Genres: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance, Western Romance
Published by Tule Publishing
Released on October 27, 2014
Source: Free Book
When a father’s death brings shocking changes and revelations to his daughters, one daughter takes it harder than the others because her whole life just shattered and no city man or his pitiful proposal is going to salvage any of that. The author is familiar as is her Montana ranching smalltown setting, but so is her strong characterization, tough life situations, and slow, steady romance development.
A Cowgirl’s Christmas is the fifth of the Carrigans of the Circle C series. I’ve read two out of order so far and it worked out fine, but I can see how progressing through the series from the beginning would have been even better.
So, Callan, the youngest of the Carrigan sisters and the one who stayed home and ranched alongside their hard, silent, and isolated father because ranching is what she loves and she desperately works hard to prove herself and gain her father’s love with their shared work. But, when her dad dies, he leaves some surprising bequests in his will that involve a nephew who is a stranger and an old trunk full of secrets from their mother. The secrets are as devastating as is the knowledge that nothing in her life will ever be the same including her beloved ranch home.
Court knows the shocking devastation his uncle’s will is having on the Carrigan women and he hates the pain that he is part of, but he was promised that the women would come around and he was promised the chance at a future in ranching. One meeting with Callan is all it takes for him to hope for so much more, but her bitter anger and pain might be too strong for anything else.
A Cowgirl’s Christmas was heartbreaking to read at first. Hawksley Carrigan’s death opened up a nasty can of worms. I was so angry and him and his dead wife for letting those women find out the hard, bitter truth right when they were losing so much. Especially Callan. She tried so hard to win Hawksley’s love. Fortunately, Court was a stalwart, patient and empathetic man. He stood quietly beside Callan even when she blasted him with chilly hatred or ignored him. He thought he understood Hawksley until he came to Montana and saw a different side of the man and now understood just why these women felt as they did.
This story is Callan’s. Oh, there is a backburner romance with Court, and there are lovely appearances of her sisters who already got their stories, a cousin, nieces, and the town, but this was a woman whose life crashed to the very bottom and she had to pull herself back up. I felt for her through it all. She tended to take out her anger on Court as the closest available target, but later she knew he wasn’t responsible and was even wonderful about things. She had the temptation to drink, to go into a depression and push her family away, and she struggled with turning into that hard, bitter man who had done all this to her and her sisters.
Speaking of sisters, I love how Mallie, Dani, Sage, and Callan- all so different- were so close and there for each other. There were wonderful scenes with them all together during their time of grief, discovery, and later holidays. Their men, children, and the extended family were all a tender, fun part of it all, too. And, I did love the build up to Christmas on the ranch.
All in all, this was a heartfelt story that I devoured in one sitting. I will go back for the older books I’m missing in the series and progress through the newer ones. The more I read of this author’s writing; the more I crave her books. I would recommend this mostly as a women’s fiction with a romance crossover.
COYER Seasons #39
Mt. TBR #98
COYER Community #73 Christmas Readathon
Romance BINGO #47 horse on cover
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