The unthinkable happens: Santa Claus is kidnapped one week before Christmas—in front of a group of caroling school children no less. Now all eyes are on Detective Doug Brophy to rescue Santa and save the holiday. But solving the crime means working with Paulina Smithfield, the woman whose heart he broke six months earlier. Thrust together for the investigation, Doug and Paulina are forced to face a past they thought they’d buried. With memories and hurt feelings simmering just below the surface, they race against time to rescue Santa. But when they end up alone together on a cold night, attraction flares, and the fire roaring in the hearth is nothing compared to the heat burning between them.Can Paulina give Doug the second chance he needs to prove his love? Or will a madman steal their future and destroy Christmas?
Lieutenant Caldwell stood by Doug’s desk with his arms crossed. “About half an hour ago at approximately eleven thirty this morning, a van pulled up outside the Melway Mall. Santa Claus was ringing a bell at the front entrance and greeting children who gathered there from a local elementary school to do some Christmas caroling. Three armed men jumped out and grabbed him.”
Great! Kids witnessing Santa Claus receiving a beat down. Just great!
“Santa was roughed up while a struggle with the men ensued. Within seconds, the gunmen had managed to throw Santa into the van and drove off amongst the screams and cries of the panicked crowd, which consisted primarily of second graders. No one could lend assistance because of the guns and all of the adults scrambled to protect the children. It was all over in under a minute.”
Doug drew a deep breath. No one should mess with Santa Claus. “Okay. I’m on it. I’ll head to the scene. Marlin, work on getting me Santa’s identity.”
“Will do,” Marlin replied and picked up a phone.
“The police at the scene have been interviewing bystanders,” Lt. Caldwell continued to update Doug as they walked from the precinct to the parking lot behind the building.
The sun shone brightly against the partly cloudy sky but the wind whipped through Doug’s coat to give a chill that went deep into the bones. With temps in the upper twenties, the snow drifts dotting the curbs would not be shrinking any time soon.
“The Mayor’s Office is already sending their Chief Public Relations Officer to meet you there. She’ll probably be on scene before you arrive.”
Oh, hell no!
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