Review: A Little Country Christmas by Carolyn Brown, Hope Ramsay, Rochelle Alers, A.J. Pine

Posted November 30, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Little Country Christmas by Carolyn Brown, Hope Ramsay, Rochelle Alers, A.J. Pine
A Little Country Christmas

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Longhorn Canyon #7.5
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Forever
Released on September 29, 2020
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

Heartwarming family and romance, simple pleasures, and the holiday season make for a splendid comfy read in preparation of the season.  Four stellar authors delivered a bounty of holiday cheer in their novellas.


Carolyn Brown’s The Perfect Christmas is the adorably country charmer finishing off the Longhorn Canyon series with a follow up romance for two side characters from an earlier book.  Landon has an itchy boot that feels the need to roam, but single mom Dixie and her little girl Sally hope to give him a reason to stay put after a series of holiday encounters meant to give them all their first real Christmas.

It’s back to Magnolia Bay in Hope Ramsay’s Joy to the World when private grinch, music instructor, Brenda agrees to take on directing the town Christmas chorale with Christmas’ biggest fan, Dr. James Killough as her music accompanist.  Can a bit of holiday magic heal her from her past?

My sweet tooth was touched when Iris, a pastry chef spends Christmas with her friend’s family on Cavanagh Island and encounters a delicious guest all the way from Afghanistan in Rochelle Alers’ Home for the Holidays.  Can a holiday romance lead to forever love?

And, then AJ Pine to Meadow Valley in A Christmas Cowboy at Heart just in time for Deputy Sheriff Dani to convince their new mayor who is her old crush and something of a grinch that the Light Parade must go on as an important town Christmas tradition and love is a big part of Christmas’ joy.

All four authors chose to write stories in the world of their respective series (Longhorn Ranch, Magnolia Bay, Cavanaugh Island, and Meadow Valley), but they are all stories that easily stood alone so newcomers or old fans can all appreciate them.

I have read books by three of the four authors so I was prepared for what I was going to get in this delightful anthology.  The stories were all laid back even gently-paced in ways depicting the right tone for the book’s themes.  I got comfortable and easily settled into each story.  I liked that there was a nice variety created by writing style, but also the variety in the various holiday romance situations though there was a cohesiveness so no one’s story felt wrong for the book.  I needed the light charm that didn’t dig too deep emotionally or force me to focus too hard to match my mood and they were great because I was able to pick them up in separate readings between tasks and chores and still get a whole, well-developed story.

Usually, I can pick out stories in anthologies that were better or more suited to me than others, but this was a foursome that I felt were equals and all grabbed my attention about the same.  Definitely a holiday anthology that I would eagerly press on other contemporary romance fans to try.

I rec’d this book through Net Galley from Forever to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #184
HoHoHoRAT #2

About the Book

From matchmaking carolers to a festive lights competition, four bestselling authors explore the magic of the holidays in these heartwarming small towns.
The Perfect Christmas by Carolyn BrownRugged cowboy Landon Griffin can’t help being smitten by single mom Dixie Boudreaux and her baby girl. To help win their hearts, he wants to give them both the perfect holiday at Longhorn Ranch — baking cookies, trimming the tree, building snowmen, and the whole works. But when nothing seems to go right, he might need a Christmas miracle to help him out of the mess.
Joy to the World by Hope RamsayRetired music teacher Brenda McMillan has lost her holiday spirit, but reluctantly agrees to fill in for the director of the Magnolia Harbor Christmas Chorale — even though Dr. James Killough, the town’s biggest Christmas enthusiast, is the group’s accompanist. Will he have enough Christmas magic to mend her broken heart?
Home for the Holidays by Rochelle AlersPastry chef Iris Nelson is looking forward to spending Christmas on Cavanaugh Island with her best friend’s family. But she wasn’t expecting to celebrate with their very handsome visitor on leave from Afghanistan. Is their attraction just the glow of the season or a gift to enjoy forever?
A Christmas Cowboy at Heart by A.J. PineFor Deputy Sheriff Daniela Garcia, no hometown tradition makes her happier than the Meadow Valley Holiday Light Parade. This year she’s planning for the sheriff’s office to have the most dazzling lights. But when the new mayor — and certified grinch — threatens to cancel the event, Dani will have to show him the true meaning of Christmas.


