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Billionaire Under the Christmas Lights

Billionaire Under the Christmas Lights

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A billionaire who wishes he wasn't and the girl he never knew existed.

Main Tropes

  • Second chance
  • Christmas Romance
  • Billionaire Romance

Synopsis

Billionaire philanthropist Jordan Bradford would rather forget the billionaire part. Too bad that’s what allows him to do the charity work he’s passionate about. When his business manager suggests he host a fundraiser dinner at his home, he would rather spend a week in Africa without a shower. But once he’s convinced he needs to bring others on board for his vision he agrees to the party.

Holly Matthews is desperate to grow her new interior decorating business over the holidays so she doesn’t have to go back to work for her old firm. All she needs is one big job to get her name out there. If only her client wasn’t the guy who barely noticed her in high school.

Will she ever be able to convince him he’s more than money before the holiday is over?

Chapter One Look Inside

Jordan Bradford wished he could be anywhere besides his stuffy office on the fourteenth floor of the high-rise building. More specifically, he would rather be in Africa, sweating bullets as he supervised the digging of a brand new well for clean drinking water. 

He sighed, knowing there were plenty of people who would call him ungrateful. He had been born into a family of wealth, and he had been given opportunities many people didn’t. He didn’t mean to be ungrateful. It was just that his insides churned knowing there was work he could be doing out there in the real world. 

The chilly, December wind swept through the bustling streets of the city, carrying with it the promise of snow and the festive spirit of Christmas. But for Jordan Bradford, this time of year held a different meaning. As he stood staring out the large picture window in his office, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of melancholy. Everything about Christmas in North Carolina was a stark contrast to a place where people needed food, water, and basic medical care. Sometimes he felt like the nonprofit he ran didn’t do enough, and he was just stuck sitting at his desk going over reports. His nonprofit, Oasis Health Africa, had been his dream for years, but he had underestimated the amount of office hours he would put in. 

A quick knock drew his attention and his assistant opened the door. “Mr. Bradford, your brother is here to see you.”

Jordan cleared his throat and straightened his tie as he moved to take a seat at his desk. “Hey, Logan, what’s up?”

Logan walked into the room, every inch of the professional business man he had become. If Jordan had to guess, his suit probably cost more than some people’s monthly mortgage. “Just came by to say hello and see how things are going.”

Jordan raised one eyebrow. Logan never came by just to check in. He lifted a stack of papers. “I’m going over some of the numbers for the nonprofit this year.”

“And?” Logan asked, leaning forward. 

Jordan shrugged. “It’s mostly just giving me a headache. I started this because I wanted to help people, not because I wanted to do paperwork. But on paper, it doesn’t look like we’ve done that well this year.” He hated saying those words as if he were talking about a business with income. 

“Anything I can help with?” 

“I’m sure it will be fine. We’re still young and growing, so I know it won’t be perfect yet.” He almost regretted telling his successful, business-minded brother that anything might be wrong. “How’s work?”

“Work is fine. Just busy. Eva’s been trying to get me to go to the inn for a weekend, but I can’t leave right now when we have so much going on at the end of the year.” Logan had been running the family publishing company for a few years now. It was the source of their family’s large income with a large collection of magazines and book publishers.

“But you enjoy it?” Jordan asked. 

Logan nodded. “I do. You know I always wanted to work at the company, even when I was a little kid. I’m glad Eva has taught me not to be a workaholic, but I’m still happy to go to work everyday.” 

“That’s nice,” Jordan said. It wasn’t that he didn’t like going to work. He just wished he got to do the hands-on work more often than he had to stare at a computer screen. 

“Which reminds me,” Logan said. 

Jordan knew this meant he was ready to talk about the real reason he was here today. 

“We haven’t asked for much since you stepped down from your position at the company two years ago, but you are still a member of the board. Several of the board members have voiced concerns about you missing the last few board meetings.” 

“Hmm, well, I offered to be there by video conference, but my connection wasn’t great that day,” Jordan said. 

“That’s because you were out of the country, which is becoming more and more common.” 

Jordan shrugged. “I like being out of the country.” 

Logan leaned back in the expensive leather office chair and crossed his arms in front of him. Jordan could see him flexing one hand and releasing it over and over, his tell that he was frustrated but trying to keep from losing his temper. “I know you like your charity work, and we’re happy for you to do that. But you need to find a way to do it and still be part of the family company and come to board meetings.” 

Jordan didn’t even try not to roll his eyes this time. “Why do you need me there? I don’t make any decisions, and I don’t know what they’re talking about half the time.” 

“Part of our agreement in supporting Oasis Health Africa is that you remain on the board and you participate as a member of the Bradford family, which also means coming to our Christmas event in a few weeks. I don’t think I need to remind you that it’s this company and our family that allows you to be in this position. Even if you would rather be doing your charity work. The company and your earnings from it are what allows you to do this work.” 

No, he certainly didn’t need to remind Jordan of that. Jordan would give up almost every bit of the lifestyle that came with his billions. The grand parties, the lavish vacations, and the never-ending business meetings. He had always wanted something more meaningful, something that would make a difference in the world.

But without the money that came with his position, how could he continue the work he really wanted to do? They even let him have this office space in the Bradford Publishing building for Oasis Health Africa. He wouldn’t have been able to afford anything this nice if he was just starting out. 

Jordan sighed and nodded to Logan. “Alright. I’m sure my assistant has the next meeting on my calendar. I’ll be there.” 

“Great.” Logan stood up. “That’s all I’m asking.”

Jordan knew it didn’t sound like much, and he could agree to his brother's request. But he couldn’t help but wish he could do the work he wanted to do without the pressure of the family name — and money — behind him.

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