Stella Jackson would rather stab herself in the eye with her own stiletto than return to England. Especially in winter. But to fulfill her grandfather’s last wish, she has to spend Christmas at the estate she inherited from him…with the one man she wishes she could forget.
Self-made millionaire Evan Foss wants one thing from Stella—her estate. But thanks to their rocky past, he’s the last person she’ll sell to. So when she takes him up on a bet, with the estate as the prize, Evan can’t believe his luck. The only problem is that seeing her now, sexy and all grown up, tempts Evan to finish what started years ago between them.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Originally from Melbourne, Stefanie now lives in Toronto with her wonderful husband. She loves to read, collect lipsticks, watch zombie movies and drink coffee. By day (and night!) she writes romance with humour, heat and heart, and tries not to spend too much time shopping online and watching baby animal videos on YouTube.
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Read an Excerpt
Millionaire Under the Mistletoe
By Stefanie London, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Stefanie London
All rights reserved.
A white Christmas in the English countryside might be a dream come true for some people, but to Stella Jackson it sounded about as appealing as a threadbare sock. Snow might look pretty on the front of a Christmas card but she knew the finger-numbing truth. England was wet and cold and miserable.
Sighing, she leaned back against the plush first-class recliner and tried to relax. In two and a half hours she would be freezing her butt off. And, if the prospect of snow wasn't bad enough, she was missing the busiest part of her work year and a good chunk of the festivities back home on the Gold Coast. A month without sunshine and surfing sounded like pure torture to her.
But she couldn't refuse a man his dying wish.
Darkness clouded her thoughts as a deep ache settled into her bones. The feeling was familiar. Constant. She curled her hands around the armrests of her seat, letting her fingers bite into the plastic and leather until she felt grounded again. Until the great, gaping chasm in her chest had shrunk down to a mere crack.
Stella drew a breath, tilting her head from one side to the other as she practiced the breathing exercises the therapist had taught her. It was only a month. Just thirty-one days. Seven hundred and forty-four hours.
She could manage. All she had to do were three simple things:
1. Spend a month on the estate
2. Find the perfect buyer
3. Get the hell back to Australia in time for the new year
The objectives were printed neatly inside the leather-bound organizer that went everywhere with her. She'd even drawn a picture of a stick figure standing next to a surfboard so she knew exactly what would be waiting upon her return. Not that there was any chance of her staying a moment longer than necessary.
Balance restored, she reached for a copy of Vogue Living she'd stashed in her oversize handbag. Pretty pictures would be the perfect thing to keep the bad thoughts under control while she tried to waste away the next two and a half hours of her life. Thankfully, the long part of her journey was already over.
Flipping through the magazine's glossy pages, she admired the elaborately styled party scenes. Every table setting matched the one next to it, cutlery sat in the correct position, and everything was in its place. Yes, this was just what she needed right now.
Something brushed against her arm and she jerked her head up.
"Excuse me." The rough voice with a strong English accent was a heart-stopper, and the owner had a set of shoulders to match.
Curiosity piqued, Stella leaned out of her seat to watch as he strode through First Class into the Economy area. The guy walked like he was on a mission. Yet, he dragged a comically small, canary yellow suitcase behind him. It was almost enough to distract from his long legs and trim waist, but not quite. When she noticed the elderly lady wearing a matching canary-yellow scarf following several paces behind, Stella caught herself smiling.
A true gentleman, how many of those are left in the world?
He stopped at the first row and popped open the overhead compartment before hoisting the small suitcase as though it weighed no more than a pillow. After helping the older woman into her seat, he turned back toward First Class.
Stella snapped her head to the seat in front of her, but not before she'd seen the flash of a thousand-watt smile in her direction. Busted. She buried her face in her magazine.
"Surely you didn't think that was my suitcase?" The man settled into the seat across the aisle from her.
"It crossed my mind until I saw the luggage tag." Stella watched him from the corner of her eye, but avoided direct eye contact so as to discourage conversation. Rule number one of airline travel: don't get trapped into small talk. "You don't look like a Gertrude."
"That would have been rather cruel of my parents."
