Published: December 8, 2014
Going home for Christmas this winter just might turn Drew Cannon into a real Grinch. When his college sweetheart, Lauren Kincaid, broke off their engagement a year ago, Drew retreated to Tokyo to run the Asia-Pacific division of the family's toy company and lick his wounds. If that weren't enough, his attempt at a high-profile holiday doll for the company was a bust. Now he's headed back to New York City to spend the holidays with his love-struck dad, his pissed-off twin brother, and the ex who broke his heart. Lauren isn't exactly keen to spend Christmas with her former flame, either. But as JDL Toys's marketing director, she's forced to deal with their doll problem, holiday or not. Things take a turn for the worse when she and Drew are tasked with planning surprise nuptials for his brother. With all their focus on happily-ever-after, Lauren and Drew soon discover things might not be so settled between them after all. Can a holiday wedding offer them a second chance at forever?
It was the most wonderful time of the year—unless your name was Drew Cannon. Drew took a seat in the crowded Tokyo International Airport terminal and stretched his legs, waiting to board the long flight to New York City. Being stuck inside a moving aluminum tube for the next thirteen hours wasn’t something he was looking forward to. But at least he and his travel companion—his assistant and current girlfriend, Olivia Moore—would be nestled in first class soon enough, enjoying a glass of champagne. He’d need a lot of it to prepare for what waited for him once they landed: his lovestruck dad overeager to tie the knot; his twin brother, Luke, ready to kick his ass; and Lauren, his ex-fiancée, who’d called off their wedding before dumping him on the Hawaiian shore. Yeah, this holiday was going to be really special—and not in a Hallmark Christmas Special kind of way. His eyelids closed. It had been over a year since he left the United States for his job courtesy of Luke, who—as the newly appointed CEO of JDL Toys—decided Drew should spend two years in Tokyo overseeing the company’s expanding Asia Pacific territory. In no time, Drew had managed to royally screw up, and that costly mistake was directly impacting the company’s bottom line. If it weren’t for the fact he was in their dad’s wedding, he was pretty sure his brother would pay off Homeland Security to make sure that Drew’s favorite Prada loafers never imprinted American soil again. Yes, he’d failed. A fact Luke pointed out on every single one of their conference calls and Skype sessions. But was it Drew’s fault that kids in the Asia Pacific region—or really anywhere around the world—hadn’t taken to the one big idea he had fought so passionately for? Earlier this year, he’d convinced Luke to greenlight a doll that he believed would be the next big thing in toys: Happily Ever After dolls. Similar to the Cabbage Patch Kid craze of the ’80s, this doll had a little something extra for its owner. Each female doll was pre-matched with a male doll counterpart prior to both dolls leaving the factory. Its owner was given information on her—or his—doll’s soul mate once the toy was registered online. Kids could then participate in a series of interactive games to unlock clues to find the doll’s true love. On the surface, his idea had merit. The Happily Ever After dolls were a gateway to an interactive experience engaging kids and parents with the JDL Toys brand. Unfortunately, that engagement didn’t quite happen the way he’d hoped. Sure, it started out strong, and Drew was on top of the world because he could finally take credit for a record-selling toy. Mothers raced with their daughters to JDL Toys stores across continents, snatching up the female dolls. Boys, on the other hand, just weren’t interested in playing with male dolls. And without an owner to register it online, the male dolls couldn’t be located. Little girls all over the world were left heartbroken for their dolls and the complaints poured in. Shortly after its fall debut, sales of the toy plummeted.
About the Author
Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can't live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a cookie she didn't like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know. Visit her at www.robynneeley.com.