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As she backed her SUV out of the town hall parking lot, Madison accidently hit Nell McBride. She's in the sheriff's office awaiting word on the older woman's injuries. Madison's boss, Joe Hartwell, is on speakerphone.
"Just a little shaky." She released the breath she'd been holding. Joe sounded more concerned than angry. The sheriff gave her a slow and thorough once-over, and her cheeks warmed in response to the intense perusal of those winter-green eyes. Thankfully, her boss recaptured his attention before he noticed her reaction.
"How's your aunt, Sheriff?"
""She has a stress fracture of her tibia."
Madison groaned, and her stomach heaved.
"I'm sorry to hear that. Given her injury, is it still your opinion that this was an accident and the accusations a misunderstanding?"
"Yes." He held Madison's gaze as he spoke. "As far as I'm concerned, no charges will be brought against Ms. Lane."
Madison relaxed in the chair for the first time since she'd entered his office and smiled her thanks. He smiled back. A heady rush of heat enveloped her in response to the slow, sexy curve of his oh-so-kissable lips. It was a good thing she didn't plan on staying in town: the man would be dangerous to her professionalism.
"I'm glad to hear that, but I'm going to be frank with you, Sheriff. While you were on the phone with the doctor, I spoke to my legal team. We're already fielding calls from the media asking for a comment on this latest incident. Compounded with the negative publicity we received yesterday, this is turning into a bit of a nightmare for us. And I imagine your town's opinion of Hartwell Enterprises has now been further damaged, hasn't it?"
Madison stiffened. Joe might as well come out and blame the entire fiasco on her. "Joe, I--"
"Please, Madison, let the man speak," Joe interrupted her.
She gritted her teeth.
Sheriff McBride rubbed a hand over his beard-shadowed jaw, avoiding her gaze. "I'd say that's an accurate assessment."
"Would it also be accurate to say that your aunt's opinion carries substantial weight in the community?"
Madison snorted. The sheriff raised a brow. Certifiable, she mouthed, repeating his earlier comment.
The corner of his mouth quirked as though he fought back a grin. His amusement might have been contagious if she wasn't so damn mad.
Excerpt from THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS ©2013 by Debbie Mason. All rights reserved.
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 24, 2013)
It will take a Christmas miracle to melt her heart.
Resort developer Madison Lane is about to lose the one thing she loves most in the world—her job. Dubbed “The Grinch Who Killed Christmas,” Madison spoiled a deal that would turn quaint Christmas, Colorado, into a tourist’s winter wonderland. Now the citizens want her fired but the company gives her one last chance, sending Madison to the small town to restore the holiday cheer.
For Sheriff Gage McBride, no hotshot executive from New York City is going to destroy the dreams of the people he loves. But one look at this beautiful woman and it’s his heart that may be broken. In just a few days, Madison causes more trouble than he’s had to deal with all year. He can’t decide if she’s naughty or nice, but one thing is for certain—Christmas will never be the same again...
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