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An Outlaw's Christmas

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An Outlaw's Christmas

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Celebrate the holidays with this remarkable McKettrick tale by beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller With his wild heart, Sawyer McKettrick isn't ready to settle down on the...
Celebrate the holidays with this remarkable McKettrick tale by beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller With his wild heart, Sawyer McKettrick isn't ready to settle down on the...
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Description-
  • Celebrate the holidays with this remarkable McKettrick tale by beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

    With his wild heart, Sawyer McKettrick isn't ready to settle down on the Triple M family ranch in Arizona. So he heads to Blue River, Texas, to seek a job as marshal. But in a blinding snowstorm, he's injured--and collapses into the arms of a prim and proper lady in calico.

    The shirtless, bandaged stranger recuperating in teacher Piper St. James's room behind the schoolhouse says he's a McKettrick, but he looks like an outlaw to her. As they wait out the storm, the handsome loner has Piper remembering long-ago dreams of marriage and motherhood. But for how long is Sawyer willing to call Blue River home?

    As the gray skies clear, Piper's one holiday wish just might bring two lonely hearts together forever.

Excerpts-
  • From the book



    December, 1915

    All but hidden behind a rapidly thickening veil of snow that cold afternoon, Blue River, Texas, looked more like a faint pencil sketch against a gray-and-white background than a real town, constructed of beams and mortar and weathered wood and occupied by flesh-and-blood folks. Squinting against the dense flurries, Sawyer McKettrick could just make out the pitch of a roof or two, the mounded lines of hitching rails and horse troughs, the crooked jut of the occasional chimney. Here and there, the light of a lamp or lantern glowed through the gloom, but as far as Sawyer could tell, nobody was stirring along the sidewalks or traveling the single wide street curving away from the tiny railroad depot.

    Beside him, his buckskin gelding, Cherokee, nickered and tossed his big head, no doubt relieved to finally plant four sturdy hooves on solid ground after long hours spent rattling over the rails in a livestock car. Sawyer's own journey, sitting bolt upright on a hard and sooty seat in the near-empty passenger section, had been so dull and so uncomfortable that he probably would have been happier riding with the horse.

    Naturally, Cherokee didn't hold up his end of a conversation, but he was a fine listener and a trustworthy companion.

    Now, the engineer's whistle sounded a long, plaintive hoot of fare-thee-well behind them, and the train clanked slowly out of the station, iron screeching against iron, steam hissing into the freezing air.

    They waited, man and horse, until the sounds grew muffled and distant, though for what, Sawyer couldn't have said. He hadn't expected to be met at the depot--Clay McKettrick, his cousin and closest friend, lived on a ranch several miles outside of Blue River and, given the weather, the trail winding between there and town must be nigh on impassable--but just the same, a momentary sense of loneliness howled through him like a wind scouring the walls of a canyon.

    With a glance back at the station, where he'd left his trunk of belongings behind, meaning to fetch it later, Sawyer swung up into the saddle and spoke a gruff, soothing word of encouragement to the horse.

    There was a hotel in Blue River--he'd stayed there on his last visit--but he wanted to let Cherokee walk off some stiffness before settling him in over at the livery stable with plenty of hay and a ration of grain, and then making his way back to rent a room. Once he'd secured a bed for the night, he'd send somebody for his trunk, consume a steak dinner in the hotel dining room, and, later on, take a bath and shave.

    In the meantime, though, he wanted to attend to his horse. Sawyer gave the animal his head, let him forge his own way, at his own pace, through the deep snow and the unnerving silence.

    The buildings on either side of the street were visible as they passed, though only partially, dark at the windows, with their doors shut tight. Most folks were where they ought to be, Sawyer supposed, gathered around stoves and fireplaces in their various homes, with coffee brewed and supper smells all around them.

    Again, that bleak feeling of aloneness rose up inside him, but he quelled it quickly. He did not subscribe to melancholy moods--it wasn't the McKettrick way. In his family, a man--or a woman, for that matter--played the cards they were dealt, kept on going no matter what, and tended, to the best of their ability, to whatever task was presently at hand.

    Still, there was a prickle at his nape, and Cherokee, rarely skittish, pranced sideways in agitation, tossing his head and neighing.

    Sawyer had barely pushed back his long coat to uncover his Colt .45, just in case, when he...

About the Author-
  • The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is the author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels. Now living in Spokane, Washington, the "First Lady of the West" hit a career high when all three of her 2011 Creed Cowboy books debuted at #1 on the New York Times list. In 2007, the Romance Writers of America presented her their Lifetime Achievement Award. She personally funds her Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women. Visit her at www.lindalaelmiller.com.

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