A Stockingful of Joy by Jill Barnett

By Jill Barnett

Simply in time for the Christmas season--four of romance's best-loved writers give a contribution undying, passionate tales created specially for this assortment! Bestselling authors Jill Barnett, Mary Jo Putney, Justine Dare, and Susan King set the pages on hearth with love, as those beautiful tales seize the genuine spirit of this detailed time of 12 months!

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He glanced at the other men. " A few of them nodded agreement. Callum turned to her. " Catriona sighed in relief, and gathered boldness in her next breath. "My uncle, Hugh MacDonald, holds Kilernan Castle. I am the Maid of Kilernan, my father's only heir. " She paused. " Callum stared at her. His kinsmen stared at her, too. From across the room, she sensed the gazes of the women as well. The laird cleared his throat. " "Take it," she said, "and give it into my keeping. " "Let them take it for you," a red-haired Fraser said.

Cù mewled and poured out of her arms. Thumping down to the rushed-coated earthen floor, he stretched beside the warm stones that encircled the fire. Catriona began to close the door, but a faint, steady sound caught her attention. She peered out, seeing little beyond the fluttering, lacy whiteness. But she could hear the drums of the gillean Callaig, the lads of New Year's Eve, as they marched around the clachan, a cluster of a few farms and kale-yards. Even a blizzard would not stop them, although she doubted they would walk far with their torches and drums and songs.

He asked. "I will sleep here," she said as she sat on the plaid and began to remove her boots. " He stood. In the dim light of the peat fire, she saw his face go suddenly pale. "Lie down. " She echoed his own words. "The hearth fire cannot be allowed to go out on this night of the year, as anyone knows. I need to watch over it. " She stretched out and pulled the plaid over her. After a moment she thought she heard him swear a low oath. Soon she heard his boots thud to the floor, and heard the bed creak as he lay down.

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