Friday, December 8, 2023

Review & Giveaway - - Christmas with a Cowboy

Christmas with a Cowboy
by Pam Mantovani
Cowboys of Burton Springs - Book 7
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Release Date: November 17, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

What do you get for the girl who has everything? A cowboy, of course.

Avery McClain is looking forward to her first Christmas in Montana with her little girl. But as soon as she arrives, she's caught in an unexpected tug of war between two ranchers wanting to buy the land left to her by her favorite uncle. All she wants to do is make the holiday special for daughter. But instead, she's overwhelmed with attempts to pressure her into selling. And she's uncomfortably attracted to one of the men competing for her property.

Judson Ford wants Avery McClain's land to expand his horse breeding operation. He didn't anticipate his attraction to her, or his admiration for her courage. And her little girl is so damn cute! Before he knows it, he's been swept up in her Christmas spirit. Suddenly, Avery and her daughter are filling all the empty spaces in his life.

But then, Avery is offered a job opportunity that would mean she'd have to relocate. And Judson realizes that everything in him is pushing him to ask her to stay and make a life—a family—with him.

Unfortunately, someone else has other ideas.

PJ's Thoughts:
This was my first novel by Pam Mantovani. While I didn't feel lost by jumping in at book 7 (it really does stand well on its own), I'm also excited to go back to the beginning and read books 1-6. I want to get to know all of the couples who reside in this small Montana town. 
I enjoy a second chance story and Mantovani has brought readers a good one with Christmas with a Cowboy. I empathized with Avery, a newly-divorced single mom looking for a new beginning with her three-year-old daughter on the ranch left to her by her uncle. I was with her every step of the way as she worked to figure out the right place to move forward. I loved the warm, welcoming nature of the people in her new town and the friendships made along the way. Meeting the secondary characters who ease her way made me eager to read their stories too.
I really liked Judson's openness with Avery. I would have had a harder time with their budding relationship if he had kept his ambitions from her. Still, there were some potholes and misunderstandings along the way but the author didn't let them go on for too long. I especially loved the relationship that developed between "Udson" and Avery's daughter. That little girl is adorable, wonderfully developed, and an important part of the story. Judson's father adds an additional layer of emotion that provides insight into some of the emotional baggage Judson carries as well as offering heartwarming layers to his relationship with Avery and her daughter.
In addition to the heart-tugging romance, Mantovani also spins a suspenseful thread that adds another layer to the story, keeping me guessing as to the perpetrator and their motivation. I would have enjoyed a bit more development of that portion of the book but I'm a romantic suspense afficionado. Others may think it's just right.
All in all, this was an enjoyable read that made me laugh, tear up a bit, cheer for the lead couple, lose my heart to a little girl, and sigh with delight. I'll be happily visiting the rest of the books in this series for more Montana happy endings. 

Have you read Pam Mantovani?
Do you enjoy a bit of suspense paired with contemporary romance?
What is it about Montana? I love romances set there. Do you?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, December 13 will receive a signed print copy of Christmas with a Cowboy
*U.S. only
*Must be 18


  1. I LOVE my romances paired with suspense! I've never read Pam Mantovani, but you've sparked my interest, PJ. And I, too, love romances set in Montana. Colorado makes an enticing locale as well. I've never been to either one, except through the pages of wonderful books, so I'm grateful to all the authors who continue to delight us by setting their stories there.

  2. Ms Mantovani is a new to me author. And I love mysteries so yes suspense in a romance is a nice thing for me. I think one of the reasons I like romance in Montana is it always feels like a place that is lovely and open and friendly. Thanks for the review. As always I appreciate your input.

  3. I haven't read Pam Mantovani's books but look forward to reading them now as they sound captivating and special. When suspense is combined with romance it is wonderful as I have read many romantic suspense novels. Montana would be a perfect locale for romance.

  4. I love a little bit or a lot of suspense in the books I read. Montana has a lot of beauty and old west mystic.

  5. Pam Mantovani is a completely new author to me, but this does sound interesting. Depending on my mood, I love some danger and suspense in my romances. I love Montana and books set there. It is a beautiful state with lots of wide open space. I think that is part of what catches our imagination and makes us want to read books set there. That and those cowboys in their blue jeans and boots. ;-)

  6. I have not yet read anything by Pam Mantovani. Too bad. Small town contemporary westerns are favorites. Suspense has always been my first love in fiction and I like to have a bit of it (or more) in the romances I read. We have been to Montana several times. It truly is Big Sky country. You have the high mountains and plains that seem to stretch on forever. There is a vastness and feeling of freedom and possibilities there. We happened to be in Whitehorse for the 4th of July one year. We were staying in a hostel on the mountain. We sat out on an overlook to watch the city's fireworks. We had a good view of their fireworks, but in the distance we could see the firework displays of small towns in the distance. It gave perspective to the vastness of the area. Some of my favorite authors set their stories in that area.

  7. Have not read anything by her yet. I do enjoy suspense in my contemporary romances. Montana is a great setting.

  8. I have not read Pam and do like suspense mixed in with conemp romance. Any state for setting is fine with me.

  9. I have not read any of Pam’s stories.
    I do like a little suspense along with a lot of romance.
    Montana gorgeous setting!
    I love the mountains and lakes and wildlife and ranchers and cowboys …