Book InfoPaperback, 384 pagesExpected publication: October 7th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
(first published October 1st 2014)original title Cowboy Boots for Christmas:(Cowboy Not Included)ISBN 1402296053 (ISBN13: 9781402296055)edition language Englishseries Burnt Boot, Texas #1other editions Source:Netgalley EARCBook Buy LinksAmazon
Callie Brewster didn’t figure she’d ever see Finn O’Donnell again when they parted company in Afghanistan. But when her little brother witnesses a killing, everything changes. The government says they’ll put him in witness protection, but Callie doesn’t trust anyone to protect her brother—except for Finn O’Donnell.
All Finn wants for Christmas is some peace and quiet on his newly purchased ranch. But he owes Callie Brewster his life, and he always repays a debt. Now there’s a woman in the house who joined the army to get away from ranching, a boy who is scared of his shadow, and a feud going on amongst the other ranchers. Yet in the midst of all the chaos, Finn is happier and more at peace than he’s ever been before…
Wow, how many tissues did this story make me use? A lot that is all I can say for sure as my sinuses are still clogged from all the tears that have shed since starting the book!
I did not have the pleasure of meeting Finn O'Donnell prior to his story but now that have done so am eager to read more about him and his family.
For those of us whose heart is open to the magic of Christmas and the miracles wrought by love this is a perfect story, it does not hurt that it is a Contemporary Cowboy Romance that has a genuinely adorable couple whose friendship started when Finn was an Army Sniper in the Afghanistan War and Callie was his spotter.
Having served together on dangerous missions the pairs ability to read each others emotions became second nature, it transfers over to real life when Callie enlists Finns help to keep her nephew safe rather than allowing the government to place them in Witness Protection. Since both suffer from nightmares it does not take long for Callie and Finn to find that they comfort each other easily without words as their shared experiences in the war have left them with a natural understanding of what the other’s night time terrors can encompass.
The small town in Texas setting is one that never loses its appeal for me and Burnt Boot Texas is about as far from the beaten path as one can get without losing touch with civilization completely as they do have a large general store and a bar in town for the neighboring ranchers to buy general supplies and grab a drink or two when the urge hits to cut loose with friends.
I chortled with glee with each new addition to Finn and Callie’s household, could imagine the wonderfully rich smell of Verdie’s cookies baking and shivered when the snowball fights ensued when the weather changed and the temps dropped.
By the time Christmas Day rolled around the entire group of inhabitants of the Salt Draw ranch had made themselves at home in my heart and I was totally pleased with how things came together for all of them, especially since what started off as a favor became a meaningful turning point in all of their futures for a better life together!
For this hopeless romantic this was a perfect "Christmas miracle" tale and from Joe the talking parrot to Pistol his Chihuahua sidekick and all the other animal characters that were so skillfully woven in as family members the contribution they made lent a deeper layer of charm to the story.
[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]