cover image A Springwater Christmas

A Springwater Christmas

Linda Lael Miller. Pocket Books, $6.99 (307pp) ISBN 978-0-671-02752-0

Miller continues her Springwater Seasons series with the 19th-century romantic escapades of Rachel, the young friend of Evangeline, the heroine in the author's previous offering. Rachel English arrives from Pennsylvania as the new schoolmarm for the remote stagecoach stop of Springwater, Mont. The young miss has her first encounter with the hero, Trey Hargreaves, when her horse and buggy get stranded in the middle of a swollen creek. The prudish Rachel assumes that Trey is a ""no account"" rake and rounder. Her heart softens toward the handsome hero, however, when she meets his beautiful 11-year-old daughter and discovers that Trey has been raising his child alone after the death of her mother. As the days go on, and as Rachel treks through the back hills, rounding up her students for the coming school year, she encounters a different way of life and experiences a major change in her thinking. Despite the slight size of the novel, Miller provides all the necessary components, including well-defined subplots and characters, to create a warm and cozy love story. (Mar.)