Evie Mitchell eBook The Christmas Contract
Evie Mitchell eBook The Christmas Contract (EBOOK)
Evie Mitchell eBook The Christmas Contract (EBOOK)

The Christmas Contract (EBOOK)

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Astrid
I forgot to tell my family I wrote a novel. I didn’t think it would be that big a deal. Then a big name movie star raved about it and suddenly my face is splashed across morning talk shows, and producers are offering me millions for film rights.
Enter Robert ‘Robbie’ Huynh — America’s rom-com heartthrob.
He’s tall, dark, handsome, and Australian. He’s like all my weaknesses rolled into one delicious package.
He’s also the one who started this mess, and he wants my film rights. He wants them real bad.
So we strike a deal; I’ll sign the contract if he gives me full creative license.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Only this Christmas contract? It’s got all the strings attached.

Robbie
I’m in a rut. An acting rut.
Being typecast as the romantic lead is getting old real fast. I want action, adventure, mystery.
I want Astrid Larsson’s film rights. And I’m not above using a little Aussie charm to get it.
Only Astrid’s not at all what I expected. For a woman who writes crime thrillers, I expected someone hard, seasoned, rough. She’s the exact opposite, and she’s getting under my skin — big time.
I need to keep my head in the game. After all, this Christmas, all I really want is… Astrid?!

Warning: This book is inspired by Christmas movies, true crime podcasts, and a crisp Aussie accent. So, get thee a man, some mistletoe, and settle in — this read will have you jingling all the way to the bedroom.

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Robbie

I knocked urgently on the door, praying that behind it would hold the answer to my salvation. 

A woman tugged it open, her long brunette hair falling gently to one side, a ready grin on her face. It froze in place when she caught sight of me. 

“Sorry to interrupt,” I began, forcing a smile on my face. “But—” 

"Holy mother of God. You're Robbie fucking Huynh." The woman’s gaze flicked to the guy behind me. "And… friend?" 

I glanced back at Matt, my bodyguard, who stood just down the garden path, the wind battering both of us as he watched my back. 

"That's Matt. Look, sorry to interrupt you, but I'm trying to find Liv Larsson. Her former assistant said she might be here?"

The young woman twisted slightly, yelling over her shoulder, "Liv! You have a visitor." She turned back to me. "Come on in. She's in the dining room."

I stepped through, Matt following, as we trailed the young woman. Even in my anxious state, I had to grin at her Thanksgiving-themed sweater. The mustard-colored monstrosity had a dancing cooked turkey wearing sunglasses on the back, with the words Don't put me at the kids' table written in a font made to resemble spilled gravy. It was hideous. Absolutely hideous. 

I loved it.  

"Liv, did you hear me?" the woman called again. "You have a visitor!" 

"They better have pie!" came Liv's yelled response. 

We followed a hall down and into a main living area, across the lounge, and around a corner, stepping into a comfortable dining room, the back of which had French doors that opened onto a patio that overlooked a canal. 

Note to self, look into buying a beach house. 

Holding court at the head of an old wooden table sat Liv Larsson, producer extraordinaire and the only woman who could help me. 

God, I hope she can help me. 

"Robbie? What the dickens are you doing here?" She rose, coming to wrap me in a hug and press a kiss to my cheek. 

I returned it, introducing Matt, then took in the food-laden table, the two vacant high chairs, and festive décor. 

"Shit. I'm interrupting. Sorry, I'll just—"

"Nonsense!" An older woman, silver streaking her blonde hair, plonked a bowl of mashed potato on the table. "Sit! Both of you. The more, the merrier." She gestured to the table with a rueful smile. "And it's not as if we don't have enough. I'm afraid we go overboard during the holidays."

"We eat leftovers for at least a month," the woman in the turkey sweater agreed. 

"Jemma, he's Robbie freaking Huynh. No doubt he's got better places to be than having dinner with this clan." An older man, his salt and pepper beard trimmed close to his face, his eyes sharp but kind, sat down at the table. "I'm Sune, the father of this motley crew. And I apologize in advance for their craziness, they get it from their mother."

"Excuse me?" 

"And that's Jemma, our mother," Liv said waving toward the older woman who now had her hands on her hips as she death-stared her husband. "Take a seat, guys. We can talk after dinner."

