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Welcome to Serenity

Cover of Welcome to Serenity

Welcome to Serenity



When Jeanette Brioche helped launch The Corner Spa in Serenity, South Carolina, she found a whole lot more than professional satisfaction. She discovered the deep and loyal friendships that had been missing from her life. But even the Sweet Magnolias can't mend the terrible rift between Jeanette and her family or persuade her that the holidays are anything more than a season of misery.

Pushed into working on the town's much-loved annual Christmas festival, Jeanette teams up with the sexy new town manager. Tom McDonald may be the only person in Serenity who's less enthused about family and the holidays than she is.

But with tree decorations going up on the town square and a bit of romance in the air, Jeanette and Tom take a fresh look at the past and a hopeful look into the future. Together they discover that this just may be a season of miracles after all.


When Jeanette Brioche helped launch The Corner Spa in Serenity, South Carolina, she found a whole lot more than professional satisfaction. She discovered the deep and loyal friendships that had been missing from her life. But even the Sweet Magnolias can't mend the terrible rift between Jeanette and her family or persuade her that the holidays are anything more than a season of misery.

Pushed into working on the town's much-loved annual Christmas festival, Jeanette teams up with the sexy new town manager. Tom McDonald may be the only person in Serenity who's less enthused about family and the holidays than she is.

But with tree decorations going up on the town square and a bit of romance in the air, Jeanette and Tom take a fresh look at the past and a hopeful look into the future. Together they discover that this just may be a season of miracles after all.
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    The relaxing scent of lavender in the hand cream that Jeanette Brioche was massaging into her cramped fingers did absolutely nothing to calm her jittery nerves. A few hours ago Maddie Maddox, her boss at The Corner Spa, had scheduled a meeting for six o'clock, immediately after Jeanette was due to finish with her last client. Maddie hadn't said what it was about, but her grim expression suggested it wasn't a celebration, something she and her friends Dana Sue and Helen organized at the drop of a hat.

    Since Jeanette tended to be a worrier who saw disaster around every corner, she decided to get this over with even though it wasn't quite six. Her stomach knotted with dread, she walked down the hall to Maddie's office.

    After tapping on the partially open door, Jeanette stepped inside to chaos. A disheveled Maddie was holding a wriggling six-month-old Cole in her arms and trying to feed him, while two-year-old Jessica Lynn ran wildly around the room, knocking everything in sight onto the floor. Maddie's usually well-organized folders were in a chaotic heap, and samples from their suppliers were scattered everywhere. A topless bottle of hand lotion had been upended.

    "Help!" Maddie said to Jeanette, who promptly scooped up Jessica Lynn and tickled her until the child dissolved into giggles.

    "Having a bad day?" Jeanette inquired, feeling her stomach unknot as the toddler patted her cheek with sticky fingers that smelled of rose-scented hand lotion. The more time she spent around Jessica Lynn and Cole, as well as Helen's little girl, however, the louder the ticking of Jeanette's biological clock seemed to get. The alarm hadn't gone off yet, but she sensed it was about to when the scent of baby powder started to smell better to her than the herbal aromas in the spa.

    "A bad day, a bad week and more than likely a bad month," Maddie replied.

    The weary response pretty much confirmed the reason for her earlier grim expression. Maddie had already had three children when she'd married Cal Maddox a few years ago and now had two more. Her oldest son, Ty, was a sophomore at Duke and star of the school's baseball team. Kyle was in high school and finally regaining his equilibrium after Maddie's divorce from his dad, and Katie had just turned nine and was only marginally impressed with being a big sister, rather than the baby of the family.

    There was no question that Maddie had her hands full, even without taking into account that she ran The Corner Spa, which was a thriving fitness club and day spa for residents of Serenity, South Carolina, and beyond. Jeanette couldn't imagine how she juggled all those balls in the air. Most days she did it with aplomb. Today she looked completely frazzled.

    "Want me to take our girl here and give her a beauty treatment?" she asked Maddie, even as Jessica Lynn struggled to break free.

    "Actually, Cal should be here any second to pick them up," Maddie replied. "Then you and I can talk."

    Just as she spoke, the man in question strode into the room, sized up the situation with a grin and took the squirming Jessica Lynn from Jeanette.

    "How's my favorite girl?" he asked, tossing the toddler into the air, then planting a loud kiss on her cheek that had Jessica Lynn squealing with delight.

    "I thought I was your favorite girl," Maddie grumbled with feigned annoyance.

    Seemingly oblivious to his wife's mussed hair, lack of makeup and formula-splotched blouse, Cal set the two-year-old down and then leaned down to give Maddie a long, lingering kiss. "You are my favorite woman," he told Maddie. "And that is much, much better."

    Jeanette watched...

About the Author-
  • With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

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