Hearts of Alaska Series - Book cover

Hearts of Alaska Series

Mel C. Clair

Age Rating


Alexa Montgomery is a city girl from Miami and owner of her own fashion line. What was supposed to be a weekend trip to Homer, Alaska for her best friend’s bachelorette party turned into much more than she ever anticipated when she meets Liam Larsen. Liam is a local and lover of the cold, rugged wilderness of Homer, Alaska. With a rough first impression of each other, can these two look past their differences and find similarities in their broken hearts and Christmas spirit?

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Chapter 1

Book 1: The Lumberjack and the City Girl


“Alexa,” my assistant, Meghan, calls the second I walk through my office doors, “we have a problem!”

“Great,” I mutter, though this day is just not turning out great at all. “What is it now? I just came in to grab the sketches I’ve been working on for the new line. I’m already supposed to be heading to the airport.”

Meghan sighs. “I know, but I also know how much of a perfectionist you are, so it’s either kill me now for delaying you or kill me later for not telling you before you left.”

My assistant is right: I am a perfectionist, and I pride myself on that perfectionism because it’s what got me where I am today. I used the skills and network I built during design school to create my own line of luxury clothing and then my own company.

“It’s the shipping company again,” Meghan says, handing me the company tablet. “We got another bad review for the packaging.”

“Shit!” I grit my teeth, grab the iPad, and take a look for myself.

Just like every stitch of a carefully selected fabric has to be perfect, so does a package’s first appearance. Because of this, I go to great lengths to order custom boxes with a floral design on the outside. I have the clothing neatly folded and wrapped in delicate lace tissue paper, and the package is always sealed with a sticker of the company’s logo.

That’s why I’m infuriated looking at our customer’s poor review. In the pictures she attached, I can see that the box arrived looking like it was run over by a Mack Truck. Inside, the clothes look like they were carelessly thrown in. There’s no tissue paper or company sticker to be found.

“Goddammit!” I yell. “Why now? This is such shit timing with me leaving and Christmas around the corner.” I take a deep breath. “I-I just can’t deal with this right now. It will have to wait until I come home. I can’t miss Kiera’s bachelorette party.”

By the time I hand Meghan back the iPad and gather my things, I’ve changed my mind. “Can you please forward me this review in an email with the shipping company’s contact information? I have to run, but they will be receiving an angry phone call from me for sure.”

“Of course, but…Alexa? Please try to unwind and relax while you’re gone.”

I laugh. “Yeah, sure. I’m going to Alaska—I won’t be lounging in a bikini. I’ll be bundled up in five layers of faux fur, staring at a fire. I’ll be chomping at the bit to come home. Especially with this mess to deal with.”

“Oh, come on. It’s a long girls’ weekend, and I know you’ve been dying to see Keira. You’ll be drunk most of the time anyway, so you will try to have fun?”

“If she doesn’t kill me for missing my flight.” I throw my mess of things into my purse. “Hold down the fort for me!”

As I race out my office, almost slipping in my stilettos, I turn around to say one more thing. “Oh, and please contact that customer and give her a free voucher!”

“Already done. Stop stressing and have a good time!”


I wait impatiently with my overpacked luggage on a bustling Miami street for my Uber driver to arrive. Finally, a young kid pulls up, gets out, and opens the back door of the Uber. The rap music blaring out of his car makes my organs vibrate.

The kid throws my luggage in the trunk, not being careful, and I think about that damn shipping company again. Breaking into the fashion industry is not an easy feat, and now I’ll be ruined before I can even make a real name for myself.

I slither into the back seat and whip out my phone, ready to rip whoever answers a new asshole. But before I can even connect to the number, the kid jumps in the driver’s seat and turns up the volume of the stereo.

“Hope you like rap music,” he shouts. “You’re heading to the airport, right?”

“Yes! Can you turn it down? I have to make a phone call.”

The kid either doesn’t hear me or blatantly ignores my request as he bobs his head to the beat, pulls out onto the street, and swerves in and out of traffic. Frustrated, I try to busy myself with answering the seemingly endless emails on my iPhone, but his reckless driving makes it impossible. Giving up, I throw my phone in my purse and hope I have enough time to make the call before I have to board my flight.

