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Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms Mass Market Paperback – October 3, 2017
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From the Author
(Linda Broday) When Sourcebooks mentioned writing a Christmas novella, I jumped at the chance. It's such an honor to be in an anthology with Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas. Such talented writers all. My story, The Christmas Stranger, really tugged at my heart and I hope that maybe it will yours too. Hank Destry is a drifter who's lost and alone. No family. No friends. And Christmas is not a holiday he wants to celebrate. He gets caught in a huge snowstorm and can find no shelter for himself, his horse, and dog. Then he's found buried in a snowdrift by Sidalee King. She springs into action and rushes him to her home on the Lone Star Ranch where she runs the mercantile. I first introduce the Legend family who owns the Lone Star Ranch in Book #1 Men of Legend, To Love a Texas Ranger. This father and his three sons are known for opening their home and hearts to those in need. You'll see in this story. They offer Hank a job and include him in their Christmas festivities. Sidalee is alone with no family either and she shows Hank what Christmas is all about.
From the Inside Flap
Cole: "Sadie, I care for you. I really do....Is there a chance you and I can--?"
Sadie: "No. No chance." Bad news was best delivered quickly and with as few words as possible.
Cole: "After last night, I thought..."
Sadie:"You thought wrong."
Top customer reviews
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Next is A CHICK-A-DEE CHRISTMAS by Rosanne Bittner. This story is an epilogue to the Outlaw Hearts series. This family has known tragedy, hard times, and worked hard for the good they have in their lives. The main character started out as a ruthless killer, reformed, and was a lawman. He is now a husband, father, and grandfather, but still fights the demons of his youth. In this story, he confronts a young man who reminds him much of his younger self. He attempts to show the young tough what kind of life he is heading for if he doesn't change his ways. Next is THE CHRISTMAS STRANGER by Linda Broday. This is a side story to her MEN OF LEGEND series and contains the same sense of time and place. I have read this series and highly recommend it. A man with no future and no place to go gets trapped in a blizzard. He is found by a woman from the Legend ranch and brought there to recover. A good man has been wronged, a lonely woman finds hope, an old woman regains something lost, and a crime will finally be punished.
A TEXAS RANGER FOR CHRISTMAS by Margaret Brownley. Can a Texas Ranger with no initial interest in settling down and a young widow with
an infant make a future together when she doesn't like or trust the call to duty all Texas Rangers feel. She has no desire to be left alone again.
A CHRISTMAS BABY by Anna Schmidt. A marriage her parents do not approve of and a baby on the way have a young couple facing rejection and prejudice. Not everyone is against them, but that doesn't stop the hurt of rejection. As the future looks brighter a near tragedy and small Christmas miracle help set things right.
A CHRISTMAS REUNION by Amy Sanders. The new doctor in a remote Wyoming Territory town is kidnapped by outlaws to tend to one of their gang who has been shot. What he discovers at the hide-out is a surprise from his past.
This book is a strong 4.5 stars.
Father Christmas by Leigh Greenwood
Joe needs to clear his name from being accused of stealing gold. He hunts down his betraying partner and stumbles upon a little family in need. Mary hated her husband and now he's dead. She thought she had no place for a man until Joe helps her through her sickness, mends things around the farm, befriends shy little Sarah, and makes her believe there is goodness again. I loved the humor, sweetness, and heartwarming quality of this story that harks back to the Joseph, Mary and baby in a stable story.
A Chickadee Christmas by Rosanne Bittner
An Outlaw Hearts Novella
Just when I was feeling the blues after reading The Last Outlaw and saying good-bye to the Harkers and especially Jake, here was an exciting and gritty, but heartwarming Harker family Christmas. The Harkers go Christmas shopping, find trouble, Jake brings home an angry, bitter stray man, and then they all pray for a Christmas miracle for little Sadie Mae.
This was a lovely reunion with a cast of characters I love. The spotlight on Jake and his grandchildren was just precious.
The Christmas Stranger by Linda Broday
A Men of Legend Novella
This is a side story that takes place just before book three, Luke's book. Lonely Sidalee rescues a drifter caught out in the cold and snow and brings him back to the Lone Star. Hank did his time and now he just wants to find a place where he'll be accepted. Stoker Legend and the people of the Lone Star, particularly Sidalee, seem too good to be true. Dare he stay?
Another fantastic story from a series I love with a bit of Christmas shine to make it even better.
A Texas Ranger for Christmas by Margaret Brownley
A Match Made in Texas Novella
Sadie has had a tough row to hoe in life and then a Texas Ranger comes to tell her that she's a widow. First her father and then her husband die in the Rangers. She is bitter and lacking in trust, but taking care of Cole, the Ranger who collapsed ill on her and seeing his honorable and tender care for her and her baby start to sway her. But... he's a Ranger and will leave her like the others did.
My first time with the author and the series. It stood alone just fine. I was vested in this story and was rooting on Sadie to heal and accept what the wonderful man was offering her. Definitely will come back for more.
A Christmas Baby by Anna Schmidt
A Last Chance Cowboys Novella
Two young people from two different races buck the system and marry. Her family turns their backs and his accept, but worry about the hard road they have chosen. They hope for a Christmas miracle to bring peace and acceptance in the family.
On the surface, it seems like a clear cut case of how ethnic prejudice can affect an interracial pairing, but the author digs deeper and shows that for parents in this story, it is fighting how they were taught and fears for the children they love that have them unwilling to accept the possibility of watching their child and grandchild ridiculed or worse. There is a heavy lesson here and it does push forward aside other story elements at the time, but its a worthy lesson.
A Christmas Reunion by Amy Sandas
A Runaway Brides Novella
Warren Reed returns to the west to set up his medical practice only to be kidnapped by outlaws to tend to one of their own. And, there he gets the biggest shock of all. The woman who left him is glaring at him over the barrel of a pistol for leaving her.
This fast paced story is a second chance at romance for two people who thought they hated each other. Things progress quickly, but I enjoyed seeing Warren and Honey get their chance if she can reach past her fear. He's a special man and I was glad to see him find her again.
In summary, this was a heartwarming and engaging variety of stories set in the Old West. I enjoyed the reunion with favorite authors and some series I adore, but also the opportunity to read three new to me authors and sample their writing. Each had a strong Christmas theme and I enjoyed that the romances were well-developed and included some great western action. I can definitely recommend this great holiday novella sampler.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Most recent customer reviews
The six authors bring us back to the late 1800's when the west was wild and life was...Read more