’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.
Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wit’s end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?
The title on this one made it irresistible and it wasn’t far into the story that I found even more reasons to be in love with this first in series.
The Christmas Cowboy Hero tells the story of two broken people beaten down by their past and just getting by until events conspire to bring the pair together so their attraction along with a bit of Christmas magic can bring them romance and bring their families for healing and happiness.
Clayton and Abby, separate and together, were a great hero and heroine. He’s a former SEAL who still hasn’t gotten over the death of his brother along with the struggles to heal after war while she has had the responsibility of her two younger brothers since she was eighteen and it has been a long struggle. Encountering Abby and her brothers was great for Clayton and, though Abby mistrusted the goodness that was Clayton and his parents, it was the best thing that ever happened to her and her brothers, too. Clayton gave them all a second chance with his big generous heart that was bruised, but still there. Loved seeing him interact with all of them with patience and understanding.
The romance was paced so well. It wove between the suspense part of the story and Clayton and Abby’s individual issues easily. The attraction was there from the beginning, but so was their baggage from the past. They both faced their attraction with trepidation, but owned up to their issues so that I could enjoy their sizzling romance progress and cheer them on to happiness.
The holiday element was there, but not overpowering. It was a great denouement after the exciting climax events.
All in all, I was well-pleased with this first installment to the Heart of Texas series and look forward to more wonderful stories along the line of The Christmas Cowboy Hero. This is a great match for those who enjoy a modern western holiday romance.
My thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #269 CR
New Release #153
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