Saturday, March 2, 2019

Review - The Christmas Cowboy Hero

Author:  Donna Grant
Series:  Heart of Texas #1
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:   St. Martin's Press
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  311
Date of Publication:  October 31, 2017
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

’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? 


When ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East came home, it was for one reason, his father was ill and the family ranch was in financial trouble. Once things get back to normal for Clayton's family, his plan was to leave. His progress is interrupted almost at the outset when the ranch becomes a victim to castle rustling. The only person caught is a young man, Brice Harper. His older sister Abby is his guardian and she promises to pay Clayton's family for the cost of the lost cattle. 

Clayton has other ideas. He sees something in both Abby and Brice and offers Brice a job to work at the ranch in order to pay off his debt. As far as Abby is concerned, there is one word that Clayton would use to describe her: stunning. Abby is more than overwhelmed. She not only cares for Brice, but also younger brother Caleb. Some time after their father died, their mother took off, leaving their guardianship to Abby. 

Abby loves her brothers more than anything and took on the job to the best of her ability. It has been eight years and she truly has been struggling. While working on her college degree, she is more than underappreciated in her job assisting at an accounting firm. Her circumstances change rather quickly when now her brother will be working for Clayton. One immediate benefit is that Clayton's family offer to let the Harper's spend Christmas with them. Abby never could give them the Christmas she'd like and so she accepts the offer.

This benefits Clayton in more than one way. Not only does he get to spend time with the beautiful Abby, but he discovers her affinity with figures and that she is more than familiar with accounting. Even before Brice was involved with the theft of his cattle, the ranch was suffering financially. Someone had stolen countless amounts of money, almost crippling the ranch. When Abby offers to look into matters, Clayton realizes even more just how special she is.

What an affecting story. It is utterly touching. There is a wonderful element of family. Not just how Abby is with her brothers, which is nothing less that amazing, but also there is Clayton and how he treats his parents. It certainly doesn't hurt that Clayton's mother is every person's dream. Clayton definitely did not fall far from the tree, because he was pretty spectacular. When he and Abby come together, the result is just wonderful. 

Another remarkable thing about the story is the fact that as much as Abby tried with her brothers, they just needed so much, but they certainly were not lacking in love. However, that love increased a hundredfold after getting involved with the East family. Considering they were left by their mother, the story touched on the issue of abandonment more than once. This was helpful because no matter what good came from their soon-to-be new family, this issue certainly had to be addressed.

The Christmas Cowboy Hero is the compelling first book in the Heart of Texas series. What a start! It was a pleasure to have read this story, and to also have had the privilege of reading the following two stories in this series, Cowboy, Cross My Heart and My Favorite Cowboy. There is another book, A Cowboy Like You, to be released in November.


Donna is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

In addition to her novels, Donna has written over forty short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.

She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews. 

Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.

Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80 pound dog, Sisko, or her three cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore with her children. Or buying makeup. And shoes.


  1. Glad to see your review - I am late in getting to this one but have it on my cloud to review

  2. Great review. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.
    Gemma @ Gemma's Book Nook

  3. Great review! This doesn't seem like my type of thing but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  4. I’m not into the whole cowboy thing, tbh, but I’m happy this series works for you!

  5. I think I have read this author before and enjoyed her work so might just pick this up though have not read romance novels in this genre for a while now

  6. Loving all the Cowboy romances out there.

  7. Nice review and love that cover. I'm not really into cowboy books though.