All I Want for Christmas -- Julie Lence


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All I Want for Christmas Is You

Burke Montogomery is certain Camille favors someone else, until a chance encounter at the Christmas party changes his mind.

Known as the town flirt, Camille Prescott has good reason for stumbling into hard bodies on the boardwalk; she wants a husband. And not just any husband. She wants a man wealthy enough to ensure she never hauls water or labors in a field. Glen Stafford is a newcomer to Jackson Creek and the perfect man to wrangle to the altar for a Christmas wedding. He’s handsome, well off, and if he doesn’t love her, all the better. Trouble is, he favors someone else… and her own heart lurches toward saloon keeper Burke Montgomery.

Burke Montgomery has favored Camille Prescott since the first time he saw her on the boardwalk. She’s pretty, sassy, bold… and will never favor him. Why would she? He’s rough around the edges, and as Landries barkeeper, he has a past as colorful as any outlaw. Plus, she favors Stafford. But a chance encounter at the town’s Christmas party suggests she isn’t as indifferent to him as he thought. And when she kisses him, Burke vows to make her forget Stafford and favor himself. But how?      



From the barn up the hill, Burke heard the fiddler draw his bow across the strings and strike up another tune.“One more dance?” He stood and offered Camille his hand.

“I shouldn’t.” She accepted his hand and rose.

“All right.” He yielded to her wish. “I’ll walk you back to the party.”

“No.” She stepped backward toward the trail leading to town. “I think it’s best I return to Mrs. Withers.”
“I’ll walk you there.”

“That’s not necessary. Go and enjoy the dance. You came here to have a good time, not to take care of me.”
Only came here because Landries was empty… to see how pretty you look tonight. “It’s necessary.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.” She curled her fingers around his bicep and smiled up at him. “You’re a good man, Burke.”

Well, hell, she did give me one of her bright smiles. “This way.” He tugged her into step alongside him, saw her safely to the widow’s doorstep. “Sleep good, and don’t fret over Stafford. Told ya, he ain’t worth your tears.”
She nodded. “I meant what I said, too. You’re a good man.” She gave his arm a pat then disappeared inside.
A wave of something, contentment maybe, tumbled through him and he jogged down the steps, paused at the street and glanced over his shoulder, caught her peeking through the curtains at him and waved. Faced forward and grinned. Lady Luck, you ain’t always a heartless bitch.