Meg Todd is tired of putting her happiness on hold. When she learns her bullying brother-in-law has horrifying plans for her future, she asks an attorney family friend for help escaping. Meg wants her own husband and home and is willing to move over halfway across the country to achieve her goal. Along the way she agrees to take two children for their dying mother. Is she too impulsive? Did Meg think she and I and the children could become the happy family of her dreams?
I have to be careful with what’s left of my small savings or it won’t fund my dream of a successful newspaper. I’ve wanted a wife—and I’ve needed someone to help with the newspaper. I figured if I could combine the two, then I’d be all right. In a few years, we can start a family. Would a woman move to the middle of nowhere on those terms? Would she grow to care for me in spite of my… um, reserved nature?
Yes, I was slightly annoyed when Meg showed up with two orphaned children. Whew, when I learned the amount of her inheritance, I decided she wouldn’t be content to stay with me in spite of her assurance to the contrary. The boy and girl are well-behaved but I’m still not certain of my feelings for them. That is, until a terrifying event occurred that forced me to make a decision and take quick action.
Now that you know something about my story, I’ll elaborate. You’ve probably guessed that I live in Angel Creek, Montana Territory. The Angel Creek doctor, Nick Walker, and I have been friends since we were kids in Massachusetts. Nick knew I wanted to relocate and suggested I move to Angel Creek.
You see, I wanted to have my own newspaper instead of working for my father or older brother. Moving the printing press and equipment here was a chore. Now that it’s all set up in the print shop, I’m enjoying Angel Creek. I love owning the newspaper even though it’s not making much money now.
Most people say I don’t talk much and that I’m a bit of a grump who doesn’t like people. That’s not true. I envy those for whom casual conversation comes easy. It sure doesn’t for me. I don’t mean to be thoughtless but a lot of things don’t occur to me.
For instance, the first time I met Meg, she had two orphaned children with her. I don’t dislike children, but I don’t know how to talk to them. I couldn’t believe that a woman as beautiful and graceful as Meg was my wife. I couldn’t help being a little annoyed that she had agreed to take on responsibility for the children. One reason is because I like to plan out everything. I don’t like surprises. There I was, feeling lucky to have such a beautiful wife yet upset because my plans were shot to pieces.
Meg was cheerful and complimentary about the house. I bought the place because of her and the children. She seemed willing enough to be my wife but I still had reservations. When I discovered how much money she’d inherited when we married, I was shocked. Why would a woman like her want me? I couldn’t imagine her settling for me and Angel Creek.
Meg is quite a woman. In addition to being pretty, she’s a good cook and good with the children. She must be the smartest woman I’ve ever met. She caught on to everything I showed her and is even more help with the newspaper than I’d hoped. What I like most about her is that she is always cheerful. Seeing her smile lifts my spirits.
I don’t know why but she says she likes that I’m dependable and take care of the family. I try, of course. She said the children look up to me, which was a big surprise.
Angel Creek is a small place but it’s growing. I figure this will be a good place for us to raise our family. I don’t believe I’ll ever want to live anywhere else. Fortunately, Meg seems to share that opinion. We joke about neither of us wanting to ride the stagecoach again.
What I’ve learned is that I can’t control everything. In addition, Meg has taught me a lot. My family never showed any affection, but I’ve learned to be more open and loving. To be truthful, I am a mighty lucky man.
When he stepped forward, he was wearing a frown. “I’m expecting Meg McClain.”
He was tall with dark brown hair and startling bright blue eyes. Not Greek god handsome, he was ruggedly attractive. His posture gave her the impression he was ill at ease.
“Hello, Curtis. I’m Meg and these are now our children. Penny is four and Tom is six. How they came to be ours is a long story. Perhaps it can wait until we’re somewhere warm.”
Poor little Tom’s face clouded with worry. “I sure hope you’re not gonna be mad at us or our new Mama, sir.”
“New Mama?” Curtis’ eyebrows raised.
Before she could add anything, Tom added, “We’ll be real good and I’ll do all kinds of chores and help you. I reckon I look small but I’m strong.” He raised his little arm as if he expected Curtis to test it.
Curtis’ gaze turned to Tom and his frown softened. “You’re a hard worker, are you? I can probably find things that need your help.”
“You won’t be sorry, sir.”
Meg cuddled Penny’s head on her shoulder while she repeated her request. “I wonder if we can get inside? I’m sure we’ll become able to tolerate the weather, but we’re not yet used to the cold.”
He handed Tom the valise and then picked up the two suitcases that belonged to the children. “I’ll arrange to get the trunks later. Looks as if there are several.”
Carrying Penny, she followed, glancing at Tom to make sure he could keep pace. “I brought as much as I could. I didn’t know how much in the way of household supplies a bachelor would have. Plus, many are family things I wanted to save.”
“The answer to the first is not much. I only brought a few personal items and the rest was newspaper equipment. It’s heavy and cost a lot to ship.”
“I imagine that was complicated as well. Is it far to your house?”
He actually chuckled. “Across town, or what there is of Angel Creek. I bought the house from folks who were moving to the southwest.”
“The town is smaller than I expected but looks as if there’re enough businesses and homes to make a nice place.”
He led them to a pleasant looking house constructed of squared logs and opened the gate. “Here we are.”
Meg stopped to look at the house. In spite of the construction, a wrought iron fence wrapped around the spacious yard. Several types of trees grew inside the fence. Meg recognized pine but wasn’t certain of those that had bare limbs. The enclosure appeared neat
To her right at the equivalent of what would be a block in Charleston, a bridge crossed a creek.
He climbed the steps and set down the suitcases to open the door. “After you, Mrs. McClain.”
An Angel Creek Christmas Brides Story
Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their two rescued indoor cats and dog as well as providing nourishment outdoors for squirrels, birds, and other critters.
The over sixty books she has created have made her a Top 100 historical author, a bestselling author, and won awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. In addition to her series she has written single titles and contributed to multi-author series and box sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, delving into genealogy, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap.
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