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Welcome to the den of Historical and Inspirational Romance Author, Denise Patrick
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Excerpt #2 - Love for Christmas
As promised, here's another excerpt from my Christmas short story.

   Once on the ground, he found her directing one of the stable lads in cutting greenery from another tree. She still held Miranda in her arms and the little girl looked at him out of wide, dark eyes. She hadn't quite known what to think of him on the way out, but now she reached for him, surprising both he and Julianna.
   He hadn't realized he had snow on his shoulders until Julianna relinquished Miranda to him and the little girl immediately started blowing at him. Julianna laughed, sending jolts of awareness through him. By rights he should be cold, but standing beside Julianna, cold was the last thing he was feeling.
   "Do you want me to take her back?"
   "Not unless you really feel the need to," he responded. "For now she's comfortable."
   A clump of snow hit the bottom of Julianna's dress and they both turned in time to notice Joseph pick up a bit of packed snow and hurl it in their direction.
   "Not quite snowballs, but close enough," she said cheerfully. Picking up a handful of snow, she threw it into the air and watched it shower down over the little boy.
   There was something comfortable about watching her play with Joseph while he held Miranda that gave him a feeling of contentment such as he'd never felt before. This was right. He was meant to be part of her life. The catch was getting her to realize it too. Unfortunately, Vincent's ghost stood between them with a flaming sword. What would she do if she knew what he did about her deceased husband? Surely she wouldn't hold that knowledge against him. Would she?
   "Down!" Miranda suddenly moved and he caught her before she jumped from his arms. Setting her down, he made certain she was steady before letting her go to join the snow fight between her mother and brother.
   He glanced up at the sky, noting the gathering of clouds beginning to cover the sun. It would cool down rapidly soon, and possibly snow again before the day was through. Leaning back against the tree, he had turned his attention back to Julianna and her children when a hand clapped him on the shoulder. Turning, he found the viscount standing beside him.
   "Is it too early to ask if you have an honorable interest in my daughter?"
   He wasn't surprised. Hadn't Celeste told him that the viscount, while being overprotective, also wanted Julianna to marry again? Perhaps if Phillip leveled with him, he might find an ally.
   "I don't suppose it is since I do, but there are some things she doesn't know that might hamper the possibility."
   "Gampa! Gampa!" Joseph had noticed them and came running in their direction.   The snow, however, while not deep to the adults, was too deep for his short little legs and he tumbled headfirst into the soft powder.
   Phillip snatched him up before Julianna or her father could move, dusting him off and checking for injury. "Careful there," he said. "Looks like no harm done."
   Joseph looked at him as Phillip ruffled his hair to dislodge the dusting of snow on it. The resemblance to Vincent was uncanny and Phillip blinked quickly to dislodge the image. Perhaps the best thing he could do for Julianna would be to help her to raise her son and ensure he didn't turn out like his father.

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