Author: Abbey MacInnis
Publisher: Abbey MacInnis Publishing
Length: 300 pgs
Sub-Genres: Holiday, Paranormal, Elf
It's the most wonderful time of the year...unless you're single and lonely.
Jinx--one of Santa's elves--is in trouble with the Big Guy. She's been charged with bringing holiday happiness to Christopher Ragan, CEO of Wondrous Toys. It's a big job especially when he's more attached to the bottom of a bottle than helping his fellow man.
She's got enough trouble without spilling the secrets of the North Pole, but then along comes Natalie Burnes, a newbie CEO of Enchanted Toys and in trouble of a hostile takeover from Christopher's company. The woman literally crashes Christopher's vacation plans in a tucked away Michigan cabin---and the sparks start flying.
As if Jinx's job of matchmaking the toy makers isn't hard enough, she's got to stay one step ahead of the North Pole patrol and keep out of sight of the humans. No way is she gonna screw up and lose her magic again. If the humans can't find happiness and love by Christmas, Jinx forfeits her chance of seeing her true love too. What's an elf to do?
Excerpt from the beginning of Chapter Five.
Natalie shook her head. “I’m not up for any tournaments tonight. The trip here fried my brain and discombobulated my nerves. I’ll never be the same again.”
“Oh, come on. How about a quick game? Every goddess has to learn to be a good loser.”
“Goddesses need sleep. I’ll need to be completely rested before I accept any challenges. And then you’re the one who’ll need the extra rest since I’ll cream you in your particular game of choice.”
Chris couldn’t help but taunt, “You’re too tired to play a short game of Scrabble, princess? Just one little game?”
She moved closer and stared him down. He knew Natalie hated being confronted, but he loved goading her. “It’s just a stupid board game. Are you that bored?”
“Yes. This evening has been particularly unamusing,” he replied drolly. Sparring with her was more fun than vegging out in front of his plasma TV. If he were being honest, he was glad to have company, even if she wasn’t his first choice. “But I understand,” he complied. “Princesses are easily worn out. They pass their days primping and spending all their money.” He looked down at her un-chipped nails painted with the colors of the holidays. “They waste so much energy doing silly tasks, like their nails.”
“You think I’m spoiled?”
“My nails aren’t so nice. See?” She raked them down his arm. She wasn’t playful about it, exerting enough pressure to leave red marks on his skin.
“Do you always result to assault to get your point across, princess?” He seized her hand in his, containing her fingers.
Her hand squirmed, the fragile bones under the soft skin flexing in his hold. He held fast. “I find physical contact works best when talking becomes a moot, wasteful pastime,” she said, her eyes flashing bright. “Especially when one’s opponent’s skull won’t crack with one hit to the head. Sometimes they need several hard thunks to dent their stubborn skulls.”
Good, she thinks me an obstinate, selfish bastard. Just what I want. “Ah, so you love scratching me up, princess?”
“Could be. You’re lucky they’re not as deadly as they were a few days ago. If I were truly spoiled, I wouldn’t want to get my hands dirty. I spend as many hours at the office as you.” She tugged her hands from his and tapped her index finger against his manicured nails. “Maybe even more. Could be you’re the spoiled little prince. Look at those buffed nails and perfect cuticles,” she mocked. “My my, your royal high ass, how masculine they are.”
It was his turn to yank his hand away. She made him sound like a sissy with a superiority complex. “I don’t need to get my hands dirty. I’ve been through that stage. My company can run itself,” he shot back. “Can’t be easy being you when you can’t enjoy the fruits of all your hard labor.”
“Getting your hands dirty keeps you on your toes. I spend long hours coming up with new solutions for my company. Guess you love your golf game more, huh?”
“Very cute, princess.”
“What…the little prince doesn’t want to play a game now?” she reproached. “We just did. Cat scratch fever, and I won.” She waggled her fingers over his arm. “How’s it feel to lose, your royal high ass?”
“Thought you needed sleep. You’ve been fooling me all evening. You look like you just came off a runway.”
Chris was an expert at melting the panties off willing women. But as much as he wanted Natalie, he knew he wouldn’t get closer with the normal, boring, insincere pickup lines. That line wasn’t the usual for him. He’d actually meant it. Despite the bags of exhaustion under her eyes and the stress tensing her shoulders, she was beautiful. Not in the made-up, fake, enhanced way women he was used to associating with were. Her beauty was more natural and earthy.
Natalie’s combined snort and burst of laughter sent warmth sprinting through him. It wasn’t a fake I’m-laughing-to-appease-you kind of chuckle, but an honest-to-God from-the-gut hoot. “Oh, Reagan, you’re outdoing yourself. I look like hell and I know it.”
“No, really. From where I’m sitting, hell looks pretty great.”
Her kick from under the blanket couldn’t hurt a flea, but he pushed back all the same. Their feet became entangled under the quilt, her body heat seeping under his skin. “Stop it, Reagan. You’re flattery’s killing me.”
“Let’s do away with the formalities once and for all, Natalie. You saw me naked as the day I was born. That takes us to first names automatically in my book.”
“Okay then, Chris.”
He liked how his name rolled off her tongue like a sip of fine port.
“I think I’m going to turn in though. I’ve had a long day.”
The combined temperature from the fire and their bodies settled him and did away with the rest of his hangover. There was a part of him that didn’t want her to leave him since he’d be alone again. Her sweetness temporarily did away with his despair, and for a moment, Chris basked in the feeling of contentment. “I should turn in too,” he agreed, distracted as his gaze fixated on her mouth, yet he didn’t move to rise from the love seat.
Don’t go all soft where she’s concerned, Reagan. So what, you want to kiss her. It would be just one little, harmless kiss. Just like sex is sex. Stop reading more in to it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Abbey MacInnis is a published author of Contemporary Western romance. Along with Contemporary, she writes Historical, Paranormal and erotic romance. Whether she’s being swept off her feet by a Medieval knight, regency rake, or cowboy or cop, her heroes are always strong men who’ll love their women unconditionally.
On most days, Abbey can be found at her computer, penning her latest tale. A tale where love, respect, and passion combine to create a satisfying and happy ending. Guaranteed. She invites you to step in to the pages of her romances, to leave your worries behind and get swept up in her world.
Independent women meet their match with heroes who need a good woman