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Elizabeth Kelly Books

The Christmas Rescue (EBOOK)

The Christmas Rescue (EBOOK)

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Her latest rescue may be more than she bargained for...

Ivy West doesn’t have time for love.

Especially while working full time as a vet tech and running her struggling animal rescue in her small Alberta town.  She’s content to secretly lust after her boss, Elias Hart, just like she’s been doing for the last two years.

Except now he proposes a deal she can’t pass up.  Not when he’s willing to write off the rescue’s overwhelming debt to the clinic, if Ivy poses as his fiancée over the holidays.

Saying that Ivy was Elias’ fiancée was a lie.

Elias knew it was wrong.  But at the time he would have told his sickly grandmother anything to make her feel better.  Afterall, he never anticipated she’d pull through.

But she did.

And now he’s expected to bring the sweet, sexy, untouchable Ivy home for the holidays.

With his and Ivy’s deal made, their simmering attraction turns to flame that no extinguisher can douse. Until a mistake from Ivy’s past surfaces.

Can Elias convince Ivy that they are meant to be? Or will Ivy’s distrust tear them apart?

Please Note!

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “Self, I love Elizabeth Kelly books, but I wonder what it would be like to read a less steamy Elizabeth Kelly book”, then The Christmas Rescue is the book for you. 

While still infused with the same sweetness and humour of other Elizabeth Kelly books, The Christmas Rescue definitely falls on the less steamy side. 

It’s not a “behind closed doors” romance (you all know I love my sexy times!), but if you want a book to gift your slightly saucy grandmother this holiday season… The Christmas Rescue is calling your name.



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Read an excerpt

“We have to call him, sweet girl.”

“We do not have to call him, Nana,” Ivy said.

“Listen to your grandmother,” Bryce hollered from the far end of the porch. “We are in a crisis situation.”

Ivy glared at her best friend. “Maybe if you’d stop being a giant chicken and get over here and help me, we could manage the crisis situation ourselves.”

“Bock, bock,” Bryce said before inching further away.

The unrelenting pressure around Ivy’s waist and upper chest was starting to feel suffocating. She supposed that was the point. “Nana, let’s try again. If you pull with both hands and I pull with my free hand, maybe we can -”

“It won’t work, sweetheart,” Nana said. “It’s wrapped around you tighter than plastic wrap on a tuna sandwich. I had no idea snakes were that strong.”

Ivy studied the snake that was coiled around her from hips to shoulders. It was at least eight feet long and its scales glimmered in the porch light as its head weaved back and forth just above her right shoulder.

Its tongue flicked out and Bryce made a sound of disgust. “Oh God, I can see its tongue.”

“It’s smelling the air,” Nana informed her.

“How do you know that?” Bryce said.

“I just googled it.” Nana held up her phone. “This snake looks like a common boa constrictor. Oh my goodness! They can grow up to ten feet long.” She eyed the snake wrapped around Ivy. “I think this one must be fully grown.”

She read her phone screen again. “Good news, dear. They’re non-venomous.”

“That’s great, Nana.” Ivy struggled to free herself with her one free hand again. At the touch of her hand around its body, the snake squeezed tighter and she muttered a curse. “I think my ribs are cracking.”

“Wait a minute, there’s a note.” Nana was now peering into the cardboard box still sitting on the porch. “It’s a boy! His name is Jake!”

“Mazel tov,” Ivy said then winced again when the snake coiled tighter.

“Jake the snake?” Bryce said. “Lame.”

“I think it’s cute,” Nana said.

“What else does the note say?” Ivy’s bare legs and arms were covered in goosebumps and her feet had gone numb about five minutes ago despite her slippers. Winter in Alberta was nothing to screw around with, and she cursed herself again for coming out onto the porch without her robe. Her beautiful, hairy, warm robe.

“Just that his name is Jake and he needs a home.” Nana dropped the paper back into the box.

“We’re a rescue for dogs and cats, not reptiles,” Bryce said. “Do people not read the website? Also, what kind of person just leaves a defenseless animal in a box on a porch on one of the coldest nights of the year?”

“Dearest, we have to call him. Your lips are turning blue,” Nana said.

