’m not a super-stalker. You. Called. Me.” She pointed to her van, just visible in the drive, and then to her face.

“Yakima? That really you?” He peered out of the doorway, his hand shading his perfect almond-shaped eyes, hiding their famous brownish green spirals.

“Yes, Bax.” She pulled off her white leather newsboy cap in case it was hiding her face.

“Wow, you cut your hair.”

“Just about three inches.” She touched her long ponytail self-consciously. “It’s not down to my ass anymore.”

He grinned, his posture relaxing. “It’s you, all right. You never used to put your hair back. I remember that gorgeous black hair more than your face.” He held out his arms.

She stared at him, a bit concerned about how quickly he switched gears but willing to go with it, and set down her purse and clipboard. “Oh.” Moving forward, she tucked her arms around his lean waist. She didn’t remember him being so thin, but he’d whittled down to Mick Jagger-in-1967-Morocco proportions, all muscle and sinew. He smelled of mint.

She pulled back and grinned at him, delighted. “You’re still obsessed with mint M&Ms!”

“Much easier to get these days.” He winked at her and dropped his arms. “So you’re a caterer now?”

“Just starting out.”

“I should have known. How many Yakimas could there be around here? Come on in and let’s talk about my party.”

Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she continues to return to historical fiction as well as other subgenres. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.

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