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The Texan's Christmas Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Hardin Boys Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Linda Warren loves happy endings. The Rita® nominated author has written 26 books in the last ten years. Drawing upon her years of growing up on a ranch in Texas, she writes about sexy heroes, feisty heroines and broken families with an emotional punch. She lives in central Texas with her husband, and spends her days doing what she loves—creating unforgettable love stories—with happy endings.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

LUCINDA LITTLEFIELD.

The name evoked a torrent of high school memories—heavenly blue eyes, kissing in the bleachers, making out in his old pickup…and a whole lot of regret.

Cisco Hardin shifted restlessly in his truck as he sped down the road in High Cotton, Texas. Everyone in school had called her Lucky, and they'd dubbed him Kid. Somehow he knew they'd meet again, but he never dreamed it would be like this.

In his mind their eyes would lock across a crowded room. She'd smile that smile that turned him inside out and all the promises he'd broken would be forgotten. Chickens wearing high heels might be a more likely scenario, he mused. Lucky wasn't going to forget what he'd done. It was time to roll the dice and see if twenty years had mellowed the cockles of Lucky's heart.

As he pulled into the parking area of the one beer joint in the small town, his cell jangled to the tune of "Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)." Turning off the ignition, he reached for the phone on his belt.

"Hey, Cadde." His brother was the CEO of Shilah Oil. Kid and Chance, their other brother, had a vested interest in the company, too. The Hardin boys were in the oil business.

"Did you get Lucky to sign the lease?" Cadde always came straight to the point.

"I just reached The Joint."

"What took so long?"

"Well—" he tapped his fingers on the steering wheel "—I wanted to see Aunt Etta and Uncle Rufus and then I went to Chance's, but the baby was asleep so I stopped at your house to play with Jacob. He's crawling everywhere and pulling up to his feet by himself."

"He'll be walking soon. Jessie and I can hardly keep up with him." There was a long sigh. "Kid, you're stalling."

"Maybe." He had to admit this wasn't easy for him.

"You were only a boy when you promised to call and come back after you left for Lubbock and Texas Tech, but you didn't. That was years ago. You've both moved on."

"I know. I can't figure out what she's doing in High Cotton running her dad's bar."

"Don't worry about her life, just get the lease signed. I've already purchased our drilling contract from Anadarko and it didn't come cheap. Since Bud transferred the land and mineral rights to Lucky, we need her fifty acres to complete the desired acreage to drill the oil well. We have a personal stake in this because our property left to us by our parents is a major part of the tract."

"I'm well aware of that, big brother."

"Do you want me to talk to Lucky?"

"Hell, no. Leasing is my department and I'll handle it."

"You'll have to get out of your truck to do that."

Kid looked around. "Are you watching me?"

There was a laugh on the other end. "No, but I know you and, believe me, this is a first—Kid Hardin afraid to talk to a woman."

"Lucky's not any woman."

"You might want to analyze that statement and why this is so hard for you."

He'd rather not. "You always said my past was going to come back and haunt me. I can feel the ol' Ghost-busters chomping at my butt."

"If you don't want to see her, Chance or I will do it."

"Like hell."

"Then get out of your truck."

Kid clicked off before the curse words could leave his mouth. Grabbing his hat from the passenger's seat, he got out. The parking lot was graveled as it had been years ago and it crunched beneath his boots like cornflakes. The weatherworn siding and tin roof with the rusty spots were the same, too. An iron rail ran across the front. Bud had put it up after a drunk had plowed through his building one night. "The Beer Joint" blinked from a neon sign. Bud hadn't used much creativity in naming the place. Besides Kid's truck, three more were nosed up to the rail and it was only five o'clock on a hot September afternoon.

