Table of Contents

Book Info

Barbara Elsborg
27 October 2022
Book Type


When Kendall is let down by the Santa and photographer he’s booked for his garden centre, he frantically tries to find replacements. But no one is available to step in at the last minute and he’s running out of time and options.

Then Alfie arrives, with his electric-blue hair, piercings, megawatt smile, and three cute reindeer. And, he just happens to be a photographer. Finally, Kendall sees a glimmer of hope. So what if he hates Christmas, kids, beards and missing Santas? Kendall can play Santa himself, if he just learns how to smile.

As Kendall thaws and gets into the role, Alfie has renewed hope that he’ll manage what he came all the way here to do. It all depends on Kendall believing him, and that suddenly becomes a mountain Kendall won’t even try to climb. But Alfie won’t give up. It’s not over yet. This is Christmas and there’s magic in the air!

Show More


By the time Kendall got round to his coffee, it had gone cold. With a surge of annoyance, he shoved it across his desk and only just managed to catch it before it slid over the edge. That morning, he’d had to deal with one problem after another. Lazell’s Garden Centre was an albatross around his neck. He’d taken the job because the pay was good, and now he couldn’t find anything that paid better, not that he was qualified to do. If his CV didn’t inspire him, then it wasn’t going to inspire anyone else.

He’d come to work with a headache and it had intensified to the point that he thought he might need to find a dark place to lie down if it didn’t ease off.

Could he sort out the non-arrival of Christmas ornaments specifically ordered by an increasingly belligerent customer who had phoned every day for the past two weeks demanding to know when the miniature gnomes were going to arrive? What did the guy want him to do? Hop on a plane to China and stand over the suppliers until they sorted themselves out? Fortunately, he managed not to say that.

Then Danny had tripped over a wire deer in the outdoor section and broken his ankle, as well as crushing the deer. An accident waiting to happen. The guy was the clumsiest person Kendall had ever met. The deer was a write-off and so was Danny at their busiest time of the year. Though Kendall was already wondering if there was something Danny could do while he was recovering. Probably not. The centre’s insurance policy wouldn’t let that happen.

When news came that the Christmas tree netting machine had broken down, Kendall began to think he should have stayed in bed. Though it turned out to be an easy fix, something jammed that he’d been able to unjam. Not so the lights going out in the Christmas section. Flicking a switch on the circuit board hadn’t worked and Kendall had been forced to call an electrician. Still, the lights were on again now.

His phone rang and he glared at it. The way today was going, he was almost sure he wasn’t going to like what he was about to hear.

“Kendall Blackstone.”

“Ah Mr Blackstone. This is Santas Are Us. I’m afraid we have a bit of a problem.”

Of course you fucking do. Kendall closed his eyes and put the palm of his hand to his throbbing forehead. “Right.”

“The Santa we’d allocated for Lazell’s has been sent a plane ticket to visit his daughter in Australia. It will be the first time he’s seen his grandchildren, so you can imagine how excited—”

“Get to the point,” Kendall snapped.

“You were very specific with your requirements with regards to the Santa you wanted and we don’t have anyone else to send.”

Kendall unclenched his teeth. “Wonderful. So I have children booked to see Santa at the garden centre tomorrow and I have to tell them he’s gone to Australia?”

“Well, no, you don’t have to tell them that.”

Kendall rolled his eyes. Sarcasm was lost on this idiot. “Then what do you think I should tell them? There must be someone else you can send. What if I revise my requirements?”

“I’m sorry. It would make no difference. There’s no one else on our books at all.”

“Then you come and do it!”

“I’m a double amputee.”

That’s convenient.

“I lost my legs in a motorcycle accident.”

Shit. “Sorry to hear that. I’m sorry for snapping. I’m just… What about the photographer? Is he or she still coming?”


Kendall could almost feel his blood pressure rocketing.

“He’s Santa’s son and he’s going with him to Australia.”

For fuck’s sake!



Show More


Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the South of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Volcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.

Thirteen facts about me

1. I’m blonde, but after having spotted one grey hair - I now dye my locks with mixed results. I know I should read the packet but hey, what can go wrong? My nicknames – badger, skunk (purely the look!!), snowball and pinkie. Yes, that time it really did go wrong.

2. I hate milk. Can’t drink it, smell it or even look at it.

3. Writing. I really do love that. I started by making up episodes of TV series with me as the heroine. You name it, I’ve been in it. My range is from paranormal to suspense to contemporary to erotica but everything I write has a touch of romance and humor. Well, I think I’m funny. My family laugh at me all the time.

4. Former life – a sad cautionary tale. Started off as a government inspector – spying on people trying to cheat on their taxes. A short period as a media planner in an advertising agency. I fled that at dead of night. Several years selling cyanide – mainly to Sweden for the largest chemical company in the UK. Grand title of export manager. There was just me in the department. Had kids. Ughghghg. Then went to work as Government Inspector, spying on teachers. I was so popular, you can’t believe. Thank goodness I married well. (Married for money anyway)

5. No I didn’t, dear. Husband is financial whiz. Met at university when he was bringing a sack of potatoes to my flat mate. Romance is his middle name. Gifts to me include – supermarket vouchers, hedge trimmer and a hammer drill and reduced flowers past their wilt-by date. He spent most of his life in the aerospace industry making missiles. He’s atoning for his sins by doing my shopping.

6. Two children. Daughter a lawyer. Son has escaped to live in Texas. Enough said.

7. Books – I ADORE. I read at least one a day. I have thousands as I can’t stand to part with them. I read at lightning speed. 70-80 pages in 20 minutes. That’s fast? Right?

8. What do I do all day? Write. All day if I can. It’s my world and I love it. Start at 8.00 and finish late. Interspersed with journeys on the internet and satisfying needs of husband. No, not those sorts of needs. Really!! I was thinking of making coffee.

9. Worried about – possible visit from FBI. Research for one of my thrillers did involve some investigation into how a fetus would decay under a boat shed. Research into plastic handcuffs brought a deluge of porn. Well, that was my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I find I need to keep checking dubious sites. I might be addicted.

10. I’m very tall. 5’10 and a bit. I used to be very self-conscious about my height. Now I don’t care. I’m far more worried about other bits of me.

11. I won the prize at school for ‘Good Conduct and Example’ It was the worst day of my life. Well, one of them. I so want to be bad. Sigh.

12. I am incapable of telling right from left at crucial moments. Won’t be flying jets anytime soon.

I’m struggling now. I’m really not interesting.

13. Ohh, I was once kicked by a giraffe.

Phew, made it.



Web Links