ABOUT THE BOOK:
From USA Today bestselling author Caitlin Crews comes A True Cowboy Christmas, the first in a sensational series debut about a cowboy, a farm girl, and the greatest gift of all. . .
Gray Everett has a heart of gold but that doesn’t mean he believes in the magic of Christmas. He’s got plenty else to worry about this holiday season, what with keeping his cattle ranch in the family and out of the hands of hungry real-estate investors looking to make a down-and-dirty deal. That, plus being a parent to his young and motherless daughter, equals a man who will not rest until he achieves his mission. Now, all Gray needs is the help of his lifelong neighbor. . .who happens to have grown into a lovely, spirited woman. For Abby Douglas, the chance to join forces with Gray is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. Much as the down-to-earth farmer’s daughter has tried to deny it, Abby’s been in love with stern, smoking-hot Gray her whole life. So
when Gray proposes a marriage of convenience as a way to combine land—and work together toward a common cause—Abby can’t refuse. But how can she convince Gray that sometimes life offers a man a second chance for a reason. . .and that their growing trust and mutual passion may be leading to true and lasting love?
“Why would you try to tell me that chemistry
doesn’t matter? Of course it does.”
“I’m not saying it doesn’t matter. But sheer stubborn-
ness matters more.” He heard the intensity in his voice, but
did nothing to temper it. “If people want to stay married,
they do. If they want that marriage to be a good one, they
work on it and make it that way. It’s not rocket science.
It doesn’t require your online profiles. You don’t need to
get matched on your smart phone. You make a commit-
ment to someone, then you keep it. It’s as simple and as
hard as that.”
He watched in fascination as her hands curled into fists
at her sides.
“I appreciate that you have experience being married,
and that gives you a platform to make sweeping state-
ments,” she said, her voice low, as if she was fighting back
her own intensity. “That’s great. But you’re missing that
I’m not interested in the state of marriage in a general
sense. I’m telling you I am not going to marry someone I
have no chemistry with. That has nothing to do with me
being stubborn, not stubborn, or insufficiently committed.
It’s actually all about the fact that I’m not staggering
around in a grief-induced daze, proposing marriage to
people I’ve never looked at twice before in my whole life.”
That should have annoyed him, because he wasn’t
dazed. Amos had been a mean, unhealthy old man. His
death hadn’t been a real surprise. Gray wasn’t sure he was
grieving him so much as the father Amos had never been,
and he knew he wasn’t crazy with it. But he couldn’t seem
to lose his grin, especially when he moved closer to her.
Because when he did, she lost that scowl. Her eyes went
wide, that cute flush brightened up her face again, and she
had to tip her head back to look at him. Not as much as
some of the other girls he’d dated had, as she’d pointed out.
Gray liked that too. He didn’t have to hunker over her.
She was . . . right there.
He had an urge and went with it. He reached over and
curled his fingers around her ponytail, then pulled them
gently along the length of it.
And figured the chemistry question was answered by
the way her breath went shuddery.
But he didn’t end it there.
“If I’m following all this,” he said, his drawl low. Thick.
“You don’t actually have any objections. You think we
maybe ought to date first. You’re worried we don’t have
chemistry. But at the end of the day, you’re not opposed to
“It’s crazy. And I’m worried that you’re crazy, in a clin-
“If you agree to marry me, I’ll take you on a date or
two. If that’s what you want.” His hand was still tangled
in her hair, and he was close enough now that he could
catch her scent. Gray breathed deep. She smelled like
rosemary. And something that reminded him of the pies
she and her grandmother had brought over the day after
the funeral, warm and good. Right. “But we can settle the
other question right here.”
“What do you mean . . . ?”
Gray didn’t wait. He didn’t answer her question, half
stammered out with her hazel eyes so wide they looked
like summer gold.
He used his free hand to cup her cheek, flushed and
smooth beneath his palm. Then he bent—only a little,
which struck him as unexpectedly hot—to take her mouth
He felt her tremble. And there was something about the
way she melted into him as their lips touched, then brushed,
as if she was being pulled by some kind of magnetic force
he was half certain he could feel himself.
Gray had only meant to kiss her to make a point. The
way a gentleman might, not that he’d ever met too many
gentlemen out here where the mountains and the land were
the only things that mattered.
But Abby’s lips were soft and velvety beneath his. And
she made a tiny sound in the back of her throat that he
could feel like a flickering flame.
Before he knew it, Gray was angling his head to one
side and licking his way into her mouth.
As if he couldn’t help himself.
And everything got hot. Bright. Impossible.
This was Abby Douglas. Abby Douglas. There was
something deliciously wrong about it being Abby that
made it hotter, wilder.
It rolled in him and made a joke of him imagining he
was in control of any of this. Of her.
Of this sudden storm of sensation that would have taken
him off his feet, if that didn’t mean he would have had to
let go of her.
When the door slapped open, both of his hands were
sunk deep into her hair, and Abby was up on her toes,
pressed against him, her arms wrapped around his back.
It turned out Gray wasn’t going to have to worry about
easing his way into some or other form of eventual chem-
istry with the woman he already knew would make him a
good rancher’s wife. He was going to have to worry about
what the hell to do with all this chemistry—so much it was
like a lightning storm and he kept getting hit—with a
woman he’d never paid the slightest attention to until his
The fact that the front door had opened penetrated the
heat and fog that was swirling around him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
USA Today-bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Caitlin Crews has written more than seventy-five books, including Frenemies, Princess from the Past, A Royal Without Rules, and Undone by the Sultan’s Touch. She won fans with her romance, Harlequin Presents, womens fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young
adult novels, many of which she writes as Megan Crane (including the dystopian Viking romance Edge series). These days her focus is on contemporary romance in all its forms, from small town heat to international glamour, cowboys to bikers to military men and beyond. She’s taught creative writing classes in places like UCLA Extensions
prestigious Writers Program, gives assorted workshops on occasion, and attempts to make use of the MA and PhD in English Literature she received from the University of York in York, England. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with a husband who draws comics and animation storyboards, and their menagerie of ridiculous animals.
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