’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?
Titles in the Heart of Texas series include: The Christmas Cowboy Hero –
Title: The Christmas Cowboy Hero
Series: Heart of Texas #1
Author: Donna Grant
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: October 31, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 4 stars
There is something so solid about Clayton that you can’t help but admire the man he’s become, and is turning into, in spite of his own personal demons. He’s a man who will put family first, knows the value of a second chance and has a deep abiding love for his family and their ranch. He wasn’t the son who was supposed to take over the ranch. No that was his brother’s role, but at his death everything changed. Now the family ranch is in deep trouble. A thieving accountant, stolen cattle and his father’s illness has brought Clayton home to take control and straighten this mystery out.
Abby’s life changed in a heartbeat. Her father’s death devastated both her and her brothers. When her mother decided that she couldn’t handle life and slipped away in the middle of the night abandoning her family it was Abby who stepped in as sister and mother figure. It was Abby who found a way to survive paycheck to paycheck and give her brothers the best she possibly could. When one brother gets himself in serious trouble life is about to change for Abby once again. One rancher who believes in second chances, and might just be the man she can turn to for life has changed everything. Now comes the biggest risk of all – trusting her heart and her family to Clayton’s capable hands.
The Christmas Cowboy Hero is the type of story that will always touch my heart. Wounded, not perfect people are realistic people, the kind that I can identify with and accept when their flaws and issues come into play. Both Abby and Clayton are wounded souls, but neither is going down without a fight. I liked them individually and together as a couple. This story brings a strong sense of family, and a new blended family as well. Life isn’t easy, and this story doesn’t pretend that it is – but it does show that with patience, love, and trust a whole lot can be accomplished.
I enjoyed this story, and it’s a series that I plan to follow. I’d definitely recommend this one for any Romance reader who enjoys strong family ties, second chances and very human, flawed, and realistic characters.
*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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