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Sandy M’s review of All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy Anthology by Emma Cane, Jennifer Ryan & Katie Lane
Contemporary Romance published by Avon Impuse 10 Dec 13

I have one more Christmas book I unfortunately didn’t get my review written for during the holiday season, but I wanted to let all of you know about it, because it’s a darned good book about some really sexy cowboys. I’ve been in a cowboy mood lately, and these novellas certainly hit the spot. So even though it’s holiday-themed, it’s never too late to find some fun and lovin’ in the arms of a cowboy.

The Christmas Cabin by Emma Cane

I really like this story. It’s part of Emma Cane’s Valentine Valley series, of which I’ve read one other book and enjoyed it also. Every Christmas Sandy and Doug retell the story of how they met and became a family.

Sandy and Nate, her five-year-old son, are trying to find that perfect Christmas tree. Once it’s been cut down and Sandy’s dragging it back to their car, she gets a bit turned around. Fearing they’re totally lost and fearing being out in the cold and falling snow too long, rescue comes just in time in the form of a cowboy on horseback. He points them in the direction of a cabin that will give them shelter. On the way they meet up with Doug, who’s also looking for a place to weather the storm, and he also got the same directions from that lone cowboy.

Inhabiting the same space while the world outside gets covered in snow gives Doug and Sandy the time to get to know one another, from her illness to his dad’s cancer and other personal issues, as well as Doug and Nate beginning a bond that will grow stronger over the years. This is one of those fun, light, and simple stories that doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles to make it work. It strips down life and the Christmas season to their simplest forms, enjoying both the way it’s meant to be, with little fuss and muss.

A very nice start to the anthology.


Sandy and her five-year-old son Nate are Christmas tree hunting when a snowstorm strikes, and an old ranch hand points them to an abandoned cabin. Little does Sandy know, the hand sent cowboy Doug Thalberg to the same place. It’s a Christmas all of Valentine Valley will remember.

Grade: B

Read an excerpt.


Can’t Wait by Jennifer Ryan

Summer’s crush on her brother’s best friend, Caleb, has grown into a mature love that the man knows is his for the taking, he just refuses to accept it. No matter how or when she tries to get close enough to let him know how she feels, he backs away. So much so he’s decided to leave the ranch – the temptation is just too much.

And Caleb will never cross that line and move in on his best friend’s little sister. Jack saved his live while they served together – more than once – and he just can’t ruin that friendship by letting his control slip. He also has other issues related to his time at war, so as much as he wants Summer, he’ll have to do without for so many reasons.

Though Summer does her best to convince Caleb to take a chance on them, she’s careful not cause friction between the two friends. Caleb is a gentleman cowboy through and through, as well as romantic and alpha once all bets are off and a life with Summer is in the cards. These are wonderful characters to spend some time with, and I’m glad we do get time with as a couple once their issues are faced and being worked on.


Before The Hunted Series began…Though she is the woman of his dreams, Caleb Bowden knows his best friend’s sister, Summer Turner, is off limits. He won’t cross that line, which means Summer will just have to take matters into her own hands if she wants her cowboy for Christmas.

Grade: B

No excerpt available.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Katie Lane

This is my favorite novella of the book. Katie Lane is one of those authors who can make you laugh out loud with her characters’ antics, and I enjoy that so much because there’s only a few who can do it and do it right.

Alana is finally tired of the surfers on her Hawaiian beaches, wanting more from a relationship. So she gets into internet dating and finds Clint McCormick – an intellectual nerd who’s responsible – just the kind of man she needs to make a life with. At the urging of her best friend, unsponantaneous Alana is in New Mexico to surprise Clint for the holidays. But first she has to survive this blizzard that has decided to hit the area just as she’s making her way to Clint’s ranch. Not having packed for a blizzard, Alana is pulling socks on her hands and anything else she can to keep warm.

And this is where I laughed my butt off in this story. The scenes are written perfectly, you can just see Alana traipsing through the snow with these articles of clothing attached to her where they shouldn’t be, talking to a stray calf she’s named Bambi – she’s from Hawaii, remember! Even funnier is when Clint comes across her, singing her heart out as she tries to find shelter. I love it!

Amid all of this is a huge misunderstanding, which Clint doesn’t rectify right away, thus throwing everything into turmoil, toppling the wonderful time they’ve had in an isolated cabin on the ranch. The twists keep coming at the end, making this one fun and fast read.


Alana Hale hits the internet-dating jackpot when she finds Clint McCormick—he’s sensitive, responsible, gorgeous, not to mention, wealthy. When he invites her to spend the holidays on his family’s ranch, she readily accepts. But on the way there, a blizzard strands her with a womanizing, rodeo cowboy who could change everything…

Grade: A

Read an excerpt.


sandym-iconI’ve had amazing luck the last few months with anthologies, which comes as a great surprise, because most of the time when I read an anthology, there’s usually one or two of the stories I don’t care for. But these cowboys will win you over and give you a good time, even if it is Christmas in their world.

Overall Grade: B