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A Forever Home for Christmas

194 pages3 hours


Even all his money could not buy what a little girl wanted most...
Caseworker Tara James is up for a much needed promotion at the child protection agency where she works. The extra income will certainly come in handy to pay for her mother’s rising medical bills. The only thing standing in her way is the successful completion of the holiday gift program for children in the foster care system. Too bad her community partner is a man many dub the devil’s spawn.
Billionaire and corporate raider Avery Monroe’s only concern is the bottom line. He’s famous for his laser-like focus on getting what he wants, whatever it takes. So when his executive assistant volunteers him for the holiday gift program to rehabilitate his reputation, he’s not happy. And his unhappiness multiplies when he learns that he’ll have to work with a caseworker. He doesn’t have time for all of this.
Will Tara and Avery be able to push past their misgivings about each other and succeed in providing gifts for the children on their list? And in the process finally discover the love they never thought they’d find?

“Your turn, Tara. And don’t open it until everyone has their slips.”
Tara James closed her eyes and reached into the bag for a folded piece of paper. Written on it would be the name of her community partner for their annual Christmas gift exchange program. She and the rest of her co-workers, child protection caseworkers and supporting staff, were crammed into the Children and Families agency’s so-called auditorium. A steady buzz of conversation surrounded her, along with the sound of her co-workers munching on the treats supplied by their employer.
Unlike previous years where members of the community dropped unwrapped presents off at the regional child protection agency offices, the administration decided it would be better if caseworkers were paired with members of the community. In turn, they’d pick three children from their caseloads to provide one-on-one attention and a gift of their choice.
“I hope I get someone tall, dark and handsome as my partner,” Lisa Connor whispered.
Tara slid an exasperated look in her friend’s direction then rolled her eyes. “I don’t think that’s the purpose of all this.”
“You can’t blame a girl for hoping, can you?” Lisa gave Tara a wink and both women began to laugh.
“What’s so funny over there, ladies?” Diane Lincoln, the office director, lifted a finger to her lips, indicating that they were talking a bit too loudly.
Tara and Lisa let out one last giggle then sobered. It was not a good idea to get on Diane’s bad side. The last person to do so ended up on permanent night duty, the worst of the worst shifts.
Soon, everyone held a slip of paper in their hands and the excited chatter that filled the room amplified, despite Diane’s evil eye.
“Alright,” Diane started. “Everyone open up your papers and see who you’ve been paired with.”
The excitement Tara had been feeling was quickly replaced with her heart dropping through the floor as she read the name on her paper: Avery Monroe.
This was not what she was expecting. Far from it. Who would have thought the most powerful and richest man in Pittsburgh, hell the whole United States, would deign to participate in their piddly gift exchange? Especially after all the things she'd read about him in the press. Arrogant. Intolerant of other's feelings. All around asshole. Another rich man who probably believed his wealth gave him the power to do whatever he wanted, other people’s feelings and lives be damned.

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