His husky laugh sent a ripple of awareness through her. It reminded her of something long-buried, something she couldn't put her finger on.
You're just looking for a distraction.
When she was confident Mr. Sexy Brit had turned his attention away, she risked a glance in his direction. Fitted denim hugged his long legs like a dream and floppy chestnut hair obscured his face. The hard line of his jaw made her eyes linger. He had the kind of features that demanded attention. Arresting features. In an alternate universe she might have broken her "no small talk" rule to flirt with him. On paper he ticked all the boxes for an ideal travel fling. Sexy accent? Check. A body made for keeping warm? Check. A mega-watt smile worthy of holiday snaps? Double check.
But Stella didn't flirt. Nor did she have flings — of the holiday variety or any other variety. Returning to her magazine, she lost herself in the stylish perfection. As soon as the final check and the safety demonstration were complete, she was going to stick her headphones on and block the world out.
"Miss?" Mr. Sexy Brit leaned into the aisle to get her attention. "Have we met before? You seem familiar."
Stella laughed. She'd heard that one before and it was disappointingly unoriginal. In her fantasy universe, his pick-up line would have been much wittier. More Hugh Grant-esque. She turned to give him a polite but firm brush-off, and saw his face up close for the first time. That flawless, fair skin, those glacial pale green eyes, full lips curved into a curious smile. Features that she knew could turn to stone in an instant.
He stuck out his hand. "I'm E —"
Recognition slammed into her hard and fast. Like a bucket of ice water, it shocked her system and stunned her into speechlessness. How had she not seen it straight away? His eyes were ever so slightly down-turned and crowned with heavy brows. She knew them well because she'd stared at those eyes for hours as a young girl. She'd stared into them as she'd unbuttoned her blouse ...
Oh God, she was going to be stuck next to him for the whole flight without escape.
Blood rushed in her ears, roaring like an ocean of panic as her confidence evaporated into thin air. This was not how things were supposed to go down.
"Stella?" He studied her face.
Suddenly she was a girl again, gangly-limbed and all kinds of awkward. He'd had the same effect on her back then. One ice-cold glance and she was powerless to communicate with anything other than the bob of her head.
"I wasn't expecting to see you until you arrived at the estate," he replied, his head cocked. She could already sense the cogs turning in his mind. No doubt he would be trying to figure out how to twist this situation to his advantage.
She would've had her game plan sorted by then. She would have gone in as the hard-nosed, savvy businesswoman she'd become and told him where to shove his proposal. This time she would have rejected him. And she would've done it while making him regret the day he sent her marching out of his apartment. Her stomach fluttered.
No, this was not how she'd intended to reunite with Evan Foss.
* * *
Someone was smiling down on Evan Foss today. He hadn't expected Stella to be flying in from Trieste, much less occupying the seat across from him. But catching her unprepared was an opportunity he wouldn't waste.
Evan drank Stella in. She'd changed a lot since he'd seen her last, blossoming from an awkward, albeit gorgeous, young woman to a more curated version of herself. Her wide blue-green eyes sparkled like the waves in Positano. They hadn't changed, and he remembered how they'd reflected her joy and excitement and sadness with vivid clarity. Her hair was smoother and sleeker than the tangle of unkempt waves he'd once run his hands through. But her face had hardened. There was a determined set to her jaw and an icy reserve that immediately slid into place when she recovered from blurting out his name. That was new.
Then there was her body — all willowy lines and lean bronzed limbs. Her slim legs were encased in jeans so tight they could have been spray-painted on. She wore a pair of white high-top Converse Chucks, which was perhaps the only sign that the girl he once knew still lurked within.
"Like what you see?" she asked, a twisted smile on her lips. "Maybe I'm a bit more to your tastes now?"
So much for hoping that she'd forgotten the shit storm from four years ago.
"I was admiring your shoes." He shrugged. Try as she might, Stella wasn't going to knock him down with one sharp remark. But, she was going to be a tough nut to crack.
Evan didn't shy away from a challenge, however. Hell, he thrived on it. And convincing Stella Jackson to give him what he wanted would be a great pleasure indeed.
