It’s Time for free Christmas Romances! Today’s offering is from historical author Caroline Warfield. Reviews show this to be a sweet read.
A Dangerous Nativity
By Caroline Warfield
A lonely earl, a competent heroine of dubious origins, family secrets, and three young boys…a goat on the roof, kisses in the barn, and mischief in the parlor…
Two passions rule Will Landrum’s life: family and a devotion to the land and those who depend on it. The only benefit of being Earl of Chadbourn that matters to him is the right to care for those things. Carrying family burdens can be lonely, however, without a life partner.
Catherine Wheatly’s mother married her beloved Papa when Cath was ten. No one ever had to explain to Cath that base-born daughters have few marriage prospects. She knew. She contented herself being the best land-steward in the county and helping Papa with is research and raising her two brothers.
Trapped by his brother-in-law’s death into responsibility for his traumatized nephew, grieving sister, and an estate gone to ruin, loneliness overwhelms Will. The first-rate husbandry of a neighboring farm and Catherine, who runs it, draw him like a moth to a flame. With Christmas coming, can he repair the damaged estate and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain?
The three boys, and their woolly friends, wandered off to the barn, arguing about what animal might stand for a shepherd. Randy argued correctly that Bertha, who was a sheepdog, would be the logical choice. “But she’s going to be Mother Mary. If we make her a shepherd, where will we be?” Freddy insisted, lobbying for the loan of a horse.
When the barn door closed, Chadbourn and Catherine convulsed in laughter.
“Oh, my lord,” Catherine laughed, tears rolling down her cheeks. “However am I going to keep from laughing on Christmas morning? I will disgrace myself during services.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“My name is William. Two people who laugh so hard together certainly ought to make use of given names, Catherine.” His expression held a challenge.
She looked to the house, as if she could hear her father’s fervent admonition about trusting titled blackguards, from the yard.
“Say it. Say my name.”
“Will,” she whispered. She felt a blush heat her cheeks. “For this moment. For the laughter, but not—”
“—not when I talk with your father? Have you convinced him I’m right about your brothers?”
She shook her head, a sly smile appearing only briefly. “Not quite. I’m wearing him down, though.”
When he took her hand, she let him. When he drew it toward his lips rather than bowing over her fingers, she let him. When he cupped her cheek and leaned in to kiss her, she almost let him.
“Unhand my daughter, you damned rakehell!” Papa stood in the doorway in full outrage.
There are links to multiple vendors here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/a-dangerous-nativity-1815/
About the Author:
Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.
As to those boys, you’ll find them as the heroes of her Children of Empire series.