This time out, I have a new holiday romance from Linda Lael Miller, A Creed Country Christmas (HQN). Widowed rancher Lincoln Creed has no room in his heart for anyone else, but he can't leave the pretty schoolteacher and her four students stranded in town when they really don't have anywhere else to go. So he takes Juliana Mitchell and her charges home with him to the family ranch, but only temporarily. He's run ads for a governess for his daughter, or a housekeeper to care for the ranch, but no one is interested in either position. A wife would be better, but it would have to be someone who understood that he could never love again. Certainly not the way he loved his late wife. Juliana's brother disowned her when she refused to marry his business partner and instead went to teach at an Indian school. All she wants to do now is make sure the two older of her students get home to their remaining family members in another state, and find a place for the two younger, orphaned children to live safely, and she knows it shouldn't be another Indian school. She's charmed by Lincoln's daughter Gracie, who has asked Saint Nick for a dictionary, but what young Gracie would really like is a woman to marry her father. Lincoln is certain he can't open his heart again, but before he realizes it, Juliana and her pupils have all burrowed deep into his affections. Then he just needs to figure out what to do about it. This one is filled with engaging characters, from Lincoln's brother to his daughter and the children Juliana has taken under her wing. It's short and sweet, and just exactly what a reader wants when they need a holiday fix. And fans of Miller's 'Creed' series will love this foray into the history of the family. I'm borrowing three and a half of Cupid's five arrows for this one. It's a charmer.
Until next time, happy reading!