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The Gift Bundle

The Gift Bundle

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Two sweet stories about adjusting to life after a terrible loss and finding love again. 

The Gift of a Child - Sometimes, the smallest hearts show us the way back to the wonder of Christmas.
The Forever Gift - When young widow Rae enters the dating world again, Dylan risks the torture of being only her best friend while watching as she falls for another man.

Main Tropes

  • Friends to Lovers
  • Widow
  • Christmas

Synopsis

Explore the poignant journey of love and healing in the Gift Series. As seasons change from the chill of winter to the warmth of summer, they explore the delicate dance of friendship, love, and the courage to embrace a future filled with promise and second chances.

Intro Into Chapter One

From The Forever Gift

Dylan Rademaker dashed into the office, grateful to be out of the rain. A couple of his accounts had called to reschedule their service even though he’d explained the rain wouldn’t be a problem. Now he’d have to play catchup for the houses he hadn’t been able to spray today. As much as he loved the spring, it could be a pain.

He hung up his rain gear and pulled out the money from the customers who preferred to pay in cash. When it was raining, he had to be careful to keep the bills from getting soggy. That drove Rae crazy.

Rae. His heart swelled whenever he thought of her. He’d fallen for her big time, her and her sweet kids. Between them and his nephew Jayden, Dylan had the family he’d always wanted but never had. Except for the fact that she’d friend-zoned him, he was happy.

Amelia had been working with him the last month to change that. She’d taken to dropping hints to Rae it was time for her to start dating again. It was Dylan’s job to find a way for her to see him as more than a best friend. So far, he hadn’t been able to bring up the subject. Every time he’d tried, his brain and mouth had refused to work together.

He was about to step into her office when he heard a second voice. Jason Lee. Dylan poked his head around the doorjamb just enough to catch a glimpse of the guy before pulling back.

Why was he in there? Rae didn’t do his books. Dylan frowned, edging closer so he could hear better.

“Ah, come on, Rae. You need to do something for yourself for once,” Jason was saying in that come-hither tone he used with all the females on the staff, even Amelia who could have been his mother.

“My kids are my priority. Besides, it hasn’t been a year yet.”

“What’s magical about a year anyway? You just need to get out and have a good time for a change. Feel like a woman again.”

And Lee thought he was going to make her feel that way? Lee was a big-time player and probably thought since she was a lonely widow she’d be easy prey. The edge of Dylan’s vision turned red.

“Hold your horses,” Amelia whispered from behind Dylan, taking his arm.

Only then did he realize he’d taken a step forward, his fists clenched. He let her pull him away from the door.

“Did you hear that?” he hissed.

“Yes, and it’s not unexpected. He’s been asking questions about her for a couple of weeks.”

“And you didn’t think to say anything to me?” Dylan didn’t try to shake the feeling of betrayal.

“Don’t you get snarky with me,” Amelia said. “I’m on your side, remember? But you’re going to have to tread lightly here unless you’re willing to risk what you already have with her.”

He let out a breath, his shoulders sagging. “You’re right.”

Amelia was always right. She loved Rae too and wouldn’t let anyone take advantage of her vulnerability. And she was vulnerable. Did Rae know that though? She was so focused on her children that he and Amelia often had to remind her to take care of herself too. Had they set her up for vultures like Jason?

Dylan wanted more from her than friendship, but if he didn’t handle it right, he risked losing even that.

“What am I going to do? How can I protect her?”

“First thing.” Amelia poked his chest. “Remember she’s a grown woman, so don’t you get into full-on rescue mode. She needs a partner, not someone who thinks she’s stupid and can’t figure things out for herself.”

“But—”

“No. What we need is to provide her with choices... and a little sabotage when necessary.” Amelia now wore a mischievous grin.

“What are you thinking, you devious woman?”

“For one, she’s been taking you for granted, Dylan. You’ve been such a great support to her she’s put you in the friend-zone.”

“Don’t I know it,” he said with a groan.

“That was appropriate at first, but it’s time for her to start living again.”

“But not with Lee.”

“No, not with him. The first thing we’ll need to do is help her go out on a few lousy dates. It’ll demonstrate how good the two of you are together,” Amelia said, sagely.

“What about the sabotage thing?”

“Well, don’t you want to sabotage any date she has with Jason?” Amelia gave him a sly wink.

“Why, yes,” Dylan said with a grin. “Yes, I do.”

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