An Outlaw’s Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
I love Linda Lael Miller. There’s something about her western/cowboy romances that leave me feeling happy and relaxed, and it was no different with An Outlaw’s Christmas, another entry in her popular McKettricks series.
Sawyer McKettrick is on his way to Blue River, Texas to take over as town marshal from his cousin, Clay. During the snowy trip, he is shot from behind, and ends up in front of the town school house. Luckily for him, Piper St. James, the school teacher, finds him before it’s too late. Even though she risks her reputation, being an unmarried lady with a man staying under her roof, she takes him in rather than leave him to die in the bitter cold.
Even though he insists he isn’t an outlaw, Piper isn’t so sure she can trust him, even if he related to Clay, who happens to be her cousin Dara Rose’s husband. She’s also worried how having him staying with her will affect her job and her future prospects for a husband; she longs for the family she never had growing up, and fears the scandal could ruin any prospect of a decent husband marrying her. Sawyer has a plan to solver Piper’s problems, but it could mean opening himself up to long buried desires.
There are no real surprises here, but that’s a good thing. The romance builds nicely, the cowboys are gentlemanly yet masculine, and the women are respectable yet determined and opinionated. Everything a person could want in a romance novel is here.
Fans of Miller may recognize Clay and Dara Rose from last year’s The Lawman’s Christmas, and will be happy to see their story continued here, even in brief snippets. This book is hardly limited to those who have read Lawman’s Christmas, or any other McKettrick story for that matter. Each novel, though entwining characters, stands on its own, and is a great read for a snowy afternoon. If Miller doesn’t already have a permanent spot on your shelves, she should.
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