I’m back home after three days in Las Vegas watching rodeo cowboys do their thing–what perfect timing to feature my friend Alanna Lucas’ new Christmas story, A Cowboy’s Mistletoe Promise!
A Cowboy’s Mistletoe Promise
After running away from her abusive husband, Michaela Akerman hopes to find peaceful solitude in the beautiful frontier territory of Montana…until a dangerous gunslinger comes to town and all her hopes and dreams are turned upside-down.
It took Michaela Akerman years to garner the courage to leave her abusive husband. Sneaking out in the dead of night, she embarked on what she hoped would be a better life. In Cottonwood, Montana, she’s found anonymity and a kind of happiness. Although she longs for more, she is content with her little cottage on a ranch outside of town, and she works for wonderful people who’ve become like a family.
Gunslinger Drake Jaeger has always lived life by his own rules, doing whatever it takes to survive, and now he has the opportunity to seize his lifelong dream. All that he has to do is help a man who once saved his life. All that stands in his way is the fetching Miss Michaela Akerman. And Christmas. Dark secrets are about to be revealed, and to complete his job Drake must put duty over everything—including the sudden allure of all that’s good and true. And love.
Michaela looked down at the cluster of green leaves and white pearl seeds. If only she could have found her knight in shining armor. Her father had always hated her mother’s stories, hated mistletoe, too. But this was her home now and there was no one to tell her how stupid the tradition was, or deprive her of the holiday out of spite and cruelty. Michaela stepped up on the sturdy wooden chair and knotted the green ribbon around the nail. “Perfect,” she said as she hung the last of the boughs. She stepped down to admire her work.
Except for the missing Christmas tree, the cottage looked splendid, and so festive with a ribbon garland draped across the simple mantel. She was disappointed she was not able to have a tree, but that was a luxury she had not been able to afford in years. She had been counting her pennies well before she ran away. Her plans did not allow for anything festive, no matter how much she desired it. Perhaps next year she would have a tree of her own.
She had just finished decorating and was preparing to leave for the main house when a firm knock sounded on the door.
Who could it be? No one except Eva visited the cottage, and that knock was too firm to be her dearest friend. Her first thought was that one of Harold’s men had found her.
She wiped her moist palms on the front of her grey wool skirt and reached for the knob. What if it was Harold? Don’t be silly, she chided herself. It’s probably Devon needing some sewing done. She opened the door slightly and peeked through the small gap.
“Drake?” She didn’t think she was able to hide the shock from her voice. She opened the door wider. “What are you doing here?”
“Good morning, ma’am.” He tipped his black Stetson with a quick flick of his hand. His other hand was suspiciously hidden behind his back. “I…I brought you a present.”
He stepped aside, revealing the tiniest, most precious little pine tree Michaela had ever seen. It was a perfect cone shape.
“You got this for me?”
“Hunt and me went out this morning to cut down a tree for the house and one for the party. I overheard you and Eva talking about Christmas trees, and I thought…”
“You did this for me?” she asked again, hardly controlling the lump forming in her throat.
“Yes, Michaela.” The sound of her name on his lips sent a thrill straight down to her toes.
Time seemed to stand still between them. Something magical that would’ve happened in one of the stories her mother told her as a little girl floated between her and Drake. Emotions got the better of her, and she was feeling bold—perhaps too bold. She closed the distance between them, went up on her tiptoes, and kissed him on the cheek.
“Thank you,” she uttered, afraid to say more for fear of breaking the beautiful spell.
Drake leaned the little tree against the side of the house, and then cupped her cheek. “If I’d known you’d kiss me for bringing you a tree, I would’ve brought you one sooner, darlin’.”
Links for A Cowboy’s Mistletoe Promise
About the Author
Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California, but always dreamed of distant lands and bygone eras. From an early age she took interest in art, history, and travel, and enjoys incorporating those diversions into her writing. However, she believes that true love is the greatest source of inspiration and is always an adventure.
Alanna makes her home in California where she spends her time writing historical romances, dreaming of her next travel destination, spending time with family, and staying up too late indulging in her favorite past time, reading.
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All images courtesy Alanna Lucas