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Cowboy Christimas Homecoming, Four Historical Novellas
Last Chance Christmas, by Julie Lessman
Will pastor Colton McCabe see more that just a cleaning woman in Grace, his new house keeper?
A Cowboy for Christmas, by Ruth Logan Herne
June Harper is a widow who considers Hugh a Scrooge, until he ensures her needs are met. What does his heart need?
Longhorn Christmas, by Mary Connealy
Netty Lewis has taken care of herself for a while now. She hires Roy to help over the holidays. Will he decide to stay?
Connie's Christmas Prayer, by Anna Schmidt
Connie Lancaster is determined to return to St. Louis. No cowboy can change her mind. If Isaac changes her heart, maybe she will see that going home isn't the place but a person.
Number of Pages: 360
Vendor: Gilead Publishing
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Theyve weathered a lot worse than winter. For widow June Harper, another cold front is about to hit. Most call him Hugh. Shed call him Scrooge, except as the man ensures her needs are met, June cant help but wonder how to meet the needs of his heart.
Netty Lewis can take care of herself, has for a while now. Some hired help over the holidays doesnt change that. And even if Roy does take care of her, that doesnt mean he cares for her or that hell stay past Christmas.
Pastor Colton McCabe is having the opposite problem. Hes not sure hell make it through the holidays with his new housekeeper. Grace cant seem to do anything right but love. Perhaps being a homekeeper will earn her a permanent residence in his heart.
And no one longs for a home more than Connie Lancaster. Shes 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 shes been waiting for isnt to a place but a person.
Laura HiltonHorseshoe Bend, ARAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5cowboy Christmas homecomingDecember 27, 2016Laura HiltonHorseshoe Bend, ARAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4First, 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.
Julie GravesOklahomaAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5cowboy christmas homecomingNovember 26, 2016Julie GravesOklahomaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Last Chance Christmas by Julie Lessman
Grace O'Malley is in Last Chance, California hoping to start a new life. Hoping that her old friend will welcome her in her home Grace arrives unannounced and in for a surprise.
Newly widowed Pastor Colton McCabe is in need of some serious help. When Grace arrives on his doorstep he takes it as the miracle it is and gives Grace a home in exchange for her caring for his motherless children and his aunt who is none too happy to have Grace in her home.
If Colton knew when Grace arrived that she had no experience running a household he may have changed his mind. But Grace loves his children even if she burns every meal! Grace is eager to leave her past behind and find love with Colton, but Colton has a promise to fulfill for his first wife and doesn't think he can love another woman.
Last Chance Christmas is the first novella in this collection. And the author is one of my favorites! So of course it made me excited to read it. In true Julie Lessman style there is drama abounding in this novella. There is even a bit of danger which caused me some heart palpitations! With a bit of humor to lighten the mood and the "Happily Ever After" that I crave in all my reading, Last Chance Christmas was a wonderful beginning to this Four Historical Novellas read.
A Cowboy For Christmas by Ruth Logan Herne
A fire has ripped through the community that June Harper and many other poor people were living. Widowed, June must now provide for herself and two young daughters. Joining with two other women June goes to work on a local farm picking potatoes. When she is assaulted by the foreman June stands up to him and brings the plight of her homeless community to the attention of the boss of the farm she is working on.
Hugh Stackman may have turned his back on God long ago, but he still has a heart and responsibility to his fellow neighbors. Hugh and his brother Jacob come up with a plan to provide for June and the rest of the homeless community through the winter while their town and businesses are being rebuilt.
Hugh and June are attracted to each other from the start, but June has already been married to a man that had no faith and she refuses to be involved with another. Hugh cannot put on a false faith just to please June, will he be able to surrender his bitterness and anger to a God he feels let him down?
I thought this was a sweet story. Of course being a novella the attraction between June and Hugh happens quickly. I loved how Hugh jumped right in to help those less fortunate than himself. Even though his heart was hardened towards God, throughout the story we could see that his heart wasn't hardened towards people. I loved June's ability to stand firm in her faith even when her heart was breaking. Great addition to this novella compilation!
Longhorn Christmas by Mary Connealy
Netty is on her own raising her son Jeremiah and trying to eke out a living by capturing wild longhorns and selling them to provide for her and her son.
Roy came back from war to find his family and farm gone. The girl he was engaged to moved on to greener pastures so Roy is now wandering not sure what he is looking for.
Roy comes upon Netty just in time to save her from one of the longhorns she is trying to round up. Roy agrees to stay and help Netty gather up longhorns until Christmas. The problem is that Roy is a wandering man and Netty just might capture his heart.
I enjoyed Longhorn Christmas. There were several scenes that had me laughing out loud. I loved Netty teaching her son Jeremiah about the Nativity, and I especially enjoyed how Netty and Roy seemed to be the perfect match to help each other heal and start a new life.
Connie's Christmas Prayer by Anna Schmidt
Connie and her mother have moved to Arizona Territory when Connie's father dies and leaves them in debt. Connie's mother is now the owner of the local diner and Connie works with her to help make ends meet. Connie's one desire is to be able to move back to St. Louis her former home.
