In [easyazon_link identifier=”1426700709″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]One Imperfect Christmas[/easyazon_link] Natalie Pearce has been living with an all-consuming guilt of not having been there for her mother when she suffered a stroke. With her mother in a nursing home with no signs of leaving, Natalie’s family connections seem to drift further apart and her marriage is on the brink of dissolution. Daniel Pearce doesn’t know how he can help his wife and their daughter has been unmanageably rebellious. Is there any saving this family?
Annie Prudhomme left her home of Marietta, Montana with big dreams but finds herself returning to town after a divorce. Her family turns their backs on her and she settles in to remodel a home she’s inherited. Carson Scott still carries a torch for Annie but he has responsibilities he didn’t before she left town to think of and isn’t so eager to put his heart on the line. Is Annie ready for something serious or is she just looking for Christmas company?
Annie’s story is pretty typical. As a teenager she hated her hometown and counted the days until she left it behind and part of leaving it behind meant leaving her teenaged boyfriend, Carson. She moved, she got married, she got divorced and now she sees where she grew up with new eyes but returning and admitting that it was never as bad as she always claimed is not something she’s sure that she’s ready to do. Without that correction to the outlook of the past, Carson isn’t sure he’s going to put himself on the line again.
The hallmark of a great romance is likability and both characters lack in that department. Carson is a good guy who moved on with his life after Annie left and got married and had kids but he’s grating and passive aggressive to a point that, at times, makes him somewhat uncomfortable to read. Annie is extremely locked up in her own pride so that she’s stymied to an extent in the story. The reader knows what is going to happen in A Cowboy for Christmas, it’s a romance after all, but I can’t say that I didn’t think these two people wouldn’t be better off just going their own ways. Carson has a child, which complicates matters and puts a greater emphasis on him on the surety of the outcome, but as much as we hear about it, does he really consider his ultimate responsibility in the final balance? They’re dancing around the obvious with one nagging and reminding the other of the problems they had and the lack of consideration which does not bode well for a lasting connection. That time she left will always be at the forefront in arguments.
Let’s be real, though. This does not have to be a realistic read. It’s a romance novel and an escape so how does it measure on the enjoyment scale? The answer would be middling. A Cowboy for Christmas is mostly well written and could experience a better flow with some paring down of fillers. At 104 pages, it should be a light and fast read but doesn’t feel quick. If you like the end of a romance novel, pick A Cowboy for Christmas up. If you’re looking for story, you’ll find better but also worse.
Read an excerpt and pick up A Cowboy for Christmas by Kristen James today on:
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