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Book 1: Her Cowboy Billionaire Birthday Wish (Christmas at Whiskey Mountain Lodge in Coral Canyon™)

Book 1: Her Cowboy Billionaire Birthday Wish (Christmas at Whiskey Mountain Lodge in Coral Canyon™)

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Go back to Coral Canyon to meet the Hammond Brothers in this cowboy billionaire romance and family saga series!

CONTINUE HERE! This is the first book in the Christmas at Whiskey Mountain Lodge in Coral Canyon™ Romance series. 

About HER COWBOY BILLIONAIRE BIRTHDAY WISH: All the maid at Whiskey Mountain Lodge wants for her birthday is a handsome cowboy billionaire. And Colton can make that wish come true—if only he hadn’t escaped to Coral Canyon after being left at the altar...Will Annie's birthday wish come true? Or will Colton's scarred heart keep them from achieving happily-ever-after?

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

The life and energy of Whiskey Mountain Lodge pulsed through Annie Pruitt as she climbed the steps from the basement to the kitchen. The door at the top of the steps had been slid closed, but as the family gathered in the kitchen burst into laughter, no barrier could contain the sound.

Annie smiled, because she loved the Whittaker family, and all those that had come to be included in that family. Herself and her girls included.

She paused on the top stair, her fingers scrambling for the divot to latch onto so she could slide open the door. It moved easily, because everything at Whiskey Mountain Lodge now ran like a well-oiled machine. Not that it hadn’t before, but Graham and Beau had worked together over the course of eight months to bring the lodge out of retirement and back into a full luxury vacation destination in the beautiful Teton Mountains.

They’d hired four more people to work at the lodge, increased Annie’s hours to full-time, and made every room available for nightly stays, even the master suite. Beau and Lily had moved down the canyon to the town of Coral Canyon, and the brothers had built a cabin on the hill in the backyard for the manager who now ran this place.

Annie liked Patsy Foxhill a lot, and she ran a very tight ship for someone so petite and a decade younger than Annie.

“There she is,” Graham practically yelled as Annie entered the kitchen. “Celia was just suggesting we come down and get you.” He grinned at her, his eyes bright and glinting.

Annie shook her head. “You said dinner was at six. It’s quarter till.” She glanced around at everyone gathered at the table. Tonight was the first night they’d all gathered to the lodge for their annual family Christmas celebration.

Over the course of the next six days, they’d transform the lodge into Holiday Central, with a tree-cutting expedition planned for the day after tomorrow.

For starting tonight and continuing through at least the next twenty-four hours, Mother Nature would be dumping snow. At least according to the forecast and the National Weather Service. In fact, the family wasn’t supposed to gather to the lodge until tomorrow night, but they’d come early to avoid the weather.

All of the guests had left that morning, and Annie was supposed to have two days to clean the lodge from top to bottom before the Whittakers and Everetts arrived. She’d had four hours.

As Eli and Meg arrived, then Andrew and Becca, then Beau and Lily, they’d simply put their bags in the rooms where they’d be staying, and Annie had stripped beds and scrubbed tubs around the luggage.

Lily’s sisters and parents had become an integral part of the Christmas traditions at the lodge too, and Vi and Todd and Rose and Liam had arrived that day as well. Fran and Jack Everett had come after Annie had finished the upstairs rooms, as had Amanda and Finn, her new husband, and Celia and Zach.

Annie’s thoughts lingered on Amanda and Celia the most these days. She’d watched them find their second chance at happily-ever-after, and she wanted it for herself. She’d been out with a couple of men in the past couple of years as the lodge went through the changes, but neither of them had panned out.

She found herself stuck in the middle of her life, taking each day one at a time the way she’d learned to do after her husband’s death, alone. She didn’t want to be alone forever, and she certainly didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

“Where’s Bree?” she asked. “Everyone’s not even here yet.”

“Happy birthday,” Amanda said, appearing in front of her and hugging her.

Annie giggled as she hugged the woman a couple of decades older than her. “Thank you.”

“I know it was a couple of weeks ago,” she continued. “But Finn and I haven’t been down to the lodge in that long.” She extended an envelope toward Annie, who looked at it with love and appreciation for Amanda and Finn streaming through her.

“You didn’t have to get me anything.” She glanced to the table, where several others still loitered. A couple of kids ran into the kitchen, excitedly asking Celia for just a pinch of the chocolate bread she’d made that day. She shooed them out, and Annie still hadn’t taken the envelope from Amanda.

“We got you something too,” Graham said, setting a bright red package on the counter that separated the large kitchen from the dining area, where most people sat to visit. More gifts appeared, and Annie pressed her hand against her heart. Tears threatened to spill down her face, but she held them back.

