Last Chance Christmas, by Julie Lessman: Pastor Colton McCabe is having the opposite problem. He's not sure he'll make it through the holidays with his new housekeeper. Grace can't seem to do anything right but love. Perhaps being a home-keeper will earn her a permanent residence in his heart.
My thoughts: Julie Lessman has penned a fun romance featuring an unlikely heroine who can't cook anything (except beans) without burning it, a pastor with a past, and a lot of laughs. This is the first story in the book, but if it sets the theme of the book I'll be sure to enjoy it all. Loved LAST CHANCE CHRISTMAS and the theme of redemption and grace that Ms. Lessman worked through it.
A Cowboy For Christmas, by Ruth Logan Herne: They've weathered a lot worse than winter. For widow June Harper, another cold front is about to hit. Most call him Hugh. She'd call him Scrooge, except as the man ensures her needs are met, June can't help but wonder how to meet the needs of his heart.
My thoughts: A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS was a retelling -- basically -- of Ruth and Boaz except Boaz is not a believer. June is homeless, beyond poor and hopeful for a job gleaming Hugh's fields. What she gets and must refuse is so much more. A story of strong, stubborn characters who are prepared to fight for what they want or need. I loved Lily, a secondary character. June is probably a lot like me. Strong, stubborn, and determined.
Longhorn Christmas, by Mary Connealy: Netty Lewis can take care of herself, has for a while now. Some hired help over the holidays doesn't change that. And even if Roy does take care of her, that doesn't mean he cares for her or that he'll stay past Christmas.
My thoughts: LONGHORN CHRISTMAS is classic Mary Connealy. A more than capable woman, manning a floundering ranch alone. It started with action and didn't let up, not while they were kidnapping wild longhorns and trying to bring them back to Netty's ranch so she'd have a herd. She wanted fifty head and Roy promised that to her before he moves on. But he's determined to be done and gone by Christmas. A good story, one that really shows of Netty struggled after her family died and left her and her son alone. A sweet Christmassy western.
Connie's Christmas Prayer, by Anna Schmidt: And no one longs for a home more than Connie Lancaster. She's determined to return to St. Louis, and no cowboy can change her mind. But if Isaac can change her heart, maybe Connie will see the homecoming she's been waiting for isn't to a place but a person.
My thoughts: This story was more telling than showing. I couldn't really connect with the characters and I skimmed more than read. It did have a good premise and I liked that Connie's mom found her settled place in Arizona.
My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, I had high hopes of reading all the Christmas books in my to-read pile before Christmas! Alas, I failed. COWBOY CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING is a collection of four novellas by four different authors. Stories, authors, and blurbs are listed above as well as individual thoughts.
That said, I enjoy these collections and am glad more publishers are doing them. It gives me an opportunity to "sample" authors whom I have never read before or some I haven't read for a long time. Ms. Connealy is the only author I regularly read in this collection, and so I was able to read books by three other authors I normally don't read.
A good historical collection for fans of historical romances.