I literally have no idea where I saw this book or why but I think it must have been on Amazon and I was like ‘awwww look at that cute dog on the cover’ and next thing I know, this book is arriving in my mailbox. In all honesty, I didn’t think I would read this one. I thought it would be a holiday book that I picked up and then sat on my bookshelf for the next 12 months until next holiday season and by which time I would have forgotten all about. But I left it sitting on my coffee table and that cover just kept calling to me and next thing I know, I am binging this book and ordering all the other ones in the series!
I love small town romances and if they are set during the holidays so much the better! But this is my first cowboy Christmas/holiday book and honestly I want to sell my house and move to Wyoming and ranch cattle with my husband who I plan on buying Wranglers and boots for Christmas. I loved this book a lot more than I expected to. I mean, sure it’s cheesy and honestly a little silly but I loved it and read it so quick—not to mention I downloaded the next book in the series and ordered like all the other cowboy books in this series so that I could have them all at home (I read this one on vacation in the woods!).
If you love holiday cheer and enemies to lovers troupe with a surprising amount of steam then you need this book to warm you up during the holiday season! I mean cowboy romances aren’t for everyone but they sure are for this cowgirl and I cannot wait to read more of this series. While this might be a series, you can most definitely read them out of order. So if this one sounds cute to you then read it even if you haven’t read the others in the series.
From New York Times bestselling author Jessica Clare comes a Christmas romance about a cowboy grinch and the woman who stole his heart.
Local waitress Holly Dawson needs a better paying job to cover her sister’s college tuition. Given that it’s Christmas and she’s broke as a joke, she’s feeling pretty bah-humbug. New jobs are hard to come by in a town as small as Painted Barrel, especially as the town dropout.
When Holly’s offered a job at the Flat C Ranch to clean and cook for the cowboys that work there, it seems like a dream come true…except for one thing. Her nemesis, the incredibly handsome (and annoyingly arrogant) Adam Calhoun works there. It doesn’t matter that he loves dogs more than people, or that he’s a war veteran. No Christmas spirit can save that particular grinch.
When the rest of the ranch hands go out of town for the holidays, Holly and Adam will be forced to work closely together. No sweat. Holly can deal with Adam. And if she doesn’t kill him first, she just might fall in love. (summary from Goodreads)
I love a good enemies to lovers troupe. There is something in the chemistry and angst that I cannot get enough of and this book satisfied my love of the troupe. However, while I might have enjoyed the book and the troupe, it was in all honesty problematic. Adam was so juvenile and he was incredibly rude to Holly for no good reason. The whole ‘she flirted with others just like she did with him’ was weak and really wasn’t enough for me to justify his shitty attitude but at the same time, I literally didn’t care. I still kept reading and falling in love with Adam and Holly even if he was a giant man-child who was selfish and petty. By the end of the book I was loving how sweet and thoughtful he was. Even under his tough exterior and unnecessary sabotage, he still found a way into my heart and I was excited to see how him and Holly ultimately worked things out.
There were a few laugh out loud moments and I thought that Adam and Holly had pretty good banter at times and the sex was hot. It wasn’t overly spicy and off putting but it was a nice balance between romantic and generally hot and sensual. If you are looking for more of a sweet romance then don’t look here. This definitely had more heat than I was expecting but honestly it worked well for me in this one and I enjoyed it enough to want to read more in this series because the sex scenes were tastefully done but also hot and realistic not cheesy or overly raunchy.
I mean I loved this book more than I was expecting and I also bought and read others in this series but that doesn’t mean that the plot was flawless. Honestly, for me Holly was a push over. I couldn’t stand that she was working all these jobs to support her sister’s school. I mean her sister seemed so ungrateful and spoiled. I had a hard time relating to Holly for this reason but at the same time I liked how hardworking she was and how much she was willing to endure for her sister because honestly I would have told her sister to get a job already but that’s the thing about fiction that I love—-you get to escape you for a while and be someone else. So was this book perfect? No. Did I love it anyway in spite of the fact that Adam was a dick for no real reason and Holly was a pushover? YES! I adored this one and cannot wait for more cowboy Christmas books! If you love small town romances in the holidays with some sexy ass cowboys then this is the book for you!
Book Info and Rating
Format: 304 pages paperback
Published: October 26 2021 by Berkley Books
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: romance, holiday romance