The Brides of Bliss County
Excerpt from book:
Charlotte Morgan shouldn't have checked her bag for the flight from New York to Wyoming. Her layover in Denver had already been far longer than planned because of a storm that was coming in from the West Coast, and now she was-finallywaiting by a luggage carousel at the Cheyenne airport. And waiting
As her friend Karin always said, there were two kinds of luggagecarry-on and lost. And hers appeared to be of the lost variety.
December 21 meant it was almost the festive season, but her spirits were definitely on the low side.
This airport mess was typical of the dismal way her luck had been running lately.
Let's see. She'd had to arrange for her aunt Geneva to move into assisted living. Dealing with that, mostly by email and over the phone, hadn't been easy. Then there was the fact that a stranger was staying at Geneva's house, the house Charlotte had grown up in. Of course, she'd questioned her aunt about Mrs. Klozz, asking how she and the mysterious visitor had met, but Geneva's answers had been consistently vague, even evasive.
Worried, Charlotte had called Spencer Hogan, an old friend and Mustang Creek's chief of police, to request a background check. He'd chuckled and said that wouldn't be necessary; Mrs. Klozz was, as he'd put it, "all right."
Finally, Charlotte had decided to drop the subject. She'd meet the woman soon enough and form her own opinion.
Despite all this, she felt uneasy.
Thenjust when she'd thought things couldn't get any worseshe'd been laid off. Merry, merry Christmas.
Oh, the company, an advertising firm, had given her a generous enough severance package. Her boss had explained that budget cuts were taking a toll on everyone.
Not on him, apparently. His job seemed to be safe, unlike her own. It had taken some effort to not say something to that effect, but in truth, she just wanted to go home.
As she watched everyone retrieving luggage while hers was, predictably, nowhere in sight, she realized how ironic it wasas a teenager, she'd been convinced that all she wanted was to leave the small town of Mustang Creek, become successful, meet the right man and never look back. She'd done it. She'd left. She'd gotten a great job. She'd met the right man. But she sure had looked back.
There was one other hopeful passenger waiting, and they exchanged a shrug of commiseration. The carousel was still moving, so maybe
Yep, she'd left the small town. Got the dream joband lost it. Met one Dr. Jaxon Locke, fell in love, and that hadn't worked, either.
The other passenger won the lottery and his case slid down.
"Happy holidays," he said in sympathy as he hurried away.
a Christmas miracle! Her suitcase actually bumped outno more than two seconds before she was going to head over to the airline counter to fill in the claim formand began the journey toward her. Yay! Clean underwear for Christmas.
Aunt Geneva would tell her to count her blessings, and as she heaved her bag off the carousel and wheeled it toward the rental car area, Charlotte actually smiled. Things were already looking up. Oh, she still had to make the drive home with a giant storm roaring in, coasting a clipper from the Arctic, but at least she had her clothing. She'd need to make arrangements to have everything else sold or shipped home but would deal with that headache later. Her ridiculously expensive apartment had been sublet and all the rest of it was in storage.
The snow was coming in sideways when she finally reached her rental car. Nothing like driving an unfamiliar rig in bad weather, she thought, a"Miller's return to Parable is a charming story of love in its many forms. The hero's struggles are handled in an informed and heartwarming way, and it's easy to empathize with the heroine's desire to start an independent, new life in this sweetly entertaining and alluring tale."
-RT Book Reviews on Big Sky River