Maybe she was simply closer to fifty than forty now, and her emotions couldn’t be controlled as easily, because one tear managed to slip out of the corner of her eye. She swiped at it, and said, “You guys. You didn’t have to.”

“But we wanted to,” Eli said, standing up as he picked up the slim, blue package someone with less clumsy hands than his cowboy fingers had wrapped. He nearly shoved the gift at her, and Annie finally took it and the envelope.

“Well, I appreciate it,” she said.

“You don’t turn forty-six every day,” Amanda said. “It’s a good year. One of my best.” She smiled, and it sat beautifully on her face. Annie would’ve never guessed she had turned seventy years old that year, and she could only hope she looked as good as Amanda in twenty-four more years.

The thought made her stomach clench. Twenty-four more years. Would she have to spend all of those days with a sponge in her hand, her two cats the only living things waiting for her at home?

She reminded herself that both Emily and Eden still lived at home, though they were adults, as she looked down at the envelope. Before she could open it or the gift, a child screamed from somewhere in the house, and someone came through the back door, yelling the words, “The storm is starting already.”

Bree poked her head around the corner as she removed her hat, which bore enough snow to shake to the floor and gather into a fist-sized ball. Annie frowned at it, because she knew she’d be the one to clean it up.

“It’s coming down out there,” she said. “We barely made it up the path.”

“Good thing we’re all staying here tonight,” Celia said, and Bree ducked back around the corner to hang her winter gear in the mudroom off the back entrance. The chatter picked up again; Rose left to discover the source of the screaming, assuming it to be one of her triplets. She and Liam had two boys and a girl that had just entered their terrible two’s, and they all possessed a healthy set of lungs.

Bree and Elise entered the fray of people, and Annie felt less alone. They didn’t have boyfriends or husbands either, and she suddenly wasn’t the only one.

“Everything’s ready,” Sophia said, putting a large pot on the counter. She’d been hired as the full-time cook at the lodge, which offered breakfast and dinner to its guests. Celia worked weekends now, when they only offered dinner on Saturdays and lunch on Sundays, choosing to spend the rest of her time in Dog Valley, on Zach’s farm with him.

Annie wondered what that life would be like. Working a few hours a day, and living in a beautiful, modern home with the man she loved. Her chest tightened again, and she gathered the gifts from everyone, keeping her smile cemented in place.

Annie had learned long ago to smile, to find the silver lining in any situation, to make the best of what she’d been given.

But would it be so hard to give me someone to grow old with? she wondered, directing her question up. Up through the ceiling. Up through the storm. Up, up, up and hopefully, all the way to the Lord’s ears.

“Thank you,” she said to everyone, nodding and smiling. “Thank you so much.” She hurried into the family room and put the gifts in a pile on the armchair there, reaching for the two teens sitting on the couch. “Come on, guys. It’s time for dinner.”

Bailey and Stockton were the oldest of the Whittaker children, with mostly kids under the age of five to play with. So they tended to stick together, talking about their friends or looking at things on their phones.

They got up and Bailey wrapped her arms around Annie. “Oh,” she said, patting the girl’s head. “What’s that for?”

“Happy birthday,” she said, smiling up at her. Bailey had always been a sober child, and she’d matured into a fourteen-year-old with the same calm demeanor as her mother.

“Thank you,” she said.

“Stockton and I helped Sophia and Celia with the cake,” she said. “I think you’re going to like it.”

“I’m sure I will,” Annie said, further relaxing. “In fact, do you think we could have cake first?’

Stockton said, “I’m going to go ask Celia,” and ran ahead of them.

“I don’t think we can have cake first,” Bailey said.

“Why not?” Annie asked. “I hate waiting until after dinner to eat dessert. I’m always too full then.”

“Good point,” Bailey said, and Annie giggled again.

They stepped through the doorway, a wall in front of them forcing them left or right. To the left and through that doorway was the main kitchen. To the right was the dining area, and Annie stepped that way, very aware that for the number of people in the house, it was entirely too quiet.

And she knew from experience that silence meant nothing good. In fact, when children were quiet, that spelled trouble. Emily and Eden had drawn all over one of Annie’s walls during one of their silent bouts.

So something was definitely happening in the dining room. Annie rounded the corner behind Bailey, trying to see into the kitchen and left and right and back to everything in the dining room at the same time.

A loud blast of singing hit her, and she couldn’t help grinning as everyone who’d gathered for their second annual family Christmas party started wishing her a happy birthday. Those darn tears came again, and Annie didn’t even try to swipe them away this time.

Celia lit the candles on a massive chocolate cake that had been set on the edge of the table, and Annie led them with both hands as the song wrapped up.

She stepped forward to blow out the candles, and someone called, “Make a wish!”

Annie closed her eyes, wondering what a forty-six-year-old widow should wish for.

I wish…I wish…I wish for a cowboy billionaire of my own to fall madly in love with.

