Table of Contents

Book Info

Barbara Elsborg
4 November 2022
Book Type


A snarky English nerd. A hot American actor. When Christmas brings them together, they have more in common than they know…

Murdo doesn’t do Christmas, but this year, he’s looking forward to spending time with an old friend. Elodie’s working on a film starring Murdo’s Biggest Crush, the gorgeous Lukas Olsen. When Elodie asks him to give Lukas a lift from Logan International, Murdo can’t believe his luck. Lukas might be straight, but ogling’s acceptable—right?

Lukas arrives at the airport to find a gaggle of fans but no driver waiting and when he does turn up, the snarky Englishman can’t even remember where he’s parked. When they finally reach their destination, Lukas tries to tip him and Murdo makes his current opinion of Lukas very clear. His crush is over.

Things move from bad to worse when Murdo tells the director that Lukas’s English accent isn’t authentic. But a pang of guilt, and maybe a remnant of lust, has Murdo offering to give dialect lessons to a resentful Lukas. Only once they’re in Lukas’s house, annoyance turns into something far more dangerous, because Lukas isn’t out and never will be. He has too much to lose: career, fans, family and friends.


Yet something about Murdo makes Lukas want to risk it all…

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Murdo quietly crooned ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ as he danced between his bed and a chest of drawers. Any louder and he’d piss off Mrs. Levine who lived in the apartment next to his and had the amazing ability of being able to hear him breathe. Too loudly, obviously. When she saw him, she was always ready with a complaint. Yesterday it had been his electric toothbrush disturbing her. Murdo had this image of her sitting with her ear to the wall waiting for a reason to knock on his door. Well, he was away for a week, maybe more, so at least he’d be spared those encounters, as well as being removed from the temptation to fling open his door with just a towel wrapped around his hips.

His ski gear was in its own bag, and he was only packing a small suitcase on the basis that he could either get his stuff laundered or buy extra if he stayed away longer than the week he’d planned. His accommodation was booked for the next two nights, and he’d wing it after that. Snow chains had been purchased—just in case, the first part of his route planned, and in less than four hours he should be at the Quality Comfort Inn in Ancatch, New Hampshire, with its promised outdoor hot tub and fabulous mountain views. He couldn’t wait.

Murdo’s marking was done, his lectures prepared for the first two weeks of the spring term, and the only work he needed to do was occasionally check his emails in case a student was having a meltdown. He was enjoying his job as a maths—or math as he was still trying to remember to say to any American—lecturer at Harvard… Harvard! He still couldn’t even think of Harvard without gulping. Though he wasn’t sure how long he’d stay. The pay was okay but not brilliant, and although money wasn’t everything, there wasn’t much you could do without it, and a lot you could do with it.

More importantly, even after moving all the way to another country in the hope of a fresh start, after five months here, Murdo still felt unsettled. To be fair, it was the same unsettled feeling that he’d had for as long as he could remember, as if he was looking for something without knowing exactly what that something was and feeling on edge because he’d not found it. Something or somewhere or someone? All three?

Murdo called it his Greener Grass Syndrome. One that he’d brought on himself because things had to feel right. He’d had a few someones who’d turned into boyfriends, though none had ended up being the right someone for him. Or rather, they’d spotted greener grass elsewhere. Being dumped by everyone he’d been with had dented Murdo’s delicately balanced confidence, the seesaw on which he persistently wobbled. Because you’re not good enough said that familiar voice in his head. Yes, I am Murdo said back.

A lecturer at Harvard and he still heard himself being called useless. When was he going to shake that off? Never chimed his other self.

Oh bugger off.



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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.



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