This year, Becca Timm knows the number one item on her Christmas wish list--getting over Denny Cutler. Three years ago, Denny broke her heart before heading off to war. It's time she got over her silly college relationship and moved on.
So she takes matters into her own hands and heads up to Virgin River, the rugged little mountain town that Denny calls home, as an uninvited guest on her brother's men-only hunting weekend. But when an accident turns her impromptu visit into an extended stay, Becca finds herself stranded in Virgin River. With Denny. In very close quarters.
As the power of Christmas envelops the little town, Becca discovers that the boy she once loved has become a strong and confident man. And the most delicious Christmas present she can imagine.
Rich Timm drove into Virgin River a mere ten hours after leaving San Diego. He'd made excellent time because he tended to ignore little things like speed limits. And...he had been trapped in the Ford truck with his twin sister, Becca, all day and had had about enough.
As Becca gazed out the window at the town, she muttered, "Seriously?''
"What?" Rich said.
"This is the place Denny never wants to leave? It isn't exactly...you know...quaint."
Rich pulled up to the only bar in town, right next to a truck he knew belonged to one of two other buddies from the Marines who were meeting him here. "Maybe that's not what he was looking for." Rich put the truck in Park. Before he turned off the ignition, he turned in his seat and said to his sister, "Since you wouldn't let me warn Denny you were coming along, promise me you won't make trouble."
"Rich," she said with a laugh. "Why would I make trouble?"
"Oh, I don't know," he said, rolling his eyes. "Because you're his ex-girlfriend? Because this is a guys' hunting trip and you're not a guy and everyone will have to take care of you?"
"No one has to take care of me," she said indignantly. Then she smiled very sweetly. "I'm anxious to meet your other friends. And to hunt--I'm anxious to hunt."
He scowled. "Right," he said. "You expect me to believe you're going to shoot a duck and pluck it?"
If I have to pluck it with my teeth to be convincing, she thought. "Of course! I'm a little more excited about fly-fishing, though. I can't wait to try that." She opened her door. "You about ready?"
He grunted. "Do not be a problem. Do not be a pain in my ass for a week!"
"Do not be a jerk," she countered.
Becca had arrived at Rich's town house at three in the morning, big suitcase and shotgun in hand. When he opened the door, wearing nothing but boxers, she said, "Guess what? I don't have anything to do this week, so I'm coming with you. I've never been duck hunting or fly-fishing."
"You're out of your mind, right?" he said, scratching his hair, which was crazy from bed. "Didn't you tell Mom and Dad you were going home with Doug for Thanksgiving?"
She shook her head. "That isn't going to work out and I don't want Mom and Dad to cancel their trip plans just so I'm not alone on Thanksgiving."
"Why isn't it going to work out?"
"Doug's way too busy--he's going all the way to the East Coast for two days. Come on, this is a great idea. A little last minute, but it'll be fun. Be a sport."
"And what about Denny?" he asked. "Your ex?"
She put a hand on her hip. "It's time we all moved on from that, don't you think? I have no hard feelings and I'm sure he doesn't. He probably has a girlfriend. This is a perfect opportunity to make sure it's all cool between us. I mean, really--since you guys are good friends and all. And it was a long time ago."
"Yeah, but it was brutal," Rich said, looking down at her suspiciously.
"We were young," she said with a shrug.
"And what does Doug think about this?" Rich asked.
"Doug isn't the jealous type. He told me to have a good time. Anyway, Doug is not your problem."
"I know," Rich said. "Apparently, you 're my problem." He let her come into his town house. "You better know what you're...