I purposely don’t read a lot of excerpts or even check to see what the next book in an author’s series is about. Gets me too worked up and I have to wait even longer when there’s anticipation involved before that story finally makes it into my hands. All I knew about the next in this series by Lori Wilde is that it would involve a cowboy; Jubilee, Texas; and one of the characters I’d already met in a previous story. I’m so very glad I never read even the synopsis for this book, because the surprise of who’s featured and the beautiful story I just finished about them may not have had the same impact if I’d been expecting it all.
Lissette Moncrief is newly widowed, having just learned that she’ll not receive any benefits at all from the military – those are going to a half-brother of her husband she never knew about – and that her son is gradually but very surely going deaf due to a medical condition no doctor can do anything about. She’s in a daze when her day gets even worse, she backs into a truck in a parking lot. The only silver lining through it all is the fact the cowboy she hit is quite understanding and tells her not to worry about the accident. Another thing she doesn’t need right now, a nice – and handsome – cowboy. Lissette has a weakness for strong, sexy, and courteous cowboys.
Having just discovered his brother died in Afghanistan months ago and the man left his military benefits to him, Rafferty Jones is in Jubilee, Texas to find his sister-in-law to return the money to her. It’s hers by right and Rafferty won’t take anything that’s not his. The little fender-bender in that parking lot isn’t helping to make this a great day, so imagine his surprise when he knocks on the door of his brother’s house and that same woman who backed into his truck opens the door. He could never walk away from someone – especially a woman – in need, and Lissette definitely needs help and a friend. She won’t take the money that should be hers, she wants to finally be independent, standing on her own, so she’s opening a cowboy-themed bakery to make the money needed for future medical bills for her son. Rafferty has to respect that. And he does, just as much as he’s attracted to her.
Thrown together because of horrible circumstances puts these characters in positions that are heartbreaking. Their guilt is palpable when they think of Jake, the one who has brought them together from the grave. So Rafferty continues to take care of Lissette and her son, who he grows fonder of day by day, just as Jake wanted him to, though he has to get a tad creative to make sure she has what she deserves. Lissette blossoms when her business begins to grow, giving her the confidence and freedom she’s never had before. And she’s got feelings for Rafferty she never had for Jake, which causes such conflict for her. When they finally give in to their passion, you can feel the realness of it, the joy of it, and they decide to revel in each other for the time they have before Rafferty has to return to California.
I love Rafferty and Lissette. He’s a gorgeous, sexy cowboy with that slow drawl and gait that can arouse a woman in no time at all. Despite his horrible childhood, he’s a man who cares and loves with his whole heart. Lissette has a stubborn streak that has become more defined since learning about Jake’s betrayal. She’s a devoted mother who will do whatever it takes, no matter what anyone tries to demand of her, to make sure her child is protected. I enjoyed the scenes where her backbone is front and center, not letting family bully her into decisions she’s not ready or she doesn’t want to make.
This book brings back the fun of the first in the series, The Cowboy Takes a Bride, which is still my favorite, but A Cowboy for Christmas is a very, very close second. In between the fun there are heart-wrenching matters to be taken care of, a rumor mill of a small town to avoid, and a love that should never be to let go of. This book is vintage romance and a joy to read.
It’s Christmastime in Jubilee, Texas, but Lissette Moncrief is having a hard time celebrating . . .
Especially after she accidentally smashes her car into Rafferty Jones’s pick-up truck. Yes, he’s a whole lot of handsome—from the tips of his boots to the top of his Stetson. But he’s no Christmas present. Lissy’s not about to let herself get whisked away by his charming ways and words . . . only to watch him drive away in the end.
But what Lissy doesn’t know is Rafferty’s in town just to meet her—and to give her a share in a windfall that doesn’t rightly belong to him. At first, he just wants to do his good deed and get out. But one look at this green-eyed beauty has him deciding to turn this into a Christmas to remember . . . making promises he’s determined to keep—whether she believes in them or not.
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Other books in this series: