During a season of hope and healing, two souls find an unexpected gift in love.
Set against the backdrop of the Hawk's Peak Ranch and the town of Briarwood, the Gallagher family's generosity and love have permeated the lives of all those around them. This Christmas, Rachel Watson and Julian Frank discover that with the help of new friends and a special holiday wish, they can let go of their pasts and risk their wounded hearts.
A beautiful, frontier holiday romance, Christmas in Briarwood is the eighth heartwarming installment in the award-winning series that has delighted readers with tales of adventure, family, love, and hope.
NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: This is a short work of fiction and companion story to the Montana Gallagher series. While it can be read on its own, it is best read after the preceding book, The Healer of Briarwood.
"Christmas in Briarwood is a novella from MK McClintock’s Montana Gallaghers series. What a heartwarming and charming little tale. I loved catching up with the characters from the previous books in the series and taking another trip to Hawk's Peak Ranch. It was a beautiful story of having hope, learning how to heal and moving forward. I was inspired with reading Rachel and Julian’s tale. I was able to find comfort in reading it and able to relate them to my own current situation. I loved it. I am giving Christmas in Briarwood a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading clean and sweet historical romance. As always, I will be looking forward to reading more by MK McClintock in the future. She never disappoints with her books." —Locks, Hooks, and Books
"This sweet holiday story is a perfect way to enjoy an afternoon of reading. Since this is the season of Christmas magic, true love will prevail." —BookBub Review
"A wonderful historical romance novel. It is set in a small town where the people are really close knit and give you a family feel." —BookBub Review
"Lots to Love! I loved the characters (Rachel and Julian), the setting, and the small community of Briarwood. Also, there are substantial and lovely themes packed into this novella including healing from trauma, risking to love again, trust, friendship, hope, second chances, and community support. Overall, I think Christmas in Briarwood is packed with a selection of substantial themes given the novella length. A side of slow burn romance is the icing on the cake! Recommended for fans of novellas, for readers who might be looking for a new series, and for those who love second chances and inspirational characters." —Ardent Bibliophile
"I could see Montana with all the snow and the giant tree that sat in the middle of town that was decorated by everyone sharing their Christmas cheer. This was a quick read and it’s really an after story about two people finding what’s most important to them. I enjoyed the writing and all the town’s people and want to read the rest of these books in the series." —Kitties and Kindles
The Gallaghers and the wonderful townsfolk of Briarwood are my family, and it brings us tremendous joy every time we can welcome friends, old and new, into our clan. We have come a long way since Gallagher’s Pride, and we have shared many wonderful adventures, from shoot-outs and kidnappings to second chances in love and life.
Christmas in Briarwood is a story of hope, healing, and realizing that within each of us, is someone deserving of a beautiful life filled with love and friendship. Rachel Watson and Julian Frank are two deserving souls who find a home among the people of Briarwood.
I have written this book to stand on its own. You will meet previous characters and read mention of events from the first seven Montana Gallagher books. They are here to enhance Rachel and Julian’s story, for neither would have his or her own tale without those who came before.
Whether you are here for the first time or returning to Briarwood and Hawk’s Peak, the Gallaghers and I thank you for joining us on the journey.
Be well, be kind, and enjoy!
FROST NIPPED HER reddening nose, and a crisp breeze brushed her cheeks as the winter sun shined through two puffy white clouds.
Life, she reasoned, was not about achieving happiness for the whole of one’s existence, but to enjoy the moment—for it might be the last. Rachel Watson once believed in hope for the future, and never more than now did she long to believe in it again.
Snow dust glistened through the air to land on and around her as she passed beneath the long branches of a tall pine. With the snow came a scent she had yet been able to describe since winter came to Briarwood. The fragrance of earth and air, light and dark—no matter what time of day or night she strolled the dirt roads, the sweet and refreshing smell grounded her.
In those moments when she thought herself unable to stay and face the events since her arrival, the wide valley and thick, green forests, with soaring mountains beyond, steadied her spirit.
More than the landscape kept her sane, she admitted. The people waved hello, smiled whenever she passed, and invited her into their homes. Although she avoided accepting many of the invitations—save for those at Hawk’s Peak or with Doctor Brody and his wife—they continued to make the offers. It’s what friends do, she imagined. Her job as a governess in San Francisco had left little time for friendships beyond the staff and her sister, Mary. She thought of all the years spent caring for another couple’s children, and wondered, somewhat guiltily, if they hadn’t been wasted.
Pine boughs and red ribbon adorned many of the storefronts, and the spicy fragrance of Tilly’s apple cider wafted from the café. The faint melody of song carried from the church choir, which practiced the carols it would sing around the town tree. With less than three weeks until Christmas and the opening of the inn, Rachel pictured the grand tree—described in detail by the storekeeper and his wife—covered with homemade ornaments.
Rachel navigated her way up the stone path to the wide front porch of The Briarwood Inn and stopped. A pile of lumber and snow blocked the doorway, so she walked instead to the back door, all the while smiling.
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