From the back cover:
Christmas promised to be anything but merry for Robin Matthews, who was waging a losing battle to keep her ranch and her family together. So when rugged Nathaniel Hollister grudgingly agreed to help her run the Rocking M, temporarily, she believed she had found the answer to her prayers. But with Christmas approaching, Robin was going to need a real miracle not to lose everything...including her heart.
Though his attraction for her was growing every day, Nathaniel told himself he was too world-weary for a decent young woman like Robin. Once one of the most infamous lawmen in the West, he had turned in his bade after a terrible tragedy left him with a burden too heavy to share. And yet Nathaniel is about to discover that the magic of Christmas has a way of making the impossible possible...and turning wishes into gifts that last a lifetime.
And my review:
I hardly know where to start, there is just so much to say about this book. It was soooo good. I'd never tried anything by this author before, and took a gamble on buying A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS because, well, it's a Christmas romance, and I'm a sucker for those. I was expecting your standard shoot-em-up western with your cliche tortured hero and run-of-the-mill doing-a-man's-job heroine, but this book was so much more than that.
That was the best part about this book: the characters. They were so well-drawn that they leaped almost immediately into my heart and stayed there. This author was wonderful at making well-rounded characters who felt like real people. They had their flaws, but they weren't so overly flawed as to be unlikeable. I was cheering them on almost from the start. And I just loved how they grew and changed over the course of the book. That's what makes a good romance great--if you connect with the characters and feel like they're basically good people, and that they're becoming even better people as the story progresses. I really liked how the hero ended up staying "just one more day" that stretched on into weeks and months because he just couldn't make himself leave, even though he was sure that was what he wanted. It was nice to watch the commitment-fearing hero change into a family man over the course of the novel.
And it wasn't just the hero and heroine who were well-drawn characters. This book was crammed full of loveable, well-rounded characters. I hated the villians (even though they were more than just stereotypes) and loved the "good guys". While the plot never dragged, the author used character development to keep the pace going. Oh, there were gunfights and tense moments, and all of the stuff that you expect (and hope for) in a western, but I never felt like the suspense detracted from the relationship. The main focus of the story was the romance, which is just the way I like it.
I also liked that there was more drawing the hero and heroine together than just sexual attraction. Not that they weren't physically attracted to one another, but it was an added bonus to their growing feelings of affection, not the sole reason for them being together. And that's just as it should be. If you're sick of reading romances where authors think that throwing their characters into bed magically equals love, you'll find A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS a welcome treat, as this author refrains from that tired old plot. There was none of that "I hate you, come here and let's boink each other's brains out" nonsense you find so often in romance. And there were no silly misunderstandings keeping the lovers apart. They had real problems standing in the way of their happily-ever-after, not just silly, childish spats. These were people who actually communicated with each other.
The Christmas aspect of this story was also well done, and didn't feel like something tacked on in an effort to boost sales.
I can't say enough good about this book. I loved it! I will be on the lookout for more of this author's books (my only regret is that after doing some research, I've discovered she hasn't written anything since 2000. Wah!) A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS is highly, highly recommended to all readers of romance.