“Hell’s bells, be careful up there! That’s my mountain you’re blasting away at!” Cassandra Fairfax has had it. She has decided to take refuge in the home Daniel, her late husband built for her in days before his death. It’s nestled in the side of a mountain in North Carolina. Even Matthew Downing, who owns the mountain and the emerald mine it sits on, has told her the house is hers to claim, and claim it she will, just in time for Christmas. But she’s managed to arrive in the middle of a terrible storm.

Matthew Downing is a good man; so everyone says. But on the fourth anniversary of his wife’s death, he is in no mood to celebrate. When Cassandra shows up, full of attitude, defiance, and her own form of determination, he’s not at all inclined to put up with it. After lightning strikes the house, he finds himself chasing her up the side of the mountain in pursuit of a little boy who doesn’t speak. Matthew rescues both of them. He delivers the child back home, and furiously marches her to the sheriff’s office. He’s stunned, when he realizes who she is. She’s burned her bridges behind her. She’s wet, cold, bedraggled and forlorn, after weathering the storm, and he knows she needs someone to look out for her. He’s also sure he’s lost his mind. She may be loveable, but she’s also a handful. Yes, he’ll take care of her; yes, he’ll marry her, but there are conditions to which she must agree.

She understands that he’ll discipline if she’s disobedient or defiant, but the last of the requirements is the hardest of all. He refuses the very thing she came here to do… to celebrate Christmas. Can she agree to this? To any of it? Cassandra isn’t sure what to think of this tall, handsome, strict man she’s married. And she never expects to love him.

Matthew soon wonders just what he’d do without her in his life. He has his hands full keeping up with her as she takes entire the town into her heart.

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