Skip to product information
1 of 2

Christmas Cowboy: A Friendly Valley Romance

Christmas Cowboy: A Friendly Valley Romance

Regular price $2.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $2.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Purchase the E-book Instantly

The book will be delivered immediately via email.

Receive Download Link via Email

Start reading within second!

Send to Preferred E-Reader and Enjoy!

Enjoy on any e-reader device!

After her husband announced he wanted a divorce last Christmas, Laney decided she was never EVER celebrating Christmas again! She heads to her aunt's ranch in Friendly Valley, where she plans to work on any of the many projects her aunt has lined up. In the past, her aunt and uncle barely recognized holidays, so she figures it's a great place to skip Christmas. But once Laney arrives, she notices that things have changed. Her aunt and uncle have the Christmas spirit, and there is a tall, strong, very attractive—but annoying — cowboy who insists on bringing Christmas cheer into Laney's life. (The book will be delivered immediately via Bookfunnel)

Main Tropes

Christmas, cowboy, small town, western


Laney is NEVER celebrating Christmas again! A charming, Christmas loving cowboy might have something to say about her sudden aversion to the holiday.

Intro In Chapter One

Laney McGee collected her luggage from the side of the train, dragging the heavy suitcase over to the small, snow-covered waiting area. The soft flakes crunched under her shoes, causing her to slip several times on her way to the dilapidated shelter. Visibility was low, and it didn’t help that the snow was creating a messy fog on her glasses. 

Should have kept my contacts in. Actually, I should have stayed home all together. 

The train station was nothing more than a small shack, and although it was ten in the morning, the place was locked up. Laney hadn’t put much thought into the trip. Her main goal was to get away from all the memories she’d shared with her ex-husband. But this was a little extreme.

Her mother’s words echoed in her head as she mulled over the decision she had made. “A trip to Betty and Sam’s? In the winter? Laney, that is insane! They live in the mountains and my sister doesn’t believe in vacations. She’s going to have you cleaning tables, fixing tractors, and milking cows. I know you’re feeling down about Christmas, but you should stick around.”

“I’ll be too busy to think about anything. Sounds perfect,” Laney answered. But now that she was standing on the side of a rundown train station, she was less sure of her choice.

Only six other people had exited the train at the Friendly Valley stop. Three had moved quickly to cars that were waiting in the parking lot, but Laney and two others were shivering on the platform, waiting for transportation. Was this a mistake? Laney shook her head in frustration and pulled out her cellphone.

Great. Only twenty-five percent power left. She quickly tapped out a text to her aunt. “Hey, Aunt Betty! I’m at the train station. It’s closed, so I’ll be on the platform when you get here.”

“Please hurry,” Laney muttered to herself. She had dug through her luggage for her gloves before exiting off the train, but had no luck. She quickly put her phone and hands back in her jacket pockets, her fingers turning numb by the second. A strong wind blew across the platform, kicking snow up into Laney’s face. Her mother’s voice echoed in her head once more.

“There is a reason we only visit your Aunt Betty and Uncle Sam in the summer.” 

“I know it’s cold and everything is shut down during this time of year. That’s what I’m looking for. You two are practically Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the house is some type of little Christmas wonderland. I don’t want that this year. Not after everything that’s happened.” 

“Okay, sweetheart. We’re going to have such a good time with your sister and her family. Do you really think you’ll find some happiness on that cold, lonely mountain?” her father asked.

“I was born and raised there. You’re going to be so bored and cold. And this train thing…Laney, this isn’t 1860. Why not just fly?”

“Mom, did you forget that I’ve been laid off for the past few weeks? There were deals on train tickets and besides, this is a perfectly fine way to travel. It’ll get me in the mood for the rugged vacay I have planned.”

“You think the train ride is going to be old-fashioned? Wait until you see the other passengers. I bet you’ll wish you’d booked a flight.”

