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Wagon Train Christmas by Linda Ford

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1848 – Colorado

Sophia Lorenzo is a young widow. And she’s in hiding at Bent’s Fort with her one-year-old son. Her late husband’s parents are powerful and determined to take her son from her. To protect them both, she must hide her true identity.

Buck Williams is the wagon master for the wagon train recently arrived at the Fort. He has been a loner since his wife died on a wagon train headed for Oregon. He guards his heart against further hurt.

Buck knows Sophia, but doesn’t know why she is lying about her identity. When she reveals the trouble she is in and asks for his help, Buck finds new hope that protecting this woman and child will atone for his failure to protect his wife.

But trouble is on Sophia’s trail. Can Buck protect the woman and child he’s come to love?

Romancing the Bride by Melissa Jagears

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1884 – Wyoming

Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; losing the land on their wedding day is another.

Desperate to keep the ranch where three of her children and a husband lie buried, Annie Gephart must marry or sell. Which of the few bachelors in town would consider a surprise proposal to wed a plain widow with a rebellious daughter, a spirited boy, and unpaid taxes—without laughing in her face?

Jacob Hendrix has never fully let go of his ranching dreams despite ending up as a small Wyoming town’s marshal. The job wouldn’t be so bad, except he’s more errand boy than lawman. When Annie proposes marriage without a single coquettish bat of an eyelash, can he commit himself to a woman he hardly knows for a choice piece of property he’d be an idiot to pass up?

But taxes aren’t all that threaten Annie and Jacob’s plans. Cattle rustlers, crumbling friendships, and wayward children make this marriage of convenience anything but. When they lose what they’ve sacrificed everything to save, will the love of a stranger be enough?

Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

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1893 – Massachusetts

Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?

This book was originally published in the Timeless Love: Romantic Stories That Span the Ages collection.

Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble

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1776 – Massachusetts

A young lighthouse keeper must navigate the dangerous waters of revolution and one man’s obsession with her to find safe harbor with the sea captain she loves. 

Hannah Thomas believes she’s escaped Galen Wright’s evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Seemingly safe in faraway Massachusetts, her world is upended when John is killed in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Hannah is allowed to continue the difficult task of tending the twin lighthouses in John’s place, though she faces daily disapproval from John’s family. She thinks her loneliness will subside when her younger sister arrives, but she finds Lydia’s obsession with Galen only escalates the dangerous tides swirling around her.

A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sea captain to Hannah’s door, and though he is a Tory, her heart is as traitorous as the dark-eyed captain. Even though she discovers Birch Meredith isn’t the enemy he seemed at first, Hannah isn’t sure their love will ever see the light of freedom.

A Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter

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1850 – Missouri to California

Previously released in the The Westward Christmas Brides Collection

Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
 
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?

This Freedom Journey by Misty M Beller

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1833 – Canada

Adrien Lockman is through with the political unrest and bloodshed in his home country of France, so he sets off to the Canadian territory’s mountain frontier, in search of a place where a man can live his own life in peace. The last thing he expects to find is a woman, half-starved and half-frozen in a shack nestled among the towering peaks of the great Rocky Mountains.

Mary Standish thought she’d finally found a place where she was accepted, trapping with her husband for the Hudson Bay Company. But when he dies after a gruesome grizzly fight, she determines to carry on their work. After all, life in these remote mountains is better than enduring the scorn and snubs of “civilized” folk. When she’s forced to face a winter harder than any she’s endured yet, her stubbornness may just be the death of her. Until a stranger appears at her ramshackle door.

Adrien had planned to explore the mountain country all winter before he settles down to build a farm in the spring, but he can’t leave this woman to die in the elements. Even though she seems desperate for him to go. As Mary regains strength, she’s torn between wanting to save her dignity, and craving the respect of this man who’s slipped past her defenses. As the winter worsens, the truth becomes all too real–the only way they’ll survive is together.

Lord Harrow’s Heart by Susan Baganz

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1812 – England

Lord Theodore Harrow has watched three of his closest friends fall in love and suffer for it, but now they are content, and he is left on the outside. When an accident brings him face-to-face with the woman of his dreams, he hopes his single days will be over, without the drama. Mrs. Valeria Wilson is not looking for another husband to replace the one she buried with great relief. Now, while trying to hide from her evil father-in-law and protect her young son, The last thing she needs is a peer of the realm pursuing her. When his friends get involved, life turns upside down for Valeria. Can Valeria keep her heart safe and her secret preserved while taking advantage of some of the help these people have to offer her in her desperate straits? Fighting her ex-father-in-law puts them all in a direct battle with the Black Diamond himself— not only for their lives, but the future of Britain.

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

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1890 – Virginia

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of nineteenth-century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

The Widow’s Plight by Mary Davis

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1893 – Washington

When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?

Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first, but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.

Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

To Catch a Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham

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1865 – Montana

Across the vast Montana Territory, dreams have no limits . . . and prayers can be answered in the most unexpected ways.

After the untimely death of her husband, Marilyn Svenson has one option to keep her isolated ranch in Montana Territory: Remarriage. Of the two men in the rough mining town of Helena who fit her criteria for a husband, the charming resale shop owner is her preferred choice. Logically, she proposes.

