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Elizabeth Kelly Books

The Christmas Boss (EBOOK)

The Christmas Boss (EBOOK)

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All I want for Christmas is my next door neighbour.

Widower Sam Black isn’t looking for love. 

It doesn’t matter how gorgeous or funny or tempting his neighbor is. Tess is not his priority. His son is.

But he and Oscar have been burned before.

When Oscar’s nanny quits unexpectedly, he’ll need a babysitter over Christmas break. Will the recently unemployed Tess be the perfect solution?

Fulfilling her dream of becoming a vet technician requires money, and Tess can’t turn down the sexy single dad next door when he asks her to babysit. Turns out, spending extra time with Sam is better than double overtime.

As she and Sam grow closer, Tess imagines a life with him and Oscar. But Sam’s been hurt before, and he’s made it clear he isn’t looking for anything serious.

Can Tess’s love, Oscar’s infatuation, and the magic of Christmas change Sam’s mind?  Or will Sam’s emotional scars keep him from accepting that Tess is the missing piece to his little family?



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Read an excerpt

I had no idea what was wrong with Rachel, but she was freaking me the fuck out. She’d spent all morning in her office with the door closed, not even emerging for more coffee. I’d never seen Rachel drink less than five cups of coffee.

Just before lunch, when Morris, the look on his face practically screaming ‘I am about to be fired’ knocked on her office door and told her he’d fucked up payroll again, she’d sent him back to his cubicle with a terse “fix it” and that was it.

My shock was as big as Morris’s. Hell, bigger. Morris had worked here less than four months and had yet to truly understand just how much of a stickler Rachel was for work being done correctly. In the last four years, I’d seen what happened to Rachel’s department employees who kept fucking up.

It was one of the reasons she was nicknamed the Ice Dragon. It didn’t matter how hard an employee cried or begged or pleaded. Once Rachel decided to fire them, she couldn’t be swayed. Personally, in the four years I’d worked for her, I thought every decision she’d made to fire an employee was the correct one.

She gave everyone a fair chance, always offered more training with whatever fuck up the employee made and had an open-door policy about questions. If an employee couldn’t get their shit together even after all of that, looking for a different job was probably best for them anyway.

As much as people in her department liked to complain about her “cold” nature, they conveniently forgot that she fought for Christmas bonuses for her department people every year. She also had the most liberal personal days off policy of all the departments in the company. Two years ago, when River Valley Outfitters stopped authorizing the use of petty cash to pay for birthday celebrations, Rachel was the only department head who used her own money to buy the cake for her employees’ birthdays.

I glanced at Rachel’s closed door before saving the document I was working on. It was after five, and normally, I’d be gone by now, but I’d lingered, waiting to see if Rachel came out of her office. She’d holed herself up in there after her lunch meeting with the CFO, Richard, and I hadn’t heard a peep from her since.

That in itself wasn’t unusual. We weren’t friends and, outside of a polite, ‘how was your weekend’, we didn’t socialize at work.

Still, something felt different about the way she’d looked and acted this afternoon. Maybe her headache was a migraine. I stood and shook out four more Advil from the bottle I kept in my desk before knocking lightly on Rachel’s door.

I stepped inside at her ‘come in’ and walked to her desk. She sat in her office chair, her back turned to the door as she stared out the large bank of windows that made up the west wall of her office. I set the Advil on the desk next to her water bottle as she glanced at me.

“Thank you, Elliot.”

“You’re welcome.” I hesitated. “It’s after five.”

“Right,” she said, glancing at her watch. “Have a good night.”

“Is everything all right?”

“Fine.” She continued to stare out the window. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Good night,” I said.

I wasn’t even out the door when Rachel said, “Elliot, wait.”

I turned around, studying her in the light of the fading sun. She looked tired and - shit, was that worry? I’d never once seen Rachel look anxious, but now that she faced me full on, it was hard to miss the anxiety on her face.

She still looked gorgeous despite the worry. The sun caught the subtle highlights of red in her long dark hair and gave her skin a soft glow. Long lashes framed her dark eyes, and even though she wore makeup to hide them, I’d seen her enough times without makeup to have memorized the cute pattern of freckles across the bridge of her nose.

