When a young woman finds herself lost and at a crossroads, one last gift from her brother just might give her another chance at life and at love in this epic holiday romance from the author of Always, in December
“Heartbreaking, romantic and full of warmth . . . waterproof mascara recommended!”—Sarah Morgan, author of The Christmas Sisters
Sometimes the best gifts in life are the ones you don’t expect.
Cassie and Tom lost their parents at a young age and relied on each other—as well as a community of friends—to cope. They were especially close with Tom’s best friend, Sam, who always made sure that Tom and Cassie were surrounded with love. But, twenty years later, Cassie has lost Tom as well. And in a way, she’s also lost Sam; over the years they’d drifted apart, and now the man she always had a crush on is someone she doesn’t even recognize anymore.
She’s never felt more alone.
Then Cassie finds an envelope with her name on it, written in Tom’s terrible handwriting, and she knows immediately what it is. It’s the first clue in the Christmas scavenger hunt that Tom made for her every year; he’d promised her for months that this year’s would be the grandest one yet. At first, she’s too scared to open the envelope—what if she can’t figure out the clues without his help? Or what if she does figure them all out and her last connection to Tom is gone?
Tom’s present sets Cassie on a heart-wrenching and beautiful journey that will change her life—if she lets it. And as she travels from London to the Welsh mountains to the French countryside, she reconnects with old friends, rekindles a lost love, and, most important, rediscovers herself. But once she’s solved the final clue, will she be brave enough to accept the gift her brother has given her—and the love it’s led her to?
With this beautiful and heart-wrenching Christmas story, Stone (Always, in December) delivers an epic story of family, loss, and the triumph of love. Siblings Cassie and Tom relied on each other and a group of friends who became like surrogate family after the death of their parents when they were children. Now adults, they're closer than ever, held together partly by beloved holiday traditions, including Tom creating a clever holiday scavenger hunt for Cassie each year. When Tom is killed in a rock-climbing accident shortly before Christmas, Cassie falls apart, distancing herself from friends Sam and Hazel. Meanwhile, Sam withdraws into his own grief, blaming himself for Tom's death because he was not there to save him. Though Sam wants to be there for Cassie—with whom he shared a single passionate kiss five years earlier—he fears disappointing her. When Cassie discovers the first clue to the Christmas scavenger hunt Tom set up before his death, solving it gives her purpose—and following the trail leads to a second chance at love. Stone's masterful tale does not shy away from the messiness of grief, resulting in a complex and emotional story that tugs on every heartstring. Readers should have tissues at the ready. Agent: Sarah Hornsley, Peters Fraser + Dunlop.