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A curvy girl, brother’s best friend, holiday cowboy instalove romance.
- Cowboy Hero
- Curvy Girl Heroine
- Brother's Best Friend
- Holiday Romance
I’ve worked my tail off to create a magical holiday event on the town square. So, when my brother bails on playing Santa, I’ve got to find a solution and fast. Too bad he sent his wife’s older brother to take his place. Preston Meyers might be the sexiest Santa I’ve ever seen, but not even the joy of Christmas could put a smile on the grumpy cowboy’s face.
When my best friend calls in a favor, I end up playing Santa to Tassy Calhoun’s Mrs. Claus. For a guy who hates crowds and hates the holidays, I can’t wait to put in my time and be done. But then something happens that changes everything. Can a guy with a hardened heart find just a little of the holiday spirit?
Meet the Calhoun quadruplets… four rugged Texas cowboys who love hard and aren’t afraid to claim the women who are meant to be theirs. The Claimed by a Cowboy series can be read as standalones. Each book features a happily-ever-after with no cheating and no cliffhangers.
Get a Sneak Peek at Chapter 1
Get a Sneak Peek at Chapter 1
I centered the curly white wig on my head and faced down my four-legged nemesis. Despite his antlers, he was no match for me. “Come on, Rudolph. The kids are going to be here soon and you don’t want to disappoint them, do you?”
The reindeer snorted and pawed at the ground. Where was Zane? My brother had promised to play Santa to my Mrs. Claus for the inaugural Holiday on the Square event. Maybe he’d have better luck with Rudolph.
“Fine. You can stay in the trailer for now. But when Zane gets here—”
“Zane’s not coming.” A deep voice came from outside the horse trailer.
“What do you mean he’s not coming?” My heart bounced around like Rudolph himself had taken a hoof to it. I left the reindeer to his hay and turned toward the door. Preston Meyers stood at the open end of the trailer, his broad shoulders blocking out the light, a grumpy scowl plastered to his face.
“I mean, he and Willa are heading to Dallas. He said something about taking her to see the Nutcracker at the Dallas Ballet.”
“You’re kidding.” I could think of a few nuts I’d like to crack and my brother’s were at the top of that list. “Who’s going to play Santa? I’ve got tons of kids coming to sit on Santa’s lap. We can’t very well have them tell Mrs. Claus what’s on their Christmas list.”
Preston cleared his throat and shifted his gaze to the side. “I guess I’m here to play Santa.”
A laugh bubbled up from my chest, breaking free from my lips in the form of a very undignified snort. “You?”
“That’s right.” Preston adjusted his stance. “I owe him one and he picked today of all days to collect.”
“No.” I shook my head, sending my snow-white ringlets bouncing. “If I needed someone to play Scrooge, you’d be my first pick. But there’s no way you’ll make a believable Santa.”
He crossed his arms over his chest. “So I can tell Zane I offered to fill in and you turned me down. That works for me.”
“While you’re talking to him, tell him to get his butt over here. He needs to be suited up and ready to go in twenty minutes.”
Preston pulled out his phone, pressed a button, and held it to his ear.
I clamped a hand to the waist of my red velvet Mrs. Claus costume. Zane wouldn’t do this to me. He knew how long I’d been working on this. Shifting my volunteer position to a full-time job at the county visitors bureau depended on me pulling off this event.
“Here.” Preston thrust his phone toward me. “He wants to talk to you.”
“Hey, Tassy. Preston’s going to stand in for me today. Willa’s friend is performing in the ballet up in Dallas and scored us free tickets.”
“You hate ballet.” What had Willa done to my rough and tumble brother? Ever since they got married he’d changed.
“But I love Willa. And Willa loves the ballet. Don’t worry. Preston’s got it covered. He owes me a big one so he’ll be happy to stick around as long as you need him.”
I eyed Preston. He might be Willa’s older brother, but he had none of her charm or people skills. He’d be more likely to scare the kids off than make sure they had a magical time.
“Forget it. I’ll call Colt or West. Or maybe even Nash.” Any of my brothers would be a preferable stand-in to enduring Preston’s grumpy attitude for an entire day.
“Give me a little credit. Don’t you think I tried them first?”
I cupped my hand around the phone and turned my back to Preston. “You know how much I have riding on this. Can’t you and Willa go to the ballet next weekend? I need you.”
“Next weekend is Christmas. This is her only chance to see her friend dance.”
“And it’s my only chance to prove I can pull off an event like this.” I didn’t want to beg, but I was close to falling to my knees. He had to make good on the promise he’d made me.
“We’re halfway to Dallas and even if I turned around now, I still wouldn’t make it back in time. Preston’s got this. I wouldn’t have asked him if I didn’t know he could do it.”
I gritted my teeth. “I can’t believe you did this to me.”
“Relax. Just tell him what he needs to do. He’ll be fine.”
Fine. I didn’t need fine. I needed a Santa who could smile and rub his belly and pull off an authentic Ho-Ho-Ho. Zane disconnected and I passed the phone back to Preston. For better or for worse, he appeared to be my only option.
“Come on, Preston, you’re all I’ve got. We need to fatten you up and stuff you into that big red suit.”