This has been a riot of a fun series from start to finish with sassy cowgirls, flirty cowboys, and a family feud that was over the top hijinks. It was fitting that the last book was told against a holiday that calls for ‘peace on earth; goodwill toward men’ because maybe- just maybe the Gallaghers and the Brennans can find a way to call an end to their feud. Betsy Gallagher and Declan Brennan sure hope so because they do not want to be the Burnt Boot version of the doomed Juliet and Romeo.
As the fourth and final book in the series, this is not the best one to read out of order. Both characters and the situation were introduced earlier in the series.
The story opens with Declan participating in the weekly poker game with his cousin and two of the enemy Gallaghers. Things get heated as they generally do between the two rival families and Declan ends up losing a bet. He has to make the first woman through the doors of the bar fall for him in thirty days or lose. And in struts his secret childhood crush, Betsy Gallagher. Declan isn’t the only man at the table to groan in frustration. Her own cousins know what will happen if Betsy finds out she was the object of their bet, but pride kicks in and the bet goes forward. Declan is more frustrated than ever over the stupid feud that won’t allow him to straight up ask out Betsy or have a chance of a future with her, but now, he doesn’t know what to make of this situation caused by the bet.
Betsy is frustrated. Because of the stupid feud, her grandmother and the Brennan’s matriarch have both refused the usually funds to have the church Christmas programs and Nativity Play. Betsy’s cousin is even more sad because it was to be her baby that would be the baby Jesus. She begs Betsy to think of a way for the Christmas activities to go on. Betsy has to find a way to do an end around her grandmother. She leaves the bar to head out to her favorite thinking spot only to encounter her childhood secret crush, Declan Brennan parked under her tree by the river.
The meeting at the river results in the two pairing up to help save Christmas. And all this sneaking around leads to some sizzle between the pair that take advantage of an ice storm, closed roads, a hotel room, and all that lovely snow to ignore the feud and find time to be together. As Christmas draws near, the pair of them have to decide what is most important to them and will they go for a chance at happiness or heed family duty.
These are light and fun stories and I enjoy the easy of reading them. I was not surprised to finally have a romance pair from both the feuding families and see that this might indeed be the shake up that it would take to bring it all to a head. The two were peas in a pod and I loved seeing them figure it out and work together along with the growing feelings that they want more.
The Christmas backdrop was sweet and I loved all the small town festivities. Christmas was a strong theme that blended well with the romance.
All in all, this was heartwarming and fun with a pinch of Christmas spice. I’ll miss the series and this whole group of small town characters. Those who enjoy light cowboy romance should definitely give these a try.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #287 CR
Books N Tunes #37 Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You
This story is loaded with good eats and music. I’m going to give you a song and a recipe. The song just fits the sitch for the two main characters.
But the recipe is a simple one that’s common all over America and probably beyond. I picked it because it matched the Western theme of the story, but also because we serve this as one of our favorite appetizers at family shindigs. I didn’t have a name for it in our family, but The Good Wife blogger calls it Cowboy Suishi. I thought that was a hoot so I had to include the link for her blog post on it: http://goodwifeinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2008/09/cowboy-sushi.html
Cowboy Sushi Recipe
6 large whole kosher dill pickles
3 packages Buddig Beef
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
~Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over one slice of beef. Top with another slice of beef and spread cream cheese over the second layer.
~Roll the two slices of beef around one whole pickle.
~Repeat steps one and two so that the pickle ends up with four layers of beef and cream cheese.
~Slice the pickle into thick slices and serve cold.
~Repeat all the steps until all the pickles are covered.
Personally, our family does these with ham wrapped around cream cheese and green onion or salami wrapped around cream cheese and dill pickle. I’d like to try The Good Wife’s beef version someday.
Oh and I looked up the mention of Cowboy Caviar that she had in her post because that sounded yummo and here is the link to the recipe on that: http://boulderlocavore.com/cowboy-caviar/
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