The Christmas party at Hearts Crossing Ranch is the highlight of the Season in Mountain Cove, Colorado, but Lori Lazaro longs to be anywhere else.
Until a handsome cowboy driving a one-horse open sleigh starts a journey of the heart. Deep down, she doesn't want it to end, but it must. Heston Calhoun lives life in the spotlight, and after past trauma, Lori needs the comfort of a life in the shadows.
Lori Lazaro stirs Heston like no woman ever has before. Sure, his family stars in a popular unscripted television show about ranch life, but he’s not going to let Lori’s skittishness end their story before it even begins. Having faced dark moments in his own past assures him God can brighten her future. He simply needs to convince Lori that together, they’ll write a happy ending after all.
Almost aching to take Heston’s hand, Lori followed him onto the cold, crisp morning.
Even more than seeing the man, her blood roared like it did every time she beheld the Rockies. Tall silver spires reached through bundles of cloud to stab a sky so brilliantly blue her eyes hurt. And this morning...incredible how new-fallen snow equalized everything with the same pure white sheet. How it hid mud and rust, filled uneven cracks, smoothed sharp rocks. Anything unsightly became as lovely as the pristine mountain peaks, the white hills rolling on like strong, broad shoulders.
For a flash, she seemed alone in the world with this cowboy she had been told to trust, no matter a swarm of happy kids at her feet and doting adults hanging on the porch rails. What was going on?
A dream, that’s all. Her heart hardened. Lori knew full well dreams didn’t come true.
To thwart her darkening reverie, a snowball splashed against her chest, spattering her face. She laughed at Heston’s audacious grin--he’d directed a nephew to blast her. Kids shrieked, scrounged through drifts to score ammunition. She failed to leave the line of fire a second time, and dots of cold danced across her cheeks.
“You…you…!” She shouted at him such joy she couldn’t find words. The gentle snowball she threw at Heston’s head broke apart in the wind long before meeting its destination. His laughing face she’d remember for a long time.
Why do I like Christmas?
When our healthy, nine-pound daughter was newborn, bacterial meningitis nearly took her life. December is supposed to be filled with joy and laughter, but for three days, my husband and I fought the darkness of nightmares—potentially losing our baby girl. And if she did manage to survive after aggressive treatment, she—and we—faced the real possibility of devastating retardation, blindness, deafness, and crippling
Our dear and generous Lord sustained her and brought us light. On Christmas Eve, the Neonatal Intensive Care staff told us that not only would our little one survive but she was “fine and perfect” in every way! A true Christmas miracle.
And I knew for sure the Lord lives, and the Lord loves.