“From lack of oxygen or the cold?” Bryce asked. She was wearing her winter jacket over her pajamas and she stuck her hands into the fur-lined pockets as Ivy watched with envy.

“Probably a little bit of both. Maybe we could ask Toby to come by,” Ivy said.

Nana glanced down the dark road in the direction of their nearest neighbour’s house before shaking her head. “It’s after midnight and you know Toby goes to bed by ten-thirty. Besides, Toby could be afraid of snakes just like Bryce.”

“I’m not afraid, I’m cautious,” Bryce said.

“Bock, bock,” Ivy said.

“We know Elias isn’t afraid of snakes,” Nana said. “Didn’t you say you have a couple of clients with pet snakes at the clinic?”

“Yes, but those are corn snakes,” Ivy said. “They’re little. He could be afraid of the big ones.”

Nana just stared at her and Ivy slumped in defeat as the snake bumped its head against hers before its tongue flicked out and touched the messy bun on the top of her head.

“Oh God, I’m gonna puke,” Bryce said. “It’s licking you.”

The snake tightened again around her ribs and Ivy winced. “Fine. Call him.”

* * *

A phone call in the middle of the night wasn’t unexpected. As the only vet clinic in West Rilon, the small Alberta town Elias Hart had called home for the last two years, he often got phone calls in the middle of the night.

Nor was it all that unexpected that it was Lucinda West, co-founder of Fuzzy Tails Rescue. West Rilon vet clinic had partnered with Fuzzy Tails Rescue long before he bought the clinic. There was always a rescue animal or two being treated at the clinic.

What was unexpected, was Lucinda’s assertation that her granddaughter, Ivy, was in grave danger of being squeezed to death by a snake.

“A snake?” Elias swung his legs out of the bed and scrubbed a hand through his hair. “What kind of snake?”

“A common boa, I think,” Lucinda said. “He was dropped off in a box on our porch and the minute Ivy picked him up, he coiled tight around her. He’s just so strong and we can’t get him to unwrap from around poor Ivy’s body. I know it’s late, but could you be a dear and pop by?”

“I’ll be right there.” He tossed his cell phone on the bed and scratched at the scruff on his jaw before picking up his phone again. He called the number, tapping his fingers impatiently on his thigh as he waited for Alex to pick up.

Alex answered on the fourth ring, his voice scratchy and thick with sleep. “Dude. Do you know what time it is?”

“Hey, I need your help.”

“It’s sleeping time, asshole. Sleeping time.”

“Alex,” Elias said impatiently, “I need your help with a snake.”

“Snake? What kind of snake?”

Elias could almost hear Alex’s brain cells firing to life. “A common boa, I think. You still have that empty enclosure in your basement?”

“Yeah. The guy who was gonna give me his python changed his mind. You at the clinic? I can be there in ten.”

“No, I’m headed over to Lucinda West’s place. The snake was left in a box on her front porch.”

“Shit. With the weather this cold, we’ll be lucky if it isn’t dead.”

“It’s not dead,” Elias said. “It’s apparently wrapped around Ivy and she can’t get it off of her.”

Alex snorted laughter. “Probably because she only weighs ninety pounds.”

“She weighs more than that,” Elias said. “Look, Ivy might be small but she’s strong. I’ve seen her lift dogs that weigh as much as she does onto the X-ray table. The snake’s gotta be pretty big.”

“They can get up to ten feet,” Alex said. “Okay, you headed over there now?”

“Yeah. Can you meet me there?”

“Will do.”

“Thanks, man.” He left his phone on the bed and walked into the washroom, staring at his face in the mirror.

He wasn’t sleeping when Lucinda called. How could he sleep when his life was about to implode in less than a week? His skin prickled and the nausea that never really went away became a little stronger.

Shit. Why had he lied to his family? Did he really think that it wouldn’t turn around and bite him on the ass? The lying had come from a good place, but it didn’t negate the fact that his family thought he was engaged and expected to meet his non-existent fiancée in less than a damn week.

Not exactly non-existent.

He swallowed down the bile that was now rising up the back of his throat. His inner voice wasn’t wrong. His family wasn’t expecting to meet just any woman, they were expecting to meet – he swallowed more bile – Ivy West.

Co-founder of Fuzzy Tails Rescue, vet tech, and his damn employee.

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