"I don't know how some girls fly in heels." She smoothed a hand over her hair and he noticed that her ring finger was bare. Wasn't she supposed to be engaged?
"Don't subscribe to the beauty is pain ethos?" He cocked his head. "How does that work given you're employed by a five-star hotel?"
"You've done your homework." She closed her magazine with an obvious degree of reluctance. "Well done."
"I was surprised you hadn't taken over your grandfather's business."
Surprised and relieved. It would have been difficult to convince her to sell the property if she intended on keeping it for herself. Since she wasn't planning to take over her grandfather's company, all he had to do was convince her to sell to him.
At the mention of her grandfather, she shut down and turned back to face the seat in front of her. Conversation over, apparently.
The plane taxied toward the runway and the cabin crew bustled up and down the aisles, checking the overhead compartments and ensuring passengers had their seat belts buckled. He pressed his fingertips to his temples as the security video played on the screens.
He had two and a half hours. This flight was an opportunity for a head start to their negotiations and it was clear Stella hadn't forgiven or forgotten his mistake. No matter, he'd battled worse odds. All he had to do was figure out how to get her to consider his proposal. Because once he had an opening, he knew his plans would blow her socks off.
But talking to her currently was like trying to start a conversation with a brick wall. Ordinarily he'd go in hard, muscle his way into his opponent's attention. Demand to be heard. He'd acquired a reputation for that early on. The "young bull" they'd called him in an article about up and coming property players a few years back. So what else was new? Evan had always fought tooth and nail for what he had. For respect.
Stella, however, required a different approach. A softer approach. That much he remembered and, while it wasn't his preference or his forte, he would always do whatever needed to be done to close a deal.
He turned to Stella, who had her nose buried in her magazine again.
"You really should pay attention to the video," he said. "Otherwise you won't know what to do in the unexpected event of an emergency."
He said the last few words mimicking the serious tone of the video and was rewarded with the barest hint of a smile. "You'll help me get my mask on, won't you?"
"You have to help yourself before attending to others." He mimicked the video again.
"Ain't that the truth?" The smile slowly faded from her lips.
Her fingertips traced the watch on her wrist. He recognized the man's oversized face and well-loved band. The hand that'd worn that watch had helped him for years, guided him through the toughest parts of his life, given him an opportunity to be something more than a drain on the economy. To be more than a statistic.
He swallowed against the tightness in his throat.
The plane's speakers crackled to life and the pilot announced that all crew should prepare for take-off. The plane whirred, picking up speed and hurtling along the runway. Evan loved the thrill of the exact moment when the plane left the ground, his stomach always flipped as weightlessness encompassed him. He'd never flown as a child and on his first trip at the age of seventeen he'd been so excited the feeling was forever etched into his memory.
He stole a glance at Stella. Her white-knuckled hands gripped the seat of her recliner and her eyes squeezed shut. Before he could consider the consequences, he reached out, stretching his arm across the aisle and grabbing her hand. Her fingers felt fragile in his, the slight tremble cutting him to the bone. As the plane hit a rough patch, a small whimper escaped her lips.
"So you're staying for the whole month?" he asked, trying to ease her into conversation.
"I'm staying until Christmas Day," she said tightly, though whether that was due to her fear of flying or her annoyance at him, he had no idea.
"There's plenty to see in a month."
"I'm not planning to sightsee, Evan." She removed her hand from his as the plane evened out. "I have a job to do. I have meetings to go to and things to deal with at the estate."
"The estate's in great condition, I've been keeping it in top shape since ..." Shit. He wasn't sure how to finish that sentence without dredging up a whole lot of stuff he wasn't ready to deal with. "Let's talk about my proposal for the estate."
"Can't the business talk wait until we arrive?" Her yawn was so fake he was mildly insulted.
"We've got time to kill and it might distract you from trying to snap the arm rest in two."
Her lips pursed. "Do you know how I like to kill time?"
She reached down to the handbag that sat under the seat in front of her and pulled out a pair of chunky Bose headphones. "I like to block everything out." She popped the headphones over her ears. "We'll talk when I get to the estate."
"Subtle," he muttered.
