This Time Next Year

Brenna Keating is on her way to spend Christmas with her grandmother when treacherous roads and a skittish deer put her car in a ditch. Riding to the rescue—literally—is Dillon Craig, a reclusive doctor who insists she weather the storm in his cabin.

Since returning from Afghanistan where he treated wounded soldiers on the front lines, Dillon’s made it a point to avoid any emotional involvement. But his unexpected guest has him dangerously close to breaking his own rules.

Brenna has a plan for her life – until she’s stranded for three days with Dillon. Soon, the chemistry sizzling between them forces her to re-examine her priorities. The man is gorgeous, if taciturn, and a true hero in every sense of the word. No woman in her right mind could resist him, and so Brenna doesn’t – even though she can’t stay…

“I have read this book a few times, my all time favorite, when I don’t feel like picking up a new book. I just read this one again. It’s a birds eye view of what our men and women face coming back to the states from war. it’s sweet and heart warming. It’s a must read.” — Cindy, Amazon reviewer

Bang! Bang!

“Hello! Miss! Hello!”

Brenna’s eyelids fluttered open. Had she been asleep? Dreaming?

“Miss! Hello!”

Thud! Thud!

She glanced toward her window, saw a fist, a coat…a man.

He leaned down, a big black Stetson pulled low on his face, and cupped his hands around his mouth. “Can you roll down your window?”

She cleared the glass with her sleeve and nodded, reaching for the handle. Frigid air sucked the remaining warmth from the car’s interior, slapped her in the face, stole her breath, started her teeth chattering anew.

“Are you hurt? Can you move?”

“My ankle. It’s sprained or bruised.” It wasn’t broken. Of that much she was sure. “I can move.”

“Okay. If you can, turn your back to the window. I’m going to slide my arms under yours and lift you out.”

Nodding again, she did as he instructed, ignoring what felt like nails hammering her head. Then he was there, big, strong, hefting her out of her seat. She pushed with her good foot, winced when she tried with her bad.

But she was sliding out, her shoulders, her butt, finally her legs. He eased her to her feet, and she hobbled to lean against the car.

“Thank you,” she said, but the wind whipped her words away, the same wind pelting her with ice shards.

“C’mon,” he yelled, reaching for her. “We’ve got to get you out of here and warmed up.”

She needed her purse, her clothes, Gran’s Christmas gifts. But he didn’t give her a chance to tell him any of that. He scooped her up as if she weighed no more than a snowflake and turned, and that’s when she saw his horse.

The big chestnut beast had snow-frosted lashes and a similarly dusted mane. His breath puffed out in clouds as he snorted. Her rescuer lifted her into the saddle, then swung up behind, scooting her onto his lap before wrapping his thick sheepskin coat around her.

He smelled like leather, like hay, like the deep green woods and the snow. His chest behind her was broad and warm, his thighs beneath hers solid. Like her, he wore gloves, but she could tell his hands were big, and obviously capable as he reined the horse around and away from her car.

She tilted her head back, “I almost hit a deer.”

Having leaned down to catch her words, he nodded, then brought her tighter against him with an arm across her middle. She really should be much colder than she felt, and had to be nearly delirious because all she could think about was how treasured, how protected, how small and feminine and faint she felt.

And how romantic it was to be rescued by a knight in a black Stetson on horseback.