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Dating Mr. December
     

Dating Mr. December

3.7 82
by Phillipa Ashley
 

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She doesn't need rescuing, she only needs a change of scenery...

After a disastrous discovery loses Emma Tremayne both her boyfriend and her high-profile PR job in London, she moves to the Lake District to recover her confidence and live a simpler life. She loves her new job with the tourist board, and she's settling into small town life just

Overview

She doesn't need rescuing, she only needs a change of scenery...

After a disastrous discovery loses Emma Tremayne both her boyfriend and her high-profile PR job in London, she moves to the Lake District to recover her confidence and live a simpler life. She loves her new job with the tourist board, and she's settling into small town life just fine-until she ends up responsible for a fundraising effort that calls for twelve naked mountain rescuers...

Praise for Phillipa Ashley:
"Lovely books filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!" -internationally bestselling author Jill Mansell
"Sharp, sexy, and exuberant." -SingleTitles.com
"Ashley's writing is deft, sexy, and full of humor." -Trashionista.com

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author Ashley infuses her debut (first published in the U.K. in 2006, and the inspiration for Lifetime TV's 2009 movie 12 Men of Christmas) with humor that somewhat offsets the formulaic tale of a woman retreating from urban life after being betrayed by her boyfriend and her boss. In England's Lake District, PR executive Emma Tremayne tries to help a local mountain rescue group stay solvent by creating a nude calendar featuring the rescuers. Will Tennant is the most reluctant model, and the most attractive. Emma needs him to agree to pose as Mr. December for the sake of the fund-raiser--and to show she can handle her new job. Emma and Will are clearly destined for each other, so their relationship and inevitable obstacles lack suspense, but readers will enjoy the breezy style and repartee. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Ashley's fun contemporary romance is crafted with humor, a sexy premise, and the intriguing backdrop of the picturesque Lake District." - Booklist

"Dating Mr. December is an entertaining contemporary romance that had me wishing I could visit the town and meet the characters. " - Book Addict

"A fun little romance." - Bookalicious Book Babe

"What a rocking story! Witty, romantic, emotional all tied up in a neat, entertaining read. " - Seriously Reviewed

"A cute, fun, silly read. " - Cheryl's Book Nook

"A fun and sexy Christmas read... pure enjoyment!" - My Overstuffed Bookshelf

"A sweet romantic story." - Sizzling Hot Books

"An easy writing style, with excellent characters and an exciting romance guaranteed to make you quickly turn the pages and look for more. " - Romance Reviews Today

"A delightfully witty and sensual contemporary romance." - Romance Junkies

"Whether you're in the mood for a little Christmas spirit, a funny story, or a heartfelt romance, this is the perfect book to cuddle up with. Highly recommended." - Book Pleasures

"Phillipa Ashley writes such sexy characters and dialog that you'll have inhaled this before you realize you're at the end." - Drey's Library

"If you are looking for a hot romance to warm up your winter evenings, Dating Mr. December is the book for you... A light quick read, with great steamy love scenes. " - Laura's Reviews

"A perfect holiday romance. The characters are believable and funny." - The Book Girl

"I loved the mix of humor and romance in this one. " - Books Like Breathing

"There is wonderful quick and smart dialog, some well placed action and it was a quick read for me. If you like Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell, or Hester Brown, you will love this author as well." - Book Hounds