Laney had brushed off her father’s warning, but after the train ride, she realized her father had been right. The trip was horrible. Just plain horrible! Not only was there a seven-hour delay because of a track malfunction, but the electricity had also gone out for an extended amount of time. The train sat frigid and still amid the Nebraska prairie, stretching the trip beyond the original forty-two-hour trek. At that point, Laney accepted her fate, pulled her hair into a bun, dug out her old copy of The Wizard of Oz, and buried herself in her book for the next several hours.

In a way, the journey had done the trick. The goal of the trip was to pretend that Christmas was only a few days away, and that it would not be the one-year anniversary of her husband, Dalton, asking for a divorce. But now that she was shivering on the platform of a closed train station, Laney was questioning her judgment. Hopefully, things would improve once she got to her uncle and aunt’s place. Sam and Betty Thornton, her mother’s oldest sister, would allow Laney to do as she pleased without interjection. 

Sam and Betty lived on the outskirts of town and kept to themselves, and since Laney had vowed she’d never celebrate Christmas again, it seemed like a great choice to distract herself from the tragic turn her life had taken in recent years. Her uncle and aunt didn’t decorate, and they weren’t religious, so they didn’t put up a tree or lights, or really even acknowledge the day at all. Instead, they tended their cattle and maintained the ranch. Special occasions weren’t really on their agenda. Things like holidays and birthdays meant nothing to them. In fact, none of their children bothered visiting during the holidays because they knew the days meant nothing to their parents, which was why she booked a ticket straight for Friendly Valley. 

“We just live our lives. Don’t need all that socializing and smiling. Just leads to a mess,” Aunt Betty had told Laney once.

Laney breathed a sigh of relief as she stood on the snowy platform, remembering her aunt’s words. Then, her mind travelled back to the words Dalton had said one year prior. 

“It’s just not working out,” he mentioned casually over a piece of pumpkin pie. He’d waited for the big dinner with his family to be over, and the dishes to be loaded into the dishwasher before he told Laney he wanted a divorce. It hadn’t been a complete surprise, but they’d been together since high school, and they’d known each other since they were in kindergarten. It was hard to comprehend. Divorce? End the marriage and leave each other’s lives? Laney had sat at the dining room table for hours after she got the news, but Dalton went up to their bedroom, packed a bag, and headed to his brother’s house for the night. It was like he’d been planning it for a while.

A man whistling, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, and sauntering through the snow interrupted Laney’s dire trip down memory lane. He was tall with a wide jaw, Roman nose, and deep blue eyes peeking out from underneath a cowboy hat.

Annoying! But cute, Laney thought. She stared at the parking lot, tapping her foot. Where is Aunt Betty? Laney hoped she would be there soon. She was losing feeling in her toes and regretted her decision to not wear the boots that had been gathering dust in her closet for years. She had packed them away in her suitcase, confident they’d finally be put to use, but didn’t want to spend the entire train ride in them. 

“Hey now! I’m looking for a City Slicker,” the man said to a woman at the end of the train platform.

A City Slicker? What type of hick is he?

Laney pulled out her phone and checked the screen. The text message was still trying to send. Did she even have service here? She tapped out another text.

“Hi, Aunt Betty. Can’t wait to see you! When should I expect you?”

Laney needed her aunt to show up soon. She longed for a warm blanket and a piping hot bowl of some type of comfort food. Chicken noodle soup, beef stroganoff—anything to soothe her weary soul.

Why did I do this to myself?

She was shivering, but too drained to pull out a coat. It would require her to dig around in her suitcase, and her arms were tired and stiff.

The man whistling Walking in the Winter Wonderland headed her way.

Laney tried to ignore him and kept watching the parking lot for her aunt. 

“City Slicker,” the man called out again, his hands cupped around his mouth.

There are only a few people on the frickin’ tiny platform! Why not just ask people if they are whomever he’s looking for? Laney turned and faced the man. Her arms folded and her brow creased.

The guy was well over six feet, wearing a striped, long-sleeved shirt tucked into blue jeans and no coat. His arms were enormous, and his muscles rippled through his shirt. 

Why are the hot ones always so obnoxious?

“You must be the City Slicker,” he said as he stared at her. 

