Asked to pick my favorite western romance writer, I'd probably choose Merry Farmer. She dives deep into the history, writes vividly, and frankly I like my western historicals on the spicier side, and Merry always delivers.
Mistletoe & Moonbeams is a perfect little western holiday novella. A proper lady, Miranda, has been booted from the society her family enjoys and has come to Montana to take over the saloon (and cathouse) her Uncle left her in his will. She's miserable and laments her lot in life loudly - until Randall, a traveling brush salesman, walks in her doors just as a blizzard hits. Of course, they get stuck in the saloon together for a few days, and sparks fly as they deal with Miranda's terrible cooking, the snow on the roof, cleaning out things left behind by the former working girls of the establishment, and keeping warm.
It's all sorts of silly and sweet and sexy, a book I was delighted to re-read in preparation for this year. If you like sexy westerns, read this one.
*This story was originally published as part of a bigger collection of tales about women living in Mistletoe, Montana, but it's now available as a stand-alone.*
Mistletoe & Moonbeams is available via Amazon.
Pairs well with --
A cup of tea!
One of the first reasons Miranda likes Randall is that he asks for tea instead of a whiskey or beer when he comes into the saloon to keep warm. I've been trying (I'm always trying!) to cut down the amount of coffee I drink, and I've been enjoying this Winter Charm tea from Ahmad Tea London lately. It's fruity and not too strong, and is the prettiest red color - perfect for reading a holiday book! (Also, it's really good iced. Yes, I drink iced tea in winter. I drink iced things all year long.) I'm also really liking the Bigelow Candy Cane tea, if peppermint if your thing.
A History Holler!
(I needed to do one for December, so here it is!)
First of all, Mistletoe is a parasite. Sexy, right? It grows on living trees and, sans tree, dies.
The Greeks and Romans used mistletoe medicinally. The Druids loved the stuff. Mistletoe blooms even in winter, so they used it in several ways - hanging it over their doors to ward off spirits, for one, and if enemies met under mistletoe they had to set down their weapons and call a truce until the next day. But the Druids also correlated the stuff in a few ways relating to fertility. In Norse mythology, mistletoe is a symbol of friendship. Time passed, and somewhere along the line this romantic symbolism evolved - by the 18th century, the English had "the kissing ball", or a ball of mistletoe. If a young woman was caught beneath one, refusing a kiss meant bad luck!
Mistletoe is also the state flower of Oklahoma. Medical experts advise keeping it away from children and pets as some varieties can be toxic and cause gastrointestinal distress and a slowed heartbeat. (Maybe that's where the 'hanging it high' tradition began?) The more you know, right?
"Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it. But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it."
--Catwoman. Batman Returns.
See you tomorrow, where I am going to RAVE about a Hanukkah romance that blew me away!