2020 Christmas Countdown: Santa’s Wayward Elf by Paige Tyler

Santa’s Wayward Elf
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Paige Tyler


Being one of Santa’s elves isn’t all sugar plums and candy canes.

At least not for Sosie. Taller than the other elves, she’ has a problem fitting in at the North Pole, so when the transport sled breaks down in New York City on Christmas Eve, she can’t resist slipping away to explore the world of the “big people,” unaware that it takes off without her, leaving the naïve elf stranded.

Fortunately, handsome police detective Derek Clayton comes to her rescue, offering to let her stay at his apartment. Having heard horror stories about the big people, Sosie is both surprised and relieved to meet such a kind, sweet man. Not to mention one so gorgeous and well-built.

She falls hard for Derek and desperately wants to tell him she’s an elf, but knows he’ll never believe her. When the lies and omissions start to pile up, Derek can draw only one conclusion—Sosie must be working for the mob boss he’s been after for years.

Just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, the chief of elfin security shows up to drag Sosie back to the North Pole. How is a runaway elf supposed to overcome a determined security elf, dangerous mobsters and a suspicious boyfriend all while keeping her pointed ears a secret?

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Santa’s Elf Sosie, had finally gotten her wish for a transfer to the South Pole, not an ideal place but she desperately needed a change. The last thing she needed was for her transport to have mechanical problems. While they were working on the problem, Sosie left the confines of the cloaking and looked out over the city. There was music blaring from a building across the way and she really wanted to investigate.

Leaving the safety of the roof, she made her way to the club, only to find herself in trouble when a man convinces her to follow him. In the men’s room he was met by friends with only one thing on their mind.

Fortunately for Sosie, Derek an off duty detective moonlighting a security at the club, saw what went down and came to her rescue. When she left the club she looked for the ripple of the cloaking on the roof across the way only to find it was gone. She was stranded with the Big People (BP) and had no idea what to do.

Derek wasn’t about to let a young woman be stranded alone on the streets of NY, so he brings her to his apartment for the night. The next day being Christmas he also brings her to the apartment’s holiday gathering. Totally enjoying her reactions to things she’s never seen being from Snow City north of Canada.

This is a favorite scene.

The dark-haired woman nodded. “I always like to keep an extra gift on hand in case someone brings a guest.”

Sosie gazed down at the package. The gesture was so sweet, it almost brought tears to her eyes. She lifted her head to see everyone regarding her expectantly. “But I didn’t get any of you anything.”

Connie waved her hand. “Having you here is present enough for all of us.” She grinned. “Now, go ahead and open your gift.”

Sosie didn’t need any more encouragement. She tore into the paper, eager to see what Connie had given her, and was thrilled to find out it was a bottle of perfume. She read the name on the box, but didn’t recognize it, of course. Wondering if it smelled like the scent she wore at home, she took it out of the box and sprayed some on, then inhaled deeply. Soft and delicate, the fragrance was more tantalizing than the usual cinnamon and sugar scent she wore.

She gave Connie a smile. “It smells beautiful. Thank you.”

Beside Sosie, Derek leaned in closer. A moment later he lifted his head to grin down at her. “Mmm, that is nice.”

Sosie’s pulse skipped a beat. She’d heard perfume could have a very desirous effect on members of the opposite sex, but hadn’t believed it since she’d never experienced its power herself. Then again, maybe it didn’t work on elf guys. Maybe it only worked on BP men. Right then, she didn’t care. She liked the way Derek was looking at her.

She opened her mouth to thank him only to be interrupted by a child crying. She turned to see tears running down Jimmy’s face as he stared down at the remote-control car in his hands. Figgy, she hoped he hadn’t gotten into trouble for playing too wildly.

His father kneeled in front of him. “It’s all right, buddy. We’ll take it back to the store tomorrow and get you a new one.”

The boy sniffed. “B-but I want this one.”

The man put his arm around his son. “I know, but this one doesn’t work anymore.”

Sosie chewed on her lower lip. While she hadn’t worked on that model of toy, she might be able to fix it if she had the right tools.

Setting the bottle of perfume down on a table, she walked over to kneel beside Jimmy and his father.

“I have a knack with toys,” she said. “Want me to look at your car and see if I can fix it for you?”

Hope filled Jimmy’s tear-filled eyes. “Do you think you can?”

“All I need are a few common hand tools.”

“I’ve got those,” Ben said, coming over to stand beside her. “What do you need?”