You'll have to sharpen up your game for this bid, she's not going to let you off the hook that easily.
So what? He knew how to deal with stubborn property owners, and Stella was no different. If there was one thing he'd mastered in his career climb, it was convincing people to see that his way the best way. The only way. In an ideal world he'd play it straight with Stella, because he owed her family so much. But he wouldn't sacrifice success to be a nice guy.
That estate would be his. One way or another.
* * *
The plane touched down smoothly at Heathrow Airport much to Stella's relief. Even with the comforts of first class, she wasn't a fan of flying. The enclosed feeling of the cabin, the bouts of stomach-lurching turbulence, and the knowledge that any number of things could go wrong all put flying squarely in the "not fun" category. Plus, this particular trip had the added annoyance of her unexpected travel partner. She'd kept her headphones on and her nose buried in her magazine the entire time, just in case Mr. Chatty decided to strike up a conversation again.
But all she'd achieved was delaying the inevitable.
Shortly, she'd be arriving at the estate where he would be her "host." No doubt he'd try to pitch his plans for the estate in the hopes that she would sell to him. Then she'd have to figure out how to decline him in a way that he understood. According to her grandfather, Evan Foss wasn't very adept at taking no for an answer. That might have served him well in his career following her grandfather's footsteps, but it would have to change now.
The last thing I'd ever do is give Evan Foss something he wants.
Never mind the fact that a jolt of electricity had shot through her when he'd grabbed her hand during take-off.
Pathetic. How you can you still feel anything toward him after what happened? Are you that much of a glutton for punishment?
Ugh, she was a grown woman now and he was nothing but a bad memory. She would not let herself be tempted by the remnants of old feelings. And she most certainly would not be playing nice just because of his relationship with her grandfather.
"Have you got anything in the overhead?" His voice pulled her out of her reverie.
Trying to play the gentleman, is he? Bit late for that.
She shook her head and gathered her handbag, scarf, and magazine. The headphones sat around her neck, and it comforted her to know that she could block out the world at any moment. Crowds daunted her and her stomach roiled at the thought of battling the masses inside the airport.
Excerpted from Millionaire Under the Mistletoe by Stefanie London, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2016 Stefanie London. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A beautiful love story that will delight all who read it. This is a adult book, with two stubborn chracter's who refuse to give in . I really injoyed this story. L.M.A.
Millionaire Under the Mistletoe by Stefanie London is the story of Stella Jackson and Evan Foss. Stella was once in love with Evan but he turned her away that left her embarrassed and hurt. So Stella has been set on avoiding him ever since. But now she is having to return to stay on the estate that her Grandfather left to her. The condition of his last request was for her to stay there during Christmas. Evan too has feeling for the estate has his mother worked there. But the only thing Evan thinks he wants fro Stella is that estate but the more he is around he the more that might not be the case. Evan does come of at first as really harsh but it does even out and ends well.
"Millionaire Under the Mistletoe" by Stefanie London is Stella Jackson and Evan Foss' story. Stella is back in London to fulfill a promise to her grandfather before he passed. She hates the cold and wants to be back in Brisbane, Australia where she can surf. Stella promised to stay at her grandfather's estate through Christmas before making a decision on whether to sell or not sell it. Evan is a self-made millionaire. He hasn't had an easy life. The one thing that he wants is to buy Stella's grandfather's estate. Evan has been handling the estate business for Stella's grandfather and is staying at the estate during the holidays. Stella and Evan have a past and didn't part on good terms. Evan is the last person that Stella wants to be around or to sell the estate to. Will Stella agree to sell Evan the estate? Stella and Evan both have things in their past that have influenced the person they are today. Throughout this story you will get a better understanding of their personalities. The reader could feel the character's emotions. This was a sweet and heartwarming story with a steamy romance. I especially fell in love with Evan. A great Christmas romance. FYI, includes mature content. