Christmas Ever After
Sparks fly during Christmastime when a romance novelist meets a handsome man who looks like the leading character in her books.
Working on the fourth in her successful anthology-romance series featuring "in love" characters Desmond Ranes and Catarina, Izzi Simmons is told by her best friend and editor Mila that the ending of her first draft, already past due, is unacceptable. Mila's take on the problem is that Izzi has made Desmond an unrealistic version of a romantic character in being "perfect", which matches Izzi's own unrealistic pursuit of a man. With Mila unwilling to push the final deadline past Christmas Eve--less than a week away--as Izzi requests, Izzi is able to convince her to let her work on the necessary edits from the Antler Lodge in Silver Springs. Since her parents moved to Florida, Izzi, a winter-wonderland traditionalist in her view of the perfect Christmas, has found the Lodge her Christmas home away from home, especially as its proprietor Bob is as much a traditionalist as she is. The only reason Mila allows this working vacation is that Bob informed Izzi that he's retiring and selling the lodge so it may not be the same retreat next year. When she arrives, she learns that he sold it to his son Matt, a widower of three years, who wanted to moves himself and his adolescent daughter Kacey back to Silver Springs for family reasons after moving a large hotel in Seattle. What immediately strikes Izzi about Matt is that he is the exact image of the paintings of Desmond used for her book covers, and she discovers that nobody associated with the publishing company knows who was originally commissioned for that job. Her thoughts that Matt might be her Desmond quickly dissolve as he displays human flaws, even in basic maintenance--he wants to transform the lodge into what she sees as against her Christmas sensibility. As Matt and Izzi spend more time together, and Matt himself discovers the issue of the book-cover likeness and knowing the reason behind it, Izzi starts to see in Matt the true nature of what Desmond should be, while Matt begins to wonder if meeting Izzi in this manner is a sign that he is ready to start another romance. to begin a romantic life again. What might affect this is the arrival of Matt's childhood friend Jennifer, who has long been in love with him herself.