This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant
Series: Heart of Texas #1
Also by this author: Firestorm, Dark Alpha's Lover, Blaze, The Legend
Genres: Contemporary, Holiday Romance
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound ◊ iBooks ◊ Publisher
’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?
Let’s just start this review with saying do you not just love the cover for The Christmas Cowboy Hero?! Definitely a case of love at first sight for me! Clayton East was also a yummy character who had a great heart. Although he was not the same man he was before he left for the military he was still a good man. At the start of this story, he was not really interested in going back home to the ranch he grew up on because he was not ready to face his loved ones. He did not want his family to see just how much he had changed.
While on a job in South Africa, Clayton had received a call that his family’s ranch was in dire straits. Through a series of major losses, they were teetering on bankruptcy. Clayton’s mother had called to implore that Clayton come home and help them set things straight. Once home though, Clayton realized that things were worse than he feared and he was determined to find those responsible for his family’s losses.
What Clayton never expected was to find a teenage kid wrapped up with cattle rustlers and that his older sister would have such an effect on Clayton. He was immediately taken with Abby Harper but more than anything he was angry at her brother. He needed to know who was involved with stealing the cattle and why was his family targeted. Unfortunately, Abby’s brother, Brice, refused to tell anyone the truth of the matter.
Clayton was once a trouble youth himself and he decided to give Abby’s brother a second chance but on Clayton’s terms. Brice had to work off his debt at the East Ranch farm. Clayton was hoping that a little hard work would put the boy on the right track and hopefully he would also learn to trust Clayton enough to tell him who was a part of the trouble that landed Brice in the situation he was in. Clayton was also hoping to see Abby more and maybe get to know her better.
There was just something about Abby that drew Clayton’s attention and kept it. He had not been this taken with a woman in a long time and he couldn’t help pursuing her but Abby was not going to come easy. Her heart was very guarded and it was going to take a Christmas miracle for her to accept what Clayton was trying to offer her. Clayton was also going to have to come around to accepting a few things about himself that were also changing.
This story was not all romance and insta-love though. There was a great mystery element to who stole the cattle from the East family as well as some sleuthing with an element of suspense. There is also action and danger in this novel that lead to a few heart pumping minutes where it is uncertain how things were going to play out. In short The Christmas Cowboy Hero will keep you on your toes as well as causing your heart to swoon over a sexy SEAL who has gone back to his cowboy roots.
The Christmas Cowboy Hero is a series starter for the Heart of Texas series and oh heck yeah this is going to be a series that I follow. I loved the family connection that was built up through this story and I can’t wait to see where things go in its sequel. As far as Christmastime elements go, this story did not have a huge emphasis on Christmas traditions but it definitely gave me that Christmastime vibe that I love to feel whenever I am reading a story that takes place during the Christmas season. I highly recommend this story to readers who love Christmas, hard luck stories, and swoony cowboys who know what they want and are not afraid to go for it. Such a good read!
*Thank you to Netgalley & St. Martin’s Paperbacks for this eARC of The Christmas Cowboy Hero*
Looking for an EXCLUSIVE excerpt? Check out this link from the Author’s website HERE!
Holiday Q&A with Author Donna Grant:
When do the holidays official start for you?
I’d say October 1st, because I get ready for Halloween. Then November 1st to get ready for Thanksgiving, but it day after Thanksgiving, it’s all Christmas!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
The decorations. I love to see it all!
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
We spend Christmas Eve at my parents where there is a bunch of finger foods. Then Christmas Day everyone comes to my house where we have gumbo (Cajun tradition). Then we head to the movies about about 2.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
It’s a toss up between White Christmas and Love Actually and Christmas Vacation. We watch them every year.
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
No. I’m an equal opportunist for holiday books. 🙂
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
Around me we have the Texas Renaissance Festival, which is the largest in the US. It always begins at the end of September and runs until Thanksgiving weekend. It always signals the begin of fall for us.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
I received my long-haired Chihuahua for Christmas. She was unexpected, but so amazing!
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
Walls. The flood from Hurricane Harvey took everything, but I’d like walls and doors for privacy again. lol
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
I try to make some improvement each year. For 2017 it was balance. I’m not sure what 2018 will be yet. I might still need to work on balancing everything.