true-blue-cowboy-christmasTitle:  True-Blue Cowboy Christmas
Series:  Big Sky Cowboys #3
Author:  Nicole Helm
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  October 4 2016
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

Thack Lane has his hands full. For the past seven years, he’s been struggling to move on from his wife’s tragic death and raise a daughter all by his lonesome. He doesn’t have time for himself, much less a cheerful new neighbor with a smile that can light up the ranch.

Christmas spirit? Bah, humbug.

With Christmas right around the corner, Summer Shaw is searching for somewhere to belong. When her neighbor’s young daughter takes a shine to her, she is thrilled. But Thack is something else altogether. He’s got walls around his heart that no amount of holiday wishes can scale. Yet as joy comes creeping back to the lonely homestead, Summer and Thack may just find their happily ever after before the last of the Christmas miracles are through…

Titles in this series include:  Rebel CowboyOutlaw Cowboy – True Blue Christmas Cowboy (links are to reviews on Keeper Bookshelf)

So we come to the ending of another excellent, addicting series.  Though, I have to admit that I do enjoy the upbeat feeling of ending a series with a Christmas story.

Thack and Summer’s romance brings more information about Summer and her life before coming to town to meet her family.  She has not had an ideal life, in fact it was pretty ugly most of the time.  While Summer holds on to the sunny, happy disposition that she was named for as much as she can, at times the utter sadness of her soul flows out unexpectedly.  It’s nearly impossible to not feel for Summer, even as the details are slowly revealed, at each new piece of the puzzle it becomes more apparent how horrible her life before truly was.  She needed her family and to find out just who she was on her own.  While marriages and new additions have enriched her life, Summer is still searching, still hoping to find acceptance for herself.

Thack is a neighbor, a widower with a lively little girl who gets into endless mischief in her search for the fairies she just knows exists nearby.  Kate was certain she’d finally found proof of the fairies when she met Summer under… not quite the perfect circumstances.  When Thack arrived searching for his once again running off without telling daughter he was… let’s just say a bit gruff and backed up Summer’s  bad feeling about the little girl’s father.  Since his wife’s death, raising Kate on his own with help from his father, Thack has become almost obsessed with Kate’s safety.  And being the mischievous, fairy believing little girl that she is, Kate will often wander off without telling anyone.  He’s come to his perpetually panicked state quite honestly.  Still, the first meeting between Summer and Thack does not go well… at all.

Thack’s father will hire Summer to watch his granddaughter, as it’s obvious by her escaping his care so often that he simply cannot keep up with Kate.  As Summer and Thack spend time together, and maybe let down a few walls the attraction between them starts to take flight.  It will take time, secrets revealed and opening up to possibilities before this couple finds their happy ending.

True-Blue Christmas Cowboy is an intense and emotional story on many levels.  Thack has hidden behind his responsibilities for the ranch and making a safe life for his daughter for so long that to open up to Summer is truly difficult for him.  His trust level is near zero for he honestly seems to believe that everything in life is a risk, full of danger and trouble heading straight for his family.  Summer is a complicated woman, and we’ve only seen the surface of what she’s dealt with up to this story.  There is a lot revealed in this one, a better understanding of the dynamics of Summer’s life and much needed closure on some things.

A slow burn romance, a slow building one as well – True-Blue Christmas Cowboy will capture your attention and interest – while little Kate will steal scenes and your heart.  I’ve enjoyed the Big Sky Cowboys series and I’m sad to see it come to a close – yet what a satisfying way to bring happiness to these families, and hope for their futures.  I would definitely recommend this one and the entire series.  While you could read it as a stand alone story, so much makes more sense if you’ve read from the very beginning.

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

Available in paperback and for the Kindle