Billionaire under the Mistletoe

By: Carole Mortimer

PROLOGUE

‘IT’S A SIMPLE enough request to make, surely, Sally? After all, you are my PA and— Why are you laughing?’

‘Wasn’t I meant to laugh?’

‘Hell, no!’

‘Then you were actually serious when you asked me to have Christmas delivered to your apartment by Friday morning?’

‘Does it look as if I’m joking, Sally?’

‘Oh.’

Sophie had arrived slightly early at Hamilton Tower for her lunch date with her cousin, Sally; she certainly hadn’t intended to find herself standing transfixed in the plush hallway outside her cousin’s office, inadvertently eavesdropping on Sally’s conversation with her boss, Max Hamilton, billionaire CEO of Hamilton Enterprises.

Although she understood Sally’s humour and disbelief: who on earth had Christmas delivered?

The super-rich Max Hamilton, apparently.

As far as Sophie was concerned, Christmas had always been a time of traditions, built up over years and years of family holidays spent together, with decorations kept and treasured by generation after generation.

Obviously, Max Hamilton had missed that particular memo...

Sophie knew from what Sally had told her that her cousin’s boss was something of a workaholic. Just as Sophie also knew, from reading about him in the tabloids, that the man appeared to play as hard as he worked, changing his women as often as he changed his no doubt designer label silk shirts—daily, if not twice a day.

Having seen photographs of him, Sophie wasn’t in the least surprised. Tall, dark and handsome didn’t even begin to describe the thirty-four-year-old owner and CEO of Hamilton Enterprises. With overlong and fashionably tousled dark hair, mesmerising green eyes, high cheekbones, sculptured lips above a strong jaw, he was sex on long, long legs.

He also had the most seductive voice Sophie had ever had the pleasure of listening to—a mixture of molasses and gravel, honey over satin, with just the right hint of husky.

Although the subject of his conversation still seemed slightly bizarre.

‘I thought you were going skiing this Christmas, as usual?’ Sally prompted uncertainly now, as she obviously realised her boss wasn’t joking, after all.

‘I was. Notice the past tense.’ Max Hamilton sighed, showing his irritation. ‘My sister and her husband are having marital problems, and she telephoned me last night to say she thinks it’s a good idea for her to join me in England for Christmas this year, along with my five-year-old niece, Amy.’

Ah, that explained part of his dilemma.

But not all of it.

Having Christmas delivered just seemed... Well, it was just wrong.

Admittedly, Sophie was spending her own Christmas alone this year, while her cousin, aunt and uncle went to Canada for two weeks so that they could all meet Sally’s in-laws-to-be. They had very kindly invited Sophie to accompany them, but she had preferred to stay in England and cat-sit for Henry, Sally’s spoilt but adorable pet.

There were very legitimate reasons why Sophie’s own Christmas was going to be so different this year, and it certainly wasn’t through choice. Max Hamilton just sounded as if he was too busy—or perhaps considered himself too important?—to trouble himself bothering to organise Christmas for his sister and niece.

Though, to his credit, he was changing his plans to suit his sister and his niece’s needs, and was no longer going skiing, as he apparently usually did, but he obviously had no idea how to go about providing the rest of Christmas for his small family.

‘Which reminds me, I’m also going to need more presents than the ones I already sent to them in the States,’ the man continued distractedly. ‘Lots of them. Under the tree, for Amy and my sister to unwrap on Christmas morning.’

Okay, now he had gone too far! I mean, really, couldn’t the man even be bothered to personally pick out the necessary presents for his niece, at least? A little girl who was no doubt already seriously emotionally distressed by her parents’ problems.

Obviously not.

‘And I’ll need a cook,’ Max Hamilton added.

‘A cook?’ Sally echoed slowly.

‘Well, I have no idea how to cook a Christmas lunch, and it doesn’t seem fair to ask Janice to cook for all of us when she’s so upset about the separation.’

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