by Donna Kauffman

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A raging winter storm and a holiday spent pet-sitting reveals there’s more than one kind of animal in the house …
When Emma Lafferty is hired by a billionaire CEO to watch his pets over the holidays, she expects to enjoy a quiet Christmas in opulent surroundings. What she doesn’t expect is to spend the week trapped in the mansion with Trevor Hamilton, the CEO’s sexy great-nephew—and heir—whose motives are as shady as his desire is crystal clear …
Praise for Donna Kauffman and her novels
  “Kauffman’s stories show that the bravery to reach for a connection is all we need to discover joy; she excels at expressing the struggles and joys of giving in to love.”
—Publishers Weekly on Sandpiper Island
“We all know where there's Donna Kauffman, there's a rollicking, sexy read chock-full of charm and sparkle. Kauffman's characters are adorably human and so very magnetic.”
“Kauffman pens a touching romance . . . a quirky community and secondary characters with enough personality to make readers want to come back. A light romance with a touch of heat, a pinch of intensity and a dash of mysterious small-town magic.”
—Kirkus Reviews on Pelican Point
“Sassy, witty, and sexy.”
 —Library Journal on Snowflake Bay

“Charming characters, emotion galore, a small town—you’re going to love Donna Kauffman!”

Lori Foster

Previously published in TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781420148893
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Series: A Hamilton Christmas Novella , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 110
Sales rank: 37,435
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. She is the recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, a RITA® finalist, a National Readers’ Choice Award-winner, and a PRISM Award-winner. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C.’s politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener, and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

Read an Excerpt


Emma Lafferty's life had gone to the dogs. Literally. And to the cats. And the parakeets, goldfish, hamsters, even the occasional potbelly pig. What it and her fledgling pet-sitting service hadn't gone to was her bank account. Not enough, anyway.

She glanced quickly — again — at the Google map printout she'd made based on the reams of detailed information she'd gotten from Lionel Hamilton's assistant. She'd always done better with a visual map rather than the go-south-on-route-whatever type instructions. Who knew which way south was? As luck would have it — her luck anyway — the aerial route had looked a lot simpler online. Of course, online, she hadn't been trying to find a strange house in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, during a surprise winter ice storm.

"Happy holidays to me," she muttered, squinting through the permanently fogged windshield of her beloved, but beat-up Land Rover.

She cracked the windows a bit farther, hoping in vain that would help clear the view a bit more, then rolled her side window down enough to reach out and slap the wiper against the windshield. Again. The rapidly building crust didn't even budge. Her headlights barely penetrated the sheet of dense gray in front of her. Regardless, she couldn't risk getting out on such a narrow, winding road. One oncoming vehicle and she'd be toast.

She slowed as she reached the peak of yet another long hill, bracing herself for the drive down the other side. Actually, a controlled slide was probably the best she could hope for at this point. "Why," she muttered through chattering teeth. "Why did I agree to this?"

She knew why. Chelsea, her best friend and cohort since their days together at Tech, had sold her on what had, admittedly, sounded like a pretty sweet deal. Chelsea was in Human Resources at Hamilton Industries, and she'd heard through the grapevine that the grand poobah himself, Lionel Hamilton, was looking for someone to take care of his home and assorted pets over the holidays. A sudden change in dates for a scheduled business trip to the Far East had, apparently, thrown a last- minute wrench into his holiday plans.

Emma had thought it odd that one of Lionel's many household staffers hadn't taken on the job, but Chelsea explained that he'd already surprised them with an extended vacation for the two weeks over Christmas and New Year's and didn't want to rescind the offer.

The dilemma for Emma had been that the job required her to live on premises as both house sitter and pet sitter, and, being that he housed his pets at his weekend residence, said premises was a good two hours outside of town. Which meant she'd have to turn her regular clients down. During one of the busiest seasons of the year. But the pay was ridiculously good, and while she certainly wanted to make her newly established client base happy, Chelsea had also pointed out that doing a good job for Lionel Hamilton might be her ticket to building the kind of clientele any business would love to have. The kind with deep pockets and no time to manage their own lives, much less their own pets. So, Emma had crossed her fingers ... and taken the deal.

