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Copyright © 2013 by

Joann Baker and Patricia Mason

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


“I said hold the tree still, dammit.”

Penny stuck out her tongue. It was a childish gesture she knew, but it made her feel better nonetheless. Staring down through the branches of the nine-foot pine, she barely made out the blue jean clad legs of the man tucked underneath the sprawling limbs. Ryan Jacobs was every woman’s dream of what she’d like to find underneath her Christmas tree, but right now Penny would gladly choke the hard-headed cowboy if she could get to him. She tightened her hands around the trunk of the tree and allowed herself to pretend it was his neck.

She’d been holding the blasted tree for the last twenty minutes while Ryan tried to anchor it into the tree stand. Hating to be inside doing what he considered ‘women’s work,’ Ryan’s unruly temper had been on display for the better part of the morning. But he’d put on his good ole’ boy charm long enough to accede to Paula Ruth’s wishes. If there was one person Ryan never said a wayward word to, it was his stepmother. He treated her like a princess and she treated him like the apple of her eye. As her only blood relation, this sometimes stuck in Penny’s heart like the sharp blade of a knife, but then Ryan only had to look at her with those big brown eyes and she was as hopeless as her mother.

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