Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Review - A True Cowboy Christmas

Author:  Caitlin Crews
Series:  Cold River Ranch #1
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   337
Date of Publication:  October 30, 2018
My Rating:  4 Stars


From USA Today bestselling author Caitlin Crews comes A True Cowboy Christmas, the first in a sensational series debut about a cowboy, a farm girl, and the greatest gift of all. . .

Gray Everett has a heart of gold but that doesn't mean he believes in the magic of Christmas. He's got plenty else to worry about this holiday season, what with keeping his cattle ranch in the family and out of the hands of hungry real-estate investors looking to make a down-and-dirty deal. That, plus being a parent to his young and motherless daughter, equals a man who will not rest until he achieves his mission. Now, all Gray needs is the help of his lifelong neighbor. . .who happens to have grown into a lovely, spirited woman.

For Abby Douglas, the chance to join forces with Gray is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. Much as the down-to-earth farmer's daughter has tried to deny it, Abby's been in love with stern, smoking-hot Gray her whole life. So when Gray proposes a marriage of convenience as a way to combine land--and work together toward a common cause—Abby can't refuse. But how can she convince Gray that sometimes life offers a man a second chance for a reason. . .and that their growing trust and mutual passion may be leading to true and lasting love?


In the first book of this trilogy by Caitlin Crews, Gray Everett must work along with his brothers in order to keep their cattle ranch. The ranch is threatened by investors eager to take the property from them. Gray, Ty and Brady have previously gone down different paths and now working together is certain to present quite a challenge. It has been years since they have been around one another and they each bear the heavy weight of resentment.

The holidays are close and Gray is trying to the best he can by his teen daughter. He comes up with a plan. He can save the family ranch, and give his daughter a mother - if he can get Abby Douglas to agree to marry him.

Abby is shocked! A marriage proposal from the man of her dreams? She has been dreaming about Gray for years. She fell in love with him as a young teen and no other man has ever entered her heart. However, Gray is everything a woman can desire, and she certainly feels she cannot measure up. In part, that is due to the horrible self-image she has, especially due to a very sad relationship with her mother. Thankfully, her grandmother has been the guiding force in her life.

In any case, when Gray approaches her with his "decision", not proposal, needless to say, Abby is all but speechless. Gray is a no-nonsense, business-minded man. He presents a powerful argument as to why they should marry, and of course, emotion and desire have absolutely nothing to do with it.

I really enjoyed this story. Not only was the love truly one-sided, there was a passion the two began to share rather early on, and this took things into a different direction. As the pages wore on, several things happened, not just with Gray and Abby, but also as Abby grew into her role as a stepmother. the holiday setting adding a nice element of warmth to an otherwise touching story.

The other two books in this series are Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy, recently released, and The Last Real Cowboy, available in January.


Caitlin Crews / Megan Crane

Yes, I write under two names. But no matter the name, the story is always all mine.

I discovered my first romance novel at the age of twelve in a bargain bin at the local five and dime. It involved swashbuckling pirates having grand adventures on the open sea, a heroine with a mind of her own, and a seriously masterful hero who swept her away no matter how clever she was.

I was immediately smitten with romance and all the romantic themes I could get my hands on. (I still am.)

I had grand plans to star on Broadway – preferably in Evita, just like the great Patti LuPone. Sadly, my inability to wow audiences with my singing voice required a back up plan, so I launched myself into academics instead. This was not a good fit for someone who liked lounging about and reading books a lot more than dissecting them in classrooms, but it did allow me to live in England for half a decade, so I can’t complain.

Writing (and finishing!) my first book was a relief.  And actually publishing that book was one of the greatest thrills of my life.

Now I’m some 95 books in, I’m still a romance fanatic, it still thrills me to see my books on shelves, and yes, I’m still plotting my Broadway debut.

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