Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for The Christmas Switch by Zoey Marie Jackson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m so pleased to be sharing an excerpt of this Christmas romance with identical twins switching places.
Chanel Houston tossed her keys in her purse and reached into the back seat of her sister’s 2002 Honda Civic to grab one of the boxes of books. She had packed a couple of medium boxes, intending to use her unexpected ‘vacation’ to catch up on some reading.
She closed the door, already missing her Chevy Trailblazer, and made her way up the three rickety steps of the place she had spent a few summers as a teen. Brushing her hands across her gray hooded sweater and jean shorts, Chanel stood before the entrance of her grandparents’ home—a nineteenth-century historical landmark boasting six bedrooms, three baths, a wraparound porch, a vegetable garden and a small pond—and shook her head.
The things you do for your sister. Your identical twin sister.
Things like switching places when you’re a grown woman. Her sister, Cara, a detective at the Hawk’s Landing Police Department, was working with the FBI on a secret case and needed the people of her small hometown in Delaware to believe she was still here. So of course she had called her convenient stand-in to switch with her until Christmas. Chanel and Cara had met up in Sussex County to switch cars, clothes and keys. It was more than a coincidence that Chanel had
just resigned from her job as a librarian in Newport News, Virginia.
She stopped at the top of the stairs and groaned. Oh no. She had thrown the key ring holding the house and car keys in her black hole of a purse…Placing the box on the ground, Chanel rummaged around in her bag for the keys.
While she searched, an odd sensation of being watched crawled up her spine. She turned but saw nothing in the dim lighting.
Scolding her overactive imagination, Chanel plopped the bag on the floor and stooped to conduct a more thorough search. Great. After a four-hour ride, she was sweaty and could use a drink of water.
She felt a small, wet imprint on the back of her leg. Followed by heavy breathing. Panting.
Her body tensed. That didn’t sound like a deer.
Grabbing a travel-sized umbrella out of her bag, Chanel whipped around, her bottom landing hard on the wooden porch. She yelped and met the blue-eyed gaze of a Siberian husky, taking in his white fur and hanging tongue. Her eyes went wide.
He snarled, watching her but otherwise standing still.
Realizing he was a puppy and had no intentions of harming her, Chanel reached out to ruffle his right ear, her other hand actively feeling around in her bag for the keys.
“Hey, boy.” She giggled and touched her chest. “You gave me quite a scare. Don’t you know better than to creep up on people like that? Huh?”
The animal moved closer to rub his nose against her arm before settling beside her. His shiny coat was soft. She could see the pup was well-groomed; someone was definitely missing their pet.
She pushed her box of books into a corner and stretched her legs. Cocking her head, Chanel asked, “Where’s your owner, big guy?”
A throat cleared. “He’s right here.”
Chantal lifted her head to meet another blue-eyed gaze. This one belonged to a lean man a couple inches over six feet, with ash-blond hair and keen eyes filled with skepticism and wariness. He was dressed in a green polo and tan khakis, and not a single strand of hair was out of place. For a split second, she lost her voice, which was fine because the stranger continued.
“Go ahead. Let me have it.” He arched a brow, crossed his arms and waited.
Have what? Chanel racked her brain wondering who this might be. Cara hadn’t described this handsome stranger when she’d mentioned who Chanel might encounter. If she had, Chanel would have remembered him. However, it was obvious this man expected her to know his identity, so she willed her tongue to move. The man held out a hand, an unspoken offer to help her get on her feet.
“I don’t know what you expect me to say.” She dusted off her shorts, particles making her cough. The dog closed his eyes as if bored with the conversation swirling around him. “I was just messing around with your dog.” She struggled to get to her feet on her own before accepting his help.
His larger hands gripped hers. A faint electricity passed between them. Chanel broke contact as soon as she was steady.
His eyes narrowed. “I’m surprised to see you get close to Wolf. I’m even more surprised that you’re capable of talking without yelling.” He gave a chuckle filled with a mix of suspicion and humor.
At those words, the hair on her arms rose. Chanel knew who this was. This must be her sister’s surly, grumpy neighbor, Ryder Frost, who had moved in six months ago. She looked at the pup sprawled on the floor. And this must be the vicious terror who is always coming into Cara’s yard. Cara had expressly warned Chanel to stay away from them both. Menaces, she’d called them.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Christmas Switch
Author: Zoey Marie Jackson
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired
Release Date: October 25, 2022
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
Keeping this secret gets complicated
with the family she wished for right next door.
Swapping places with her identical twin over the holidays sounds easy enough to Chanel Houston. But playing the role is trickier than expected when it comes to maintaining frosty relations with her sister’s neighbor and nemesis—especially since he has an adorable little girl and a rowdy puppy. Ryder Frost’s supposed to be grumpy and rude…so why does Chanel find the single dad so irresistible?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zoey Marie Jackson loves writing sweet romances. She is almost never without a book and reads across genres. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, she has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, Teachers College Columbia University and Argosy University and has been an educator for over 20 years. Zoey loves interacting with her readers.
Connect with Zoey by visiting zoeymariejackson.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.
(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 25, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 1, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!