True-Blue Cowboy Christmas by Nicole Helm

True-Blue Cowboy Christmas by Nicole Helm
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (352 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Thack Lane has his hands full. For the past seven years, he’s been struggling to move on from his wife’s tragic death and raise a daughter all by his lonesome. He doesn’t have time for himself, much less a cheerful new neighbor with a smile that can light up the ranch.

Christmas spirit? Bah, humbug.

With Christmas right around the corner, Summer Shaw is searching for somewhere to belong. When her neighbor’s young daughter takes a shine to her, she is thrilled. But Thack is something else altogether. He’s got walls around his heart that no amount of holiday wishes can scale. Yet as joy comes creeping back to the lonely homestead, Summer and Thack may just find their happily ever after before the last of the Christmas miracles are through…

I believe in Christmas miracles and I love to read books that incorporate family, love, hope and happiness. I actually thought I came from a dysfunctional family until I read this story about Summer Shaw, the heroine, who opened my eyes to the fact that I’ve got a pretty good family. Both the heroine and the hero both have tragic past stories that broke my heart and yet because of that history I felt it made them perfect for each other.

I was glad the author shared their past history, not to depress me but because it helped me to understand why the characters made their choices. That history, shocking in an uncomfortable kind of way, is what helped me to develop empathy for all the characters. Well, actually not Summer’s mother. That character was despicable and the author did a great job of making me think unspeakable things about her. Summer’s mother kept you turning the pages just waiting for vindication. This part of the plot is what made it a bit suspenseful. The ending left me feeling justified.

Despite Summer’s past history I found it easy to relate to her because of her natural love for children and the need to be accepted and belong to a family. Thack, the hero, was written as a loving and devoted father to his daughter, Kate. The type of husband I’d want for myself and my children. Kate was an entertaining 7 year old. I enjoy stories that incorporate a bit of humor and make me chuckle, and with Thack and Kate, I had quite a few giggles. My favorite new saying, thanks to Thack is, “Sweet Pickles”.

It was a unique and interesting plot that is plausible. It moved at an acceptable rate which is reminiscent of something I’d see on a soap opera or on the Hallmark channel versus real life. True-Blue Cowboy Christmas was an enjoyable read that met my expectations.

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