One Week to Win Her Boss, sweet romance by Barbara White Daille
Single mom Amber Barnett loves family, kids, Christmas…and unfortunately, her boss, confirmed bachelor Michael DeFranco. It's a crush she really needs to get over. Except, when she’s temporarily forced from her apartment, her only option is to stay at Michael’s private ski lodge, where she's the housekeeper. No problem. Her handsome boss rarely visits Snowflake Valley unexpectedly, plus he’s spending the holidays with his family. Or so she thinks…
A stormy Christmas Eve reunion leaves Michael seeking the solitude of his lodge, where he finds Amber in residence—and in trouble. Attempting to save her from her matchmaking family, he announces they’re a couple. His good deed backfires when they’re instantly included in each and every holiday event in town. So much for solitude.
Only the more time he spends with the beautiful, cheery brunette, the more he yearns to make things real between them. But he and Amber want different things, and Michael could never be the family man she's looking for.
“I thought you might rather have the tree gone,” Amber said to Michael.
He shrugged. “Whatever you want to do with it is fine. But wouldn’t you like a break from all the Christmas cheer?” He gestured at the strands of red and green lights twined around the lampposts. “It’s everywhere you look in this town. Don’t folks who live here like to get it out of their houses, at least?”
“Not me. I love it. And now I have a question for you. I heard you talking with my dad as we were leaving. You were awfully quick to say you’ll attend the opening ceremony of the festival with us tomorrow. What happened to having so much work with you?” Again, that grim, tight-lipped expression crossed his face. She didn’t like seeing the change. Or, worse, knowing she’d caused it. “Besides,” she rushed on, “I’d think you would run as far as you could from anything to do with the festival.”
“Because I’m a Scrooge?” He gave her a crooked smile. “Yeah, normally I’d take a pass. I’m only going along with that for you, too.”
Prince Charming, all right. From her hand on his arm to the tips of her toes, warmth spread through her. Afraid he would see her reaction in her face, she looked away. She couldn’t believe in a fairytale that, for her, wouldn’t come with a happy ending.
Keep it light. Keep it real. As they passed another lamppost, she gestured toward it. “Speaking of decorations everywhere we look, I suppose I should warn you. Before the ceremony, we’re all going out for lunch to celebrate Lyssa and Nick’s engagement.”
“No problem. I like to eat.”
“At the Candy Cane?”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah. I can tell by the size of your grin. I’ll bet you love that place.”
“Down to the last tiny ornament.”
“The Candy Cane.” He shook his head. “Whoever came up with a name like that for a diner?”
“Anatole, the owner. And for your information, the Snowflake Valley Chamber of Commerce approved it unanimously. The name is good for business, plus it goes along with the Christmas cheer. Which, by the way, we call ‘adding a little touch of magic.’”
“I call it being a little touched in the head.”
He laughed and squeezed her hand.
Being so close to him, laughing with him, teasing him…she’d done all those things so many times before. In her dreams.
Keep it real. Could things get any more real than this?
Keep this for as long as you can.
“Come on, everyone’s waiting for us.” She pulled her hand from his arm and grinned up at him. “Last one to Santa’s mailbox has to make hot chocolate tonight.”
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Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. You can find her books, blog, and newsletter signup here: https://www.barbarawhitedaille.com