Gold Valley’s rodeo champion is facing the toughest challenge of his life – a Christmas wedding!
Legendary bull-rider Jake Daniels has only one plan this holiday season – to ignore the pain it always brings. Until his best friend Callie Carson shows up on his ranch with a marriage proposal! Jake has lived so close to the edge it’s a miracle he’s still alive – he knows all about risk. But marrying the woman he craves more than anything feels like the biggest risk of all.
Callie Carson might be rodeo royalty, but to fulfil her dreams of riding saddle bronc, she needs her inheritance. And to access that, she needs a husband. But Jake the husband is deliciously different from Jake the friend, especially after the wild heat of their wedding night! He was only supposed to be her cowboy for Christmas, but Jake’s every heart-stopping touch has Callie questioning how she’ll ever be able to walk away…
I can always count on Maisey Yates for sizzling, emotional, heart-tugging reads and Rodeo Christmas at Evergreen Ranch is no exception. This friends-to-lovers, marriage-of-convenience story grabbed me from the start and held me captive right up to the sigh-worthy end.
I was a little concerned in the early stages of this book that Yates might take it old school, with an older, alpha, my-way-or-the-highway hero and a young, inexperienced, no-agency heroine. Happily, she chose a different path, giving Callie a significant growth arc, allowing her to evolve into an equal partner in their relationship, learning lessons along the way but also using the wisdom she gains. I loved her hard-earned confidence, how she was willing to fight her family for her dreams, and the stand she took to bring Jake out of the darkness.
Like his cousins (Gold Valley - Books 9-12), Jake carries deep emotional baggage from the tragic accident that claimed their parents' lives when he was a teen, baggage that has guided his relationships (or lack thereof) ever since. Callie is his dearest friend and has been since she was a young girl but she's all grown up now and inciting feelings that have him running. This is very much a journey of growth for Jake as well. Yates guides him through a difficult, at times, heartrending, journey of self-forgiveness, acceptance, and understanding on his way to a well-deserved happy ending.
If you enjoy sexy, emotional, and a bit angsty, friends-to-lovers romance with snappy banter, complicated family dynamics, significant character growth, and well-deserved happy endings, give this one a try. Also, don't be put off by the fact that it's the 13th book of a series. You'll meet characters from books 9-12 of the series, but this one works well as a standalone.
Maisey Yates is a New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romance novels. Whether she's writing strong, hard working cowboys, dissolute princes or multigenerational family stories, she loves getting lost in fictional worlds. An avid knitter with a dangerous yarn addiction and an aversion to housework, Maisey lives with her husband and three kids in rural Oregon.