Book Review: The Cowgirl’s Christmas by C. J. Carmichael

cowgirlchristmasFor years Callan Carrigan has been her father’s right hand man, so when her dad’s will names city slicker Court McAllister the new owner of The Circle C Ranch, Callan feels betrayed on every level.

Then she and her sisters find their mother’s diaries, hidden from them by their father since their mother’s accidental death 18 years ago, and the shocking revelations explain a lot. Reeling, Callan seeks refuge in the local saloon, where it seems no one can reach her, until Court offers her a challenge.

If she agrees to be foreman at the Circle C for one year, he’ll deed the ranch back to her and her sisters. The deal seems too sweet at first—until Callan realizes Court has his eyes on something she protects even more than her family’s land—her heart.

Received from netgalley in exchange for a review.

#5 in the Carrigans of the Circle C series and the first that I have read. It didnt take me long to realise that perhaps I was well into a series due to the massive back history dumps in rapid short succession (Mattie divorced her first husband after he sold everything out from beneath her, but now she’s married Hal, who is lovely but has just been diagnosed with MS kind of thing).

Anyway, several chapters in, and Callan finds her father on a horse having a heartattack. Hours later and he’s dead. Within days Callan and her sisters are left reeling from one shock after another – the ranch has been left to someone outside the family, and the family is not what each woman thought it was. Always able to out drink her male friends, Callan spends several nights in the local bar and wakes each morning with a hangover, in a house that’s hers, but on a ranch that isnt.

The next few months are painful for both Callan and Court, with Callan coming to terms as to how different her father was to people outside the family, and that no matter how hard she would work, she would never have got his approval.  One of his legacies was that Callan would spend her life being strong, she would never know how to love. Despite her best intentions however, Court begins to prove her wrong.

Once you get past the info dump in the first few chapters, this actually turned into a decent, clean romance. There’s some heavy petting, but that’s it. The family dynamic between the sisters and the extended family is good and there are plenty of opportunities for further books in the series, The author also makes the idea of winter horse riding in the Montana mountains a decent lifestyle choice!

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