Title: The Christmas Cowboy Hero
Series: Heart of Texas #1
Author: Donna Grant
Format: Kindle, 316 pages
Published: October 31, 2017 (St. Martin's Paperbacks)
ISBN: ASIN: B06Y5L7CL4
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
’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?
A warrior and a cowboy…”
The Christmas Cowboy Hero marks the debut of Donna Grant’s new contemporary adult western Heart of Texas series. Donna has posted that it is also her very first Christmas story. I’m a huge fan of Donna’s Dark Dragon Kings series – so it was a given that I’d pick up this new series from her. I mean… cowboys and Christmas – what’s not to love? This first installment is the story of ex-Navy SEAL and prodigal son Clayton East and accounting clerk Abby Harper. Their story is told from several third person perspectives – including those of Clayton and Abby.
Abby has had her hands full raising her two younger brothers and keeping a roof over their heads after their mother deserted them. Now one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle from The East Ranch...
Clayton has reluctantly come home to take over his family’s ranch after his father suffers a stroke. He quickly discovers that The East Ranch is in dire financial straits with both funds and cattle missing. A juvenile has been apprehended in connection with their rustled cattle. But, while coming face-to-face with the boy, Clayton didn’t expect to meet a woman who would take his breath away.
I connected from the get-go with our hero and heroine. They were each likable and realistically-drawn. I do admit to being a bit taken back at first by the insta-love between them, but, as the story progressed and I became engrossed in the familial relationships and the suspense build-up related to the ranch’s missing moneys and the cattle theft, I mostly forgot about their immediate attraction. By the last half of this book, I didn’t want to put it down. Clayton demonstrated what a hot catch he was by the way he took Abby’s brothers under his wings. I liked how his Navy SEAL training was incorporated as the story’s danger element increased. Supporting characters were well-written, too, including Abby’s adolescent brothers and Clayton’s mom.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from The Christmas Cowboy Hero:
“You’re staring,” she said as she cut her eyes to him.
Clayton lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “I like what I see.”
“Tell me he’s got a cute ass in Wranglers,” Gloria pleaded. “I’ve got a weakness for cowboys.”
Abby grinned. “It’s not cute. His ass is magnificent.”
“It’s not that easy.”
He smoothed back her dark hair and looked into her beautiful, blue eyes. “It is when you have someone to catch you.”
Donna’s books are always well-written with plenty of sexy times and this book is no exception. It is an addictive story of love, loss, betrayals, family and romance. Readers can look forward to an extremely satisfying HEA ending with a touch of Christmas tidings. I look forward to reading where Donna will take this series next!
Suggested Reading Order:
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Book #1)
Cowboy on my Mind (Book #2) – Coming Sept 2018!
Cold Night, Warm Cowboy (Book #3) – Coming March 2019!