It’s days before Christmas, and Samantha Morgan is in her Brooklyn apartment when her editor, Charlie, shows up. Her publisher Arthur Wentworth is throwing a Christmas party and wants Samantha to be the guest of honor. Samantha tries to come up with an excuse to miss it. She writes a series of books featuring a female James Bond-type heroine named Sloane Parker, and Charlie is the only person who knows that Samantha is the opposite of Sloane, though the marketing team has built up an entire social media presence for her claiming that she is just as adventurous. In reality, Samantha rarely leaves her neighborhood and does her research online. She is afraid of almost everything and is only happy when she’s sitting in her apartment and writing.
Samantha reluctantly agrees to go. But instead of taking her to Arthur’s house in Connecticut, the driver goes to the airport. On the phone, Charlie admits that the party is at Arthur’s new ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For a person who hates even walking around the block when it snows, this is her worst nightmare.
But when a handsome stranger sits next to her on the plane, things begin to look up. She feels comfortable enough to spill all her secrets to him, including all of her fears and the truth about her fake Instagram account. However, when she shows up at the house, it turns out that this man, Drew, is Arthur’s son. Now Samantha is worried that Drew will tell his father about her lies.
Over the course of Christmas week, Samantha grows closer to Drew. But when his fiancée, Beatrix (who recently gave him an ultimatum about settling down), shows up, things get more complicated. As Samantha’s fears of bison and giant icicles subside, and her feelings for Drew grow deeper, new fears develop…
Will she leave this Christmas adventure brokenhearted? Or will true love prevail?
Title: Christmas at the Ranch
Author: Anita Hughes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 27, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 3
For me, Christmas at the Ranch had a Cover Description that drew me in but never really delivered on what the blurb suggested would happen within the story. I’ve had this story for a while, and I kept reading it for a bit, putting it down for weeks on end, picking it up again, and just not feeling anything for any of the characters within this story. In fact, annoyance was more of a companion for me than enjoyment. I finished it because I had an ARC, but Samantha and this crew were just not believable enough for me to fall into their world and believe any of them deserved a happy ending.
While I wasn’t bowled over by this one, I do believe there is an audience that will love Drew and Samantha’s romance. Not every book is going to resonate with every reader, so I encourage you to try Christmas at the Ranch for yourself. My opinion on this one is just that… my opinion. Yours might be quite different.
*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.*
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