In the wild and untamed West, it takes cowboy's embrace to see you through a long winter's night. Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales from bestselling authors Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas.
The Beating Heart of Christmas
Whether it's a lonely spinster finding passion at last...an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole...a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places...a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman...two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice...or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes...a Christmas spent in a cowboy's arms is full of hope, laughter, and—most of all—love.
I could not pass up such a line up including a few favorite authors and a few new to me ones telling historical western Christmas romances all in one book.
Father Christmas by Leigh Greenwood
Joe needs to clear his name from being accused of stealing gold. He hunts down his betraying partner and stumbles upon a little family in need. Mary hated her husband and now he’s dead. She thought she had no place for a man until Joe helps her through her sickness, mends things around the farm, befriends shy little Sarah, and makes her believe there is goodness again. I loved the humor, sweetness, and heartwarming quality of this story that harks back to the Joseph, Mary and baby in a stable story.
A Chickadee Christmas by Rosanne Bittner
An Outlaw Hearts Novella
Just when I was feeling the blues after reading The Last Outlaw and saying good-bye to the Harkers and especially Jake, here was an exciting and gritty, but heartwarming Harker family Christmas. The Harkers go Christmas shopping, find trouble, Jake brings home an angry, bitter stray man, and then they all pray for a Christmas miracle for little Sadie Mae.
This was a lovely reunion with a cast of characters I love. The spotlight on Jake and his grandchildren was just precious.
The Christmas Stranger by Linda Broday
A Men of Legend Novella
This is a side story that takes place just before book three, Luke’s book. Lonely Sidalee rescues a drifter caught out in the cold and snow and brings him back to the Lone Star. Hank did his time and now he just wants to find a place where he’ll be accepted. Stoker Legend and the people of the Lone Star, particularly Sidalee, seem too good to be true. Dare he stay?
Another fantastic story from a series I love with a bit of Christmas shine to make it even better.
A Texas Ranger for Christmas by Margaret Brownley
A Match Made in Texas Novella
Sadie has had a tough row to hoe in life and then a Texas Ranger comes to tell her that she’s a widow. First her father and then her husband die in the Rangers. She is bitter and lacking in trust, but taking care of Cole, the Ranger who collapsed ill on her and seeing his honorable and tender care for her and her baby start to sway her. But… he’s a Ranger and will leave her like the others did.
My first time with the author and the series. It stood alone just fine. I was vested in this story and was rooting on Sadie to heal and accept what the wonderful man was offering her. Definitely will come back for more.
A Christmas Baby by Anna Schmidt
A Last Chance Cowboys Novella
Two young people from two different races buck the system and marry. Her family turns their backs and his accept, but worry about the hard road they have chosen. They hope for a Christmas miracle to bring peace and acceptance in the family.
On the surface, it seems like a clear cut case of how ethnic prejudice can affect an interracial pairing, but the author digs deeper and shows that for parents in this story, it is fighting how they were taught and fears for the children they love that have them unwilling to accept the possibility of watching their child and grandchild ridiculed or worse. There is a heavy lesson here and it does push forward aside other story elements at the time, but its a worthy lesson.
A Christmas Reunion by Amy Sandas
A Runaway Brides Novella
Warren Reed returns to the west to set up his medical practice only to be kidnapped by outlaws to tend to one of their own. And, there he gets the biggest shock of all. The woman who left him is glaring at him over the barrel of a pistol for leaving her.
This fast paced story is a second chance at romance for two people who thought they hated each other. Things progress quickly, but I enjoyed seeing Warren and Honey get their chance if she can reach past her fear. He’s a special man and I was glad to see him find her again.
In summary, this was a heartwarming and engaging variety of stories set in the Old West. I enjoyed the reunion with favorite authors and some series I adore, but also the opportunity to read three new to me authors and sample their writing. Each had a strong Christmas theme and I enjoyed that the romances were well-developed and included some great western action. I can definitely recommend this great holiday novella sampler.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #180
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