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Christmas with the Grumpy Landscaper

Christmas with the Grumpy Landscaper

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Anna sees her move to the tiny town of Dos Fuentes in Northern California as a new beginning. The culture shock she felt after moving from Chicago was nothing compared to learning that she would be organizing and overseeing the annual Christmas Festival. Or that she would be partnering with the guy who had ruined her first day of work. She's full of new ideas, and he doesn't like a single one of them. Can this mis-matched couple find love this Christmas?

Main Tropes

  • Grumpy/Sunshine
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • City Girl Moves to Small Town
  • Coworker Romance
  • Small Town
  • Holiday Romance


Sometimes Love is an uphill battle.

He's a creature of tradition, rooted in the familiarity of Dos Fuentes, the picturesque coastal town where his family's roots run deep. Quinn cherishes the annual Christmas festival, a cherished tradition that has endured for generations. That is, until Anna breezes into town with a whirlwind of fresh ideas.

Anna, a spirited urbanite from the East, is brimming with innovative ways to invigorate the long-standing festival. But her enthusiasm clashes with Quinn's steadfast resistance to change. As they lock horns over the festival's direction, sparks fly amidst the twinkling lights of Dos Fuentes.

With each determined to prove their point, Quinn and Anna find themselves entangled in a battle of wills. But beneath the surface, could there be a different kind of chemistry igniting between them? As they navigate the challenges of collaboration, they must confront their preconceived notions and discover whether the magic of the season has something more in store for them than just saving the Christmas festival.

Look Inside

Anna’s first inkling of trouble came when the power went out while she was rinsing shampoo out of her hair. Ten seconds later the water turned cold and she shrieked as she jumped out of the stream.

What had the landlord said about the tankless water heater being so great because you wouldn’t run out? Oh yeah, it required electricity. Growling, she turned and dipped her head under the shower of cold water to finish rinsing her hair, then took a quick spin to rinse off. Teeth chattering, she jumped out and dried off.When she reached for her blow drier, she realized it got worse. First day of work at a new job and she would be far from her best. She sucked in her breath and counted to ten as she dressed. Annoyed at the lack of window in the bathroom, she moved to a living room window for light with her makeup and a tiny pocket mirror.The power did not come back on while she got ready. In desperation, she twisted her long brown hair into a bun and pinned it into place. It will have to do. Anna checked her watch and snatched up her purse, hurrying through the cheerful bungalow she had rented only a mile from work. She was running behind and couldn’t cook this morning anyway. She might have enough time to pick up something on her way to work. Maybe.

Anna locked the cottage door and headed for the detached garage. Two trucks in the neighbor’s front yard caught her eye. The first belonged to the power company, and the second was a bucket truck with the logo for Partridge Landscaping emblazoned on the door. She had only been in town for two days, but hoped this kind of outage wasn’t common.

She entered through the garage’s side door and slid into her car. Anna reached up for the remote door opener and let out a huff of frustration when she realized it wouldn’t do her any good. Stress knotted her shoulder muscles. She could not do this today. After everything that went wrong in the last job, this one had to go perfectly.

Holding onto her temper by a thread, she pushed out of the car and looked around the garage. There had to be a way to get the door open, right? She tugged at the door, checked for any sign of backup power to the door, and tried to release the side clamps that locked the door in place. No luck. No idea what else she could do, she headed for the electrical truck. At least they were all working on the problem instead of standing around with their thumbs in their pockets.

“How long is this going to take?” she asked in what she hoped was a calm voice.

“At least another half hour, maybe more. Sorry,” the forty-something man said.

She let out a huff of breath, trying her best to keep her temper under control. “Worst morning ever.

”“Blame Quinn.” The man gestured over his shoulder to the landscaper’s truck.

The man in the cherry picker was already guiding the arm to the ground. “Can I help you with something?”

Wishing she’d worn pumps instead as her thin heels sank into the soft, wet grass, Anna let the steam push her forward the few steps it took to meet him. The man in the bucket was tall with close cropped dark hair and a couple days’ beard and mustache growth. He had been singing along with a country song that poured from a nearby speaker while he worked.

“Are you responsible for the power outage?” Anna glared at him.

He looked over with an apologetic smile. “Sorry about that. We had a small accident this morning. It should be fixed soon.”

“Your small accident has caused me a world of problems. No hot water, no blow drier, no breakfast, and now I can’t even get my car out of the garage. It’s my first day at my new job and if I get fired, it’s all going to be your fault.

”The bucket reached the ground and he stepped out. “I’m sorry it’s been such an inconvenience for you. Let me see what I can do about your car.” It was the least he could do, considering everything that had happened. She knew accidents happened, and maybe after she was at work and settling in for the day, she might look at it all differently, but that didn’t solve her problem right now.

He started back toward her garage with long, ground-eating strides. She rushed to keep up.

“You have an electric door opener, right?” he asked.

“Yeah, and it’s funny, but it doesn’t really work without electricity.”

“Did you try pulling the rope to release the door?

”She thought about her scan of the garage. “What rope?

”With only a little tone of “there, there” in his expression, he held the door open for her and they entered the garage. Then he stopped and stared at the electric opener. “Yeah, see that six-inch long rope? That’s supposed to be a lot longer, and have a handle on it.


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