Holiday Home Run - Priscilla Oliveras

Holiday Home Run
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Название: Holiday Home Run
Автор: Priscilla Oliveras
Добавлено: 22 сентябрь 2022
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By Priscilla Oliveras

Island Affair

His Perfect Partner

Her Perfect Affair

Their Perfect Melody

and

“Holiday Home Run” in A Season to Celebrate

Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Holiday Home Run

PRISCILLA OLIVERAS

ZEBRA BOOKS

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com

All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.

ZEBRA BOOKS are published by

Kensington Publishing Corp.

119 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

Holiday Home Run © copyright 2020 by Priscilla Oliveras

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

To the extent that the image or images on the cover of this book depict a person or persons, such person or persons are merely models, and are not intended to portray any character or characters featured in the book.

If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the Publisher and neither the Author nor the Publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

Zebra and the Z logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

eISBN-13: 978-1-4201-5292-0

eISBN-10: 1-4201-5292-0

Table of Contents

Also by

Title Page

Copyright Page

Holiday Home Run

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Feliz Navidad—Merry Christmas Wishes to You!

Teaser

THEIR PERFECT MELODY

A Christmas Homecoming

FERN MICHAELS

Holiday Home Run

PRISCILLA OLIVERAS

Chapter One

“He’s here! He’s, like, in the building!!!”

Julia Fernandez winced at the squeal of hysteria that punctuated her coworker’s announcement as the college coed pushed open the glass conference room door.

At the impressionable age of twenty, Carol Prescott practically vibrated with excitement, her gray eyes wide with elation. Her normally pale complexion was flushed from a combination of her race down the office hallway and the reality of finally meeting the “man of the hour.”

At least, that’s how many of the gala committee members often referred to Benjamin Thomas.

The former big league baseball player had agreed to serve as the Holiday Soiree’s emcee for the third year in a row. Much to everyone else’s relief.

While this was Julia’s first year on the committee—the first of many, she hoped—for years she’d seen Ben giving interviews on one sports TV channel or another. Over the past couple of months working with the committee, she’d heard rave reviews about Ben’s ease in front of a live audience. Not to mention his charismatic, friendly personality and chiseled good looks that enticed donors to give a little more for a worthy cause like the Chicago Youth Association.

In fact, with him at the mic, the soiree had raised record amounts for area youth centers.

Julia might not have been living in Chicago during those events, but she’d done her homework. Had spent countless hours researching the organization and its past fund-raisers. In fact, she’d studied several other organizations along with multiple event-planning companies in the Chicago area in the last six months. All with an eye on making the move from Puerto Rico.

Of course, she’d kept this hidden from her parents and three brothers. No one knew about her ultimate goal.

No one except her cousin Lilí, here in Chicago. But that was only because Julia had to confess her plan to someone.

The guilt. The doubts. The excitement.

They all thrummed in her chest like a swarm of picaflores hovering. Tiny wings flapping at race speeds as the hummingbirds readied to dive-bomb into her belly when doubts sprouted.

She’d come to Chicago over Labor Day weekend on the guise of visiting her three primas. Two of her cousins were married now, popping out babies like all their tías expected them to do. Especially Julia’s mami.

Lilí was the youngest of the three sisters. Since Julia was barely a year older than her, they’d always been pretty close. Or, as close as social media, WhatsApp, and occasional visits back and forth between Chicago and the Island facilitated.

Both were still single and approaching their midtwenties. Both working on finding their niche in their respective fields, Lilí as a victim’s advocate and Julia as an event planner. Both ignoring the pressure from members of their familia to “find a good man and settle down already.”

For Julia, those cries were tied to the never-ending questions about when she planned to take over the catering business her parents had started years ago. No one ever asked if that’s what she wanted. Somewhere along the way it had simply become a given.

The expectation was that she’d find a nice man on the Island. Marry. Start a family. Continue in her mother’s footsteps. And eventually take over the family business.

The problem was . . . while she admired her mami’s tenacity in building the catering company from a small venture, preparing food for neighborhood and church parties, to the well-recognized and respected business that handled large corporate affairs, Julia wanted something different.

Somewhere different.

Some place a little less suffocating.

Never mind that no one had ever assumed one of her brothers would step in. Dios mío, not when their whole lives revolved around baseball. A good chunk of her childhood had been spent on her way to a ballpark, at a ballpark, or leaving a ballpark, thanks to her three brothers.

In Puerto Rico, baseball was like a religion. One her parents and brothers faithfully worshipped. She’d been baptized in the sport’s waters, raised on the catechism of Major League Baseball and Puerto Rico’s winter ball. Knew all the stories of the greats, like Roberto Clemente and Orlando Cepeda and so many more.

Frankly, she was relieved to be missing the start of winter ball this

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