Hamilton Industries was a conglomerate that owned most of Randolph County, Virginia, and employed pretty much everyone in it. Everyone except Emma. She'd removed herself from their payroll seven months earlier when a small inheritance had given her the gumption to do what she'd always wanted to do — open her own business.

Emma's former job in accounting would have led to a nice, stable career. She was good at her job, and it was a dependable source of income. The only problem was it bored her to tears. In fact, she'd hated it. The idea of toting up long columns of numbers for the rest of her natural days left her feeling numb inside. She didn't want to be numb. At twenty-nine, she was too young to be numb.

She smacked the dashboard, trying to beat the heater into functioning, not missing the irony as her teeth chattered so hard her jaw hurt. "So, I open my own business, and I'm still numb. Just literally, now."

Three treacherous hills and numerous Hail Mary's later, Emma finally spied the huge wrought iron gate, announcing the entrance to Lionel Hamilton's mountain getaway. As she made her way slowly up the immense circular drive, she found herself wondering, if this was the weekend house, what did his everyday house looked like?

It was amazing even beyond what she and Chelsea had imagined during the hours of animated discussion they'd indulged in since she'd agreed to take the job. The massive marble pillars and soaring double- door entrance alone would have sent her best friend into gossip nirvana, Emma thought as she navigated her way around to the separate garage in the rear. Not that she wasn't goggling over the place herself. In fact, she could hardly wait to get settled in so she could call Chelsea and share every detail.

She used the garage door opener that had been messengered to her, along with a small, bound notebook containing the most anal- retentive, detailed list of instructions, notes, and maps she'd ever seen in her life — and was profoundly grateful to have, as she'd accepted the job without ever directly speaking to Mr. Hamilton. She'd gotten a handful of his assistants instead, over the phone, via e-mail, and text message, all of them borderline frantic to make certain she followed the notebook to the letter. Emma had assured the seemingly harried crew that she'd be fine, privately wondering what the hell she'd really signed on for. Then the notebook had arrived. And she'd been a little worried ever since. Maybe more than a little.

Hamilton apparently micromanaged his pets and his home the way he did his assistants. It was no wonder his employees sounded like they needed antacid chasers with every meal. She was close to that herself, and she hadn't even officially started the job yet.

Reminding herself how great the payday was going to be, plus the potential future clients the job would nab, Emma took a deep breath and eased her Land Rover into the ten-car garage. She then spent the next several minutes jaw-dropped as she stared at the half dozen or so very shiny, very expensive cars. She pulled in next to a midnight-blue Maserati and parked, then patted the dash of her Land Rover. "Don't let them make you feel bad. You have character."

She turned on the overhead light, sighing in relief when it didn't flicker back off, then consulted the first of the many detailed house maps in the addendum section of the notebook. After making sure the garage door was closed behind her and the alarm light activated, she grabbed two of her lighter bags, and made her way to the main house through an enclosed passageway. Once she made sure she could get in and move around without setting off the alarm system, she'd unpack the rest. But first she wanted to go introduce herself to her charges.

They didn't come to meet her at the door, but her notebook had explained that they would be penned up off the kitchen in the back, awaiting her arrival. She just followed the barking. And a voice shouting, "Welcome! Right this way!"

She wound her way through the expansive foyer, around the central staircase, then down one long hallway before finally coming to the double swinging doors that led to the kitchen. If you wanted to call it that. It did, indeed, have kitchen appliances and a large workstation in the center of one part of the immense room. That was the smaller part, though there was nothing small about it. Martha Stewart would weep for such a well-appointed kitchen space. But Emma's attention was drawn to the rest of the room, starting with the overlarge, low, round table, patterned in beautiful detailed mosaic tiles. The chairs surrounding it were cushioned with heavy brown and burgundy pillows and the whole thing was framed with an immense stone fireplace.

