AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: KA Sterritt
The Holly Project – 5 months later
“Good morning, fiancée.”
I smiled at the handsome man hovering over me, naked and clearly ready to make it a very good morning.
“Good morning, fiancé.” It was the way we’d greeted each other every morning for the past five months since getting engaged. I’d stopped worrying about morning breath a while ago when he’d insisted nothing about me could ever turn him off.
He pushed inside me and kissed me with passion that seemed to grow more with every passing day. I couldn’t believe I’d be waking up with this gorgeous man every morning for the rest of my life. I never allowed myself to think it was too good to be true.
“I love you.” His words came out in grunts as his thrusts got harder and faster. “When will you be my wife?” This was the same question he asked me every morning, and I never gave him a solid answer.
He knew just how to drive me crazy with lust and ensure I got my release before he’d let go himself. He pulled out slowly and lay on his back next to me, holding my hand. After several minutes of heavy breathing and coming down from our post orgasmic high, I turned my head to look at Ryan. His smug grin made me chuckle. Sex always made him happy, but then again, Ryan Davenport was all man.
He met my eyes and whispered, “Merry Christmas, Holly.”
“Was that my present?” My grin matched his.
“No. I’ve got something for you.” His sapphire eyes lit up with his cheeky grin. “That was mine.”
“Oh well. I’ll just take your other present back then.”
He propped himself up on his elbow. “Depends what it is.”
“Let me guess.” I propped myself up too so I could look directly at him. “Lingerie for me that you can remove anytime you want, you’d like to keep?”
“That’s why we’re meant to be, babe.” He raised his eyebrows and tapped the side of his head. “You can read my mind.”
I laughed. “You’re not that hard to work out.”
“Seriously, Holly. I have everything I need right here in this bed. I don’t need anything else.”
“Bad luck. I got you something anyway.” I rolled over to my bedside table and opened the top drawer, pulling out a red box. Ryan was right behind me, kissing the back of my neck. “Hey. You have to open your present first.” My heart rate increased when I thought about the past few months of planning that had gone into this.
Ryan groaned, clearly ready for round two. I handed him the box and he frowned. “You really didn’t have to get me anything.”
“I know, but I hope you’ll really like this.”
The smile he gave me was filled with such love, I thought my heart might actually burst. He slowly opened the box, looked inside and his smile disappeared. He didn’t like what he’d found, I thought for a second.
“Really?” His shocked expression was filled with hope as he held up the card I’d placed on top of the gift. He held it up and read the words out loud. “Will you marry me today? I love you.”
I nodded and bit my bottom lip. “Surprise?”
“Babe, I’ve wanted to marry you every day since you said yes, but how can we get married today?” He looked at me with questioning eyes. “It’s Christmas.”
“It was something my father said a few months ago, actually, and the surprise is a little payback.” I thought back to the way Ryan had proposed to me on my birthday at the Hummingbird—the place our relationship had started. Ryan had wanted to give me a reason to be happy again on my birthday when, for the past ten years, it hadn’t been a day for celebration at all. Instead, it had just been the anniversary of my mother’s death.
“What did your father say?”
“He asked what our plans were for Christmas this year, and when I said we hadn’t talked about it yet, we started reminiscing about Mum and how crazy she went with decorations etcetera.”
“God, I wish I could’ve met that woman.”
I smiled sadly. “Me too.” I shook my head in an effort to dust off the sadness of what I planned to be the happiest day of my life.
He glanced down at the box again and pulled out the photo frame. “Who took this photo?”
“Audrey. She was determined to capture the moment when you dropped to one knee apparently, and had her fancy camera ready to go.”
Ryan laughed. “That does not surprise me.” His face turned serious and he placed the frame on the bed. “So you and your dad were talking about your mother’s love of Christmas. Go on.”
“Yes. So Dad mentioned he feels her presence strongest at Christmas and always hopes to honour her memory by making Christmas an extra happy celebration. My first thought on how to do that was marrying you.”
“That makes me so insanely happy.” He kissed me, and I smiled against his lips. He pulled back. “Tell me everything.”
“Dad and Sophie went for the idea straight away of course, as did April and Jamie. Your mum and Jonathan were over the moon, too. Your dad is coming out of rehab for the day, but obviously won’t be drinking.”
“Bloody hell. You’ve been busy.”
“I’ve had a lot of willing helpers. Your mum, Sophie, Audrey, Zara, Aspen, Jase and my sisters have all been amazing.”
“I am so on board with this, Holly.”
I knew he would be even more on board with the fact that he didn’t have to be involved in the wedding preparations. “It’s nothing extravagant. Just both our families celebrating Christmas lunch together and then our friends will join us for the ceremony this evening on Balmoral Beach.”
Ryan shook his head, a look of amazement falling across his gorgeous face. “That sounds so bloody perfect.” He pulled me into a hug and kissed my head.
“It does? Are you sure?” I pulled back so I could look in his beautiful eyes.
“Holly Ashton, I told you when I proposed I knew you were special, and I’ve been completely in love with you since that day. I would marry you at a registry office with no one else there. I’d elope with you to a Vegas chapel and say my vows to Elvis, or I’d commit my life to you at St Mary’s Cathedral in front of a million people.” He cradled my face with both his hands. “I don’t care where, how or who is there, to be perfectly honest, but on a Sydney beach with our family and friends, on a day when you feel your mum would be happiest, is the best idea I’ve ever heard.”
Tears streamed down my face, and I knew this was absolutely going to be the happiest day of our lives. Merry Christmas, Mum.
K.A. Sterritt is a contemporary romance author living in Sydney, Australia with her husband and three sons. Her debut novel, The Holly Project, was published in November 2014 and her second novel, Collision (The Fight for Life Series Book 1) was published in Oct 2015. She writes the kind of novel she enjoys to read.
The Holly Project: http://amzn.to/1X4S6FJ
Collision (The Fight For Life #1): http://amzn.to/1N0lemg
1. If money was no object what would take out the number one spot on your Christmas list?
I’d travel all around the world to meet up with my book friends in person. I feel such incredible connections to women I’ve never met.
2. What was the first book you read that made you think “wow this is what I want to do, I want to be an author”?
It was my love of reading that made me start writing, but it was GJ Walker-Smith that told me I could do it.
3. What does Christmas mean for you?
Family time, watching the kids open their presents, too much food, hot weather and swimming.
4. What’s your guilty pleasure, the one thing you hate admitting out loud?
Toblerone is my guilty pleasure, but I’m happy to admit it out loud.
5. What’s next for you in terms of writing?
I’m currently working on Impact (The Fight for Life Series Book 2). Collision (Book 1) finished on a cliffhanger so I’m trying to get it out as soon as possible.