We’re joined on our blog by the wonderful Sharon Kendrick who talks about her writing journey and inspiration behind her brand new festive title, Confessions of His Christmas Housekeeper.
Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year.
Or is it?
Yes, it’s magical – but it can also be very poignant. It’s a festival which holds up a mirror and makes us reflect on what we don’t have in our lives. It shines a spotlight on the things which are missing and makes us want them even more. Why else do we cry buckets when we watch festive films, or listen to the haunting sound of Christmas carols?
My hero is a proud man called Giacomo Dante Volterra. He has everything which many men strive for. He’s achingly rich and mouth-wateringly sexy. He has homes, a plane, fabulous art and fast cars.
What doesn’t he have?
One of the most precious things of all.
Following a scary ski accident, a whole year is missing from Giacomo’s life. He has pieced together some of what happened. He knows he was married to a woman called Louise and that they are no longer together. But that’s all he does know. He wants her to help him remember the rest and asks her to masquerade as his wife.
But Louise is proud, too. She can’t bear the thought of pretending to be the wife of a husband she once loved so much. Instead she offers to be his housekeeper, in the house where they first went as newly-weds.
My initial inspiration for this story came from Milan – one of Italy’s many exquisite cities – which I’ve been lucky enough to visit at Christmastime. It’s where Giacomo and Louise lived when they were first married, in their luxury apartment overlooking the Piazza del Duomo. Here, the mighty gothic cathedral dominates the square – as do the giant, sparkly Christmas trees.
But the first part of the story takes place in the Cotswolds, one of the most unspoiled parts of England – and particularly at Barton – the enormous country house which Giacomo owns. Here, in an attempt to jog his memory, Louise cooks her estranged billionaire husband the most simple of foods. She decorates an enormous tree. She wears a necklace he bought her back in the day.
While outside, the snow is beginning to fall in pale and feathery drifts….cocooning them in a silent and private world.
The attraction between them burns as fiercely as the fire in the grate and Louise wants Giacomo with a hunger he alone can make her feel. Can she trust herself to surrender to what she most wants – or will she be opening herself up to terrible heartache, all over again?
Will the proud Italian get his memory back? And whether he does or not, what will the future hold for them both?
I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it. I confess that I cried, and so did my editor…
Pre-order Confessions of His Christmas Housekeeper by Sharon Kendrick now!