Opening the heavy door, he stepped into the dimly lit bar and just like that, twenty years smacked him in the face. They were seventeen years old and he'd fixed up an old Ford pickup to drive to school. After classes, The Beer Joint was the first place they'd stop. Lucky would go in the side door and sneak out two beers. Then they'd cruise the back roads, stopping at the old abandoned Potter place beneath an overgrown entrance. He'd drink his beer and then hers because she'd only take a couple of sips. The rest of the afternoon they'd spend making out when they should have been studying.

He was her first and he'd thought he would love her forever.

After his eyes adjusted, he saw the inside was the same, too; the back wall had a row of red booths that now looked more orange than red. Wooden tables were scattered in the center, the old jukebox that probably held records from the 1980s occupied another wall, and to the left was the mahogany bar Bud had built. It shone like glass. A couple huddled together in a booth, two guys sat at a table and three cowboys were bellied up to the bar talking to a waitress.

He didn't see Lucky.

Straddling a faded red bar stool, he looked around, his eyes falling on the waitress. She made no move to serve him. One cowboy said something and she laughed. His mind reeled. Oh, my God! He knew that soft, seductive chuckle. It visited him often in his dreams. Could she be…?

His eyes roamed over her slim yet curvy figure dressed in tight jeans. Her breasts pushed against a blue fitted blouse and the first button was undone. That he noticed, but her hair drew his attention. Lucky's blond hair was long and flowing. This woman's was short, kind of chic, wobberjawed is what he'd call the style. It looked damn good on her, though. Lucky.

What have you done to your hair? Just when he was about to fall off his bar stool from shock, she turned and walked over to him. "Can I get you anything?"

The soft lilting voice was the same but there was no recognition in the blue eyes—the eyes that used to sparkle for him. Now they just stared at him with irritation.

He wanted to say, "It's me, Kid," but somehow the words got tangled up in the past of his misdeeds. What he said was, "Beer. Miller Lite."

"Can or bottle?" "Bottle."

Behind her was a large cooler filled with numerous kinds of beer. She opened the door and grabbed one. After placing it in front of him on a napkin, she laid a ticket on the bar. He pulled out his wallet and placed a five on top of it.

"Keep the change."

Without a word, she put the ticket and money in the cash register. She slammed it shut and went back to the cowboys, ignoring him as if he were invisible.

That was cold.

But she was beautiful and sexy, just like he'd remembered. The classic lines of her face were now mature as was her body. And her breasts—were they always that full? They used to fit the palm of his hand perfectly.

She didn't recognize him! That took a moment to digest. Getting her to sign a lease was going to be so much easier now. He'd worried for nothing.

Looking down, he saw the bottle still had the cap on it. He knew it was a twist-off, but just to niggle her, he called, "Miss?"

She glanced his way.

"Aren't you supposed to remove the cap?" "Oh." She moved over to him, her blue eyes narrowed. "I thought you could flick it off with your thumb."

He frowned. Was she joshing him? He used to brag about that in high school. Not that he could, but it didn't keep him from boasting.

Taking the bottle, she gave it a quick twist and placed it in front of him on the napkin. Foam oozed from the top and spilled onto the side. Did she shake it?

Again, without a word she walked away.

He needed another napkin, but decided against asking. He took a cold sip.

A man came through the door on the right, carrying a case of beer. Bubba Joe Grisley. In school, he'd had a big head and his body had finally caught up. The man was huge. Did he work here? From the apron he wore, Kid figured he did. Bubba Joe used to have a crush on Lucky. Had they hooked up? Chance had said that Lucky wasn't married, but that didn't mean a thing.

Bubba Joe unloaded the case into the cooler and turned, his eyes catching Kid's. "Well, if it ain't Crisco Hardin."

Kid ran his thumb over the frosty bottle. "If you call me Crisco one more time, I'm going to jump across this bar and show you how strong I've gotten in twenty years."

Bubba Joe laughed, a sound that rumbled through his large chest. "Hey, Kid. I'm joking."

"I didn't like it when you called me that in third grade and I don't like it now."