“Excuse me?” Laney shot back, flipping a few strands of her hair out of her face. Her bun was beyond messy at this point. Normally, she wouldn’t be seen in public in this state, but she was too cold and too tired to care.

“I’m supposed to pick up some City Slicker. Your aunt said you’d probably be having issues. Like you wouldn’t be prepared for our weather, or the mountains. I see that’s true,” the man said, before letting out a belly laugh.

Laney clutched her suitcase, instantly wishing she’d packed less. It would be hard for her to pull the thing to the car and lift it into a trunk.

“Riley Crist,” he said, sticking out his hand. 

“Great. Where is Aunt Betty?” Laney asked, feeling self-conscious about the sweatpants she’d worn for the trip. And her hair…Laney suddenly wanted—no, she needed—a mirror. 

This gorgeous man is probably laughing at me on the inside. Her cheeks flushed red. 

“Little momma, don’t worry. I got you,” Riley said, reaching for the suitcase.

Laney yanked it away, losing her grip and tumbling into a snowbank.

Riley laughed, but immediately went to scoop her up into his arms. Laney put up a small fight, but almost instantly, she realized she liked being in his arms. Before Riley put her down, she snapped back to reality.

“Put me down you brute!”

“Calm down. This ain’t the city. People are nice here. Men open doors and help women up when they fall. Chivalry ain’t dead here like it is wherever you’re from.”

“You’re right. Sorry. Thank you,” Laney said, smoothing her hair back and tucking it behind her ear.

“Don’t worry. You still look cute. I bet you look even better without those glasses,” Riley smiled.

Laney didn’t think her cheeks could turn any redder. She’d fallen asleep in her contacts the night before. That morning, she’d taken them out and slipped on her glasses. Her eyes were irritated and red. Basically, she looked like a girl having a lonely night on the couch with a tub of ice cream. She’d expected Aunt Betty to show up, not some annoying cute cowboy who hummed Christmas tunes.

“I’ve been on a train for about fifty hours. See how you look after that.”

Riley laughed. “I was just kidding. You look amazing. Tired, but beautiful.”

Laney shook her head. I wish he’d stop this.

“So, it’s almost Christmas. I assume you’re here because you know no one does Christmas like Friendly. Better get your Christmas spirit up and running.”

Laney rolled her eyes. “If you’re here to pick me up, fine. Let’s get going. No need to make small talk.”

“It’s not small talk,” Riley said, grabbing her suitcase with ease and gently placing his hand on the small of her back. Laney pulled away and slipped again. Her Nikes were not cutting it in this snow. Riley slipped his arm around her and pulled her in a half hug, handling the suitcase effortlessly in his other hand. Laney considered protesting but realized that he was keeping her nice and sturdy as they made their way to his vehicle.

“We’ve got the greatest powder on earth. You need some boots.”

“I packed some.”

“When it’s snowing is a good time to wear ‘em.”

“Yes. I know, but the train ride was rough. I didn’t have the time or the mental energy to pull out my boots. Just wanted to get off that darn train.”

Riley walked her to the side of his white Dodge Ram and opened the passenger door. Laney knew there was no way she was going to get into the truck without jumping, but the slick conditions wouldn’t permit such a thing. She looked at Riley.

“Okay. I got you,” he laughed. His voice was low and soothing as he lifted Laney up and deposited her safely into the truck.

“Thank you,” Laney said, fighting hard to suppress her smile.

“You’re welcome, darling.”

Riley tossed the suitcase in the back of his truck and climbed behind the wheel. He gunned the diesel and announced, “I’ve got the perfect thing to cheer you up.”

“I’m not interested,” Laney said, her arms folded and a frown on her face.

“You don’t have to hide it. Your aunt told me all about your troubles and—”

“She did what?!”

“Now, calm down. Betty was just worried about you. I promised that I’d help while you’re in town.”

Help? Laney felt like a wayward child. She didn’t need looking after!

“Look, Riley. Just take me to the ranch, okay?”


“What do you mean, nope?”

“I mean, you’re not going there until after I take you to a special place and get a smile out of you.”

View full details