“Do you have a moment to talk?” she asked.


“Shut the door, please,” she said.

I closed the door and joined her, sinking into the soft leather chair in front of her desk. Rachel rubbed at the spot above her left eyebrow, her surefire tell that she had a headache, before scooping up the Advil and swallowing all four at once with a swallow of water.

“Thank you for the Advil,” she said.

“You’re welcome. Although, if it’s a migraine, maybe you should head home.”

“It’s a bad one, but not at migraine level.” She stared at me, her fingers with their short and sensible nails tapping on the desk and that look of anxiety almost morphing into panic.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Nothing’s wrong, I …” she took a deep breath. “Fuck, I’m just going to say it. Elliot, will you go to my cousin’s wedding with me?”

I stared in silent shock at her. Holy fuck, did Rachel just ask me out? Warmth washed over me, and I was suddenly as giddy as a damn school girl.

“Yes,” I said.

Her eyes widened, and relief and confusion replaced the anxiety. “Are you serious?”

“Yes,” I said. “Are you not?”

“No, I am,” she said. “I just didn’t think you’d say yes.”

“Well, it’s a hell of a first date, but I’m open to -”

“Wait, no, sorry, this isn’t real,” Rachel said.

“What’s not real?” I asked.

“The date,” she said. “Oh fuck, I am fucking this up.”

“You are being immensely confusing,” I said.

She rubbed at her forehead. “Sorry, the headache is making it hard to think clearly. Here’s the deal, my cousin is getting married on Christmas Eve.”

“Christmas Eve?” I said. “Who gets married on Christmas Eve?”

“Someone who wants to be the center of attention, always,” she said. “Anyway, she’s getting married, and my ex-fiancé is in the wedding party.”

“Jesus,” I said, “that’s rough.”

“It’s not great. The thing you have to know is that my cousin and me - I mean, I love her, I do - but we’re kind of competitive. For months, she’s been doing this fake sympathy crap about my relationship ending, and I… well, in all truthfulness, I went a little insane earlier today and told her I had a boyfriend. Now, she’s expecting me to bring him to the wedding.”

I stared at her, my happiness dissolving into disappointment. “So, you want me to be your fake boyfriend for the wedding.”

“Yes,” she said. “Also, it’s in Northmount, so we’d have to travel there and spend Christmas with my grandparents. Well, I’d have to spend Christmas, I guess you could leave after the wedding, but it wouldn’t sell the whole relationship that well if you just left directly after. Still, I totally get that you’ll want to spend Christmas with your family or…”

Her eyes widened. “Oh shit. I never even asked… do you have a girlfriend?”

“No,” I said.


“I’m into women,” I said.

“Okay, good. So, uh, what do you think? Will you do it?”

“Let me get this straight… you want me to go to Northmount for your cousin’s wedding and Christmas, posing as your boyfriend to win some kind of competition with your cousin and make your ex jealous?”

“Not to make him jealous. I don’t give a fuck about Joseph,” she said quickly. “It’s just… I’d prefer not to show up single at the wedding, especially now that I’ve told my cousin I’m not.”

When I didn’t reply, she said, “I’ll pay you to do it.”

“What?” My disappointment turned into anger.

“I’ll pay you to go with me. A thousand dollars if you stay for the wedding and reception, two thousand if you spend Christmas Day with my grandparents and me.”

“So, now I’m a prostitute,” I said.

“What? No! God, no.” Her look of horror would have been comical if I hadn’t been so pissed. “I’m not asking you for sex, Elliot. I would never do that.”

It was stupid to be hurt by that, but here we were.

“Of course, you wouldn’t.” I stood and headed for the door. “The answer is no. Goodnight, Rachel.”

“Elliot, wait!” Rachel stood up and hurried around her desk. “Hey, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to -”

I shut her office door, cutting off her apology. I didn’t bother to shut down my computer. Instead, I grabbed my jacket and stalked down the hallway to the elevator, the look of horror on Rachel’s face permanently stamped into my damn brain.

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