The Rancher’s Christmas Song by RaeAnne Thayne

  • Title:  The Rancher’s Christmas Song
  • Series:  The Cowboys of Cold Creek  #16
  • Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Pages:  224
  • Published:  October 2017 – Harlequin Special Edition
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Keep a song in your heart this holiday season… 

Music teacher Ella Baker’s plate is already full. But when single dad Beckett McKinley’s wild twin boys need help preparing a Christmas song for their father, Ella agrees on one condition: they teach her to ride a horse. She’s hoping that’ll help mend her strained relationship with her rancher father; it certainly has nothing to do with the crush that’s lingered since her one and only date with Beck. 

It isn’t disinterest spurring Beck to keep his distance—if anything, the spark is too strong, with Ella reminding him of his ex-wife. Soon what started as an innocent arrangement is beginning to feel a lot like family. But with the holidays approaching, Beck and Ella will have to overcome past hurts if they want to keep each other warm this Christmas…  (publisher)

My take:  I was introduced to the Cowboys of Cold Creek series with book #13. I didn’t feel like I missed anything by not reading the previous books in the series and I can tell you the same after reading #16 – so don’t let the number scare you. I’ve found all of her books can stand alone.

This year’s Christmas book is a lovely family story. There’s rancher Beck, single father of young twin boys, and Ella, former city girl and current local music teacher. Ella’s father owns the ranch next door to Beck’s so they are acquainted but that’s all – until the annual Christmas program begins rehearsals and the two find themselves playing more important roles in the other’s life.

In true RaeAnne Thayne style The Rancher’s Christmas Song is a charming story that embraces the true meaning of the season. Recommended to fans of the author and romantic Christmas novels you want to read in one sitting.


 

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Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne

  • Title:  Sugar Pine Trail
  • Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
  • Series:  Haven Point #7)
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Pages:  384
  • Published:  September 2017 – HQN
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley; Little Bird Publicity

Description:  Librarian Julia Winston is ready to ditch the quiet existence she’s been living. She’s made a list of new things to experience, but falling for Jamie Caine, her sexy military pilot neighbor, isn’t one of them. Julia’s looking to conquer life, not become the heartbreaker’s latest conquest. But when two young brothers wind up in Julia’s care for the holidays, she’ll take any help she can get—even Jamie’s. 

Happy to step in, Jamie reveals a side of himself that’s much harder to resist. Not only is he fantastic with kids, he provides the strength Julia needs to tackle her list. She knows their temporary family can’t last beyond the holidays, but the closer she gets to Jamie, the more she wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever… (publisher)

My take:  Julia’s life hasn’t gone the way she’d expected. She ended up putting other people before her own dreams and had accepted that path. That was before two little boys showed up at her library and, once again, the course of her life changed. Jamie’s life is filled with running the corporate air travel for his brother’s tech company and only dating casually. He doesn’t do serious relationships. When he rents Julia’s upstairs apartment his only intent is to have a place to sleep when in town until his condo is ready for him to move in. What he doesn’t expect is to have his life turned upside down by the same two little boys and his pretty landlord. Sugar Pine Trail is perfect for getting readers in the holiday spirit – and it should come with a box of tissues. It’s an emotional story about learning to trust, giving and receiving, and learning to take a chance. I loved it all and recommend it to fans of RaeAnne Thayne, the Haven Point series, and a heart-warming Christmas novel. It can stand alone if you haven’t had the chance to read the rest of the series.


About the author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page, and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.

Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews.

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.raeannethayne.com.


Praise for RaeAnne Thayne:

“Entertaining, heart-wrenching, and totally involving, this multi-threaded story overflows with characters readers will adore.” —Library Journal on Evergreen Springs (starred review)

“Romance, vivid characters and a wonderful story; really who could ask for more?” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This quirky, funny, warmhearted romance will draw readers in and keep them enthralled to the last romantic page.” —Library Journal on Christmas in Snowflake Canyon

“RaeAnne Thayne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors… Once you start reading, you aren’t going to be able to stop.” —Fresh Fiction

“RaeAnne has a knack for capturing those emotions that come from the heart.” —RT Book Reviews

“A sometimes heartbreaking tale of love and relationships in a small Colorado town…. Poignant and sweet.” —Publishers Weekly on Christmas in Snowflake Canyon

“Her engaging storytelling…will draw readers in from the very first page.” —RT Book Reviews on Riverbend Road


SUGAR PINE TRAIL

by RAEANNE THAYNE

$7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN.

