It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love…
Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs…
With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart?
Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!
Grant Dodge was alone. And that was how he liked it.
He had spent the entire day out in the cold mountain air conducting roping demonstrations and leading trail rides. Not that he minded any of those things in isolation. It was the addition of people that made them somewhat challenging.
Worse than having to deal with people in a general sense was dealing with people who recognized him.
Not the typical small-town recognition; he was used to that. Though he could live without getting sad widower face from people he barely knew in the grocery store, but even then, at least it was people who knew him because he’d lived in Gold Valley all his life.
What really got to him was the people who recognized him from the news stories.
Eight years hadn’t done anything to make those moments less weird. People often couldn’t place where they knew him from, but they knew they did. And they would press, and press, until he told them.
The woman who had recognized him today had been a grandmother. A great-grandmother, even. Sweet and gray-haired and looking at him with sympathetic eyes that made him want to jump off the nearest bridge.
It always seemed worse around the holidays. Perhaps because of the sentimentality people seemed to feel that time of year. And tried to inflict on him.
He didn’t really know.
Whatever the reason, he seemed to have an uptick in well-meaning-but-irritating interactions.
Maybe that was why he always wanted to drink more this time of year, too.
He shook his head and settled down into his chair, looking around the small, cozy cabin that he called home. And then he looked into the full, inviting whiskey glass he called salvation.
He didn’t have a problem or anything. He was functional. He considered that the benchmark. Low though it might be.
He was functional enough that his family mostly joked about his drinking, which meant it was probably fine.
But the one thing he didn’t want to do was get in bed at night stone-cold sober. Sometimes he could. When the long, hard day of work came inside with him, resting on aching shoulders and the lower back that was getting touchier with each passing year—because age. Not that thirty-four was exceptionally aged, not at all. But physical labor had a way of speeding all that up.
But then, the alternative had been to spend the rest of his life working at the damned power company, living in a little house on a quiet street in a neighborhood tucked back behind the main street of Gold Valley living the life of a man lost in suburban bliss, without any of the trappings that generally made it blissful.
He never had the children, but there had been a time when he and Lindsay had hoped for them. Even though…
That had always been a pipe dream, he supposed.
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.
In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.