David Pawlikowski came west to escape past heartbreak. Just when he thinks he’s content, Marilyn shakes up his bachelor life with her innovative spirit and unexpected marriage proposal. As much as David would like to say yes to the beautiful widow, he’s thinks Marilyn would be better off with the town’s dapper new lawyer. But when real danger closes in, only Marilyn can decide whom to keep close to her side forever.

Where the Snowy Owl Sleeps by Mimi Milan

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1852 – California

Known as “Snowy Owl” amongst her people, Kela Tukumu is less interested in taking a husband than she is in becoming the first medicine woman of her Miwok tribe. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that she is rather fierce to behold–taller and stronger than all the other women, and even many of the men… or maybe it is simply due to the terrible tragedy she heard all her life–the one that took away her grieving mother before Kela had the chance to even know her. Regardless of the reason, Kela is determined to stay the course. With the influx of new settlers in the territory, her people have suffered much. She has decided it is her responsibility to help them heal. However, doing so may require an alliance with the local town doctor in ways she never imagined.

If Jonathan Edwards could turn back the hands of time, he would have never left his medical practice back east. His wife warned him it would be their undoing and, sure enough, it was. Now he has his wife’s blood on his hands, as well as the responsibility of raising their two small children alone. Worse, the town’s mayor has charged him with yet another undertaking–unite the townsfolk with the local Miwok tribe. Yet, how can he possibly do so when the very real likelihood exists that it was one of their men who murdered his wife? The last thing he wishes is to betray her memory… an increasingly difficult task when the Miwok’s shaman turns out to be the most capable woman he’s ever known.

Will sharing their knowledge with one another open a way to healing, or only produce more hurt for both them and their peoples?

A Cowboy of Convenience by Stacy Henrie

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1901 – Wyoming

A real home—it’s what Vienna Howe dearly wants for her young daughter. Yet the ramshackle property she just inherited hardly qualifies. She can’t afford the repairs—until foreman West McCall suggests they start a dude ranch together. For propriety’s sake, they’ll need a marriage in name only…a practical solution for two wary hearts.

Years ago, West convinced Vienna to marry a man of means, never realizing how cruel her husband could be. Guilt-ridden, he intends to secure the lovely widow’s future. But despite his reluctance to get close to anyone, this union might do more than fix Vienna’s ranch. It could open the door to a warm, loving future…

A Blessed Dream by Danica Favorite

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1852 – California

Newly arrived in Blessings, Louisa Davidson’s only goal is to support her sisters while they search for clues about their father’s murder. However, their neighbor’s unruly children keep disrupting her work and she finds herself longing for a dream she thought lost to her: that of being a schoolteacher. With her father’s murderer on the loose, she cannot think of her own dreams, but of justice.

Jonah Hastings’s dreams died along with his wife. He’s doing the best he can to keep his children out of trouble, but as his family falls apart, the person to save them may also be the greatest threat to walls around his heart. As Jonah and Louisa try to hold the shattered pieces of their hearts together, can letting go be the very thing that saves them all?

Temporary Bride by Linda Ford

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1885 – North Dakota

Lena Stevens has lived through more than her share of troubles. After losing her mother and father when she was young, Lena learned that every kindness came with obligation. Now a widow with a small child, Lena has lost the one thing she had left: her house. She has no desire to be a burden on her neighbor, even if the man was foolish enough to promise her late husband to watch out for her. But when propriety demands a marriage, Lena makes Anker vow to annul it come spring.

Anker has longed for a wife–but not like this. A forced marriage. A pretend marriage. He will do what he must to protect Lena and Charlie throughout the winter. But as days stretch into months, his admiration for the spirited young woman begins to turn to something else. Something more…

Anker and Lena both had their reasons for wanting a temporary marriage. But when spring arrives, will they regret their vow to end the union?

The Widow of Rose Hill by Michelle Shocklee

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1865 – Texas

Widowed during the war, Natalie Ellis finds herself solely responsible for Rose Hill plantation. When Union troops arrive with a proclamation freeing the slaves, all seems lost. How can she run the plantation without slaves? In order to save her son’s inheritance she strikes a deal with the arrogant, albeit handsome, Colonel Maish. In exchange for use of her family’s property, the army will provide workers to bring in her cotton crop. But as her admiration for the colonel grows, a shocking secret is uncovered. Can she trust him with her heart and her young, fatherless son?

Natalie Ellis is everything Colonel Levi Maish loathes: a Southern slave owner. When he and his men arrived in Texas with the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves still in bondage despite the war having ended, he feels little concern for the trail of plantation owners left in its wake without workers. But the plight of the beautiful Widow Ellis stirs to life his compassion and the heart he’d thought cold as stone after witnessing the carnage of war. While the army camps on her land, Levi finds himself contemplating a future with Natalie and Samuel. But when he learns where her husband perished during the war, he knows a life with Natalie is impossible. How could she ever forgive him for what he’d done in battle on the banks of the Bull Run?

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