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A Tiny House Christmas

A Tiny House Christmas

A BONUS novella audiobook in the Hockey Sweethearts series. Written by NYT bestselling author Jean Oram and narrated by Madison.

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A beautiful bride with cold feet.

Feet that are running straight out the small town church doors and away from the wedding she didn’t plan.
With her wedding gown flapping in the cold December wind, Karlene gallops to the town’s limits on a “borrowed” horse.

Only one person anticipates her next move: her steady-as-a-rock childhood crush—her brother’s best friend. He’s six years her senior, and a man who’s never minded her tagging along. Instinctively, Joey knows where Karlene’s going and what she needs. He sets her up with a fresh horse to a bed roll so she can hide out at their old camping cabin far from what will surely be a very dramatic Christmas with her parents and almost-in-laws.

However, her plans hit an unexpected snag, but, once again, Joey comes to the rescue, offering her safe haven on his ranch.

As Karlene spends the holidays with her secret-crush cowboy, will he begin to see her as more just a grown-up version of that tag-along kid she used to be? And will the magic of the season bring her heart its deepest wish as well as a second chance at love?

Karlene Spragg, physical therapist for the Dragons, is getting married this Christmas!

Or is she?

When a bout of cold feet send the bride running she ends up on the ranch with her older brother's best friend. Is there a chance this Christmas be filled with love after all?

This is a bonus Christmas novella.

8️⃣ This is book 8 in the Hockey Sweethearts series. All books can be enjoyed as standalones or as part of the series.

✅ Runaway Bride
✅ Brother's Best Friend
✅ Age Gap
✅ Christmas

🎧 The audiobook version of this story is read by the digital voice Madison.

 ⏰ Total audiobook run time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

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Peek Inside the Book!


Karlene had chosen her wedding song a long time ago, back when she’d been full of fantasies and crushing on a man six years her senior.
This song was her one thumbprint on today.
She wavered at the church’s threshold, trying to catch her breath so she could savor this awaited moment, feel the excitement, will the music to carry her down the aisle.
Her best friend Joey was in the large wedding party lineup and as she maintained eye contact with him, the tension eased.
Steady, steady Joey. It would all be okay if he was here, at her side.
In a few short moments she was going to be a rancher’s wife. She was going to live in the country with horses, just like he did.
It had barely taken any thought or planning to find herself here today—in a church packed to the rafters with expectant friends and family members. And at the front, waited Thomas in a black cowboy hat, boots, and a tuxedo with Western flares to suit his rancher style.
Joey was still looking at her and she smoothed a trembling hand over the dress her future mother-in-law had chosen. Joey was worried. She needed to smile. To unfreeze herself and walk down the aisle and seize her future. Make her scrapbook, which was tattered and worn, into a photo album instead of a wish book.
In minutes, she’d have a handsome cowboy husband.
A ranch filled with horses.
Her place to belong where life was paced by the seasons and the animals around her.
Just like she’d always dreamed.
She smiled, lifted her left foot, still hovering on the threshold.
Her supporting leg wobbled, and Joey leaned forward as though about to step out of the bridesmaids’ line.
She tried to put her left foot down, but her body refused to move forward. She raised a finger as if to say to those watching, “One moment.” Sweat gathered under the tightness of her dress.
She could feel the guests’ eyes on her, the pews packed shoulder to shoulder, smiles turning amused as she faltered.
Her eyes stayed locked on Joey’s and that foreign look he was giving her.
She knew he understood her.
But this look in his gaze. It was new.
It was as though he saw her today.
Her as an adult woman, and not a tagalong kid.
She blinked long and hard. She’d gotten over her crush years ago—she’d forced herself to when Thomas had begun questioning her about the amount of time she spent on Joey’s ranch.
We’re just friends.
He sees me as a tagalong. Blake’s kid sister.
Nothing more.
But the way Joey was taking her in with those expressive, sweet eyes of his was unnerving. There was a new warmth and depth. And it was exactly what she’d always wanted to see reflected back at her.
She tried to look away. She needed to move down the aisle. Say I do.
But then Joey gave her a tiny nod, so small nobody else would notice the way he was giving her permission.
Her breathing eased and her foot landed on the floor.
Permission to be herself. To follow her heart.
To run.
Before she could process her own thoughts, Karlene had spun around and was sprinting outside and down the church’s steps. Her fingers shaky, she muttered “hurry, hurry” as she unhitched her horse, Becky, from the carriage out front.
She freed the mare, gathering the long reins meant to reach the carriage driver as she pulled the horse closer to the carriage. One high heel planted on its step and, with the sound of her gown tearing underfoot, she threw herself onto Becky’s waiting back.
“Cha!” she hollered, her heart hammering as she squeezed her knees, sending the startled mare forward as members of the wedding party flooded the parking area.
She was pretty sure she heard her mother scream “Karlene Abigail Spragg, you get back here right this instant or I’ll tan your hide!” before the sounds of her mare’s hooves at full gallop drowned out everything but the sound of Karlene’s beating heart.

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