Christmas at The Corral by Debra St. John

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  • Maggie Pearson has no time in her busy life for love, but an immediate attraction draws her to a mysterious stranger at The Corral, a local bar. However, any romantic feelings are ruthlessly squashed when he accuses her of having an affair with his brother.
    As a divorce lawyer, Van Rawlings has seen the ugly side of marriage too many times to believe in love. But having gotten off on the wrong foot with Maggie, and genuinely contrite over his faux pas, he offers to help her with an upcoming Christmas charity dinner. The more time they spend together, the more he realizes he's never met anyone like Maggie, who gives so generously of her time.
    Can Maggie and the magic of the season help Van believe again? In Christmas and in love.


    “I’ve never done this before.”

    Maggie glanced over. “Driven a pickup?” He looked right at home behind the wheel, down to the straw cowboy hat perched on his head. “Don’t all Texas boys have to as a rite of passage or something?”

    “Not the truck. I’ve never cut down a Christmas tree.” He shifted his gaze from the road and shot her a wicked smile. “And there are definitely lots of things boys in Texas need to do in their pickups as a rite of passage. Wanna try one or two?”

    Once again her long-dormant libido made its presence known as she imagined the one or two things he had in mind. She tingled in places that hadn’t tingled in forever. The tempting offer was nearly enough to distract her from his Christmas tree comment, but not quite.

    “How is that possible?”

    “Well, I could pull over. You’d slide along the bench closer to me, and—”

    “Not that.” Ay yi yi. He was killing her. Her face, along with the rest of her body, went up in flames.

    He chuckled, low and sexy. Knowing.

    “The Christmas tree thing.”

    He shrugged. “We always had an artificial tree while I was growing up. In fact, my parents still have the same one. The thing must be thirty-some years old.”

    “What kind of tree do you have in—where do you live?”

    “Dallas, and I don’t have any kind of tree.”

    “Why not, Mr. Scrooge?”

    “Ha. Ha. I’m never home, and it’s just me there anyway. Why bother?”

    “Because it’s Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year.”

    “If you say so.”

    “You don’t like Christmas?”

    “I don’t dislike Christmas, but I guess I don’t really understand why people make such a big fuss out of it. It’s just another holiday. Just about every month has one.”

    “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that. You’ll see. Finding and cutting down your own tree will change your whole outlook.”

    “That’s quite a promise.” He twined his fingers through hers. “Remember, I’m a Christmas tree virgin, so I’m putting myself in your more experienced hands.”

    She’d like to get him in her hands all right.

    He stroked his fingers over the inside of her wrist, which added fuel to the sensual burn lazily licking through her veins. “So I have to admit, I’m surprised there aren’t any toes to step on.”

    An odd segue. “Toes?”

    “No boyfriend? No husband?”

    Oh. “Nope.”

    “Not even an ex?”

    “I’ve never been married. A few boyfriends here and there.” Nothing lasting. No one worth the time and effort it would take to make a relationship work.



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Christmas at The Corral

Christmas at The Corral

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