ISBN-13: 978-0373803682


A Christmas Affair by Jodi Thomas

  • Title:  A Christmas Affair
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #6.5
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Pages:  90
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2017 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  This novella picks up a short time after book 6, Indigo Lake, ends. In that book we met Maria  Davis who had come out of a tragic car crash being completely blind. Before the crash she had a promising career as a chef in her future. Now she lives at home with her sister and grandmother in Crossroads, Texas. She makes jams and jellies and sells them at the local market which is owned by Wes. He fell for her the first time they met but was too shy or scared to act on his feelings. Only when Maria decides she wants more than a working relationship with him does anything happen. Wes can’t believe his life has changed in such a wonderful way. He keeps waiting to wake up from his dream. It was hard not to chuckle as these two figured things out.  Another storyline is about Travis, a 15 year-old boy who comes to live with his three bachelor great-uncles when his home situation is deemed unsuitable. Once again, Crossroads is a place that welcomes all and saves most. I hope Travis’s story will continue in a future book. Jodi Thomas inserted her usual charm and humor in all of her characters and settings. Grab a cozy blanket and settle into your favorite comfy chair to spend an hour or two with the folks of Crossroads. Recommended to fans of Jodi Thomas, the Ransom Canyon series, and novellas with a Christmas theme.


 

The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson

 

  • Title:  The Christmas Room
  • Author:  Catherine Anderson
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  September 2017 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  When widow Maddie McLendon’s family (her son and teenage grandson) move to their new Montana ranch they know it’ll mean roughing it until their home is built. They’ll live in tents and trailer and make the best of it. Sam Conacher, the cranky rancher who lives next to their land, thinks his new neighbors are gypsies and won’t be issuing a warm welcome any time soon. But all bets are off when Maddie’s adult son falls for Sam’s daughter. And wait until Sam finds out that Maddie is his favorite author! Thoughts of the Hatfield/McCoy feud or the Montague/Capulet story crossed my mind as I read. There are some laugh out loud moments and some that made me cringe. Feelings run deep and for understandable reasons. The challenge for Maddie and Sam is to grow from their experiences and learn that second chances don’t often come along so one has to grab it when it does. The Christmas Room had some heart-warming moments that made for a nice seasonal read. I haven’t read any of Catherine Anderson’s books before but I’d try another one. Recommended to fans of multigenerational novels with a Christmas theme.


 

Sunday Post

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Merry Christmas!

Book arrivals: (linked to Mailbox Monday)

the-young-wives-club  the-echo-of-twilight  come-away-with-me

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review:  The Trouble with Christmas

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Reading plan for this week:

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Bookfan extra:

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I finished listening to The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (click link for my brief take).

 

The Trouble with Christmas by Debbie Mason

  • the-trouble-with-christmasTitle:  The Trouble with Christmas
  • Author:  Debbie Mason
  • Series:  Christmas, Colorado #1
  • Pages:  407
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published: September 2013 – Forever
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

 

My take:  When Madison Lane arrives at Christmas, Colorado the public perception is that she killed Christmas (thanks to a NY Times headline), ran over Santa on her way into town, and then ran over the sheriff’s aunt. Not a great entrance especially when she’s there to explain why her company won’t be investing in a new resort that would have been a boon to the town. The way the sheriff views it Madison has caused more problems for him in a couple of hours than he’s had to deal with in a year!

Hilarity ensues – making this novel perfect for a film version on the Hallmark Channel. There’s comedy, a bit of drama, and romance, of course, in a town called Christmas. I would watch that movie! Poor Madison is a trouble magnet – it just seems to follow wherever she goes and the poor sheriff is the one usually called to clean up after her. In addition to being sheriff, Gage is a divorced father with custody of his two young daughters. They’ve taken to Madison in an unexpected way – making it even more difficult to separate himself from her – because he doesn’t need any more drama in his life, does he?

I enjoyed this first book in Debbie Mason’s Christmas, Colorado series. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance and the author I think you’ll like it as much as I did.

Sweetest Regret: A Novella by Meredith Duran

  • sweetest-regretTitle:  Sweetest Regret: A Novella
  • Author:  Meredith Duran
  • Pages:  98 – Kindle edition
  • Genre:  Historical Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  November 2016 – Pocket Star
  • Source:  purchased

My take:  This novella was originally part of the anthology: What Happens Under the Mistletoe and was recently released as a single short e-book.

Georgiana and Lucas find themselves together at a Christmas house party that was supposed to have been hosted by her father. They haven’t seen each other in two years and are not on good terms because of what happened two years ago. Lucas works for or with Georgiana’s father and has been given an assignment that involves the house party. There’s some animosity on the part of both and each feels justified in feeling that way. Their repartee was enjoyable. I normally find novellas lacking but I thought Meredith Duran did a great job developing her characters and story. If you enjoy historical romance novellas with a Christmas theme you might like Sweetest Regret. I’d love to read one of her full-length novels.