"Welcome! Right this way!"

Smiling, she went over to the huge wrought iron aviary and smiled at the rather imperious African Grey perched inside. "You must be Cicero."

"Cicero!" he repeated. "Welcome!" Then he whistled a beautiful tune that Emma didn't know the title of, but couldn't help laughing at, as she enjoyed his little show. She then turned her attention to the series of French doors leading to the enclosed, equally impressive, sunroom off the back of the kitchen. Most of her one-bedroom apartment would fit in that space. Behind the doors waited a tail-thumping basset hound named Jack, and Martha, a Harlequin Great Dane.

"Hi, guys," she said, accepting their enthusiastic welcome with a sincere smile and open arms. They made quick friends, then she found their leads and specially tailored doggie jackets right where the notebook said they would be. Thankfully, they were both used to wearing their Burberry plaid winter-wear and didn't struggle too much as she slid on the lined pieces and strapped them and their leads into place.

She led them both out into the cold, damp of the night as the ice and snow continued to pelt down. "Sorry, critters. I know this isn't the best of situations, here." As she carefully led them across the patio, lights sprang on in the trees, illuminating the immediate area, which was mostly wooded and slanted immediately uphill. The dogs were obviously used to the topography as they easily led her up a snow-and ice-covered path. The heavy layer of leaves and pine needles beneath the slippery surface provided much needed traction as their feet broke through the crusty surface. Still, she was huffing a little as they finally made it to a clearing at the top of the rise. The lighting cast an eerie glow through the mixture of snowflakes and slanted streaks of ice pellets, making her wonder what it must be like up here on a clear night. She spied two stone benches and evenly spaced mounds around the circumference, which were probably gardens or landscaped areas around the edges of the clearing, before becoming wooded once again.

Fortunately, the dogs made quick work of the business at hand, and they were soon heading back down the path and into the house. Where, just as the book noted, there were towels and a brush to loosen leaves and burrs, and chunks of ice, in this case, if needed. She quickly removed their leads and jackets, and rubbed them both down. Jack especially seemed to love this part of the deal, and squirmed in rhapsodic delight, while Martha spent most of the time sniffing Emma and trying to give her a dog-tongue facial. At least they were going to be easy to get along with.

"Welcome!" Cicero greeted them as Emma let all three of them into the kitchen area. "Right this way!"

She found the dogs' water dishes and topped them off, cleaned Cicero's as well, then rubbed her hands as she decided what to do next. First, she placed a quick call to her parents, letting them know she'd arrived safely, and once again assured them she would be fine, and yes, she was definitely going to miss seeing them for the holidays. She hung up, feeling a bit homesick. Christmas was her favorite time of year to go home to Connecticut. And though disappointed at not seeing their only daughter over the holidays, her mom and dad understood about the business decision she'd made and had supported her, for which she was very grateful. She thought about calling Chelsea, but decided to put that off until she'd settled in and seen more of the place. Which was, admittedly, calling to her. So, she also put off the plan of heading back out to the garage to get the rest of her things in favor of exploring. Otherwise known as snooping around.

She dug a bag of pretzels and a bottle of water out of one of the satchels she had carried in, and crunched on a few while she consulted the maps in the addendum section of the notebook.

"Snack time for Cicero! Snack time. I'm the pretty bird. Pretty bird!" There was a repeat performance of the whistled song, with a new flourish at the end.

She laughed and shook her finger at the Grey. "I've been well warned about your charming ways, mister. You're not going to wheedle junk food from me. You'll get your bedtime piece of mango, and that's it."

In response, Cicero gave her a wolf whistle, then laughed, quite impressed with himself.

Shaking her head and smiling, Emma balanced the notebook, the pretzels, and her water bottle, and wandered back to the main foyer, trying to decide where to explore first. Jack and Martha followed, quite happy to be off on another trek. She'd been informed that as long as she was in residence, they had the run of the house, but were to be put out in the Florida room if she had to leave for any reason. So she waved a hand toward the stairs. "Shall we?"