Matt and I were quickly added to the table, and I found myself seated beside Liv's sister, the woman wearing the turkey sweater. 

She passed me a bowl of green beans. "It's self-serve around here. And you better get in before Rune and Erik make it to the table. My brothers' will eat us out of house and home."

I grinned, accepting the offered bowl. "Thanks for the tip." 

The men entered the room trailed by an entourage. 

"What? We've already started?" 

"That's Erik," the woman said in a hushed whisper, nodding towards the shorter of the two giants. "He's my second oldest brother. Gunnar, my eldest brother, lives down south with his wife." 

"And the giant?" I asked, passing her a basket of fresh bread rolls. 

"Rune. The baby of the family, if you can believe it. He owns the local bookstore. You should check it out. They do great food and coffee as well." 

I filed that suggestion away.

"And you are?"

She laughed, giving me a saucy wink. "Astrid. But you can call me girlfriend." 

I grinned, enjoying her easy, no-strings-attached teasing. "Astrid. Rune, Erik, Gunnar, Liv… I sense a Nordic theme." 

She lifted one shoulder in a half-shrug. "Dad and Mom are old school. They like to keep some traditions alive and Nordic names are one way they can do that."

She waved at the two women who were settling young children into high chairs. "Gabby is holding Ulf, and Laura is holding Leif. They're Erik's kids."

"I've met Laura."

She slapped her forehead, rolling her eyes at herself. "Of course! Sorry, I forgot that guys work for the same production company."

Not for long, I hope. 

Matt leaned over. "I just want to say, this food is fucking ace."

"Thanks. I did absolutely nothing but buy the drinks," Astrid said with a chuckle. 

"Where's Nan?" Liv asked, cutting a huge chunk of pie for herself. 

"Toilet. She'll be here in a moment. Where's Ian?" Jemma asked, settling at the table. 

"On his way. Shouldn't be too far." 

Laura set two bowls of mashed vegetables before the kids. "Let's see how long this—"

A spoonful of squash arched across the table, slapping me on the cheek. 

"Oh, God! Robbie! I'm so sorry!" 

I laughed, reaching for a napkin. "Don't worry about it. Kids will be kids, right?"

On either side of me, Matt and Astrid laughed heartily. 

"As long as this doesn't end up on social media, I think we're good."

Astrid pursed her lips together, tipping her head to one side as her eyes danced with amusement. 

"Definitely not." She gestured at her sweater. "This is too fabulous to be appropriately captured on film, and there's just not enough space at this table to take sneaky images without getting me in the shot."

I chuckled as the anxious tension that had been coiling in my gut loosened. 

Don't get attached. She's Liv's sister. Even if she's not crazy (and the sweater really brings that into question), Liv is unlikely to be supportive of you dating her. 

Oh, and you don't date. Remember? 

"So, Robbie, Matt.” Astrid propped her chin on her hands, shooting us an interested but amused look. "Tell me, do bodyguards have to follow you into the toilet when—"

A large burly, incredibly hairy man burst into the dining room, his wild eyes searching the room, zeroing in on Liv. 

"Liv Jemma Larsson!" he bellowed, pointing a large finger directly at her. "You need to stop what you’re doing and listen to me."

The table fell silent, and I exchanged a startled glance with Astrid. 

"Don't worry," she whispered, leaning into me. "It's just Ian, Liv's boyfriend. We're all a little crazy around here." 

She grinned, and I couldn't stop the ache that settled in my gut. I tried to categorize it and failed. Perhaps it was regret, or maybe longing. Or some strange mixture of the two, but either way, it left me melancholy and feeling as if I were an outsider looking in. 

That's because you are. 

"I'll keep that in mind," I whispered back, Astrid's perfume tickling my nose. Vanilla and something spicy. 

Under the table, her thigh pressed into mine for a moment before quickly shifting away. A thread of desire unfurled in me at the innocent touch. I shifted in my seat, my cock beginning to stand to attention. 

What the hell, Robbie? You're never like this.  

"Just so you know, we may be crazy, but we do have a weakness."

"And that is?"

She leaned in, her grin wide, her eyes shimmering with barely contained laughter. 

"Pie." 

I laughed, turning back to watch the Sasquatch declare his undying love for Liv. "I'll keep that in mind."

"Do. It's the only way to a Larsson woman's heart."

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