By Linda Lael Miller
Stone Creek veterinarian Olivia O'Ballivan communicates simply with animals, yet males are one other tale. in particular rugged architect-turned-rancher Tanner Quinn. Olivia's uncanny bond together with his daughter Sophie's pony, Butterpie, has him wondering her sanity, whereas she wonders if he is not only a drugstore cowboy. Then twelve-year-old Sophie conspires with Olivia to get Tanner into the spirit of Christmas with all of the trimmings, together with a tree-lighting rite and a guy named Kris Kringle in a sleigh pushed by means of seven reindeer…and a donkey. yet will a vacation miracle rework the globe-trotting Tanner right into a rancher—and relations man—for all seasons?
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Extra resources for A Stone Creek Christmas
Olivia repeated calmly. Quinn hesitated for a long moment. “My daughter,” he finally said. ” Olivia thought fast. “My brother must have mentioned her,” she answered, heading for the stall door and hoping he’d step back so she could pass. He didn’t. Instead, he stood there like a support beam, his forearms resting on top of the door. “O’Ballivan,” he mused. “You’re Brad’s sister? ” “I think I just said Brad is my brother,” Olivia replied, somewhat tartly. She felt strangely shaken and a little cornered, which was odd, because she wasn’t claustrophobic and despite her unremarkable height of five feet three inches, she knew how to defend herself.
Before his wife, Katherine, died five years ago, she’d traveled with him, bringing Sophie along. But then— Tanner shook off the memory. Thinking about the way Katherine had been killed required serious bourbon, and he’d been off the sauce for a long time. He’d never developed a drinking problem, but the warning signs had been there, and he’d decided to save Sophie—and himself—the extra grief. He’d put the cork back in the bottle and left it there for good. It should have been him, not Kat. That was as far as he could go, sober.
More than the horse did, for sure. But she was safe in that high-walled and distant place—safe from the factions who’d issued periodic death threats over things he’d built. The school was like a fortress—he’d designed it himself, and his best friend, Jack McCall, a Special Forces veteran and big-time security consultant, had installed the systems. They were top-of-the-line, best available. The children and grandchildren of presidents, congressmen, Oscar winners and software inventors attended that school—it had to be kidnap-proof, and it was.