Kiss My Tinsel - Melissa Schroeder

Kiss My Tinsel

Part of the Melissa Schroeder Instalove Collection

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I have a confession to make: I have hated all things tinsel-related for years.

Yeah, I know, most people have a right to hate things, but I don’t. I’m Nick Kristoff, CEO of the biggest department store chain that specializes in the holidays. Hating a holiday I plan to promote all year long is kind of like living in hell.

But that all changed the moment a bundle of sparkly energy hits me. And by hits me, I mean she rams into me, knocks me over, then lands on top of me. In that one moment, my life changed.

The second I look into her hazel eyes, I know she’s the woman for me.

But first, I have to convince the Christmas-loving woman to give me a chance, even if that means letting my hang-ups about the holiday go. I am up for that challenge.

Because this Christmas, the only thing I’m asking Santa for is the sweet sugarplum who knocked me off my feet.

Author Warning: This book includes elves(duh), jingle bells(another duh), a sweet woman who falls for the grump, a little light stalking, and a man so head over heels for a woman who is his complete opposite it will make you melt. Hot chocolate and cookies recommended while reading. 

Welcome to a filthy dirty Christmas!
Forget sugar and spice and everything nice … this year we want to show off our naughty side.
Taboo, dangerous, and over-the-top, we’re bringing you everything you were too scared to ask Santa for.

**Don’t worry, loves, these are still packed with the heroes you crave and the HEA’s you deserve!

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Kiss My Tinsel

Kiss My Tinsel

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Chapter One


The crisp December air chills me as I hurry down the street to my newest job. I know a lot of people hate the city when it gets so chilly, but I love it. I might have to bundle myself up that sometimes makes me think I look like the Michelin Man—really all the time—but I love this time of year. All is right with the world when I can smell cinnamon and clove in the air. The sparkling lights, the decorations, the promise of a visit with Santa—it really makes me happy.

I mean, I know Santa isn’t real, but the promise of him is there, and I love that. It reminds me of a time when things weren’t so dire. The looming eviction I face is enough to get me to hurry faster to the Kristoff store.

This is a real treat for me. When the Christmas tree farm had to let me go, I was relieved to find a job at my favorite store in the whole world.  For once in the last couple of years, I think my luck just might be looking up.

Kristoff Department Store is an oddity in the world right now. Still family-owned, and while they are open all year, they specialize in holidays, with Christmas being their most significant holiday. They kick some serious butt for Christmas. Since I love yuletide greetings and all that it entails, I was stoked when I got the call for seasonal help.

I make it to the front door with a few minutes to spare, breathing a sigh of relief. I let an older woman step in before I follow her inside. The second I step over the threshold, I’m transported back to my youth when my parents and I would come here for the holidays. Mom especially loved the season, and we would stop by at least one day a week leading up to Christmas.

Pine, cinnamon, sugar, and gingerbread fill the air around me. Even as I love it, I have to fight back the melancholy that hits me every now and then. This is the third Christmas without my parents, and it isn’t easier. I push those thoughts aside and hurry down the aisles to be able to clock in on time.

It’s not as busy as it’s been the past few years. In fact, as much as I love this place, I see that Kristoff’s isn’t as shiny and bright as it used to be. They still have high-quality items. It might be me. I miss my parents more this time of year than any other, so I might be projecting.

Pushing away those thoughts, I redouble my efforts to get to my destination. Once I hit the administration wing of the store, I start to sprint. Of course, they apparently just waxed the floor, and I lose control of my feet. The new shoes I’m required to wear with my costume probably have something to do with it. The moment I start sliding, I know this is going to end badly.   I skid across the floor, my arms windmilling—as if that’s going to slow my out-of-control movements. I’m sure I will lose my life as I skid toward the stairs, and I trip over the top step and take flight.

I do the only thing I can do; close my eyes and pray. Only, instead of falling onto the floor below, I land on something else. Or rather, I should say someone else. Someone huge and hard. I hear an “oof” from the person before we both fall back, me landing on top of him.

For a moment, I can’t think. Although I didn’t land on the floor, I am still discombobulated.

“Oh, gosh,” I say. “I’m sorry.” I untangle myself from his limbs and sit up. I blink down at him, my brain short-circuiting at the male beauty laid out beneath me.

I said he was large and hard, and he is. I can’t tell how tall he is, but I’m sure he’d tower over my 5’4” frame. He has short dark brown that my fingers itch to slip through the strands. As he blinks, he reveals the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. They are more than just blue. They are dark like a December night with a tiny gray rim around the iris. And O EM GEE his lashes. Women would kill for natural lashes that thick and long.

Those beautiful eyes are narrowed in anger for a second, but the moment we make eye contact, they soften. The air backs up in my lungs, and I can’t seem to breathe for a second or two. It’s then that I notice the crowd gathering around us and realize I am straddling his lap.  I also see a cup of coffee that apparently went flying when I landed on him.

I look down at him, and he’s smiling up at me.

“Mister, are you okay?” I ask.

He blinks again, a smile curving his lips. “I think I am.”

I scramble to get off him. “I’m really sorry. I lost my balance…” my voice trails off as his hands settle on my hips to keep me in my place.

“No worries, Sugarplum.”

His voice is deep and dreamy. Wait, can voices be dreamy? I’m going with a yes,

because his definitely is. He’s dressed in a suit that probably costs more than six months of my rent, so he’s at least a manager. Great. But I can’t stop looking at him. It’s his fault. He’s so gorgeous that I can’t seem to concentrate on anything. The longer we stare at each other, something else starts to happen. My body heats up, and I am thankful to be wearing so many layers of clothing so no one can see how hard my nipples are. His tongue slides along his lower lip, and all I want to do is lean down and kiss him.

“Mr. Kristoff, are you okay?” a man in a suit says, rushing toward us. I look at the younger man, who has the look of an assistant. His eyes are narrowed in anger and concern.  Then, it hits me. I just landed on the man who owns the store.

I just laid my boss out flat on his back, and not in a good way. Is there a good way? It doesn’t matter because the man I just tackled is the same man who could fire me from my much-needed job. I look at him and blink to try and get my brain to work.

“Oh, no,” I whisper, horror filling me. “Are you the Mr. Kristoff?”

“Yes,” he says. That voice. It’s deep, baritone, and he could probably convince me to do anything, like use margarine instead of butter when I bake. “And what might your name be, Sugarplum?”

Ugh, I am so getting fired.

End of Excerpt

Kiss My Tinsel

by Melissa Schroeder

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