"Hell, Kid, you got all the looks and charm and all I got was a big head. I had to have some fun." Bubba Joe rubbed his balding head. "I think I still have knots that you put there."

"I didn't hit you that hard."

"Life was good back then, huh?" Before Kid could answer, Bubba Joe shouted to Lucky. "Hey, Kid Har-din's back in town."

"I know. I served him a beer," she said without any emotion, and without looking his way.

That was even colder.

She remembered. On that thought came another. After all these years she was still pissed and madder than a bear caught in a trap. He knew Lucky and her stubborn pride. She wasn't ever going to forgive him. Forgiveness wasn't something he needed—too many years had passed for that. But he was sorry he'd hurt her.

After his parents' tragic deaths, his mind was all messed up and Lucky was there to comfort him in a way no one else could. They were friends a long time before their relationship had become intimate.

"Are you moving back to High Cotton like your brothers?" Bubba Joe asked, leaning on the bar.

"Nah." Kid took a swallow. "I'm sta...

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373717474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373717477
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,401,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 29, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shilah Oil CEO Cadde Hardin (see The Texan's Bride) sends his brother Cisco "Kid" back home to High Cotton, Texas to negotiate a deal with Lucinda "Lucky" Littlefield as their firm needs to lease her land. Kid procrastinates meeting Lucky; stopping to see family including his brother Chance (see The Texan's Secret) as he fears how she will greet he man who broke her heart years ago.

Stopping at the Beer Joint which she owns, Kid learns that time heals no wounds as two decades have passed since he left her behind to play football at Texas Tech and never came back for her. Lucky loathes him; acting colder than the brew she served him. She tells him she will never lease to a Hardin. His brothers offer to work out a deal, but Kid says no. He needs to learn why Lucky works at her Beer Joint, but finds out she is employed by the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association where she and Travis investigate rustling. However, it is the final truth that shakes him as he failed to be there when she really needed him. Now he knows what love is but fears he will not get Lucky persuading her he wants her not the lease.

The latest Hardin Boys Texas romance is a great finish to a terrific family saga. The lead couple has a history together but he needs to learn what he failed to realize twenty years ago if he wants a second chance with the woman he loves. Readers will relish this wonderful entry starring two seemingly antagonists as Kid needs to figure out why his Lucky resents him so much.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started with the first of Belle sisters series Caitlin and ended with The Texan,s Christmas, Kid,s book. The books if read in order develop the history of many families. Great characters in all the reads. There is romance but not explicit sex. Also suspense. Books c saga n be read alone but best is reading from book 1 of the Belle sisters thru book 3 of Hardin brothers.
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Anything written by Linda Warren is ALWAYS outstanding. This book is everything I thought it would be and more! The story is wonderful. I definitely recommend it to anyone. As always AMAZON does a great job of offering only the best in Romance books.
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"He... uh... looks as good as ever. He's gotten older of course, but even that's appealing with a couple of gray hairs and a Hollywood five o'clock shadow. On most men the look seems as if they need a bath but Kid has it perfected. His body isn't as lean as it was either. He's filled out with a lot of muscle."
"Sounds as if you looked at him pretty good."
"I was trying to figure out where to put the bullet."

Will Lucky ever be able to forgive Kid? They were high school sweethearts until he left for college, years ago. He promised to call her, come back to her, but he never did. He doesn't even know that he left her pregnant and she lost the baby.

Now Kid needs Lucky to sign a lease to oil rights on her land for the company he and his brothers own. Will he be able to convince her he loves her and he's changed?

This is a fun Holiday romance with some undercover cattle rustling action and an unexpected twist. I highly recommend it.
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By RNS Sarah on December 8, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of the three Hardin Boy's books - I feel that this is the strongest. Lucky is a fabulous heroine and an unconventional - since she is running her father's bar when we meet her - and I love that this is a little a-typical of her heroines. Warren is able to keep the both at odds with each other as well as bringing them closer together in a believable way for these two former lovers.
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