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Oh my goodness I felt so much sympathy for Stella. She was such a strong woman but was so alone. I wanted for her desperately to be happy. At times it seemed Evan could do that for her, but at others he was so wishy washy. But he won me back with his treatment of Ethel and the way he made everything up to Stella. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Stella left Australia to go back to England as her grandfather -Nicholas had passed away. Stella has to go back to her grandfather's estate to find the perfect buyer if she decides to sell but she has to stay a month. On the plane in first class Stella ends up across the aisle from Ewan- who had been taking care of the estate after her grandfather passed away and wanted to buy the estate and turn it into a high end hotel for the wealthy. Stella was not happy to be on the same plane as Ewan nor did she want to take to him. Stella was also determined not to sell the property to Ewan. Stella had been rejected by her mom when she was younger and felt isolated and couldn’t relate to her peers. Stella’s grandfather had taken Ewan in as he had been poor and he didn’t have the best of mother’s and mentored him. Ewan had been Stella’s crush but when she was eighteen he humiliated and rejected her that was four years ago but she never really got over the hurt. Ewan is now a self made wealthy man -Stella’s grandfather had been there every step of the way- . Stella had been in bad relationships since Ewan’s rejection and was determined to protect her heart as was Ewan but they were attracted to each other. Ewan had felt Stella was off limits especially as he didn’t believe in love or relationships after the way his mom was. This was a quick read also the romance was predictable. I liked that Stella was so stubborn and give into the attraction she still felt for Ewan. Ewan on the other hand took me awhile to warm up to. Ewan just seemed to care about himself and what he wanted. But showing both his and Stella’s background did help. The plot was good also the characters. I enjoyed the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.
Letting Go Stella promised her grandfather on his deathbed that she'd spend one more month and Christmas at the estate before deciding what to do with it. She hates the cold and would rather spend this time surfing at home in Australia instead of England. Evan wants to convince Stella to sell her family's estate to him. Everything he knows about the hotel business is because of Nicholas, he wants to fix it, but also personally cares about the property where he grew up too. Although Stella still finds Evan attractive, she has absolutely NO intention of selling the estate to Evan. He crushed her once and she refuses to give him a chance. He challenges her to a bet with the estate being the prize. Can he convince her, or will he lose his chance? Stella has grown into a sexy, beautiful woman, which makes her even more tempting than she used to be. What will Stella decide to do? What happens between Stella and Evan? You'll have to read MILLIONAIRE UNDER THE MISTLETOE to find out. I enjoyed the feisty banter between them. They both have life lessons to learn before they can let go of their pasts to live for the future. I received an ARC via IndieSagePR and Entangled Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Due to sexual situations, this book is recommended for readers 17 and older! FAVORITE PASSAGES ~ You know why you’re here, thank you for being the shining star in my life. ~ The only way you’ll see the stars is if you brave the dark.
Stella Jackson has inherited her grandfather's home in England. She flies from her home in Australia at Christmas to spend a month at the property, as requested by her grandfather, determined to sell the property only to find her childhood crush (and the man who thoroughly humiliated her) is intent on buying it to turn it into a high end hotel. Evan Foss was the poor kid who was taken in by Stella's grandfather. His mother had a history of bad mistakes with men and he has been emotionally scarred by his childhood and fear of poverty and having no food. He had a lot of feelings on being inadequate, not worthy, and also had a bit of a chip on his shoulder as a result. I have to say I didn't really feel that Stefanie London nailed Evan's characterisation. He was supposed to be a self-made millionaire but he came across as being one decision away from possible bankruptcy. Stella came across as a bit of a drip, her alter-ego as a surfer seemed unrealistic. This book was OK, I liked it but I didn't love it. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Millionaire Under the Mistletoe by Stefanie London....Another great story from one of my favorite authors. As always Stefanie London delivers a wonderful Christmas story that you can't put down. I loved watching the story be told for Stella and Evan, it was so well delivered. This is one story you will want to read at this time of year. I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book from publisher via NetGalley.
