Let it Be Christmas by Hebby Roman
West Texas Christmas Trilogy Book 2
Publisher: Estrella Publishing
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (141 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Myrtle
After losing both her parents, Lindsay MacKillian has been living with her Aunt Minerva in Boston, learning to be a lady. When her unscrupulous fiancé gets her in the family way and absconds, she escapes home to Langtry, Texas to hide her shame.
Bart Houghton, a professional gambler, wants to quit his old profession and become a rancher, giving the MacKillian’s ranch a much needed infusion of capital. But he didn’t count on marrying Chad’s sister as part of the deal. And to make matters worse, Lindsay doesn’t approve of his former profession and believes he is unworthy as a husband.
Lindsay and Bart, despite their differences and having a marriage in name only, can’t help but being attracted to each other. As their attraction matures, they have to face the obstacles of their pasts. Can Lindsay put aside her preconceived notions about Bart? Is Bart ready to settle down and give Lindsay the family she wants?
It’s easy to be judgmental when the consequences of your judgments never directly affect you, but what happens when your own character and values are measured?
It’s 1896 and the infamous Judge Roy Bean is the self-appointed lawman of a small Texas town known as Langtry. The town has no doctor, no lawyer, and not much of anything else of importance, but it does have Lindsay MacKillian coming home in disgrace and shame, carrying the unborn child of a gambler.
After the death of her parents, Lindsay went to live with her aunt in Boston, a town of immense respect and class—a vastly different city than the tiny town of Langtry where Lindsay left her brother behind, alone, to run the family ranch. With nowhere else to go, Lindsay hightails it home hoping to hide her indiscretion and shame.
Once there, she finds out that her brother is planning to take on a ranching partner, the handsome Bartholomew Houghton, a former gambler. Of all things—a gambler! The lowest of the low life, in Lindsay’s eyes anyway. Never mind that her pregnancy is not showing yet, it will soon enough and she will deal with it, but to be associated with a gambler, like her former fiancé, is unacceptable…if she could just keep her eyes off of him.
Bartholomew, aka Bart, could be the man of most women’s dreams. He certainly is through the eyes of Lindsay, until her brother suggests that Bart marry Lindsay as part of their partnership deal, thus hiding his sister’s unwed pregnancy. And once we find out that Lindsay’s brother, Chad, saved Bart’s life and now Bart is indebted to him, the readers will cheer his creative matchmaking.
The reality of it all is…is Lindsay worthy of Bart? Is Bart worthy of Lindsay?
This is a short book, which touches on Christmas, but not nearly as much as the title pretends. The holiday aspect is almost non-existent, which is a shame, really. I was looking forward to experiencing a real Christmas in 1896, but alas, it was not to be so. No decorated tree, no ornaments, no presents, no holiday, at all, really. Christmas day is important, but not in the traditional, festive sense.
I also found Lindsay a bit grating, maybe too judgmental for me, and the story was too short to care a lot about the characters. It is a good historical short read, and I can never imagine myself finding a Hebby Roman story disappointing, she is so talented, but I would have enjoyed a more in-depth storyline and more of Ginny and her family. (Props to the addition of Minnie, a Maltese!)
Anyone who loves historical fiction (the addition of Judge Roy Bean, albeit short-lived, was wonderful!) will sink right into this story, probably finishing it with delight by the firelight before the year ends.