"The romance is sizzling!" - The Book Chick

Booklist
Ashley's fun contemporary romance is crafted with humor, a sexy premise, and the intriguing backdrop of the picturesque Lake District.
Book Addict
Dating Mr. December is an entertaining contemporary romance that had me wishing I could visit the town and meet the characters.
Bookalicious Book Babe
A fun little romance.
Seriously Reviewed
What a rocking story! Witty, romantic, emotional all tied up in a neat, entertaining read.
Cheryl's Book Nook
A cute, fun, silly read.
My Overstuffed Bookshelf
A fun and sexy Christmas read... pure enjoyment!
Sizzling Hot Books
A sweet romantic story.
Romance Reviews Today
An easy writing style, with excellent characters and an exciting romance guaranteed to make you quickly turn the pages and look for more.
Romance Junkies
A delightfully witty and sensual contemporary romance.
Book Pleasures
Whether you're in the mood for a little Christmas spirit, a funny story, or a heartfelt romance, this is the perfect book to cuddle up with. Highly recommended.
Drey's Library
Phillipa Ashley writes such sexy characters and dialog that you'll have inhaled this before you realize you're at the end.
Laura's Reviews
If you are looking for a hot romance to warm up your winter evenings, Dating Mr. December is the book for you... A light quick read, with great steamy love scenes.
The Book Girl
A perfect holiday romance. The characters are believable and funny.
Books Like Breathing
I loved the mix of humor and romance in this one.
Book Hounds
There is wonderful quick and smart dialog, some well placed action and it was a quick read for me. If you like Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell, or Hester Brown, you will love this author as well.
The Book Chick
The romance is sizzling!
Love Romance Passion
Light, fun, and snappy.
Luxury Reading
A light romantic novel... plenty of drama, heartache, and misunderstandings.
Life in the Thumb
A very fun, sexy, and believable romantic book.
Library Journal
After losing her job and her boyfriend, London PR executive Emma moves to England's Lake District for a much-needed change of scenery. Landing a job with a local tourist board, she thinks small-town life might just be the respite she needs—and then the local mountain rescue team taps her to put together a "tasteful" nude calendar for a fund-raiser. This sexy romantic comedy, the basis for the Lifetime TV movie 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth, is not your typical cozy Christmas tale. For fans of Brit chick lit.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402257773
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
11/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,072,835
File size:
835 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1


'Excuse me, love,' said the bearded man in the front row, ever so politely, 'did you say naked?'


Emma Tremayne clutched her folder of proposals tighter and smiled a smile that went no further than her cherry-scented lip gloss. 'That's right, Bob. Naked.'


Bob, bald, ruddy-faced, and fifty-something, nodded as if she'd just confirmed the price of a cheese scone in the local café. 'You mean without any clothes on?' murmured a whippet-like lad whom Emma recognized as a local builder. 'That's the general idea of a nude calendar, Jason, yes.' Smiling sweetly, she fixed her eyes on him, then regretted it as a blush spread to the roots of his hair, competing with his red curls for color.


Now that was odd, she thought, as a dozen faces tried terribly hard not to look in her direction. If she'd known how easy it was to turn a roomful of hard-bitten men into quivering jellies, she'd have tried it years ago. Unfortunately, right now it was exactly what she didn't want.


In front of her, leaning against fading walls, perched on rickety chairs and peeling Formica tables, were some of the most macho men in England. Tall and short, green and vintage, each of them looked like a nervous schoolboy hauled up before a particularly bossy headmistress. You'd certainly never have known they were a mountain rescue team from the look of them. Or that they'd saved over fifty lives in the past twelve months alone and were expert at rappelling and belaying and all kinds of skills which weren't needed among the sushi bars and coffee houses and mirror-window tower blocks of the city life Emma was used to.


They didn't look extraordinary at all. In fact, they could just as easily have been part of a church choir or, admittedly, a rather fit darts team. Which was exactly why this project was going to be such a huge success. It was a good thing, Emma told herself, that as a seasoned PR person, she had already run through this scenario in her head a dozen times. If she didn't believe in her idea 100 percent, how on earth could she expect them to?


She smiled even more broadly at Bob Jeavons, as he slouched on a broken chair. As team leader of the Bannerdale Mountain Rescue Team he had the power to crush her project with a single word. Emma wanted to take her jacket off but she didn't dare.


Bob placed his chipped mug, still half full of tea that by now must have grown cold, on the floor tiles and folded his arms. He studied her for a moment, oblivious to the bead of tea trickling down his beard. 'Correct me if I'm wrong, love, but doesn't that mean everyone in Bannerdale will see us with our kit off?'


'Oh, I do hope so,' she said airily, ignoring the gasp of horror from Jason. 'I really hope so, in fact, because if everyone in Cumbria sees you with your kit off, it will mean that I've done my job properly. It will mean,' she carried on, warming to her theme, 'that everyone will want to buy the calendar and that we'll raise heaps of money for a new base. Which, if you don't mind me saying,' she added, eyeing the paint peeling off the window frame, 'you do actually need quite badly.'


