I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant
Also in this series: My Favorite Cowboy, A Cowboy Like You
Series: Heart of Texas #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Small Town, American West, Romantic Suspense
’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 Christmas Cowboy Hero is the first book in this trilogy which is focused around the Harper siblings. A couple of weeks ago I read book three (Clay’s book) and it was fantastic and so when I discovered this book at my local library, I snatched it right up and it also has some Christmas time elements which was a fun element too. Donna Grant has always been a personal favorite author of mine, and her writing is potently engaging and in this book I was swept up and I stayed up half the night reading it because I just didn’t want to put it down. I will say that there isn’t anything “out of this world” about this book, but it was such a fun story and I was on board with the romance that is written here.
The Christmas Cowboy Hero was Abbie’s book and I really love her as a human being. I admired her strength and courage that she displays. When Abbie turned eighteen, her mother left her and her younger brothers and turned over guardianship to her. Abbie, loved her brothers and refused to put them in foster care just because it would be easier. So she has worked hard, slowly working on her CPA degree, and living paycheck to paycheck. But when her youner brother, get in trouble with the law, she pleads her case with the ranch owner. Clayton, has recently returned home when hearing that his father is having heart problems and thieving going on at home. But when he meets Abbie and her younger brother, he knows that he can help out a kid who has fallen on hard times and did a wrong thing for the right reason, so he wants to guide him on the right path. He offers to allow him to pay off the debt by working at the ranch with him.
The romance that forms between Clayton and Abbie is so endearing and you instantly become a cheerleader for both of them. Both Clayton and Abbie have some painful pasts but are such strong people and deserve a happy ending and the love that they find together. Clayton has spent many years as a SEAL and has survived when many of his teammembers never returned and he bears guilt over the death of his brother. Abbie has had to be strong for her brothers and hasn’t done anything for herself. But once she meets Clayton, she realizes that she needs something more in her life than just working herself to death. She wants to be happy and to really LIVE life to its fullest. Even though she struggles at times with thinking that a future with Clayton is actually possible she realizes that she needs to fight for the future that she wants with Clayton.
You’ve been doing things for everyone but yourself. When are you going to let someone do something for you..?
Another aspect that we see in this story is the suspense that gets added to the plot. I really enjoyed this aspect because it doesn’t take away from the actual romance in the story, but is an added element that adds some conflict for the characters (and not just Clayton and Abbie but also the brothers) We see some true villains in this book and seeing them overcome these villains and come out on top was truly a journey to read. I really enjoyed seeing all the pieces come together and even though at times it could be a bit predictable, I didn’t mind it. But then Donna Grant has a unique storytelling voice that the reader finds compelling no matter what the scenario is.
The only downside to the story was the holiday aspects….I was expecting more in this story and have more of a Christmas Cheer type of feeling considering its a small town setting, but didn’t really get that cozy Christmas feel like I was expecting. You see the season of course, but its downplayed which is why the rating of this book isn’t higher because I found this element a bit lacking.
Overall, I found, The Christmas Cowboy Hero to be a story of the value of living life to its fullest, to embracing the delights and surprises, a story to be savored!!!