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Holidays on the Ranch: Lively Southern Contemporary Holiday Romance Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2021
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- Romance between old friends
- Lots of hot cowboy lovin'
- Characters that jump off the page
- Wacky, small-town neighbors
- Authentic Southern voice and inimitable sass
Out of the army and looking for some peace and quiet this Christmas, former sniper Finn O'Donnell heads to the sleepy town of Burnt Boot, Texas. But Finn hasn't spent even one night at his new ranch when an army SUV pulls into the driveway and a familiar figure steps out. Finn doesn't want to revisit the past, but he owes Callie Brewster his life... Whatever she needs, he will be there for her.
Maybe it's the empty house, now full; maybe it's the holiday season. But despite the chaos, Finn and Callie have never felt more at home.
Previously published as Cowboy Boots for Christmas.
Praise for Carolyn Brown:
"A delightful journey of hope and healing."―Woman's World for The Empty Nesters
"One of my favorite authors!"―Romance Junkies
"Carolyn Brown is one of my go-to authors when I want a feel-good story that will make me smile."―Fresh Fiction for Cowboy Strong
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About the Author
- Publisher : Sourcebooks Casablanca; Reprint edition (September 28, 2021)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1728239451
- ISBN-13 : 978-1728239453
- Item Weight : 7.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.75 x 0.88 x 7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #242,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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The story opens when, Finn O'Donnell, former Army Sniper and ranch hand for his own family ranch, buys his own spread outside the small town of Burnt Boot, TX and moves there with his dog, Shotgun, where he hopes for a bit of peace and quiet. That all gets upended when he steps out on his porch to see his old spotter and secret crush, Callie Brewster, and her nephew, Martin, arriving to beg a place to stay. Martin witnessed a murder and they need somewhere to hide out until the trial. Callie knows Finn's place is remote and Finn can protect them. Finn agrees wholeheartedly realizing that Callie and Martin are just what he needed if only he can get the skittish Callie to fall in line with his Christmas plans.
Callie had her eye on Finn since the moment they became a sniper team, but the rules about fraternization, Finn's attraction to another woman and her own family emergency separated them and they lost contact. Now here he is, unattached and still very attractive. Callie might be willing to scratch an itch, but she's terrified to try for anything permanent and that includes letting Martin get that pair of cowboy boots he wants because that signifies a degree of attachment to Finn's ranch that she's afraid to want. But when she and Martin are only the first of the homeless refugees through Finn's door and a few other ranch beauties are eying up Finn taking the local feud to whole new levels, she has some decisions to make because Finn wants every last person and animal that found their way to his ranch to stay. Permanently. Can she set aside her fears and reach out for her own brand of Christmas joy?
The plot meanders along a bit slowly teasing out the life of Burnt Boot, Finn and Callie's history together and their tentative try at romance in the present, the ongoing feud between two big ranching families, and of course all the Christmas activities that run throughout the story.
The cast of characters is large and includes some adorable animals. Joe the parrot kept me in stitches when he broke out in talk. I loved the three older women that had their own schemes, but kept neutral in the feud. And the members of that feuding group? Whew! Over the top hilarious. I really took to Finn, but Callie wasn't an instant sell. I liked a lot about her and respected her for the job she did in the Army, but she lets her fear that she'll be like her flighty mom and sister get the better of her and made me get impatient with an otherwise sensible woman (which isn't really fair to her since the whole story took place in a few weeks' time frame). Intellectually, she knew she had a good deal and it was the real goods, but she was afraid to believe. Finn had his own trust issues after a woman used him and made a fool out of him, but he was able to push that aside and not let it rule him. I enjoyed the introduction near the end to the hero of the next book too.
As a holiday read, this one is filled to the brim of homey Holiday goodness. It has a bit of a fairytale quality to it or Christmas magic if you will. This put together family just keeps growing and adding as they enjoy the holiday activities and festivities together.
All in all, it was a slightly spicy holiday, small town cowboy contemporary romance that I would recommend to those who enjoy slow pace feel good reading.
So the story: Martin witnesses a murder. He's living with his aunt (I think his parents died and she found him in foster care). So because he was a witness to murder, the go into the witness protection program-sort of. They move in with Callie's friend and former military teammate, Finn. It's some kind of weird witness protection-they move into an easily found friend's home, they keep their names, and they register Martin for public school. Then the neighbors are in some stupid fight. It was just too much. It was like she was going through a baby name book and adding every name she could find into the story.
As much as I absolutely love Carolyn Brown books-and read them over and over again, they are my go-to's-this book was not good. I even double checked if she is really the author. Unfortunately I made it to about the 40% mark of reading and I gave up.
Overall, the story is sweet and comes out as expected. I did feel that the ending was rather abrupt, I was surprised to turn the page and find there was no more story.