Martha loped easily up the wide marble staircase, while Jack took his time as his stubby little legs required a bit more effort to heave his long body from one riser to the next. But his tail was wagging the whole time, so she left him to his labors and went back to consulting the maps as she climbed to the second floor landing.

An hour later, she was quite thankful for the addendum maps, as she'd be hopelessly lost without them. Actually, even with them she'd gotten herself somewhat turned around, out at the end of the west wing — at least she was pretty sure it was west. Even the dogs had given up on the adventure and trotted off after some time, to God knew where. She was sure they'd find her when they got hungry or wanted to go out, so she wasn't too concerned about that. But she was getting hungry herself and she had no idea how to get back to the kitchen, much less the garage, or the rooms she'd been assigned to stay in.

She was stumbling down a dark corridor, unable to find the hall light switch, when a very deep male voice said, "If you're a burglar, then might I direct your attention downstairs to the formal dining room. The silver tea set alone would keep you in much better stealth gear for at least the next decade. At the very least, you'd be able to afford a flashlight."

Emma let out a strangled yelp as her heart leapt straight to her throat, then she froze in the darkness. Except for the animals, she was supposed to be completely alone. Not so much as a valet or sous chef was to be on the premises for the next twelve days. Of course, the notebook did say that Cicero had a lengthy and amazing vocabulary. But he was at least two floors away. And she doubted he knew how to use the house speaker system. Armed with the notebook and not much else, Emma decided offense was the best defense. "Please state who you are and how you got in here. Security has already been alerted, so you'd best —"

Rich male laughter cut her off. "You must be the sitter."

"Which must make you the burglar, then," she shot back, nerves getting the better of her.

More laughter. Which, despite being sexy as all hell, did little to calm her down. Because, though she'd been joking, the idea that she'd been on the job for less than two hours and had already allowed a thief into the house was just a perverse enough thing that it would actually happen to her.

The large shadow moved closer and she was deep into the fight- or-flight debate when a soft click sounded and the hallway was illuminated with a series of crystal wall sconces. Emma's first glance at her unexpected guest did little to balance her equilibrium.

Whoever he was, he beat her five-foot-nine height by a good half foot, which made the fight thing rather moot. Flight probably wasn't going to get her very far, either. He had the kind of broad shoulders, tapered waist and well-built legs her defensive line coach dad would recruit in a blink, and charming rascal dimples topped by twinkling blue eyes her Irish mother would swoon over as she served him beef stew and biscuits.

Emma, on the other hand, had absolutely no idea what to do with him.


Trevor Hamilton took in the unexpected sight before him. She was tall and quite capable-looking. Certainly looked up to the task of riding herd over the ungainly Martha, while staring down Cicero even on his most demanding days. She was doing a pretty damn good job of staring him down, and he knew that to be a challenge. When he wanted it to be, anyway. He wondered where Lionel had found her. Despite her quite capable demeanor, she didn't look nearly stressed out enough to be on his regular payroll.

"Lionel Hamilton is my uncle," he told her. "My great uncle, that is. His younger brother, Aloysius, was my grandfather. He passed on when I was little, so Lionel was sort of my substitute grandpa."

If his family cred did him any justice in her eyes, it was hard to tell from her steady regard. She was attractive, in an unconventional way, he decided. She had a head of thick, very unruly russet curls that tumbled over her shoulders and down her back and made a man want to bury his hands fist-deep. Her cheekbones were sharp, probably more so due to the set of her jaw at the moment. Her eyes, so far as he could tell, were a nondescript hazel, and yet easily held his own in a way that, admittedly, intrigued him. Her mouth ... now there's where he got tripped up just a little. It was wide, with a deep bottom lip that begged to be nipped at while being kissed. He'd bet big money they were as soft as they were lush.


Excerpted from "Unleashed"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Donna Kauffman.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.