About Carolyn Brown

Hi! I’m twenty five years old and movie star gorgeous. The camera added thirty plus years and a few wrinkles. Can’t trust those cameras or mirrors either. Along with bathroom scales they are notorious liars! Honestly, I am the mother of three fantastic grown children who’ve made me laugh and given me more story ideas than I could ever write. My husband, Charles, is my strongest supporter and my best friend. He’s even willing to eat fast food and help with the laundry while I finish one more chapter! Life is good and I am blessed!

Reading has been a passion since I was five years old and figured out those were words on book pages. As soon as my chubby little fingers found they could put words on a Big Chief tablet with a fat pencil, I was on my way. Writing joined reading in my list of passions. I will read anything from the back of the Cheerio’s box to Faulkner and love every bit of it. In addition to reading I enjoy cooking, my family and the ocean. I love the Florida beaches. Listening to the ocean waves puts my writing brain into high gear.

I love writing romance because it’s about emotions and relationships. Human nature hasn’t changed a bit since Eve coveted the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Settings change. Plots change. Names change. Times change. But love is love and men and women have been falling in and out of it forever. Romance is about emotions: love, hate, anger, laughter… all of it. If I can make you laugh until your sides ache or grab a tissue then I’ve touched your emotions and accomplished what every writer sets out to do.

I got serious about writing when my third child was born and had her days and nights mixed up. I had to stay up all night anyway and it was very quiet so I invested in a spiral back notebook and sharpened a few pencils. The story that emerged has never sold but it’s brought in enough rejection slips to put the Redwood Forest on the endangered list. In 1997 Kensington bought two books for their Precious Gems line. Two years and six books later the line died with only four of those books seeing publication. But by then Avalon had bought a book and another, and another. Ten years later the list has grown to thirty nine. Last year Sourcebooks bought the Lucky Series which is in the bookstores now. They’ve also bought The Honky Tonk Series which will debut with I LOVE THIS BAR in June and will be followed by HELL, YEAH, MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED, and HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS.

Folks ask me where I get my ideas. Three kids, fifteen grandchildren, two great grandchildren. Note: I was a very young grandmother! Life is a zoo around here when they all come home. In one Sunday afternoon there’s enough ideas to keep me writing for years and years. Seriously, ideas pop up at the craziest times. When one sinks its roots into my mind, I have no choice but to write the story. And while I’m writing the characters peek over my shoulder and make sure I’m telling it right and not exaggerating too much. Pesky little devils, they are!

I have a wonderful agent, Erin Niumata, who continues to work magic and sell my work. I’m very lucky to have her and my editors who continue to believe in me.

Happy reading!

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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.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 year ago

Oh a Christmas anthology. This is going on my list. Oh wait I can ask Santa 😉

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Ha, yes, love being able to slip Santa a tidy list of wants from the book list. 🙂

Lover of Romance
1 year ago

These Christmas anthologies are the best to read this time of year, and what a great combination of authors!! Glad you enjoyed this one.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I couldn’t agree more, Renee! Great sampler, here.

1 year ago

Oh it looks cute and perfect for this month

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Melliane

Just right for creating a romantic holiday mood. 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

This sounds like a good one! I have read and enjoyed A.J. Pine and have wanted to read the other three authors for a while. This sounds like a really nice holiday read.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Ha, and AJ Pine was the only one I hadn’t read so we’re opposites. It was all good stuff, Carole. 🙂

1 year ago

Love Carolyn Brown as you know, but the others are new to me. I’d like to try something by A.J. Pine and a novella is always a safe way to go. I’ll keep this in mind. 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel

I like to test drive new to me authors when I read anthos, too.

Yes, Carolyn Brown is one of the best cowboy charmers. I’d heard similar things about AJ Pine and I enjoyed this one (my first time) so I’ll be looking up more of her stuff, too.

sherry fundin
1 year ago

such a cute cover
sherry @ <a href=””> fundinmental</a>

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

It’s cozy just like the stories. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

I love the cue cover and it sounds good. This is the right time of year to read something like this.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

That cover really suits the tone of the stories and I agree that this is the time of the year for the adorable and light romances.

Carole Rae
1 year ago

Woah! All of them were good? That is a rare feat! 😀

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Shazam! Couldn’t agree more.

Anne - Books of My Heart

This is like the pile of books I read for HoHoHoRAT. I got a pile of freebies I picked up already for next year.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, a pile of light holiday romances all in one. Ha, I do that- prep for next year with freebies now. 🙂

1 year ago

this sounds like a read I can get into. Nice and calm romances, lols. Great review as always Sophia 😉

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharonda

Ahhhh, yes, very relaxing ones. 🙂