The Gift by Donna Dalton

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  • All reformed prostitute Eva Baird wants for Christmas is to have her daughter back in her arms. But gun-toting outlaws, spiteful in-laws, and a sweet-talking stranger with arresting gray eyes threaten to turn her dream into a lump of coal.

    Ex-bank robber Lyle Haggard has come to Louisville to do some shopping for Christmas. What he finds is a gift more precious than gold.

    Rating: Sensual
    Page Count: 36
    Word Count: 8211
    978-1-61217-448-8 Digital


    The creak of the opening door pierced the quiet. She turned to find the handsome Mr. Haggard standing in the doorway, hat in hand, his dark brown hair lightly oiled and combed neatly to one side. He smiled, and her pulse danced a Virginia Reel, just as it had at their first meeting.

    He stomped snow from his boots, then closed the distance between them. “Hope I’m not too late.”

    “Too late?”

    “You’re not closing for the day are you?”

    She’d keep the shop open till midnight if it bought her some time with the friendly newcomer. She enjoyed talking with him, felt comfortable in his presence, as if she’d known him for years.

    She set aside the broom. “I’m just tidying up a bit. What can I do for you? Another gift perhaps?”

    “No gift today. I came in for some supplies. I’m heading for Chicago in the morning.”

    “Chicago. I’ve always wanted to go to the big city. See the opera, the theatre, stay in one of those grand hotels.” She heaved an envious sigh. “What takes you there?”

    “My job. I’m in real estate. This area’s getting stagnant, so my firm decided to send me where there’s more people and property.” He frowned and tilted his head to the side, studying her with those arresting, gunpowder gray eyes. “Say, you weren’t crying were you?”

    She swiped at the wetness. “ Just a little teary from all the dust I stirred up.”

    “You smeared...” He whisked a clean, white handkerchief from his pocket and leaned across the counter. “May I?”


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The Gift

The Gift

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