The Christmas Cowboy Hero
Heart of Texas, Book #1
By Donna Grant
Author’s Website: http://www.donnagrant.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
Clayton East had a wonderful childhood growing up in a loving family on the East ranch. However, when tragedy struck, he closed himself off to everyone and ran to join the military. And, when he was done there he took a job in South Africa to avoid coming home. He’s not the person he was and doesn’t want to go home, where they will expect him to be someone he isn’t anymore. However, when he gets a call from his mom that his dad has had a mini stroke and that the ranch is in financial turmoil, he has no choice, but to go home and help his family save their legacy.
Not only has the ranch’s personal accountant embezzled a ton of money from the Easts, but someone has stolen a herd of their cattle and one of their prize bulls. Clayton is determined to find out who is responsible, and try to fix things for his parents.
The police catch some men trying to load up some cattle with the East Ranch’s brand on them. The men fled except they were able to catch teenager Brice Harper. Brice is ready to make amends, but refuses to give up the others involved or give them any information on where the rest of the cattle are. But ultimately Clayton decides to not press charges against Brice and instead makes a deal with him to work off what he stole by working at the ranch.
Abby Harper has been raising her two brothers, Brice & Caleb, ever since their mother ran out on them and left her as their legal guardian. Abby has had to scrape by just to pay the bills and keep them fed. She has tried to raise the boys right, but now Brice is in trouble and she’ll do anything to fix it and keep him out of jail.
There is something about the East Ranch that speaks to Brice and Caleb. Abby has never seen her brothers as happy as they are on the ranch, even when doing the hardest of jobs. And, the sexy cowboy Clayton has his eyes on her! But can Abby ever trust that a relationship could work or is she just setting them all up for heartache when Clayton eventually leaves them behind like their own mother did?
I’m used to all of Donna Grant’s paranormal romances (druids, dragons, and fae, oh my!), so it was nice to read something a little different from her. I have also read her Sons of Texas series which doesn’t include any paranormal aspects, but is still a little bit out there with the unlikely conspiracy theory storyline. However, I have to say this book is the most ‘normal’ of her books that I’ve read. It reads as your typical romance book, and there is nothing wrong with that! Although I would never, have known it was written by Grant if I hadn’t seen her name on the cover!
I actually really enjoyed this book. The characters were engaging from the struggling sister made to be mom, to the haunted by tragedy cowboy, to the loving East family. To say nothing of the rambunctious teenage Harper boys!
There are a couple of sex scenes in this book, but the novel isn’t filled with them cover to cover as some of Grant’s other titles. This book truly focused on the relationships. Clayton and Abby of course, but also the relationship between Abby and her brothers, Clayton and his parents, and then the Easts to the Harpers as a whole.
Despite the book having Christmas in the title, Christmas really wasn’t a focus of the book. However, the story did take place around Christmas and Clayton’s big surprise for Abby had me smiling like an idiot. *Swoon* This would be a great book to cozy up with, in front of a nice fire on a cold winter’s day.
I truly enjoyed seeing this side of Grant’s writing and can’t wait to see how the rest of this series shapes out.