His Holiday Promise by Ciara Knight releases November 1st!
Mary Clayton believed in the promises made by her charming late husband. She believed he’d love, protect, honor and cherish her. Instead, he stole her fortune and repeatedly hurt her, leaving her in poverty when he died.
Mary spent years battling her way back into the life she inherited from her family and has made it a rule to trust no man. But sometimes the heart ignores the rules…especially in the case of handsome widower Fredrick Krause and his tempting holiday promise of a sweet happily ever after.
But can Mary let go of her fear and learn to love again? If she can’t, she may well lose the only man who has ever truly made her feel safe and loved.
EXCERPT:The door swung open to a tall, strong, imposing man who looked like he could lift a cow over his head without a problem. “Hello,” he said in a deep, booming voice with a thick German accent. His blue eyes, the kind that sparkled in light like a jewel, settled my nerves.
“I, um, brought a gift to welcome you to our area.” I glanced down at my basket. “Perhaps I could give it to your wife.”
“No wife. She died.” Those four words hooked my sensibility and tossed it over the chimney outside.
After a breath, I corralled my racing thoughts and settled on the appropriate answer. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
He bowed his head, and his bottom lip thinned and pulled back toward his cheeks. “Yes, I am also.”
An awkward silence settled between us. That’s when I caught a whiff of something divine. The aroma of fresh baked apple pie if I wasn’t mistaken.
“Papa?” a young woman’s voice called from behind him. She slid around his arms and popped up with a winning smile. A woman of strength, beauty with her strong shoulders but delicate waist. “Are you the lady of the house over there?” She pointed toward my son’s ranch.
I nodded. “Yes, I’m Mary Clayton. I live with my son Jeb.” Not sure why I’d added that, as if I had to clarify what lady of the house meant in my circumstance.
“Really?” The girl lit up like the north star on a clear night.
“Forgive me. I’m Agatha, and this is my papa, Fredrick Krause.” She pointed at the giant next to her.
“Call me Fredrick,” he said in clipped, thick words.
“Is that for us? Papa, why don’t you invite Mary Clayton inside our home. Introduce her to Aunt Helga.”
I glanced past them both through the sliver between Fredrick’s trunk-sized arms and broad chest. At the table I spotted dinner. “I am so sorry to have intruded at this hour. I guess being alone in that big house has taken my manners. Here.” I shoved the basket into Agatha’s arms, curtsied like a schoolgirl, and raced away. I wasn’t sure if it was the fact that I’d met the first man since my husband who made me lose myself and my words or the fact that I was out of practice of speaking to people, but I couldn’t stay another second. I fled with a backhanded wave, ignoring their pleas for me to stay. If there was one thing I’d realized, it was that being alone was the one and only thing I’d learned to be good at. It was my talent.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love.