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Unleashed 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
JWright57 More than 1 year ago
Donna Kauffman is a new author and what better place to start than with her new Hamilton Christmas Novella Trilogy after finishing this quick read I have to ask why she hasn’t crossed my radar before now and make no mistake I will be reading the other two books in this series plus I will be looking at other books by her. Pet sitter Emma Laffererty is expecting a quiet Christmas looking after a billionaire CEO’s pets which consist of two dogs and a very talkative parrot what she didn’t expected was to get snowed in at the mansion with not only the pets but with Trevor Hamilton the sexy great nephew........ The temperature may be dropping outside but inside the temperature is soaring with an instant attraction for each other and nothing but roaring fires to keep themselves occupied the setting is set for a perfect romantic holiday interlude...... Christmas is my favourite time of year and I love Christmas romances and this one did not disappoint and I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the trilogy.
ScottieGal 13 days ago
**I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review** This book is another example of Donna Kauffman’s great story telling. She creates characters that everyone can relate to, that you can feel for, or would love to know personally. The sexual tension between the H/h is always smokin’ hot. The secondary characters are just that – characters. You wind up hoping that they will all get their own story eventually. If you liked any of the other series written by Ms Kauffman, you’ll love this this book too!
D-does-reviews More than 1 year ago
A cute and very entertaining romantic novella about a zany pet sitting woman and a surprise guest who spend a winter ice storm snuggled up in a wealthy man’s mansion taking care of two dogs and learning about each other. It’s a tale sure to wag your tail! I read a complimentary copy of this book provided by Kensington Books through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
Bukgoddess More than 1 year ago
5 stars! The Hamilton series novella book 1! There's a mystery to be solved, romance is in the air as it is the holiday season no less! Emma Lafferty is an accountant by training but seven months ago she decided the numbers just "didn't add up" and although she was employed by the conglomerate who provided just about all the villagers in Randolph County, Virginia she wanted to start her own business of pet sitting animals. Driving through a practical blizzard on Christmas eve with the windows fogging up and visibility at a frightful low Emma found herself wondering what she'd gotten herself into. The plum chance of pet sitting for the owner of said conglomerate Lionel Hamilton is why! Although now no longer truly employed by Hamilton Industries, the money she'd make for not only pet-sitting but house-sitting for this elusive man during the Christmas holidays was an offer she couldn't refuse; if she'd just survive getting there! Many hills and valleys later after risk of skidding down the side of the road the wrought iron gates to the exclusive mountain hideaway were in sight. Lionel's menagerie of pets included an African Grey parrot named Cicero who's shrill voice beckoned Emma from the garage with,"Welcome, right this way!", a basset hound named Jack and a Harlequin Great Dane named Martha, eccentric didn't cover the half of it. After taking care of business in need out in the frigid conditions outside the dogs and Emma returned inside where she set off to find her assigned quarters somewhere on the second floor of this impressive place. Taking the dogs on to the adventurous mission with her and although with maps provided to guide her, Emma became hopelessly lost until a voice down a dark corridor which couldn't possibly be Cicero inquired as to whether she was a burglar and if so the silver is downstairs...after much back and forth the unknown voice (and upon further review once said voice came into the light was a sight Emma couldn't keep from admiring) had been determined as belonging to Lionel's great-nephew Trevor Hamilton. As Emma was expecting to fly solo on this job, the purpose for Trevor "being in residence" was a mission Emma was't sure she wanted to engage in on a multitude of levels!
