Amanda’s Review – The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas #1) by Donna Grant

The Christmas Cowboy Hero is a nice blend of suspense, danger, and family, mixed within this contemporary romance. ~ Amanda, Guilty Pleasures 

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays―even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wit’s end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby―and the inescapable longing in his heart―off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?

The Christmas Cowboy Hero is the first in a new contemporary series by Donna Grant and it is full of family, healing and romance. Clayton East is called home to Texas when he finds his father is ill and the ranch has financial difficulties. A teenager was caught rustling his cattle and decides to give him a chance to work off his debt at the ranch. Abby Harper is relieved that her brother isn’t charged and hopes that this chance can do more for him than just stay out of trouble. No one would realize how this one incident would be life changing for a great deal of people.

Abby has been raising her brothers since she was 18 and barely makes ends meet. Abandoned by their mother shortly after their father’s death, it has been her and her teenage brothers struggling to survive. Now Brice is in trouble and fortunate that the East won’t make it worse. Going to the ranch gives her opportunities to not only see if her brother is ok, but to see Clayton and figure out why she’s attracted to him. Going to be at the ranch a lot also lets her and her brothers get a look at what a real couple acts when they see Clayton’s parents interact and want that for her one day. Some parents are loving and stay.

Clayton is ex-Navy Seal and saw too much war and tragedy to come home to the ranch. Even the ranch holds bad memories for him since the death of his older brother and feels differently about the place. Now he’s back and he’s determined to find the cattle that were stolen, and the accountant that embezzled the ranch money. The one person who knows something isn’t talking. He knows not to push Brice for the information and wants him to come to that decision on his own. What he wasn’t counting on was his attraction to his big sister. Clayton’s attraction to Abby helps him in so many ways to ease the pain the ranch brings and the perils of what he’s seen in war. What was growing between them was genuine and something special in order for both of them to confide in one another.

Clayton and Abby are two characters that put their family first and I find that very admirable. Abby has been both mother and sister for her brothers and wants them on the right track in life. Abby didn’t see the big picture of how well she has done with raising her brothers until it took another pair of eyes to show her that her love for them is coming through loud and clear and she should be proud. Who knew that Brice’s brush with the law would intertwine these two families together and give everyone a new spark in life? The Easts got their son back and the Harpers brought back fond memories of what family life was like in their home.

Overall the story was a nice blend of suspense, danger, and family, mixed within this contemporary romance. I love her style, her character development, the emotion she evokes and the happy ending that reminds me why I love romance stories so much. It is always a total pleasure to read a story by Donna Grant.

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