Once Upon a Montana Christmas by Alanna Lucas
Miss Eva Kenward left England with a dream, but when she finds herself stranded on the rugged frontier of Montana with a babe in arms, only one man—a handsome cowboy—can make that holiday wish come true.
Miss Eva Kenward does not want to spend another Christmas alone. Leaving Queen Victoria’s England, she journeys to America in search of an uncle but finds herself on the rugged frontier of Montana. And with no money and no acquaintances, the rudest man she has ever met is the one she must engage. Especially considering the precious bundle in her arms.
“Hunt” Strauss has been fooled before by beauty. So when the ravishing young woman arrives on his doorstep, he suspects her of ulterior motives. But perhaps the baby she holds truly is his kin…and when Miss Kenward finds herself stranded after a hotel fire, he reluctantly agrees to help. Bringing her to his sprawling ranch, Hunt tries to keep his distance. But the enticing woman and her enthusiasm for the season soon prove that fairy tale love stories—and holiday wishes—really can come true.
“Oh! It’s here!” Eva heard Aunt Carol bellow from downstairs. She gathered Lily in her arms and went down to see what all the fuss was about.
Eva arrived downstairs just in time to see Hunt and Mr. Walker carry a large crate into the house and place it beside another.
Aunt Carol’s face was bright with excitement. “Oh, dearie, you are just in time.”
“Just in time for what?” Eva said as she edged closer to the crate.
“Christmas decorations, tinsel, and treats from my brother in Germany!” As Aunt Carol explained about the contents of the crates, Hunt and Mr. Walker pried them open, revealing wrapped packages and tins full of fragrant spices.
Eva sat down on the floor with a very curious Lily on her lap. When she opened a tin with the embossment of a German landscape, the scent of cloves filled the air. The next package Eva pulled contained a smooth wood block engraving of a Christmas tree. “This is beautiful,” she said as she admired the engraving.
Eva was surprised when Hunt began to explain the significance of the wood engraving. “It’s a cookie mold. We use the molds to make decorative Lebkuchen, a type of spiced cookie, and ornaments for the Christmas tree. It has been a tradition in my family for many generations. My Oma taught my siblings and I how to make them.”
She could hear the pride in his voice. Despite his tough exterior, underneath it all was a sensitive man. Not for the first time, Eva wondered what had hardened him.
“Did you have any family traditions, dearie?”
Eva did not know how to answer that question without raising sympathy from Aunt Carol. Her family was not close and they would never dream of sitting on the floor, rummaging through crates. She could hear her stepmother now: “That is why we have servants. Let them get their hands dirty.” Looking away, she shook her head without a word, and continued on with unpacking their traditions, wishing desperately she had some of her own.
Boroughs Publishing Group
Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California. From an early age, she took an interest in travel, incorporating those experiences into her writing. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination, Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, or going for long walks. Alanna Lucas is a member of the Romance Writers of America, East Valley Authors, The Beau Monde, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
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