A Date with an Elf (The Dating #12) Read Online Heidi McLaughlin

Categories Genre: Novella, Romance Tags Authors: Series: The Dating Series by Heidi McLaughlin
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Total pages in book: 25
Estimated words: 24453 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 122(@200wpm)___ 98(@250wpm)___ 82(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

A Date with an Elf (The Dating #12)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Heidi McLaughlin

Language:
English
Book Information:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Heidi McLaughlin and L.P. Dover come together for a sexy new series that delivers romance for every season!
Hang the mistletoe and toss some tinsel, it’s time to put the ho-ho-ho in the holidays!
The lights are strung, and the quaint little town of Meadowbrook has never looked more merry and bright. For local artist, Bree, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. The snow is falling, holiday shoppers are out full force, and the town square festivities have begun.
Dressed in full elf attire, Bree is working as Santa’s helper when she spots Caleb, her high school sweetheart, in line with his daughter to meet the jolly ole elf. Times and circumstances may have changed, but her desire to sit on Caleb’s lap is stronger than ever. Not wanting to land on the naughty list, she adjusts her stockings and tries to keep thoughts of his sugar plums out of her mind.
Recovering from a painful loss, Caleb thought his sleigh rocking days were long since over. Yet when his precocious daughter, Alyssa, sees the twinkle Bree brings to her dad’s eye, she arranges a hot cocoa date for him and the sassy elf.
Will more than jingle bells be rocking when the pair reunites, or will Caleb have an extra blue Christmas?
Books in Series:

The Dating Series by Heidi McLaughlin

Books by Author:

Heidi McLaughlin



1

Bree

It’s December 1st, the beginning of the best time of the year. Actually, the second week of November is my beginning because I decorate my house for Christmas. I’m not the only one in my small town of Meadowbrook, Virginia, to go all out for the holidays. It’s a tradition here to put Christmas lights on anything and everything you can. It’s one of the things that makes this time of year light-hearted and enjoyable. People say if you put your decorations up early it makes you happier. I fully stand by that theory.

“Bree, how much is this one?” Mary-Anne asks, pointing up at a brand-new snowy landscape painting I just hung on the wall today. She works at the bank across the street and is one of my regulars. Since it's December 1st, all the ladies she works with wear their ugly Christmas sweaters every day until Christmas. Mary-Anne always has the craziest designs.

She doesn’t know I’m the one who painted the snowy landscape. About fifty percent of my gallery paintings are ones I did myself, only I like to keep it a secret even though I do put my initials in the lower right corner. The rest of my gallery's art is from artists I’ve found from my travels who have agreed to let me sell some of their work. I love scouting out new talent.

I walk up to Mary-Anne and smile. “Oh yes, that one is lovely. The price is two hundred and fifty dollars.”

Many people like to walk into the gallery and tour it, which is perfectly fine with me. I’m happy to see people enjoying art the way I do.

Mary-Anne stares at the painting with her eyes narrowed in contemplation. I can tell she’s seriously thinking about buying it. The last picture she bought was a still life of a fruit bowl she wanted for her kitchen. I was proud of that painting. It was a bright Saturday morning, and the sun hit my fruit bowl exactly right. I brought out my easel and got to work. You never know when the inspiration’s going to hit.

Mary-Anne breaks out into a smile. “I’ll take it. Let me hurry and pay so you can get ready for Santa.”

“I would be happy to,” I say, laughing. “The kids are probably already lining up in town square to see him.”

We walk over to the cash register, and she hands me her card. “I think it’s sweet you still dress up as Santa’s elf. Your grandfather is looking down on you and smiling right now.”

“I hope so.” I charge her card and hand it back to her. “I loved working with him when he played Santa. Seeing how happy it made all the kids made it that much better.”

Mary-Anne giggles and follows me over to the painting. “I wish my kids were younger when your grandfather was Santa. I think he’s the best one this town has ever had.”

Eyes burning, I carefully pull her painting down off the wall. “Thank you. That means a lot, Mary-Anne. My grandfather loved volunteering his time for the kids. He looked forward to it all year.” I take one last look at my painting. “Do you want me to package this up for you?” I ask her.

“Oh, no, sweetheart. There’s no need. I’m going to lay it down in my backseat and take it straight home.” She holds out her hands and gently takes the painting.

“Thank you for stopping by Mary-Anne. I’m glad you found something you liked.”

She snorts. “Seriously, Bree? I like everything in your gallery. If I could afford it, I’d buy them all. I’m so glad you opened this place. I wish your grandmother could’ve seen it. She and your grandfather used to travel around to all sorts of art exhibits.”

Since I was their only grandchild, they took me on several of their trips. It’s what made me fall in love with the arts. My grandparents were the ones who sent me abroad to an art school in Barcelona. After my grandfather died of cancer a couple of years ago, and my grandmother six months later, they left me a huge inheritance. With that money, I opened the gallery so everyone could enjoy art the way they did. I never thought it would take off the way it has, but people really like my paintings. I plan to offer more variety once I find the right artists to showcase. I’m hoping to find just that before my Christmas exhibit opens up.

“Well, I appreciate it,” I say in all honesty. “I love it when people like what I have here.”

Mary-Anne holds the painting close. “Trust me. I’ll be back when you have the Christmas exhibit open. I bet you sell out of everything this year.”

That would be amazing. “I hope so,” I tell her. “I have a lot of new stuff to showcase.” Which I do, but I’m hoping to have something different to add to the appeal. If only I could find what I’m looking for.


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