Monday, December 5, 2011

Toni's Review of A Cowboy Christmas by Janette Kenny ***4.5 Stars***



One Starry Night

Reid Barclay doesn't have time for Christmas, not with trouble brewing at the Crown Seven Ranch. He's got prize thoroughbreds to protect and a long-ago wrong that he wants to make right. But the beautiful cook who's taken over the ranch kitchen is a welcome distraction, even if Ellie Jo Cade burns everything from gingerbread to roast beef. Her sweet face and womanly figure are pure temptation. . .

Cornhusk angels. . .bright berry garlands. . .spun-sugar snow--everything about Christmas holds fond memories for Ellie Jo. She's doing her best to make peace with an ornery wood-burning stove and make the old ranch house truly festive. All she wants is to believe in Reid. . .and the only-at-Christmas magic that makes hearts glow. . .

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I’m not a huge lover of holiday themed books, but I am a lover of Janette Kenny. This is the second book I have read from her and I do believe I am hooked.

Ellie Jo Cade is a woman on a mission. She must save her father from trouble. She has come to Maverick, Wyoming to work as a housekeeper to be able to spend the Christmas holiday with her long lost father and to convince him to give up his vision of revenge. Her father doesn’t want her there and despite that she stays on, but doesn’t have a clue what to do in the kitchen. She works hard and is bound and determined to make it work. Though the job is only until the beginning of the year, she puts her whole heart into it. Too bad she is losing her heart to the owner of the Crown Seven Ranch, Reid Barclay.

Reid is in trouble. In a week he is marrying a woman he feels obligated to marry, but doesn’t love, needs to find his two foster brothers and he also needs to come up with enough money to buy out the final shares to the ranch. Now his temporary housekeeper is stirring feelings in him he hasn’t felt in over year and his prize possession has been stolen. Can a rancher ever catch a break?

Both Ellie and Reid have had hard childhoods. Ellie’s was filled with an absent father and Reid’s was filled with complete desertion. Ellie never gave up hope or love for her father and though she knew they would never have a fulfilling father/daughter relationship, she still loved him with all her heart. Reid on the other hand has never known love until he was a teenager. The moment he found his foster father, Kirby Morris, he finally knew what it felt like to have a family and he is determined to never lose that feeling. Now he is in the fight of his life to save his home. He doesn’t have time to deal with his growing feelings for Ellie. He has a ranch to save for himself and his brothers. Duty calls and Reid will do anything that needs to be done.

Lately some of my books have been exhausting to read, drawing out emotions that were draining and just tiring me out completely. What I loved about this book is I was not frustrated, annoyed, or angry. I felt a loving glow from start to finish. This warm feeling had nothing to do with the holiday, but with the love that Ellie and Reid provoked in me. This simply is a feel-good book. On that note, if you want a solid holiday themed book you will not find it here. Christmas was the holiday, but not the focus of the story.

I am going to devour all the books in The Lost Sons Trilogy. Next book in the series is In a Cowboy’s Arms and then the new release Cowboy Come Home. I am definitely in the mood for hot sizzling cowboys and the women that drive them crazy. Bring on the steam!

Thanks for reading! - Toni

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