'Not that badly,' said a new voice.


Emma peered into the gloom of the room. It was difficult to see where exactly the voice had come from, as the late March evening was drawing in and the strip light had flickered and died shortly after they'd come in.


She looked at a dark figure standing in the door frame. 'Did someone else have a contribution to make?'


This time the response was easier to locate. It was a cross between a snort and a harrumph, rather like a rhino in heat-not that she'd ever met one.


'I'm sorry, but does someone have a cold?' she asked, with more than a trace of irony.


'No. But someone needs their head examined if they think this is a good idea.'


The owner of the voice stepped into the room and her heart seemed to stop. Will Tennant. She might have known. She'd only met him once before, a few weeks ago when she'd suggested the team get some rather funky promotional merchandise to sell at fêtes and open nights. He hadn't been amused then and he certainly didn't look amused now.


As he rested his six-foot-plus, nearly two-hundred pound frame against a spare patch of wall, Emma felt herself grow even warmer. That super-strength antiperspirant might be good for trekking through a steamy jungle but it was no protection at all against a man who had all the charm of a grizzly bear.


'I know it seems a bit... radical,' said Emma defiantly, trying not to be intimidated. She couldn't quite see Will's face in the dimness, and anyway, she'd forgotten her contacts, but she knew what his expression would be. Patronizing, sarcastic, or hostile, possibly all three.


'Radical?' said Will, crossing his arms.


God, that man was massive, thought Emma, momentarily distracted by the muscles in his forearms.


'Is that what you call it? I'd have said bloody ridiculous. We'll be the laughing stock of all the teams, you know.'


'You might, mate,' laughed Jason, giving Emma a small victory. Hmm... she thought, a little phallic competition might not be a bad thing. With all this testosterone around, it could be a very good thing.


'You need the funds for a new base and you need them quickly,' Emma explained patiently. 'Donation tins and stalls at the village fête are all very well, but you need to do something really dramatic these days to attract attention.'


'We don't need that kind of attention,' growled Will.


'There are other ways of getting the money without fancy PR gimmicks.'


Emma's blood approached boiling point. At this rate the idea of a nude calendar would be thrown out without a meaningful debate and she'd worked so hard on the proposals-for nothing too. Helping the local mountain rescue team with their fundraising wasn't exactly in the remit for her new job with the tourist board. She was here out of the goodness of her heart and, she might have added, was offering them a free consultancy that back in London would have cost them hundreds of pounds.


As the water tank in the old slate roof gave a temperamental shudder, she sighed.


She definitely wasn't in London now.


'It would all be very tasteful, of course,' she went on breezily, feeling very exposed herself. 'No one would actually see anything.' She halted, not quite knowing how to put it. 'Well, I mean, you'd have things to cover your decency, of course.'


'What things?' asked Phil, a wiry-looking guy with a ponytail.


'Well... props. You know, tools of the trade. Helmets...'

Meet the Author

Phillipa Ashley studied English Language and Literature at Oxford before becoming a freelance copywriter and journalist. A frequent guest on BBC national, local and independent radio on all matters romantic, she lives with her husband and daughter in Staffordshire, UK.


Phillipa Ashley studied English Language and Literature at Wadham College, Oxford before becoming a freelance copywriter and journalist. A frequent guest on BBC national, local and independent radio on all matters romantic, she lives with her husband and daughter in Staffordshire, UK.

