Novel Pastimes: Good morning, Mrs. Hathaway. Three different people told me this was the best bakery in Cheyenne, and my nose says they were right.
Esther: You’re probably smelling my cinnamon rolls. They’re such a favorite with customers that even when I make an extra batch, I sell every one. Fortunately, I have two left today. Would you like one? You’re welcome to eat it here. That’s why I have those tables. Some people don’t want to wait until they get home to have a bite of something sweet.
Novel Pastimes: I can see why people recommend the Mitchell-Hathaway Bakery. Good food, good service, a friendly owner. Does your daughter help with the baking? I heard she works here too.
Esther: Susan has been a great help. To be very honest, I don’t know what I’ll do after she’s married and living at the fort, but of course I can’t tell her that. I know she and Michael will be as happy together as Susan’s parents were.
Novel Pastimes: Then she’s not your daughter?
Esther: No. I couldn’t love her more if she were, but Susan’s my niece. I’ve never been married.
Novel Pastimes: Oh, I’m so sorry. I just assumed …
Esther: You’re not the first to make that mistake. Now, would you like a cup of coffee to go with that cinnamon roll?
Novel Pastimes: Only if you agree to join me. I’d like to get to know you better, Miss Hathaway.
Esther: Please call me Esther.
Novel Pastimes: Thank you, Esther. I’m a newcomer to Cheyenne, so I hope you’ll tell me a bit about it. It’s so different from the cities in the East.
Esther: That it is, but I love it. You probably know Cheyenne’s the capital of the territory and a major stop on the Union Pacific, but that’s just the beginning. The city has so much to offer its residents. There’s the opera house – the only one west of the Mississippi – and the InterOcean hotel is reputed to have the best food in the city. And then there are the millionaires’ mansions. I haven’t been inside any of them, but I enjoy walking down Ferguson Street and admiring the cattle barons’ homes. I shouldn’t neglect to mention the parks. If you haven’t strolled through City Park yet, you should. It’s beautiful.
Novel Pastimes: You’re making me glad I’ve come. It sounds as if the city has everything to make me feel welcome, but there must be something lacking if an attractive woman like you isn’t married. Surely there are eligible bachelors, maybe even one of the cattle barons you mentioned.
Esther: I don’t need a husband. What I need is an artist.
Novel Pastimes: An artist?
Esther: It’s a family tradition to have the bride and groom’s portraits on a special Christmas ornament. I want Susan and Michael to have their Christmas star, but so far, I haven’t found anyone who can do that.
Novel Pastimes: There must be someone who can help you. Even though I’ve just moved here, I feel confident of that.
Esther: I hope you’re right.
Novel Pastimes: I am. I’m also sure of one other thing besides the fact that you bake the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever tasted. I hope you don’t think I’m being forward in saying this, but I’m certain there’s also a husband for you here in Cheyenne.
Esther: At my age? That might require a miracle.
Novel Pastimes: Christmas is the season of miracles, isn’t it?
Four unlikely couples.
Four unexpected chances at happiness.
Four unforgettable stories of love and faith in the Old West.
The Christmas Star Bride
Can a bakery owner who lost her one true love at Gettysburg twenty years ago and an itinerant artist who lost more than love during the war find a second chance at happiness, or is love only for the young?
The Fourth of July Bride
She needs money to pay for her mother’s desperately needed eye surgery. He needs a way to stop his meddling mother from choosing his bride. Can the answer be a temporary courtship?
The Depot Bride
Can a cattle baron’s daughter who’s practically betrothed to another man and a struggling writer who fears he has nothing to offer her find happiness as they create a commemorative book to celebrate the creation of the new Union Pacific depot in Cheyenne?
The Unmatched Bride
When a confirmed spinster matchmaker accepts an unusual assignment and helps a wealthy widower choose the right mate for his daughter, can more than one couple have a chance at true love?
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than forty books and a variety of novellas. Her books have been honored with a starred review from Publishers Weekly and have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers’ Best.
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