Tense and depressed during the holidays, Zackery Calvin unexpectedly unlocks a life-long secret that also begins to unlock his heart. Cozy up with a cup of Christmas tea and let your mind journey to the sumptuous Calvin Estate overlooking the gorgeous coastal scenery of Santa Barbara, not far from Milford-Haven.
It might seem as though people with wealth and privilege have relatively few problems. But this can be an illusion. In the case of Zackery Calvin, his apparently charmed life includes a secret that has been an unknown source for confusion, depression, and an inability to create a lasting relationship.
This year, just in time for Christmas, he’s made a mess of things with two different women, alienating them both, and he now finds himself marooned in an ocean of opulent decorations and engulfing loneliness.
Then something strange happens. A letter arrives, its intention to return a lost key ring. But Zack has no idea what the beautiful little key might unlock. Nor can he know how his life will change, once this secret it revealed.
The trusted family majordomo does know the secret, entrusted to him years before. What he doesn’t know is if or when to reveal it. The appearance of the key ring seems to be the trigger. But is he correct? Will he help or hinder the path of the young man he’s known since earliest childhood?
If there are secrets that come to light during your holidays, I hope they bring only blessings.
Whose Angel Key Ring
Nothing was left of Christmas Day but an embarrassment of torn wrappings, empty boxes and the lingering aromas of dinner. The Calma estate itself seemed overhung with an enchanted slumber. James, the butler, was the only person still awake. He knew both the Calvins had settled into a sleep saturated with the best meal of the year and the spirit of the day. Quietly mounting the stairs, he peered into Joseph Calvin’s room. Just as he suspected, the master had again fallen asleep with his reading glasses on. Removing them with the utmost care, James placed them on the nightstand, switched off the bedside lamp and left the room as quietly as he’d arrived. Downstairs in the den, James discovered Zackery quietly snoring before the last glow of a dying fire. Draping a throw across the young master, James turned out the table lamp. He decided to leave on the Christmas tree lights in case Zackery woke during the wee hours. Passing through the kitchen, James looked over the polished surfaces and clicked off all but the small table lamp by the phone, then left by the service entrance. Fog swirled over the stone path leading to his own cottage, which sent a welcoming glow into the dark chill. The whole of the mountain seemed shrouded by a dense cloud, the lights of Santa Barbara nothing more than a faint luminosity, as distant as the rush of waves hitting the shore far below. James opened his front door, then closed it behind him, re-lieved both to recover his sense of privacy and to be off-the-clock. When he’d completed his evening ablutions, he pulled on his comfortable robe and worn slippers, then sat in his favorite chair to enjoy reading some Charles Dickens before retiring for the night. But reading proved impossible. Nestled in his breast pocket, a small, vivid presence would not be ignored. Reaching inside, he retrieved the golden key ring and turned it over in his hand. More durable than dainty, exquisitely crafted, it was an assembly of three small treasures: a ring incised with a pattern of waves; a tiny, plump angel of puffed gold; and an ornately embossed key. She’d entrusted it to him so many years ago, the late Mrs. Calvin, and he’d known exactly where to find it when the time came. But then it went missing from its special hiding place, and now—just as mysteriously—it had returned. He hoped its sudden appearance hinted not at the handiwork of fickle Fate but, instead—as promised—signified the stately grace of Providence.