Monday, December 19, 2022

Christmas at the Nelson Ranch (The Texas Two-Step Series 8) by Kathy Carmichael


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The Texas Two-Step series is a reader favorite. All of the stories in the series are sweet, charming and emotional contemporary romance. Each story in the series stands alone, but all Texas Two-Step novels and novellas feature love stories about members of the Nelson, Murphy or Palmer families — and sometimes, more than one!

Book Description:

Of course adoptee Holly Brown was curious about her birth family. What adoptee wouldn't be? Especially when her biological grandmother, Tammie Dean Nelson, approached her adoptive father, asking for his permission to meet Holly. Tammie Dean was in the hospital, but it was her wish to meet the grandchild who she hadn't seen since she was a newborn.

Tammie Dean Nelson, Slade Colfax's grandmother by choice, rather than by blood, asked him to go bring Holly back to the ranch. He wasn't certain it was a good idea, but generally he went along with whatever Tammie Dean wanted. Especially since her health was so poorly. As soon as he laid eyes on Holly Brown, he was captivated, but questioned whether it was a good idea. His experience with city girls warned him that Holly would be unhappy on a ranch.

Going to the Nelson Ranch during the holidays wasn't on the top of Holly's Christmas plans, but once she met Tammie Dean, she adored her. What she didn't enjoy were the attempts upon her own life. Attempts she wasn't certain she would survive.


"I can't believe you talked me into this."
Holly shot him a broad grin. "If I need protection, it might as well be fun protection."
"We're not talking water guns, Holl." Slade observed the sign over the entrance in front of them, then sighed. "Don't you think the Animal Rescue might be taking it too far in the wrong direction?"
She tossed her head. "I'm an animal and, according to you, I need rescuing."
"This is serious. Deathly serious."
She nodded, but his words didn't seem to have any other impact on her. It didn't take long for him to realize there was no way he was going to win this one. "I suppose a very large and very loud dog might protect you until the security system is installed. Maybe you can take out a dog loaner?"
"Don't be ridiculous," Holly said as she exited the truck. "Let's go find the perfect pooch."
At the best of times, that would be a lousy alliteration, but he did as she suggested.
* * *
Holly reached the glass door fronting the Animal Rescue before Slade caught up with her. He held it open for her to enter first.
Stepping into the building, she had expected the floor to be concrete, but instead it was an ancient wooden floor. The smell of warm dog bodies, and acridity assailed her. One glance around the room told her the ancient facility used to be a small house. Now along one wall in front of her was a counter, with two volunteers standing behind it.
"Welcome to BowWow House," said a perky volunteer, her scrunchied ponytail dancing.
The other one, who had a morose expression, said, "Can I help you find the perfect pooch?"
The way she said it made Holly wonder whether there was a funeral she hadn't heard about. Surely not. But the volunteer had mentioned a perfect pooch. Slade had cringed when he heard the expression, making Holly smile. "I knew this was the right place to come. Yes, please," she told the cute young volunteer, "I'd love to find my doggy destiny."
The sad-seeming teen giggled. "Oh, I like that one. Mind if I use it?"
Holly laughed as Slade emitted a quiet groan. "Help yourself. I'm intent on finding myself a honey of a hound."
She elbowed Slade and followed the girl down a long hallway.
"Are you looking for a puppy or a dog?"
"I'd prefer an adult. One who's already house broken. And I'm not specific on age."
"Great. We've got lots of darling doggies for you to choose from. Do you prefer a breed or a mutt?"
"Again, I'm easy. I just want to find the right dog—for me." She thought about it as they entered an outdoor area lined with pens. "Oh, and I'd prefer one who barks."
The volunteer stopped in her tracks and looked back at her. "What?"
"I like a dog who barks."
"That's what I thought you said, but I couldn't believe it. Most people want quiet dogs."
"I just want a happy one."
"Oh, in that case, I have exactly the right dog for you. Even his name is perfect. He's called Lobo."
"I'm intrigued," Holly said.
"Right this way." The volunteer stopped in front of a pen. Inside was a small, fluffy white pooch. Almost a toy poodle in size, but although there was a resemblance to a poodle, the dog didn't seem to be one. "I can see how the name fits."
He had a huge wolfish grin on his face.
"What kind of dog is he?" Holly laughed and asked over Lobo's frantic yips of joy.
She hadn't heard of the breed before, although she'd seen an animal like him previously. "Can I pet him?" 
"Of course." The volunteer swung the chain link gate open.
Slade spluttered. "You've got to be kidding."
"I thought you were looking for a large dog."
"Or a loud dog and, judging by Lobo's barks, he's quite a loud doggie," Holly bent and scooped Lobo into her arms, "Aren't you sweetheart?"
Lobo instantly silenced and gave Holly's cheek a friendly lick.
"Guard dog." Slade snapped his fingers twice and his voice lowered. "A protector."



THE TEXAS TWO-STEP, in series order:
Western Pleasure (A Novella) Prequel (Book 1)
Chasing Charlie (Book 2)
The Lassoed Bride (A Novella) (Book 3)
Country Courtship (Book 4)
Courting Trouble (Book 5)
My Southern Bride (Book 6)
Abby's Cowboy (Book 7)
Christmas at Nelson Ranch (Book 8)
The Cowboy Prince
Coming Soon

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