By Maisey Yates
Release Date: October 24, 2018
Reviewed by PJ
It's Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped…
Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery's new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?
Thirteen years ago, Liam's boss at the winery offered him a bribe—leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn't good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he's back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together…
Christmastime Cowboy is the sixteenth story in Maisey Yates' popular Copper Ridge series and my first. It's the fourth and final story for the Donnelly brothers and, though it stands on its own, there were times I found myself wishing I knew more about the characters and their backstory. For maximum enjoyment and understanding of the characters and relationships at the heart of this book, I would suggest reading the four in order: Slow Burn Cowboy, Down Home Cowboy, Wild Ride Cowboy, and Christmastime Cowboy.
I'm a fan of second chance romances and second chances are at the heart of Liam and Sabrina's story. Their first chance - when Sabrina was 17 and Liam was 20 - never really got off the ground. Given time, it may have but they were both young and both dealing with family issues that impacted their decisions, even if they weren't fully aware of it at the time. Liam, in particular, had a difficult past that was at the heart of the way he viewed himself, relationships, and the people he never let get close. And, when he left abruptly, the emotional wounds Sabrina suffered followed her for the next thirteen years...until Liam returned to Copper Ridge and they were forced to confront all they had been...and hadn't been...and could possibly be.
This is not a fast-paced book, especially in the first half. The pace picks up in the second half but, still, it's not a quick read. There's a lot of emotion at play with individual, familial, and romantic issues to be sorted through and the author takes her time in doing so. Liam is not especially likeable (at least, not to me) in the beginning and I found Sabrina's thirteen-year grudge a bit annoying but as their stories began to unfold, I found myself warming up to both of them. Liam's story, in particular, broke my heart and had me pulling for a happy ending for him. I also enjoyed watching Sabrina come into her own. Their actions felt authentic along with their emotions and their sizzling desire and by the end, I happily embraced their HEA. Other characters help move things along, adding dimension to the story without turning the focus away from the main couple.
All in all, Christmastime Cowboy was a satisfying story that has me eager to read the other Donnelly Brothers books and looking forward to the author's new Gold Valley series. Launching that series on February 20, 2018 will be Smooth-Talking Cowboy, featuring a key secondary character from Christmastime Cowboy. I've already added it to my book calendar.
Do you enjoy heart-tugging, emotional Christmas romances?
Do you like family-centric romance series?
Have you read any of Maisey Yates' Copper Ridge books?
One randomly chosen person leaving a comment before 11:00 PM, December 6 will receive a copy of Christmastime Cowboy. (U.S. / Canada only)