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Dating Mr. December 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
AuthorKellyMoran More than 1 year ago
Author Phillipa Ashley studied English and Literature at Oxford University before working as a journalist and freelance writer. She didn't start writing fiction until 2005 when she joined an internet creative writing site. Other titles include: It Should Have Been Me, Just Say Yes, and Wish You Were Here. She resides in Staffordshire Village in England with her husband and daughter. Emma Tremayne wasn't expecting a move from London to the Lake District, but she had no choice. After a disastrous event makes her lose her boyfriend and her high-profile PR job in the course of a day, she takes a job far from the city she knows and loves with a small town tourist board. Finally she feels as if she's regaining her esteem and confidence after settling in-- that is until she's asked to be responsible for a fundraising effort for the Mountain Rescue Team. An effort that involves a calendar for twelve naked men! As if the task wasn't challenging enough, sexy and rich rescuer, Will Tennant, is opposed to the idea. He thinks it'll make them a laughing stock. But as all things in life, Will is more than he appears. Much, much more. Can these two set aside their differences long enough to not kill each other... or fall in love? This book was originally published under the title "Decent Exposure" in 2006 in the UK, by Little Black Dress Publishing. This has also been adapted into a Lifetime channel television movie in 2009 called "12 Men of Christmas," starring Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Hopkins, and Anna Chlumsky. Unknowingly, I had seen the TV movie last Christmas season before agreeing to review the book this year. The movie was set in the States and varied pretty drastically from the book, though followed a similar storyline. Though the movie was a cute fluff holiday piece, I enjoyed the book much more. Readers can enjoy the movie before the book, or vice versa, as neither should disrupt the other. Even more than the witty romance, it's the secondary characters in the small town of Bannerdale that makes this book pop. A group of ordinary people that will capture your heart. With dry humor and candid dialog, I was laughing aloud several times. The book also had it's share of "Aww" moments. Whether you're in the mood for a little Christmas spirit, a funny story, or a heartfelt romance, this is the perfect book to cuddle up with. Highly recommended. Kelly Moran Author and Reviewer Bookpleasures
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book as a freebie from B&N. I had seen the movie with Kristen Chenoweth, so thought I'd give it a try. Although different from the movie, I thought it was great quick read (although it really isn't a Christmas book). I loved the two main characters and thought the plot was well thought out. Definitely a keeper!
BookReflections More than 1 year ago
After being fired from her previous job in a dramatic fashion, Emma is forced to take a job in small town Lake District where she takes on the fundraising effort of the mountain rescuers.  When she comes up with the cute (and sexy) fundraiser of creating a calendar, she finds herself butting heads with Will who isn't thrilled about the idea of posing naked for a calendar.  But Emma refuses to give up her idea.  Of course sparks fly and both try to fight the sizzle but some things are meant to be...until Emma gets a better offer. Since I love all things Christmas, I had to read Dating Mr. December.  As I started to read, I instantly recognized it from a Hallmark movie that I watched this season and I couldn't help but compare the two.  I really didn't think I would enjoy the movie but there was no other Christmas movie on at the time so I gave it a try and really enjoyed it.  So at first I wasn't too happy with the book because it didn't seem like it was giving enough details.  All the big drama had already happened and the reader only gets to hear the story told rather than experience it.  But I soon realized that the book version spends more time on the romance aspect and it was done well.  We didn't have a dramatic moment where the characters suddenly realized that there was a spark.  Instead we have a slow steady build up. While the ending is fairly predictable, getting there was quite enjoyable.  The romance was cute and the humor was pretty good.  It isn't quirky funny like chick-lit but more witty funny.  It was definitely an enjoyable afternoon spent. You might still be able to catch the movie on the Hallmark channel.  Did anybody catch this movie besides me?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In search of a new start after boyfriend problems, Emma Tremayne leaves the city and her executive PR job for the Lakes. There she takes on the task of organising a nude calendar to raise money for the local Mountain Rescue Team. Enter Will Tennant, a member of the rescue team who is not only very sexy but dead set against the idea of a nude calendar... Another fun, fast-paced and entertaining romantic comedy from Phillipa Ashley with a rugged hero you'd want at your side if you ever got stuck up a mountain ;0), a sassy heroine, a great supporting cast and the backdrop of the spectacular English lakes. Note: Dating Mr. December was published in the UK as Decent Exposure and was adapted into the TV movie, 12 Men of Christmas.
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GHott More than 1 year ago
Not Christmassy at all. I was expecting fun and mistletoe but at no point was Christmas even mentioned. I assumed – wrongly – that if the cover had a Santa hat on it that Santa would be mentioned. It was a fun book though the used English slang from the first English speaking country was quite confusing to me for some reason. I was concerned that it would be a bit steamy for my tastes but overall it was very light and not at all vulgar.
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