I felt that Stefanie London did a good job with this Christmas story. I love any type of Christmas story and this one put me in the mood for the holidays and cooler weather for sure! Stella is a young lady that comes from a wealthy family and when her grandfather passes away, she is set to inherit his home in England. Stella's grandfather's only stipulation to her selling the home was that she has to go live in the home for 30 days. When Stella leaves her home in Australia and makes the journey to England, she runs into Evan on the plane. Evan is an old acquaintance of Stella's that caused her heart ache when they were younger so she has decided to keep her distance. Stella was always attracted to Evan and you can feel the pull they have towards each other as well as the tension that Evan's actions have caused. Evan is a self made millionaire that was taken in by Stella's grandfather and mentored. Evan's mother was not the best and made decisions that were not good for him so Stella's grandfather just took him in to raise as his own. When Evan hears about his passing, he wants to buy the home that he left for Stella and turn it into a high-end hotel. Stella is dead set on not selling it to Evan and Evan is dead set on gaining possession of the home. The tension builds as well as the attraction with these two and makes for a very good story. The story flows very well and I thought that the characters were very well developed. I enjoyed this story from Stefanie London and I am so glad that we got a Christmas book from her. I can't wait to see what is next from her for us readers!
Rating 3.5/5 This is a second chance romance involving a wealthy heiress and the self-made millionaire she knew as a teenager. She was brought up in Australia but her roots are back in England. When her paternal grandfather was dying, she promised to spend a month in his home which she inherited from him. She’d spent summers there when she was growing up and has happy memories of the people and place. She also has memories of being rejected by Evan Ross, someone whose Mum worked on the estate and who her grandfather mentored and guided. Now Evan wants to buy the estate from her but his rejection of her when she was eighteen really upset her, especially as she’d had a secret crush on him for years and felt isolated, unable to relate to her peers and rejected by her mother. Now she’s had additional relationship difficulties and is determined to protect her heart from further pain but will either of them be able to ignore the attraction between them? Will their pasts prevent them giving love a chance? This story is set in England during December. The characters are well developed with very different but still traumatic pasts which influence their relationships with others dramatically. There are some great secondary characters – especially Matt and Ethel (and no, they aren’t a couple!) It is an enjoyable second chance romance in a festive English countryside and London. I obtained an ARC of this novel via NetGalley and chose to read and review it.
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I have read Ms.London's books,I find them really refreshing especially this Christmas one.Very likeable characters and storyline,I will definitely recommend this book to my friends.
This is not a light and sweet Christmas story like I was expecting. This turned out to have quite a lot of angst between the MC's and in the beginning I did NOT like Evan. He was cold and only out for himself. Stella, who's been in love with him since they were young was rejected by Evan when they were in college. She felt humiliated and hasn't spoken to him since. They are brought back together due to her grandfather's passing and asking her to spend a month at his estate he is leaving to her. Evan also grew up at the estate since his mom was an employee there and later Stella's Grandfather mentored Evan. Evan is set on buying the estate from her and will not let anything get in his way. This story started out rough for me because Evan was a hard character to like. He couldn't see past himself to even recognize that Stella was important to him. Like Christmas Scrooge, it took almost losing everything to wake him up and see what was right in front of him. Despite the rough start, this had a beautiful ending! ARC provided by NetGalley.
Okay, I said I wasn't going to read any Christmas books until November. Call me lazy, but I wanted something to read on my phone so I didn't have to put the light on and disturb DH and this was the first thing that caught my eye. This is a pretty classic reunion trope, with heiress Stella Jackson going back to England to her grandfather's estate to fulfil a vow to spend a month there before deciding whether to sell. Only trouble is that Evan Foss, the boy who rejected her so humiliatingly four years ago is going to be there. He's been maintaining the property since Nicholas Jackson died and wants to buy it. Evan came from a tough background and owes everything to Nicholas so young Stella was technically off limits for a guy who didn't believe in love and commitment. I received an ARC from Netgalley for an independent review. Stella has some hangups too, caused by her selfish mother and her ex-fiance. And especially Evan. It's his rejection that really impacted and she is definitely not going to trust a guy who was obviously all about himself. The progression of the romance, that includes lots of smexytimes is pretty predictable, but is told in a very engaging way, allowing us to watch the layers being peeled from both lonely Stella and closed off Evan. There was a twist that you kind of guessed was coming without knowing what it was. The end was touching. I did get a tear but as it was not about the romance, it didn't push up the score.
