From award-winning, best-selling romantic suspense author Mallory Kane., comes a short, historical Christmas novella, about loss and lies and the healing power of love.
Lorilla traveled alone over the treacherous Santa Fe Trail to find love. What she finds instead is a man whose heart is turned to stone.
Gabriel Beltran paid dearly for a widow who’d born a child. What he got was a virgin and he is not happy about it.
Publisher and Release Date: Mallory Kane, October 2014
Time and setting: New Mexico 1847
Genre: Western Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer rating: 5 Stars
Review by Vikki
What a wonderful, heart-felt Christmas story! Sometimes the best things really do come in a small package, or in this case, a short story (The Christmas Treasure is approximately 35,000 words), and I couldn’t read this little gem fast enough. One of my favorite tropes is the marriage-of-convenience, and this story is excellent. Mallory Kane has such a smooth and flowing writing style, bringing to life the vivid countryside surrounding Santa Fé, New Mexico with a masterful touch, and allowing me to experience the deep desires of the hero and heroine.
Lorilla Harmon arrives in Santa Fé on Christmas Eve and is rushed to her wedding with widower, Gabriel Beltran. Lorilla’s stepfather had told Gabriel she was a widow who had delivered a stillborn child, which is perfect for his purposes. All Gabriel wants is a son and a sensible, biddable woman to whom he can never give his heart. Gabriel is outraged when he discovers that Lorilla isn’t a widow at all, but an unmarried virgin. The last thing he wants or needs is an innocent woman.
All Lorilla has dreamed of is a man who will love her and a family. When Gabriel turns from her, she takes matters into her own hands and seduces him. He succumbs to her charms, but remains distant. Lorilla prays he will grow to love her if she gives him a son. Will Gabriel let the memory of his first wife go, or will he cling to the past and lose what could be his greatest treasure?
I thoroughly enjoyed Lorilla and Gabriel’s love story. For such a short story the character development is incredible. The plot is intriguing and captivated me from the first page to the last. The emotions run deep in this enchanting tale of a woman’s determination to gain the love she has so desperately craved all her life. Lorilla is an engaging heroine and she grabbed at my heart strings along the way and had me rooting for her HEA.
Gabriel is my favorite kind of hero, a tortured soul who is scared to let go of the past and grasp a new life, yet brave enough to take a second chance on love. If you like western historical romance and warm-hearted Christmas stories, then this is a book you will love. It is one you will want to pull out and read each year during the holiday season – I know I will.