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In July 2016 HARLEQUIN AMERICAN ROMANCE will become HARLEQUIN WESTERN ROMANCE. Same great stories, new name!


What Navy SEAL Marsh Langtree needs is to make sense of his life. What he gets is a near-fatal snakebite. If it weren’t for Effie Washington, Marsh would be a goner. Her blue eyes and gorgeous smile make him thankful he’s still breathing. But he shouldn’t be flirting with a single mom…

With rambunctious twins and an infant at home, Effie’s love life has stalled. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Effie can tell Marsh is holding back, and she won’t fall for another man who’s not all-in. Will the possibility of a future with Effie finally force Marsh to forgive himself for the past?



“What’s up?”

Effie was already behind the wheel with the motor running when Marsh approached the window.

“I wanted to tell you to drive careful and thanks again for the laughs. It felt good.”

“I know, right?” There went her pulse again. He’d pressed his open palms against the door frame, which raised his T-shirt enough to bare a strip of skin and his wholly masculine abs.

Mouth dry, she forced her gaze to his eyes, but that didn’t do much to stop the tingly awareness that lately took hold whenever he was around.

“Anyway, good night, Effie.”

“Night.” The sound of her name, pronounced nice and slow with a hint of a Southern twang, produced all manner of havoc in her belly. If she hadn’t been crammed into an old minivan that smelled like Cheerios with her grandmother and a pack of kids, would he have kissed her?



Dear Reader,

At the time of writing this letter, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and the famed City of Light has just experienced a devastating attack by terrorists. In the midst of the horror playing out on the world stage, my daughter and I have been prepping our little flea market booth for a Christmas open house and getting our home nice and tidy for the holidays.

Our home. When I take a moment to truly think about this, I feel inordinately blessed. Most of all, I’m thankful for my family and friends. They are the miracles who make life truly worth living. In between stops for shiny new ornaments and cinnamon potpourri, my mind drifts not only to those poor souls in France who have lost loved ones, but to those grieving here in my own town.

In this story, Navy SEAL Marsh Langtree’s life has been shattered by the death of his three-year-old son. His grief is debilitating, as is his guilt and the belief that he doesn’t deserve to ever be happy again. All of which winds me back around to the current global unrest. With so much pain, I feel guilty for feeling immensely full and at peace with my lot in life. Is that wrong? How long should we mourn before we once again celebrate life?

These are the issues that Effie Washington helps Marsh tackle. They’re not easy questions, but they’re necessary for healing and living and most of all…loving.

Wishing you a peaceful holiday season,

Laura Marie






Laura Marie Altom



Laura Marie Altom is a bestselling and award-winning author who has penned nearly fifty books. After college (Go, Hogs!), Laura Marie did a brief stint as an interior designer before becoming a stay-at-home mom to boy-girl twins and a bonus son. Always an avid romance reader, she knew it was time to try her hand at writing when she found herself replotting the afternoon soaps.

When not immersed in her next story, Laura plays video games, tackles Mount Laundry and, of course, reads romance!

Laura loves hearing from readers at either PO Box 2074, Tulsa, OK 74101, or by email, balipalmaol.

Love winning fun stuff? Check out lauramariealtom.

Books by Laura Marie Altom

Harlequin American Romance

Cowboy SEALs

The SEAL’s Miracle Baby

The Baby and the Cowboy SEAL

Operation: Family Series

A SEAL’s Secret Baby

The SEAL’s Stolen Child

The SEAL’s Valentine

A Navy SEAL’s Surprise Baby

The SEAL’s Christmas Twins

The SEAL’s Baby

The Cowboy SEAL

Visit the Author Profile page at Harlequin for more titles.

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This story is dedicated to my precious family:

Terry, Not-So-Little-Anymore Terry, Hannah

& her sweet Steven, Russell, Mom & Dad,

and my adopted sisters—Margaret & Amy.

You all make my life worth living. xoxo





Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen


Excerpt from The Ranger’s Rodeo Rebel by Pamela Britton



Chapter One

Effie Washington stopped humming to hold her hand to her forehead, shading her eyes from the brutal August sun. Was she seeing a mirage? Was that a mule deer or man on horseback, slumped in his saddle?

From her vantage atop the roof of her grandmother’s run-down adobe ranch house, she narrowed her gaze. In southeast Colorado, judging distance could be tricky. On a clear day, she had the front range to her west, but with miles upon miles of rolling grassland and the vast wide-open sky, the object she thought might be a few hundred yards in the distance could turn out to be a mile away.

“Colt! Remington!” she called to her six-year-old identical-twin boys. They were supposed to be on ladder guard duty—a fancy way of ensuring they didn’t run off by making them believe they were charged with a highly important job.

“Yeah, Mom?” As usual, they answered in tandem.

“Did you ever put your boots back on after I caught you messing with the hose?”

“Uh-uh,” Remington said.

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