Thoroughly enjoyable read! The last place Stella Jackson wants to be is back in England face to face with the one man who has broken her heart. Dealing with the death of her grandfather is hard enough. Dealing with Evan Foss on top of that is sheer torture. All Evan wants is the estate Stella's grandfather left her and he's willing to pay handsomely for it. Unfortunately he knows that their past will keep her from selling to him until it's dealt with. The fact that she is now stunning and as sexy as ever makes it even harder to deal with the past and not want more from her now. Getting past the walls she has erected will be difficult, not wanting to pick things up where they left off all those years ago - impossible. This is one I definitely recommend.
Friends to enemies to …. lovers? To honor her grandfather’s final wish, Stella Jackson is going to spend the month leading up to Christmas at the estate she inherited from him in London. She can’t stand the cold, dreariness of it there, and would rather be anywhere else, but she loved her grandfather and will do this one last thing for him. Evan Foss adored her grandfather as well. He was mentored by him since he was a troubled teen and he helped shape him into the shrewd businessman he is today. He wants to honor him by making his estate grand again, but first he’ll have to convince Stella to sell it to him. Stella would rather give it away than sell it to the likes of Evan Foss. In a moment of chivalry, Evan rejected her years ago and she still has not forgiven him. When a petty bet is made with the estate being handed over if he wins, Evan sets out to make her enjoy her stay in London. Close quarters make them both remember the time they spent together years ago … and decide it’s finally time to follow through!
I enjoyed this book - it's a fun seasonal book. One thing that I really liked is that in this novel the woman is the millionaire. Yes, the man is too, but he's a pauper compared to her. This was a fun change in the normal formula for this type of romance. Stella returns home to her grandfather's estate to fulfill a promise and sell the estate. Evan wants to buy the property, but is also the man who painfully rejected Stella years before. Both of them are damaged, but find themselves drawn together. This should have been a five star book - all of the elements are there and the author is a talented writer. For some reason, the characters just didn't engage me. While I cared about their story, it didn't keep me at the edge of my seat. My recommendation is to read this when you're looking for a fun seasonal book that you can set down when your real life interrupts, yet easily pick back up again.
Despite different childhoods Evan and Stella aren't that different. Millionaire Under the Mistletoe gives a glimpse into how the other half lives. Stella grew up in a world of wealth and privilege but never felt like she fit in. Evan was her safe place. With him she found the one place she could be herself, but with age came change and that change came in the form of a broken heart and long estrangement for these childhood friends. Now the tables have turned. Evan and Stella aren't on equal footing in business but don't see eye to eye in much else. Will a wily old man's dying wish light the torch of love? Ms. London brings the romance to a humorous coming of age story.
Stella Jackson is on her way to England, not by choice. After the death of her beloved grandfather, she has to take care of his estate: she must stay in the property 31 days, “find the perfect buyer”, and then she will go back home to Australia. On the plane, she sees Evan Foss, with whom she has a bit of history, and he is determined to buy the estate and turn it into a posh retreat. Stella will not have Evan buy it, anybody but him; she still hasn’t forgiven him for what happened 4 years before. But both being so competitive, the negotiations will be prickly! Ms. London is a favourite author of mine, her writing is just as flawless and fluid as ever, and her descriptions of England are fabulous; the atmosphere really felt English. While I knew going in that the premise was rather predictable, some details were interesting. Stella and Foss’ history was not what I expected – which was very nice for a change. However, I found both Stella and Evan rather dull and mostly flat characters: Stella is truly a modern wallflower, she is very reserved but not very pleasant; I thought she was a sad little creature, really. Evan is rather full of himself, he appears quite cold and unemotional, and I’m not really sure why she bothered with him, to be honest; I suppose it was destiny. I didn’t quite grasp Stella’s stubbornness about the fate of the estate either; maybe I missed something there; I felt her obstinacy was a bit tiresome. On the other hand, Stella and Evan’s backstories are particularly attention-grabbing, especially Evan’s. I also liked Stella’s late grandfather as a character; he appeared through flashbacks and in the wonderful time capsule. All in all, MILLIONAIRE UNDER THE MISTLETOE is a sexy, quick read. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.