The magic of Christmas
Could make her wish come true!
A small-town Christmas wedding. What could be more romantic? Unless you’re a plus-one for hire like single mom Maia MacKenzie. Too bad handsome cowboy Brent Hayes is her new coworker—and completely off-limits! Neither of them can afford to lose their job…or invest in a relationship. But when she sees Brent’s adorable connection with her young son, Maia can’t help wishing for a Christmas miracle.
Brent looked down to see TJ on his knees and clutching Brent’s boot with his chubby arms.
“Hey, buddy. What’s going on?” He set down his cider on the table.
TJ tugged harder on the boot, the same one he’d pushed around the bunkhouse floor the previous evening. “Want.”
Brent understood that word well enough. “Maybe later. Not sure your grandma fancies me walking around her house in my socks.”
TJ plunked down onto his behind, wrapped his legs around Brent and pulled with all his might, his small face turning nearly the same shade of red as his sweatshirt. “Want!”
Brent chuckled. “We’re going to have to reach a compromise.”
“TJ!” Maia hurried over. “I’m so sorry.” She bent and retrieved her son. “He’s been a little stinker since we got here. It’s all the people and commotion and his older cousins roughhousing.”
Cousins? Some of the kids playing must belong to Darla.
TJ squirmed and grunted in an attempt to break free of Maia’s grasp. When she held fast, he started to cry. She put him down but kept hold of his hand.
“What am I going to do with you?” she complained with mock sternness, her expression filled with tenderness.
She wore a red sweatshirt identical to her son’s. It was then Brent saw MacKenzie Family Thanksgiving printed on the front over a cartoon turkey. He glanced at Ansel and Darla. They wore the same sweatshirt, as did Lois and two of TJ’s cousins.
Corny. Also kind of nice. Brent’s family hadn’t done those kinds of things, and until today he’d have cringed at the idea. Funny how one’s perspective could change.
“Here.” Brent slipped out of his denim jacket and extended it to TJ, who grabbed the jacket with the same joyous abandon he had Brent’s boot.
Struggling with the cumbersome jacket, TJ managed to insert an arm into the sleeve. Before Maia could stop him, he scooted off, dragging half the jacket on the floor behind him.
“Come back.” She went after him.
Brent waylaid her with a hand on her wrist. “It’s all right.”
“What if he—”
“Then he does.”
She shook her head and grumbled, “You’re as bad as he is.”
Only then did he notice his hand remained on Maia’s wrist. Reluctantly, he let go. He’d been here less than ten minutes and already experienced human contact twice after an incredibly long dry spell.
Excerpted from A Secret Christmas Wish by Cathy McDavid, Copyright © 2021 by Cathy McDavid. Published by Harlequin Heartwarming.
About the Author
In the third grade, NY Times, USA Today and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western, owning a stagecoach pulled by six mules, and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 50 titles in print and 1.3 million-plus books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins is married to her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world six years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting broncs, and sweeping gals off their feet — oops, no. Make that winning the hearts of feisty, independent women who give the cowboys a run for their money. It’s a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.
One winner will receive a coffee mug, author bling, and $20 Starbucks gift card (US only)
Ends November 17, 2021