She giggled at the ridiculous thought, opened her eyes, and blew out the candles. Thankfully, Celia had not put on forty-six, but just a four and a six, and she only had to get out two flames.

“Thank you, everyone,” she said when the last bits of applause stopped.

Celia gestured to the kitchen, where Sophia came out with a stack of plates and Stockton followed with forks. “And because I’ve known Annie since she moved to town, I know she likes her sweets first. So we’ll be having cake first.”

Annie grinned at Stockton, who wore a look on his face like Christmas had come six days early. “Did you ask?”

“She already had the cake out,” the boy said. “Honest.”


Annie turned toward the unfamiliar male voice as others started to look past her and the cake.

A tall man stood there, wearing cowboy boots, jeans, the biggest, puffiest coat Annie ever did see, and a deliciously white cowboy hat without a speck of snow on it.

“I knocked,” he said. “But you must not have heard me.” He put a smile on his face, and Annie darn near swooned on the spot. He had a handsome smile, perfectly framed by a dark beard with more salt than pepper. She sure did like that silver hair on a man, and her heart shot out several extra beats.

“I can see I’m interrupting,” he said. “I was just…hoping you’d have an open room tonight. See, my brother stayed here once with his son, and he said it was a great place, and—”

“I’m sure we have a room,” Lily said, one of the closest ones to Celia and this new man crashing the party. “And you can stay for cake and dinner too.”

“I can pay,” he said.

“Oh, the lodge is booked,” Patsy said, glancing at Lily and then Graham, who’d also come forward. “But I think we can manage to have you for one night.” She gave him a tight smile, but Annie honestly couldn’t look away from him. She needed to know his name, and where he was from, and how long he was going to be in town.

One night rang in her ears, and she started desperately praying that God would send more snow. So much snow that none of them would even be able to leave the lodge for days.

“Okay,” the man said, peeling off that huge coat. “I’m much obliged.” He stuck out his hand for Patsy to shake. “You seem like you’re in charge. I’m Colton Hammond.”

Colton Hammond. It was the type of name Annie could float away on as she tried to drift to sleep, and she caught herself sighing before she jolted to attention and turned back to the cake. Chocolate. Yes, all she needed was chocolate to get herself back into the right mindset.

A lot of chocolate.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I loved this sweet romance story. The characters instantly drew you into the story and you felt like you were actually in the story loving it out with them.” ~Linda

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I thought this was a really lovely story. The characters are fantastic and the storyline was really good. I enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to read about the rest of the Hammond’s.” ~Tammy

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Go back to Coral Canyon to meet the Hammond Brothers in this cowboy billionaire romance and family saga series!

You'll see old friends at Whiskey Mountain Lodge in the Whittaker brothers, and experience clean and sweet cowboy romance with every brother! Journey to Wyoming for your holidays!

  • Book 1: Her Cowboy Billionaire Birthday Wish

    All the maid at Whiskey Mountain Lodge wants for her birthday is a handsome cowboy billionaire. And Colton can make that wish come true—if only he hadn’t escaped to Coral Canyon after being left at the altar...Will Annie's birthday wish come true? Or will Colton's scarred heart keep them from achieving happily-ever-after?

  • Book 2: Her Cowboy Billionaire Butler

    She broke up with him to date another man...who broke her heart. He's a former CEO with nothing to do who can't get her out of his head. Can Wes and Bree find a way toward happily-ever-after at Whiskey Mountain Lodge?

  • Book 3: Her Cowboy Billionaire Best Friend's Brother

    She's best friends with the single dad cowboy's brother and has watched two friends find love with the sexy new cowboys in town. When Gray Hammond comes to Whiskey Mountain Lodge with his son, will Elise finally get her own happily-ever-after with one of the Hammond brothers? Or will Gray's fears and worries about his son keep them on neutral ground?

  • Book 4: Her Cowboy Billionaire Beast

    A cowboy billionaire beast, the woman he asks out in front of everyone, and the family traditions that softens his heart and bring Cy and Patsy together. Can Patsy's faith in Cy rejuvenate his trust in women? Or will he let everyone down...including himself?

  • Book 5: Her Cowboy Billionaire Bad Boy

    A cowboy billionaire who's rough around the edges, the woman he ghosted last Christmas, and their second chance at happily-ever-after. Can she tame the bad boy into admitting he belongs in Coral Canyon with her? Or will Ames lose his chance at a forever love because of his dreams and indecision?

  • The Hammond Brothers Boxed Set (Books 1 - 3)

    Settle in with three full-length clean contemporary cowboy romance novels in The Hammond Brothers boxed set! Each book features a brother and his journey toward happily-ever-after with the perfect woman for him. You'll get heartwarming family saga stores, clean romance, faith-filled life journeys, and so much more in this contemporary western series!