Isaac knows the moment he lays eyes on Connie that she is "the one" for him. He now has to persuade Connie. He enlists the help of Connie's mother who is all for the match. Can Isaac hope to win Connie's heart and change her desire to return to St. Louis?
Connie's Christmas Prayer is the last story in Cowboy Christmas Homecoming. I thought it was a sweet addition and enjoyed reading it.I liked the characters of Connie and Isaac. I enjoyed how independent Connie was even though she didn't seem to know exactly what she wanted in her life. I also liked Isaac's character in how he was decisive and intuitive and went after what he wanted. A cute story.
I enjoyed all of the stories in Cowboy Christmas Homecoming and look forward to reading other stories by these authors.
BookLoverGender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Not a favorite, but a good collection.November 22, 2016BookLoverGender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3I used to be entirely opposed to the idea of novellas. I love long books and I always want my favorite stories to be longer, so I found novellas to be the exact opposite of what I was looking for in a book. That being said, Ive actually read a few recently that have been very well done and Ive begun enjoying some of them. So when I was offered this book for review, I figured I would give it a go. I really enjoy Julie Lessman and Mary Connealys books, so I knew those would be good, though I was unfamiliar with the other two authors. Unfortunately, quite a bit of this collection didnt live up to my expectations and I kept thinking that there couldnt possibly be that much left. I was wrong. Sections of this book were exceptions to my desire for longer stories.
Last Chance Christmas by Julie Lessman
This story has Julie Lessman written all over it! I enjoyed meeting the characters and loved Graces heart for Coltons family. The children are so sweet and I had to laugh at her bumbling attempts to care for them. She tried so hard to be exactly what they needed, and it turned out that despite repeated accidents, she was just that. To my knowledge, this is Ms. Lessmans first Western novel and it did show a little bit through her writing and how she described some things, but I did really enjoy the fact that she didnt try to change her voice as an author to fit a particular mold. My only negative comment is that I thought Colton was a little unrealistic in how quickly he forgave Graces mishaps, though Im certain that was partially due to the shortness of the tale.
A Cowboy for Christmas by Ruth Logan Herne
This was undoubtedly my least favorite novella in this collection. There were several things about it that bothered me, but the main one was the lack of consistency, both in the characters and in Ms. Hernes writing. June and Hugh were such wishy-washy characters, constantly changing their minds and following emotion to the point they almost kissed during their second meeting, then they refused to talk with one another for weeks. The story kept looping around the same I love him, but he doesnt believe. I love her, but she would never marry an unbeliever issue. And much of the time I kept becoming confused as to whether it was supposed to be a modern story, or a historical one. It is littered with modern phrases and mindsets, but with a historical setting and lack of electricity.
Longhorn Christmas by Mary Connealy
If the previous novella was my least favorite, then this is the one I enjoyed the most. Mary Connealy has made a name for herself with historical western novels, so I was certain this would be a good story and I was not disappointed! Netty and Roy were excellent characters and I enjoyed getting to know them during our brief acquaintance. Their story was well written, getting to the point without feeling rushed or too short. It contains Ms. Connealys now trademark quirky and blunt writing style, something I very much enjoyed. She also did a great job of working in issues of grief and loss, handling them with care, but without bogging down a light-hearted read. I enjoyed their Christmas traditions and it made me want to join in with their celebration, especially seeing it through the eyes of Nettys son, Jeremiah.
Connies Christmas Prayer by Anna Schmidt
I confess that by the time I reached this story, I was ready to be done with the book. So I didnt quite give this tale the attention it probably deserved. This is the first of Ms. Schmidts writing that Ive come across and based on this novella, I would happily read another of her books. It was very well written, though I did find Connie to be rather self-centered at the beginning, she did see the error of her ways and I found myself liking her more the further I read. I really liked the hero, Isaac Porterfield and seeing the wonder of the season though both his and Connies eyes. Their relationship was sweet, if a little rushed, but Ive rather started expecting with many of the novellas Ive read.
Overall, I enjoyed most of the tales contained between the covers of this book, though one really wasnt my cup of tea.
joyful334209FLAge: 45-54Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5GOD loves cowboys tooOctober 24, 2016joyful334209FLAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is unabashedly full of faith and Christmas - yes - YAY Christmas. I felt like pulling on a warm cozy blanket and making a cup of hot chocolate and I live in a very warm climate. I could smell cinnamon and pine just reading this book - how could you not - that is Christmas - and this book eludes it - each story has a moral and each story is about relying on GOD - trusting on GOD. HE will be there for each and every one of them and they will all see that. There are novellas that tell you faith stories, and I for one am glad we have those still. I received this book to read in exchange for an honest review
SusanClover, SCAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Nice StoriesOctober 14, 2016SusanClover, SCAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This was a very nice selection of Christmas novellas. With offerings from Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, any reader is sure to enjoy reading these. Just the right length to make you feel good about reading them. And Christmas is not too far away!
*I was provided with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.