Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Review - - Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas

Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas
By Katie Ruggle
Rocky Mountain Cowboys - Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Reviewed by PJ

When firefighter and single dad Steve Springfield moved his four kids to a Colorado Christmas tree ranch, he intended for it to be a safe haven. But he never expected danger to follow them to his childhood home...
Or that he would come face-to-face with the one girl he could never forget.
Folk artist Camille Brandt lives a quiet life. As the town's resident eccentric, she's used to being lonely―until Steve freaking Springfield changes everything. Brave and kind, he's always had a piece of her heart, and it doesn't take long before she's in danger of falling for him again. But as mysterious fires break out across the sleepy Colorado town, Steve and Camille will have to fight if they want their happy family to survive until Christmas...

My thoughts:

You know how sometimes you meet a secondary character in a series and think, "Hmmm...he's intriguing. I'd like to know more about him." but his role in the series isn't significant enough to warrant his own book? And then, you meet him again in the author's next series? Still intriguing but still, no story. And day you're in the goodie room at a conference and you pick up an advanced copy of an upcoming book by said author. You don't read the back cover blurb because she's one of your favorite authors and you know you'll be reading the book, no matter what it's about. Then, later, you open the book and read the first few pages and suddenly you realize...OMG!'s his book. It's Steve - freaking - Springfield's story! Yeah, to say I was excited would have been a massive understatement. But then you start to worry. You've been anticipating this story for almost three years...through eight books. What if it doesn't meet your expectations? 

It met my expectations. I read the entire book in one day. Then I read it again. And, recently, I read it for a third time. Once again, Katie Ruggle has penned a story that's funny, suspenseful, and emotional, filling it with everyday characters who are so vibrant, complex, and real that I forget they're characters and begin to think of them as actual people. Steve is such a good guy and a great dad. I adored him. And Camille, well, she's someone I just want to wrap up in a big, warm hug...except that would probably freak her out so much that she'd go running from the room. Steve's kids (who range in age from 10 to 15) come close to stealing every scene they are in but he and the kids are a package deal and I can't imagine enjoying this book - or Steve and Camille's relationship - as much as I did without all four of the kids. Each of them is unique and interesting in their own right. I'm hoping their characters will continue to develop throughout the rest of the series. Setting this first book in the new series at Steve's family Christmas tree ranch brings his three single brothers into the equation as well. I love how Ruggle digs into family dynamics - and dysfunction - in her books and I can't wait to find out what she has in store for the Springfields. 

Another of Ruggle's strengths is her ability to slow build suspense throughout a story as she once again does in this book. It's not in your face but over your shoulder, always there, as it builds to a climax with a twist that I never saw coming. I'm very curious to see how that twist factors into the rest of the series.  

If you enjoy romantic suspense with characters who will capture your heart and twists and turns that will leave you guessing, all wrapped up in a beautiful Colorado, postcard-worthy, Christmas tree ranch, then you'll want a copy of Katie Ruggle's Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas under your tree this year. 

If you're interested in going back to when Steve Springfield and his family were first introduced to readers, pick up a copy of On His Watch, the prequel novella to Katie Ruggle's debut Search and Rescue series. It's currently free.


  1. I just might try this. Thank you PJ for my books which arrived safely today.

  2. I've enjoyed her other series. This one sounds like one to try ;)

  3. I've read her Rocky Mountain series and looking forward to reading more.

  4. Is there something wrong with we readers who think of fictional characters as people ---people we need to know- people who's lives are fascinating to us - people who force us to read the next book?

    I like the idea that you wanted to find out more about Steve. Thanks for the review.

  5. She is one of the few authors that I confirmed as a must read before I was even halfway through the first book.Her pace is perfect, her characters unique and vulnerable in their own special ways. I need to get this book and am looking forward to her next series.

  6. I agree! I read the book straight through and enjoyed everything.

  7. I will have to start with book #1 now. I'm intrigued. Thanks for the review.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  8. I have not read this author or series, sound like a good book.