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CHRISTMAS  SURPRISE -- Paisley Kirkpatrick

CHRISTMAS SURPRISE

Widower Hank Hughes has had it with his headstrong daughter. She'll be married by Christmas come hell or high water.

Nobody, including her father, would force Caroline Hughes to marry a man she doesn't love. She plans to choose her own husband. Her hopes are set on Tam MacGregor, but would he sever his family ties to stay with her?

Tam MacGregor and his brother came to the Northwoods to deliver horses and a new governess. Neither one of them expected to get caught up in a world of smuggling and even more dangerous, match making.

Caught between her own stubborn pride and the love she prays is enough to keep Tam in Wisconsin, Caroline is determined to have her Christmas wedding on her own terms.

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Danielle got out of bed and slid into bed with Caroline. "It's cold tonight." She snuggled in and pulled the covers up to her chin. "What are you going to do about Daddy? He was really mad at you."

"I don't know, but if we don't change his attitude right now, he's going to do the same thing to the rest of you."

Madeleine came into the room and crawled under the covers on the other side of Caroline. "Why don't we find him a wife so he'll be too busy to arrange our futures?"

"You have an interesting idea, but where would we find a wife for Daddy?" Caroline said.

"I'll be right back." Madeleine slid out from under the covers and hurried out of the room. She returned in a few moments and tossed a magazine to Caroline before lighting the lantern on the bedside table. "Check out page seven."

Caroline laughed at the title of the article. Mail Order Brides Ready and Willing to Travel

"Let me see it." Danielle looked at the photos and read through the first page. "The want-to-be brides aren't too bad. Maybe we should send a letter to the address listed below the article and tell them how wonderful Daddy is."

Jacqueline entered the room wrapped in one of her quilts with Luc following her. She sat on Danielle's bed. "Daddy will be mad at us for such a crazy idea," she said.

Madeline gasped. "Luc, where'd you come from?"

"I got hurt so Michel brought me here to heal." He managed to move on top of Danielle's bed and sat next to Jacqueline. "What are you getting into?"

"We're finding a wife for Daddy," Danielle said. "He's forcing Caroline to marry, so we want to teach him a lesson. One that will change his mind about finding all of us husbands."