EileenAW More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Trevor and Emma’s story in Unleashed by Donna Kauffman, book one in her Hamilton Christmas series. This holiday love at first sight romance features Emma Lafferty and Trevor Hamilton. Emma is pet-sitting at the Hamilton House, for Trevor’s uncle, and expected the mansion to be empty. The trip getting there was difficult given the winter weather. However, once she arrives, she is surprised to find another person in the house when she was supposed to be alone. Trevor came to the mansion while his uncle was away so he could search for a family secret, knowing he will find the answers somewhere in the house; he just wasn't expecting the pet-sitter to already be there. Thanks to a full-on blizzard outside, they are forced to stay together in the house while searching for that family secret. One thing leads to another and sparks are flying between Trevor and Emma; leading to them having a very good time. Ms. Kauffman wrote a wonderful and moving story filled with sexual chemistry, wonderful dialogue, banter and endearing characters that is not to be missed. I highly recommend this book to other. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
ArleneArredondo More than 1 year ago
Nice and cozy read for this holiday season. Emma, our main character, has landed a big contract to pet-sit for a wealthy client for the holidays in his remote Mansion. With instructions, and the huge responsibility to care for the magnificent house and his beloved pets, the least that could past through her mind is to find a handsome relative in the house, with a hidden agenda. Note: I received an ARC for review purposes and an honest and un-biased opinion.
KivicCT140 More than 1 year ago
Unleashed by Donna Kauffman is a short and sweet Christmas holiday romance. I like my books with a bit more steam but overall not a bad read.
nku More than 1 year ago
Unleashed (A Hamilton Christmas Novella) by Donna Kauffman This is a short and cute love at first sight story. Emma Lafferty (hired to "pet sit" for a wealthy CEO) Trevor Hamilton (CEO's great nephew and air) They are both snowed in over the holidays and the sparks fly. What is Trevor looking for and can Emma believe he could really care for her. Add in two sweet dogs and a silly parrot and a little mystery and you get to your HEA. Thanks Donna for this cute story.
_NormaJean More than 1 year ago
Emma Lafferty is pet sitting/house sitting for billionaire, Lionel Hamilton while he is away during the Christmas holiday season. After a nerve wracking drive through an ice storm, she finally arrives at the Hamilton mansion. She takes care of her pet charges and starts to explore the mansion when she encounters Hamilton’s great nephew, Trevor, who has “visited” his uncle’s home in search of information. The storm increases in intensity and Trevor, who had planned to find the information he was seeking and leave, is stranded with Emma. Suffice it to say they are attracted to each other. I enjoyed this lighthearted Christmas story and I recommend it to anyone who likes a sweet romance with a little bit of mystery. I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
tracier More than 1 year ago
Unleashed is the first novella in the Hamilton Christmas series (previously published in the To All a Good Night anthology). Sweet, funny and sexy, overall a great short read that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re looking for a great, short Christmas romance to fill in your day, then Unleashed is perfect so go grab it and start reading.
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
A fun short read that is the perfect read this holiday season. Emma has been hired to pet sit for a billionaire businessman during the holiday season. Looking for a quite time until she meets Trevor, the nephew of her client. Trevor has arrived to do some exploring on his own, not expecting Emma to be there. Soon a blizzard develops, so both are stranded there and a connection develops between the two. This is a reprint, first published as part of the To All a Good night anthology. This is the first book in the Hamilton collection. A fun holiday read that I recommend during this busy holiday season.
Terri_C More than 1 year ago
Unleashed By Donna Kauffman is my favorite type of story. Not because it's put out as a Christmas story or a contemporary romance, but because the characters just have such a strong connection almost from the start. That said, Emma and Trevor weren't obnoxious or sappy about their attraction to each other. Trevor knew there was something special about Emma from the start and he wasted no time acting on his attraction to her. Kauffman was smart enough to give Emma a backbone. She didn't fall at Trevor's feet--far from it. She questioned him and demanded his honesty. Their growing respect for each other added to the sexual encounters and made this a totally swoon worthy read for me. If you enjoy this novella, you should try Kauffman's Halfmoon Harbor. It hit me the same way--directly in the heart. I loved them both!
TarynLee More than 1 year ago
