Seasoned with Love (Prosperity Ranch #4) - Heather B. Moore Page 0,2

nose as she studied the Christmas tree, which he’d had cut and transported and set up by an expert tree farmer—the best in Wyoming, he’d been told. Right now, the tree was draped with silver balled ornaments, glittery white icicles—plastic ones—and white LED lights.

It wasn’t half bad. Their first attempt had been red tinsel and red ornaments. That version had been way too much red, and Roman suggested that they combine both sets of ornaments—the red and the silver—but Mia had thumbed through Pinterest and pulled up a picture of a tree that looked like it had been created for Central Park in New York City.

Yeah, so Roman wasn’t the parent of the year, and his six-year-old daughter had her own iPad, complete with a Pinterest account—under his name, of course.

“This is what I want,” Mia demanded.

Now, Mia wasn’t usually so demanding, but this would be the second year without her mom. And Roman was the first to admit that the holidays were hard without Liz. She and their daughter had been inseparable. Bosom buddies. Which was wonderful because of all the traveling Roman did in the movie industry, but also kind of difficult when he wanted to be part of the trio. He’d felt like an interloper most of the time.

Not that he minded. He understood that little girls needed their moms the most. But when Roman received that terrible phone call just over two years ago, his life had changed completely. Both his wife and daughter had been in a serious car accident. Liz had died on impact. Mia, buckled and belted into her car seat, had sustained some minor injuries. Physically, she’d healed quickly, but emotionally . . . well, it was all Roman could do to keep his career balanced with single fatherhood.

He took the iPad and expanded the picture. The image of the Christmas tree was indeed all silver and white, but the lights weren’t the blinding LED lights that were currently on their tree. They were more of a blue?

“Look here,” Roman said, pointing. “The lights are blue, don’t you think?”

Mia leaned close, her braided chestnut-colored hair brushing his arm. “Yeah! They’re blue! We need blue lights, Daddy.”

Roman hid a sigh. Another trip to the local supermarket, which was a good fifteen- to twenty-minute drive, since he’d had the bright idea to move house and home to Wyoming. The ranch was fantastic, but the location was hard on things like zipping to the store for one item.

He could easily send one of his staff members. Dinner was over, and most of them were probably lounging in their rooms. Or even one of the actors on the current season. They all adored Mia, and they’d offered more than once to help out whenever needed.

But Roman had been on set all day, since he was kind of a hands-on producer, and his staff member Lila had been in charge since Mia was on Christmas break from school.

Roman needed to be grateful for these moments with his daughter, when it was just the two of them, and they had things to look forward to—like Christmas. He was pretty sure the Santa Claus issue would be coming up this year, if not the next, but for now, Roman was going all out.

Liz had made Christmas magical, and Roman had simply shown up. Joined in what was already planned. How had his wife done it all? Roman’s successful career had made it possible for Liz to be a stay-at-home mom, but still . . . there were days and moments that the sole responsibility of raising a child was overwhelming.

By the time Roman had reoriented his mind for this new errand, Mia had already tugged on her snow boots she insisted on wearing everywhere, even though there wasn’t a lick of snow on the ground. He handed over her coat, then slipped on his thick jacket. He wasn’t really the abominable snowman type—besides, he’d acclimated to the bitter cold over the past few weeks. Much different than his LA home, but the quiet, the space, and the beauty of the place made up for the year-round California sunshine and blue skies.

He helped Mia pull on her mittens, then he opened the kitchen door that led into the huge garage. They’d take his truck—a thing that seemed overbuilt for a cold, windy state, but the dealership assured him he needed the meaty tires and towing package. Just as he loaded Mia into the back seat of the truck and made