When an on-the-job incident sends her home to her family’s Hill Country ranch, Detective Aubrey Cavanaugh wants to hide away with a good bottle of vodka to ease her mind and her guilt.
She doesn’t want to deal with family, friends, and least of all her former lover, Erich Harlan, who is now the ranch foreman.
Erich Harlan has his hands full with overseeing the ranch while Aubrey’s parents are away. But he can see she is hurting. He might be the last person she’d turn to, but he won’t give up until he knows what’s causing her pain and how to make it go away.
After a dozen years apart, will she be willing to find Sanctuary with the Cowboy?
This is a novella with a tenuous link to Christmas – Aubrey returns to her parents’ ranch earlier than normal for Christmas and seems to be in no rush to leave, whereas the last few years have seen her visits getting shorter and shorter. Erich picks her up from the airport and is concerned as to her level of drinking before she’s already left the airport.
To break down her desire to drink rather than talk, he breaks down her defences to find out what happened whilst on the job in the big city. The desire they felt before for each other returns, and that, along with the ranch (and a standoff with the bad guys) brings a little peace to her life.
Since this is a novella, this is naturally shorter than a regular book. Since the couple have had a relationship previously, so that there is no need for them to build up a relationship from the start during the story. There was a good premise, in that Aubrey is damaged in a very modern way and it’s Erich’s calmness and stubbonness that gets through to her.