Murphy Anderson is coming home for Christmas…

And as soon as she arrives, she’s putting the family ranch on the market. Her plan is to get in, get out, and head back to the city, where she belongs. Growing up on the hardscrabble property next door to the prosperous Marvell Ranch, and being constantly reminded of everything she didn’t have, left her with no love for ranching, or her handsome neighbors—especially Cody Marvell, who always rubbed her the wrong way. And maybe that’s why, when Cody shows an interest in the ranch, she hesitates to sell.

Cody Marvell has a way with people…unless that person is Murphy Anderson. Cody never understood what she was dealing with when they were younger. Murphy had a hard time while growing up, with no mom and a cold-hearted father. He made some mistakes, which he now regrets. He wants her ranch, and more than that, he wants her.

When a Christmas flood makes Murphy’s home uninhabitable, he invites her to stay at the Marvell Ranch. With the help of country Christmas magic, Cody hopes she’ll start to see him with new eyes.

Titles in the Men of Marvell Ranch series include:  The Cowboy’s Last Rodeo – A Marvell Country Christmas –

Title:  A Marvell Country Christmas
Series:  Men of Marvell Ranch #2
Author:  Jeannie Watt
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Modern Western Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  November 6, 2018
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Perception can alter people’s sense of reality, of the true facts when only seeing one’s own side of any situation.  In many ways perception, misunderstanding the truth, and preconceived ideas handed down are at the core of A Marvell Country Christmas.

I had a difficult time warming up to Murphy.  Her anger towards any Marvell seemed over the top, and at first I wanted to flick at that chip firmly planted on her shoulder.  Yet, there had to be more than simply one thriving ranch and one floundering barely surviving ranch existing side by side to her reactions.  And there certainly were.  As Cody and Murphy’s story unfolds we begin to get a clear picture of the years when Murphy still lived on the ranch.  Of the neglect, the lies, the promises broken by her father… and the unknowing part that the Marvells played in that history.

As the middle brother, Cody has always held the role of peacemaker.  We first met him in The Cowboy’s Last Rodeo (part of the 79th Copper Mountain Rodeo and the first story in this series – Tule Publishing often has one story be part of two series, so don’t miss the first one).  For the life of him, Cody could not figure out Murphy’s intense dislike of him.  Even so, he still did the right thing by inviting her to stay at the family ranch when her home became flooded and impossible to stay at.  Slowly Cody got the truth from Murphy, and did apologize for something he had no knowledge of back them.  Also slowly the attraction that has always been flowing between them gets a chance to thrive with the magic of Christmas, misunderstandings explained and the possibilities in front of them.

Like Cody, once I understood why Murphy acted as she did, I did warm up to her, even liked her by the story’s ending.  A lesson I learned long ago, never assume and wait til the words “The End” appear to make any judgments *grin*  I enjoyed myself with Cody and Murphy, their romance is full of banter, misunderstandings and eventually the solid foundation that makes for a very happy ending.  I would not hesitate to recommend A Marvell Country Christmas to any reader who enjoys a solid romance, interesting secondary characters, a bit of drama and a very happy Christmas ending.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle