Review: Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms by Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas

Review: Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms by Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy SandasChristmas in a Cowboy's Arms by Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas

Genres: Holiday Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 3, 2017
Pages: 512
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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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.

 

The Delight

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.

Review

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.

Challenges

 Romance Roundabout #299 HR
New Release #180

Recommendations

  

About Rosanne Bittner

Rosanne Bittner is an award-winning novelist who is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on personal visits to each setting. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Oooo, it’s an anthology! I’d not seen this before but I looooove the cover. I’ve also not read a Western holiday romance! I’ve been in a holiday romance mood so this is fun. 😀 Lovely reviews, Sophia!

    Have a wonderful day. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Yes, the whole package of cover, title, blurb and author list just called to me.

      You have a great day, too, Alyssa!

  • oh that’s fun, it’s the first time I see a christmas anthology like that!

    • I had a good time reading each story, Melliane. The Christmas theme made the good writing even better. 🙂

  • I’m glad cowboys and Christmas plus some romance was so pleasurable in this anthology, Sophia! I swoon for book-cowboys 😉
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    • These were swooniness to die for, Lexxie. 🙂 I got three of my favorites in one book and found a few more to check out further.

      • why are you so mean to me? :p Now, I feel like I need it right now 😀

        • LOL! It’s torture when you already have a pile to read. This I know. 😉

  • Oh good! Glad I could point out a good one for you, Geybie! 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    Love, love, love Christmas anthologies. Thanks Sophia Rose!

    • Oh, then you have to snag this one, Debbie. Its fabulous. I love how they are all cowboy romances, but the settings, the characters, and the situations make them so different, as well. 🙂

  • I’m glad that you enjoyed this one. I don’t know that I’ve seen cowboy historical romances before. I can definitely see how that genre exists, though. I’m sure a lot of people love it.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Oh yes, its definitely a good thing and I’m happy to find more and more writers in the sub-genre. The last three in this one were first time tries for me and I must have at least another three on my wish list pile. So many…, LOL

  • Those sound like good stories for this time of year.

    • For sure, Mary. Right time and right mood. 🙂

  • Oh I like the multicultural angle in this one. I’m going to have to check it out. It does sound like one I would enjoy.

    • Yes, it was neat to have the variety of stories and people’s circumstances show up in these six stories. Oh course, you’re probably looking hard at Anna Schmidt’s young couple for sure. 🙂

  • Karen

    I haven’t read ANY Christmas stories yet. I thought I might while I was on vacation and loaded up the Kindle but nope…instead I keep adding another to dl lol

    For What It’s Worth

    • Ha, yes, some year’s its like that, Karen. Most of them release in late September and into October now, but I’m rarely in the mood for them at that point. Oh well, hope you get the chance to pick up one of your kindle reads, soon. 🙂

  • This looks good. Perfect for the season.

    • Yep, that’s what I thought, too, Nadene. I was definitely the target audience for this one. 😉

  • Oh yay…I have been really curious about this one and I want to read this one this month. I love Christmas anthologies and these authors are so wonderful. And I am curious to see how Amy Sandas handles a western instead of a regency. And yes for Leigh Greenwood and Linda Broday. I like that Broday’s book is connected with Luke’s book. Glad you enjoyed this one hun.

    • And P.S. I LOVE your Christmas lights, they are so adorable and festive.

      • Shari does a great job of making the blog so festive with the lights and
        snowflakes. Perfect to showcase a holiday book, right? 🙂 Thanks,
        Renee!

    • Oh yes, this was a powerhouse of fabulous authors. Even your Amy Sandas delivered an engaging western story. It was neat the way most of these tie-in to the author’s series, but in such a way that they standalone fine. Though…Rosanne Bittner’s story does work better if the reader has read the series before picking it up.

  • It’s always great when you get a lot in short bits, and the best way to find new to you authors too!

    • I love anthologies for the same reason, Evie. It’s great to get several shorter stories that I can fit into a crazy schedule, but also to try out new authors to see if their writing is a match for me.

  • I featured this book on my blog not too long ago but didn’t get the chance to read it. This does sound like a really good collection of stories. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

    • It’s so hard to get around to all the books that are releasing each month. I have started just this year not necessarily reviewing every book we feature for a tour, but still I get behind. LOL

  • It sounds very nicely done! I just love that cover and was SO very tempted to snag it. Maybe a Christmas gift for myself. lol

    • Oh, this really was. I thought for sure that I’d like it, but wasn’t prepared to pretty much love the whole thing. It takes a bit longer to read with six novellas, but each were so different that it made them all stand out.
      I think it would make a nice personal Christmas gift, too. 🙂