Realizing she was about to make an enormous mistake, Allison ran away from her wedding, only to be caught in a bitter Wyoming blizzard. When she takes shelter at the Crazy H ranch, she finds herself snowbound with sexy rancher CJ Hall. She's just avoided one bad relationship, how can she let herself fall into another? CJ has been left at the altar once. He isn't about to get involved with somebody else's runaway bride. Can the magic of the holidays help them overcome the past, and make this the best Christmas ever?
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The Wild Rose Press
November 08, 2006
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Excerpt from The Cowboy's Christmas Bride by Cindy Spencer Pape
Fleeing her own disastrous wedding, Allison is caught in a Wyoming blizzard. She has finally found a ranch house, but now nobody is answering the door...
Why wasn't anyone answering? Oh, God, what if nobody was home? What would she do? Could she manage to pick the lock? She'd hate to have to break a window, letting in the cold. The idea of breaking and entering horrified her, but it was better than freezing to death. She pounded again, leaning into it this time. When the door flew open she pitched forward, landing on a shiny wood floor on her hands and knees. Hard.
CJ Hall stood stock-still with his mouth hanging open as he stared at the woman in a lacy white puddle at his feet. He'd been busy wrestling with his nephew's diaper when he'd thought he heard someone at the door, but he'd dismissed the sound as an effect of the wind. Nobody was stupid enough to be out on a night like this! Finally, however, the repeated pounding convinced him otherwise, and he hurried down the stairs and across the living room, wrenching open the heavy oak door.
"What the hell?" He automatically stuck out a hand to help the stranger to her feet. "Who the blazes are you and what are you doing here?" He reached around her with his free hand to slam the door shut against the howling wind.
She was just a little thing. When she stood, the top of her head didn't quite reach his shoulders. Still, he had to admit she had pluck. Crossing her arms over her chest she glared up at him, shivering violently. "Al-Allison Kendricks," she stammered defiantly. "I'm lost."
CJ ran an appraising eye over her petite form. This had to be some kind of cosmic joke. He'd put it down to a prank set up by his brothers, but even they weren't crazy enough to send someone out in this weather. She was covered in wet snow from her tangled brown hair to her teetering high-heeled shoes. White lace skirts poofed out from under a lightweight leather bomber jacket, then hung limply to his floor, where they were rapidly creating a puddle.
"Obviously," he snapped. "Somebody filming 'Runaway Bride Part II'?"