Country Snow and Mistletoe
A Wyoming Romance Novel Book 1
by Anne Carrole
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
To risk or not risk: that is the question? A second-chance, enemies-to-lovers novel.
Career-minded Lexi Russell seeks a calm, predictable life that doesn’t require taking chances. But coming home to Wyoming for Thanksgiving, she finds out her carefully orchestrated life has imploded. Her “perfect” boyfriend has been cheating on her, her lucrative job has been eliminated, and the family ranch is on the chopping block. In addition, the teenage boy who broke her heart one summer a decade ago has turned into a handsome cowboy who’s planning on buying her family’s ranch with a low ball offer and her parents’ blessing. She’s got to figure out a way to help her parents avoid a serious mistake, find a new job, and stop her growing attraction to the cowboy who dumped her. With Christmas on the horizon, things take an unexpected turn that will force her to decide whether love is worth the risk.
The cold night air nipped at Cort’s skin as he walked to the pickup in stride with Lexi. He had to restrain himself from reaching for her hand, like he might have done if it had been a date. They’d spent considerable hours together, but far from making him ready for alone time, he wanted more of her company.
She was bright, funny, frank, and darn pretty. And she knew about ranching, even if she didn’t do it anymore. The perfect partner. But, unfortunately, the ranching part was the stickler. She didn’t want it and it was all he wanted.
How things had changed from that long-ago summer when she’d teased him about his city-boy ways and the future he’d laid out where he would be heading up some company, while all she’d wanted was to raise and train horses.
And look where they’d wound up.
As he shifted the truck into gear, he checked on her. Her head was leaning back against the headrest, a smile on her face, and her eyes closed.
“You have a buzz?” he asked. She’d only had two beers, and since he was driving, he’d stuck to one.
She chuckled. “Just feeling relaxed.”
He remembered what it’d been like when he’d quit working at his corporate job. It’d been like banging his head against the wall one day then suddenly finding his head resting on a soft pillow the next day. “Guess you haven’t been very relaxed in that job you had.” Maybe she’d reconsider her plans now that she didn’t have a job to immediately go back to.
And maybe he was dreaming.
“Not at all. You know what it’s like.”
“Yeah, crazy.” He turned onto the main highway and put some pressure on the gas. “That’s why I’m not doing it anymore. When the buyout came and everything sort of stopped for a moment, I realized how bad it had been, how much stress I’d been feeling. Then my uncle got sick, and by the time he passed, well, I didn’t want to go back anymore.”
She turned her head in his direction. “It’s tempting when everything stops. But, you know, ranching isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s risky. There’s a lot of stress and a ton more things you can’t control. Like the weather.”
“Or what my neighbors decide to do.” He glanced again at her. Her face was serene, not a frown line to be seen.
She closed her eyes and smiled. “That too. But I don’t want to talk about that. Let’s just enjoy the moment. I haven’t been able to do that in a long, long time.”
He turned the truck into her driveway. The headlights caught Bandit in the equipment barn doorway running around in circles. Barking filled the air.
“What the heck?” Lexi shot straight up in her seat.
Cort gunned the gas, and the truck bumped down the gravel drive like a runaway roller coaster. Something was wrong.
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Anne Carrole is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical western romances. Raised on a farm with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, and whatever other animals she could convince her parents to shelter, she’s married to her own sweet-talking hero and the proud mother of a twenty-something cowgirl. Besides Country Snow and Mistletoe, you can also enjoy her popular Hearts of Wyoming contemporary series where love gets a second chance. Visit her website at https://www.annecarrole.com
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