“Some screwdrivers and a small pair of pliers,” she told him. “Oh, and a soldering iron, if you’ve got it.”

“As a matter of fact, I do. I’ll go get them for you.”

Behind Jimmy, his mother frowned in concern. “I don’t know about this. Are you sure you can fix it without breaking it? I don’t want to void the warrantee.”

“She can fix it, Mommy,” Jimmy said confidently. “I know it.”

Sosie gave her a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry. It’ll be good as new. I promise.”

The woman still looked unsure, but didn’t say anything. A moment later, Ben came back, tools in hand. Turning the remote-control car over, Sosie unscrewed the cover on the underside and took it off. She immediately saw the problem and was relieved she could indeed fix it. She would have felt awful if she’d had to disappoint Jimmy. But luckily, a few wires had broken loose from the circuit board. She had them soldered back on in no time flat, then tweaked the settings on the main PCU so the car would move faster.

She popped the cover back on, then held it out to Jimmy. “Why don’t you go take it for a spin and see what you think?”

He eagerly obeyed, giggling like crazy as the car spun in a tight circle, then sped across the floor.

“Thank you,” Jimmy’s mother said. “Both for fixing it and for saving me from having to go back to the toy store and stand in that line of people who are going to be returning things tomorrow.”

Sosie blushed. “No problem. I’ve always been very handy with anything electrical.”

“Is that so?” Ben regarded her thoughtfully. “How are you with central air units?”

Her brow furrowed. “Central air units?”

“Yeah. I can never get the AC to work.”

She didn’t know what AC was, either, but she didn’t want to look stupid in front of everyone. Fortunately, Derek came to her rescue.

“Sosie is from way up north, Ben,” he reminded the older man. “I don’t think they have a big call for AC there.”

“Oh, that’s right. I didn’t think about that.” Ben shook his head. “I wish we didn’t need it here because the unit they installed in this building is a piece of crap. It breaks down all the time. Do you think you could look at it before you leave?”

“I can try.”

Sosie and Derek stood watching Jimmy playing with his car for a while before he suggested they grab some eggnog.

“That was nice of you to fix Jimmy’s toy,” Derek said as he handed her a plastic cup. “And to offer to help Ben with the air conditioning. I think he gets overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything around here.” His mouth twitched. “I’d help him with it myself, but I probably couldn’t figure out how to get the cover off unless I used a crowbar.”

She laughed. “It’s the least I could do. Everyone’s been so nice to me.”

Most especially Derek. Sosie wished she could think of some way to pay him back for everything he’d done for her.

“You two do realize where you’re standing, don’t you?”

Sosie turned at the sound of Tracee’s voice to find that she and Linda had come over to join them. For some reason, both women were regarding them with amusement. Sosie glanced at Derek and saw he looked as confused by the question as she was.

Tracee gave them an impatient look. “Look up.”

Sosie obeyed and blinked when she saw the sprig of mistletoe hanging from the doorjamb above their heads. Elves might not celebrate Christmas with roast turkey and presents, but they did put up mistletoe, so she knew what standing underneath it meant. Wondering if Derek did, too, she looked up to find him gazing down at her with that same sexy glint he’d had in his eye when he leaned in to smell her perfume before. Her pulse quickened, and she wet her lips in anticipation.

But to her dismay, Derek didn’t move to kiss her. Maybe he didn’t know the tradition, after all.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Tracee said impatiently. “Go ahead and kiss her already.”

He chuckled. “They’re not going to be satisfied unless I kiss you, you know.”

She smiled. “Then I suppose you’d better kiss me.”

Giving her a lopsided grin, Derek bent and lightly touched his lips to hers.
Tyler, Paige. Santa’s Wayward Elf. Kindle Locations (708-754). Kindle Edition.

That kiss leads to more later, and Sosie finds herself falling for Derek. She also starts learning about where she is and helps Ben around the apartment building. By the time she runs into Mendike from Santa’s security service she doesn’t want to return to the North Pole.

Things get even more complicated as Sosie sort of interferes in Derek’s investigation.

Lots of fun with laughter, intrigue, action and quite a bit of sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for  Paige!

Paige Tyler

Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you breathlessly panting for more.

She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines who fall in love with them.

When not working on her latest book, Paige enjoys reading, jogging, P90X, Yoga, Pilates, going to the beach, watching NFL football, watching movies and hanging out with her husband (not necessarily in that order!)

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