With her success as an author, she was able to sell more than millions of copies of her book since she started writing in To date, Debbie Macomber has won many awards which include the Quill Award for romance in and the lifetime achievement award by the Romance Writers of America. However, before she got all of her fame and fortune, Debbie Macomber had a simple beginning. When she was young, she had the dream to write stories while in still in grade school. However, she kept her dream to herself because she was afraid of being ridiculed by her peers.

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Gazing steadily ahead, Vaughn Kyle barreled down the freeway just outside Grand Forks. Within a few miles, the four lanes had narrowed to two. Dreary, dirt-smudged snow lay piled up along both sides of the highway.

Fresh snow had begun to fall, pristine and bright, glinting in the late-afternoon sun. This was supposed to be beautiful? Maybe in summer, he mused, when the fields of grain rippled with the wind, acre after acre. Now, though, in December, in the dead of winter, the beauty of this place escaped him.

All that was visible was a winding stretch of black asphalt cutting through flat, monotonous terrain that stretched for miles in every direction. After seven years as an Airborne Ranger in the U. New stores were opening every day all across the United States and Canada. His course was set for the future, thanks largely to Natalie Nichols.

He was ready. What he lacked, as Natalie had pointed out, was opportunity. He was limited in how far he could rise through the ranks or how quickly, while the private sector was wide-open and looking for promising employees like him. Since Vaughn was going to be in the vicinity, visiting his parents in nearby Grand Forks, Natalie had asked him to pay the town a visit. Vaughn had reluctantly agreed.

And because he was in love with her. Her reasons for postponing it were logical, presented in her usual no-nonsense manner. He was eager to have her meet his family. On this cold Friday afternoon two weeks before Christmas, Vaughn had decided to drive into Buffalo Valley.

Hassie was the mother of his namesake. Savings Bond. That was the extent of their contact, but he still felt a genuine fondness for her—and gratitude. Hassie had been the one to start him on a savings program. As a young adult Vaughn had cashed in those savings bonds and begun acquiring a portfolio of stocks that over the years had become a hefty nest egg.

An hour after he left Grand Forks, Vaughn slowed his speed, certain that if he blinked he might miss Buffalo Valley entirely. Value-X could put this place on the map. That was one benefit the company offered small towns. Buffalo Valley was directly off the road. You just drove off the highway. He slowed, made a right turn where the road sign indicated. The car pitched as it left the pavement and hit ruts in the frozen dirt road.

He passed a few scattered houses, and as he turned the corner, he discovered, somewhat to his surprise, a main street with businesses lining both sides. The bank building, a sprawling brick structure, seemed new and quite extensive.

This was amazing. Buffalo Valley was a real town, not a cluster of run-down houses and boarded-up stores, like some of the prairie towns his parents had told him about. It was a quaint, old-fashioned pharmacy, with big picture windows and large white lettering. Christmas lights framed the window, flashing alternately red and green. He parked, climbed out of his rental car and stood on the sidewalk, glancing around.

This was a decent-size town, decorated for the holidays with festive displays in nearly every window. A city park could be seen in the distance, and the Buffalo Valley Quilting Company appeared to take up a large portion of the block across the street. He remembered an article about it in the file Natalie had given him. The cold stung his face and snow swirled around him.

Rather than stand there risking frostbite, Vaughn walked into the pharmacy. The bell above the door jingled and he was instantly greeted by a blast of heat that chased the chill from his bones.

The woman or girl, whoever she was, stood behind the raised counter at the back of the store. This pharmacy apparently carried everything: cosmetics, greeting cards, over-the-counter medicine, gourmet chocolate, toothpaste and tissues—just about anything you might require. Can I be of help? He liked the way her eyes squarely met his. Her expression held a hint of suspicion, but Vaughn was prepared for that. Natalie had mentioned the North Dakota attitude toward strangers—a wariness that ranged from mild doubt to outright hostility.

It was one reason she worried about this proposed building site. Hassie will be thrilled. A soft drink? He answered with a quick shake of his head.

The door opened, bells jingling, and a woman dressed in a black leather jacket walked into the store. She had three scarves wrapped around her neck, nearly obscuring her face. Now, that was an interesting question, Vaughn thought. She handed Merrily a small white sack.

Poor little guy seems prone to ear infections. She wrapped the mufflers around her face again before she headed out the door.


Dakota Series

Shelves: romance I was just getting into this story when it ended. I had been expecting all kinds of trauma with Natalie and Value-X and zip, it was over. Vaughn and Carrie were just getting to know each other, too. I feel incomplete even though it was the story that was incomplete. Go figure. Oct 06, Glenda L rated it really liked it A quick read by Debbie Macomber but sweet and relaxing


Buffalo Valley


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