As we drive to the airport, I lie back against the headrest and take a last look at the beautiful cityscape. I love everything about Miami: the vibrant buildings, the warm weather, even the Art Deco-style Christmas trees in silver, white, and pink. This city makes Christmastime seem so cheesy and meaningless that getting through it is manageable.

I didn’t always despise the cheerful holiday season, but now it just reminds me of my worst memory. Keira, on the other hand, is and always has been a diehard Christmas fanatic.

I smile, thinking of my best friend. How we even became friends will always be a mystery to me, given that we are total opposites, but we’ve been inseparable since our braces-and-bad-acne school days. And now we’ve complemented each other in the best of ways for years.

I remember having slumber parties with Keira, when we’d stay up all night looking for shooting stars and making promises to each other. That we’d grow up together, get married together, have husbands who were best friends, have kids and grandkids who were best friends, grow old and gray together…

It’s no surprise, then, that Keira asked me to be her maid of honor and that she wanted her bachelorette party to be at her family’s log cabin in goddamn Alaska.

That cabin has been in Keira’s family for generations, and every year when we were kids, she’d fall off the globe for weeks at a time to go skiing and hiking with her family there. So, of course, she went to grad school near Homer, met a mountain man there, and decided to permanently reside in woodsy, snow-covered, desolate Alaska with him.

Keira is like the sister I never had. She’s the only reason I’d drop everything and travel thousands of miles right before Christmas, just to return two months later for her wedding in February. I’m thrilled she found her forever guy and can’t wait to be standing by her side at the altar, no matter where we are in the world.

When my Uber driver finally pulls to the curb of the departure terminal, I check my watch and nearly scream at the time. Thank God I already checked in on my phone. But if the security line is huge, I still won’t make it in time.

My heels click against the tile floor as I run down the terminal, but when I arrive at the security check, only one lane is open—with a line so long my stomach clenches. Seeing a cute security officer working in a closed lane, I toss my hair, pucker my lips, undo a few buttons on my blouse, and push my hips out. I walk up to his desk, ready to work my magic.

“Excuse me, I’m about to miss my flight. Is there any way you could open this lane and let me through?”

He eyes me up and down, then smirks. “I’d love to help a beautiful woman such as yourself out. Where are you heading?” I hand him my boarding pass, and he takes a look for himself. “Alaska.”

I stop myself from rolling my eyes at the way he says it. “Homer, Alaska to be exact,” I say.

“Visiting someone special for the holidays?”

“Nope. My friend is getting married… It’s her bachelorette party.”

“She picked Alaska, huh? Not much to do there for a girls’ weekend.”

“Tell me about it. Especially coming from Miami. I mean, is going to Vegas considered unoriginal now?”

The security guard laughs as he scans my carry-on and purse, and I realize I’m blushing. Since I’ve been working non-stop for the last year and a half, I haven’t thought about the male gender in ages, let alone dating. And though it’s been five years since Josh, the thought of getting serious with someone again freezes my heart with fear.

Still, I can’t be getting rusty in the flirting department already, can I? I’m only twenty-nine years old—am I really that old and out of the game?

“I don’t think you’ll have a problem finding some fun, even in Alaska.” The security guard winks at me, and my stomach flips.

“I don’t know about that,” I respond. “I just checked five bags of luggage, and none of them contain a bikini.”

The security guard checks me out again. “I thought Alaska was known for their hot springs,” he says. “Are you brave enough to skinny dip?” The lustrous look in his eyes makes me think he’d do anything to hop in my carry-on and come with me just to find out for himself.

I take back my boarding pass and teasingly answer, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” I grab my purse and carry-on, give him a flirty wave, and call out, “Happy holidays, and thanks for helping a girl out. If I make my flight, maybe I’ll answer your question when I return.”

As I strut away, I don’t bother to look back, feeling confident in myself again. I’ve still got it.

My first flight is uneventful, though the passengers around me all watch the same old sappy, classic Christmas movies that make me want to vomit. But when, after four hours, we land for a brief layover in Minneapolis, my blood begins boiling again. I still haven’t had a chance to make that phone call to the shipping company.

Now everyone is boarding for the second leg of the trip, and it’ll be another eight hours until we land in Anchorage, Alaska. Then I’ll have to take a fifty-minute flight from Anchorage to Homer. With the time change and the limited cell service at Keira’s family’s log cabin, I’ll have to hurry up and make that call during the next layover.

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