When Leonardo Delgado fell in love with a woman who was already engaged, he resigned himself to loving her from afar. But when her fiancé ran off with another woman, he knew exactly what he wanted to make his Christmas merry!
Amanda-Lyn doesn't believe in love anymore. She takes a job as an elf at the local mall, and starts to rebuild her life. A nice one-night stand without all that romantic nonsense is all she wants this holiday season. It might have worked, too, except for her sinfully handsome boss and a jolly old matchmaking man in a red suit and cap.
Praise for Ribbons and Lace
"...a fast paced romance full of heat, heart and no small amount of angst. I loved the playfulness between this couple and the genuine respect they seem to have for each other -- and really adored the climatic ending."
-- 4.5 Blue Ribbons from Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies
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Ribbons and Lace (Red Velvet Christmas)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2013 Anne Kane
Even his name sounded deliciously sexy. Leonardo Delgado. Amanda-Lyn let it roll off her tongue. With a name like that, the man had a head start on every other guy in the city. And yet, she'd actually seen him. Talked to him, and landed a job as an elf at the local mall.
The sexiest man she'd come across in years just happened to be her new boss. It had been almost a year since her disastrous engagement had ended. Time to make a fresh start, and Mr. Leonardo Delgado looked fresh enough to send curls of heat flooding through every inch of her body. Although he didn't know it yet, he would soon be her lover, a nice Christmas present to herself.
She studied her reflection in the mirror with a critical eye. It was damn cold at the North Pole. Who in their right mind believed that elves ran around in costumes like this?
Soft red velvet, the skirt barely covered her ass, and the matching jacket was low-cut and tight enough that it felt like her breasts were going to pop right out. Match those with a pair of fuck-me boots and Amanda-Lyn felt worse than naked. A great outfit to help her seduce the boss, but she didn't need to traumatize the kids coming to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. She needed to tread a careful line between those two goals.
After a thorough perusal of her closet, she added a pair of candy cane striped tights to make sure she didn't expose her ass to all the good little boys and girls. she donned a nice lace shirt with a red ribbon threaded around the neck, leaving the jacket partially unzipped to soften the effect.
Ribbons and lace. Her grandmother always told her that ribbons and lace could fix up any outfit, and Amanda-Lyn actually believed they might have rescued this one. Still sexy as hell if the boss happened to put in an appearance, but her boobs weren't in imminent danger of exposure.
By the time she got to the mall, she couldn't believe the fluttering the damn butterflies in her stomach were doing. Today might be her first day, but this wasn't a career move after all. Minimum wage, with a definite end date chiseled in stone, the only perk this job had besides making rent was the mouth-watering boss.
Unfortunately, the delectable Mr. Delgado was nowhere in sight. People from tiny tots to aging grandparents bustled around in a frenzy. The noise level was already giving her a headache. She would have turned around and walked right back out the door except for the tiny problem of wages. Money. She needed it, and she didn't have any. So, for now at least, she'd better pretend to love the job.
"Ho, Ho, Ho." A man in the typical red Santa suit wandered up the ramp to the plaster and plastic Ice Palace and plunked himself down heavily in Santa's chair. His cap of white curls and the flowing beard looked to be natural. "You must be this year's elf. What's your name, little lady?" The corners of his eyes crinkled when he smiled at her. Definitely a Merry Christmas smile.
"Amanda-Lyn." She couldn't help smiling back. "But if you were really Santa you'd know that, wouldn't you?"
Santa shook his head, a merry twinkle in his eyes. "Don't tell anyone, but I'm getting on in years. I haven't been able to recognize all the children on the Earth on sight in more decades than you've been alive." He lowered his voice, leaning toward her. "And we never joke about whether or not Santa is the real Santa when we're on the job. Wouldn't do to ruin some child's Christmas."
Amanda shook her head. "Oh heavens, no. I promise I'll be more careful."
Santa nodded solemnly. "It's okay. Once you get into the swing of things here at the mall it will come naturally to you."
"So this isn't your first Christmas?"
"No, I've been coming back every year since the mall opened." He paused for a minute. "I do believe I've lost count of how many that would be, every one a delight. Mr. Delgado is such a pleasure to work with."
Amanda-Lyn felt a deliciously warm sensation low in her belly at the thought of Mr. Delgado. "You know the manager well?"
"I would say so, known him since he was just a tiny bundle of joy. He was a charming little boy, and he's grown up into a charming man." He cocked a fluffy white eyebrow at her. "Do I detect an interest in little Leonardo?"
She could feel the heat staining her cheeks. Somehow, discussing the man she planned to seduce with Santa Claus seemed a bit awkward. "Umm. Well, he is kind of cute. I suppose he's married?"
Santa shook his head. "No, and never has been, either. A very astute man, Mr. Delgado. He's waiting for his true love, and I have a feeling he won't have much longer to wait."
"Giving away all my secrets again, Santa?"
Amanda-Lyn jumped at the sound of Leonardo's deep voice, a deliciously sensual thrill dancing up her spine.