In this wonderful romantic short we are introduced to Emma, who was hired to watch the pets of a billionaire business man. Emma changed her life around eight months ago and went from a steady job at Hamilton industries to starting her own pet sitting business. She is looking forward to this new job, hoping it will open doors to working with other wealthy pet owners. While exploring the large house and animals that she will be looking after for the next twelve days she runs into what she thinks is an intruder but ends up being the nephew of the wealthy owner. She isn't sure what to make of Trevor and wonders what brings him to his Uncles home while he is away. With a storm raging outside the two are thrown together whether they like it or not. Follow along as they circle each other in an age old ritual, will they each find what they are looking for or will they let love pass them by.
howel2ce More than 1 year ago
I received a free eARC through Netgalley. This novella was originally published as part of an anthology. This is book one of three in the Hamilton series. Emma Lafferty is planning to spend Christmas alone taking care of Lionel Hamilton’s two dogs and parrot, hoping this will be a good boon for her recently created pet sitting business. What she hadn’t planned on was Trevor Hamilton, Lionel’s great-nephew showing up. Trevor is hoping to take advantage of his great uncle’s absence for the holiday and seek out answers. What he hadn’t planned on was Emma presence. Neither planned on being housebound during a storm. Or sharing a mutual attraction. Given that it is a novella, the relationship progresses at rapid speed. Emma doesn’t trust Trevor’s motives and Trevor’s not sure he can trust Emma with his secrets. Yet neither can deny the instant attraction. The characters (including the animals!) are likable and there are humorous moments. This was a cute story with a little mystery thrown in, which continues in the next two books of the Hamilton series.
gdsnv More than 1 year ago
Unleashed is a funny and loving holiday story with a bit of mystery thrown in! This is a re-release of a novella by Donna Kauffman but as I re-read my holiday stories many times throughout the year(s), I had much fun revisiting Emma and Trevor. Emma has a newly formed pet-sitting company and she is hired by a rich CEO to watch his dogs over the holidays, while he (the CEO) is out of town. Unbeknownst to her, Mr. Hamilton’s great-nephew has also shown up at the mansion…not knowing that Emma will be house and pet sitting while his uncle is out of town. That’s a bare bones set up of the story; I don’t want to give away any details. Know that Emma takes her job seriously – she and the pets are hilarious! Trevor has a “mission” but oh boy, is he ever falling for Emma, even while trying to keep her in the dark about why he is really at his uncle’s home. These two are adorable together. Emma’s bible/list, from Mr. Hamilton, will make you roll your eyes one minute and laugh the next. I can just picture someone handing me one of these lists… This is the first story of three, is a standalone, and although this story “ends”, an overall theme carries on to the next book. It was fun and a wee bit different for a holiday read. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
Emma Lafferty is a pet sitter and she is hired to watch the pets of the billionaire Lionel Hamilton while he is out of the country over the Christmas holidays. Emma finally makes it to Lionel's mansion after driving through an ice storm in the dark! Emma gets into the house, feeds and walks the dogs and then feeds the parrot. Just as she is about to go wandering around the dark house, a very deep male voice catches her off guard. Turns out the voice belongs to Trevor Hamilton, Lionel's great-nephew—and heir. She wasn't told anyone would be there and she suddenly gets very suspicious. Trevor does have a reason to be there sneaking around. He needs to find out answers from his past. When it is obvious that Trevor can't leave because of the storm, him and Emma call a some what truce. It doesn't help that they are both wildly attracted to the other. It takes a great leap of faith, and a little holiday magic for these two to come together. This was a fun, flirty Christmas novella that was fun to read!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
A great holiday story that was originally published as part of the To All a Good Night anthology. It's the first of three holiday novellas in the Hamilton Christmas series being individually released this season. In this one we meet Emma Lafferty and Trevor Hamilton. Emma is animal sitting for Trevors uncle and she expected to have the mansion to herself. Trevor came to the mansion because he knew his uncle was away and Trevor wanted free run of the mansion. He wasn't expecting the animal sitter to be there already. Then they are stuck together with a blizzard raging outside. One thing leads to another and well...they end up having a very merry good time! I highly recommend this one.