Blog Book Tour | “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal” (Book One: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a selection of #Harlequin Heartwarming

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Cathy McDavid (via her author’s blog):

I feel especially blessed to have started reading Harlequin Heartwarming titles through hosting for PRISM over the past year – hard to believe I haven’t been hosting for them longer than that as I have found so many wonderful authors who are writing for Harlequin as a result of hosting their tours. One thing is for certain – I am finding Contemporary Romance authors I can appreciate reading through Harlequin’s imprints inasmuch as Western Romance authors as well! I have noticed a slight leaning towards the Westerns, as I have a personal preference for Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches and anything set where the skies erupt over open range! The kind of place a girl can ride a horse and feel a certain layer of freedom in having an endless path to ride!

As I’ve been hosting Heartwarming authors, I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a disconnect in marketing as Ms McDavid was not the only Heartwarming author voicing her concerns over how the line is marketed to readers. I’ve been a bit puzzled by this as despite all readers having some authors and stories resonate with them moreso than others, there are now two Harlequin imprints I can attest as to drawing my eye into their stories on a seriously regular basis: #LoveINSPIRED Suspense and the Heartwarming Romances!! I am hopeful it is only a matter of time before the momentum picks up and more readers will find what these writers are writing! Blessedly they also have a Heartwarming Blog!

For starters, although I read a heap of Romances & Women’s Fiction stories (hence why I host @SatBookChat on Saturdays on Twitter) – I do have to admit, I love relationship-based romances where the romance is gentler, sweeter and mostly on the cleaner side. I don’t mind a bit of extra heat round the edges, but I’m not a fan of overt descriptive sensuality either – from the notes I leave on the reviews where stories cross a certain line of tolerance for my own readerly sensibilities. I think this is why these two Harlequin imprints tend to have a lasting impression on me the most – I would also say the Love Inspired Historical imprint but it was discontinued for reasons I’m still trying to sort out even though I’ve read massive articles and tweet *threads about which imprints were dissolved recently at Harlequin.

I have a similar outlook really about it all to Ms McDavid – celebrate the here and now, fiercely support the authors you love reading and try to encourage other readers who love the same stories to take a chance on someone you read yourself and enjoyed reading. That is honestly the best way to ‘market’ a book – good ole’ fashioned IRL social communication – if you can gush and love on a book, odds are in favour someone else is going to feel curious and want to read the book themselves! At least, this is something I’ve found to be true – both IRL and online, through my blog and my Twitter feeds.

I pulled up the author’s blog getting the chance to know Ms McDavid a bit on a personal level and finding several of her posts rather enjoyable! The one about how she addresses giving away free copies of her novels (read: her author copies) is charmingly heartwarming in of itself! I also felt a bit sad to once again hear about the publishing travails of offering free ebooks to readers, as sadly most of the authors I personally love reading are either a) Digital First authors or b) authors who release across platforms and always include ebooks before they seek out audiobooks.

A good case in point of how I try to offset the fact my purchasing budget is on the smaller humbling side of the ledger is how I make regular purchase requests at my local library. This year alone they’ve blessed me with many titles I’ve requested and I am forever grateful as they allowed me to get introduced to authors who were either new to me or were writing another story in sequence of a past work. For instance, I have a blog tour coming up for the second book in a series, I opted to request the first and it was accepted to where I can read the first novel ahead of the second I am reviewing for a blog tour. In other cases, I might request previous releases of authors I discover on blog tours (ones I host or tours I follow by other bloggers) or authors I discover on Twitter.

One note for authors who are trying to get books in front of more readers – I have honestly crossed paths with more authors I will be reading and following their careers for the rest of my readerly life due to blog tours than I was able to discover on my own prior to becoming a book blogger. And, not just blog tours directly – as I’ve crossed paths with writers on Twitter as well, and by becoming active in the book blogosphere and chatting on Twitter in bookish chats or finding authors as we all find each other on the #bookish side of Twitter – has been a way forward for me to seek out the authors writing the stories I most desire to find on my bookshelf! It has increased the selections for me and has widened my reading life. I used to seek out a lot of stories before I blogged/tweeted – but those authors who have either gone on Twitter and/or have participated on blog tours – I’m telling you, I am grateful to each of you, as it led me to your STORIES.

I’m uncertain why most ebooks go for .99 cents when the profit margins are extremely short for authors as it were – I hope one day the price for the ebook will match the work the writers are putting into their stories and become a living wage rather than a discount for readers who have huge storage files of ebooks they’ve never read.

Counter to this, I loved reading about her resilience in book world and how she started to carve out her own path after imprints dissolved. Publishing is similar to life – you have to adapt to the circumstances which arise and do the best you can to set your attitude to where you are not defeated but can find a way to champion the moment, seek out the best new route of transition and find a tomorrow of possibilities.

Ms McDavid has a great blog with an insightful voice threading through it – I encourage you to visit with her and see for yourself the pearls of wisdom she is disclosing. She also has a comedic side to her blogging voice – one which made me think I might find it within her novels as well! Do remember though – she cuts the comments off on older blog posts, which is why I posted my reactions here as her blog was limited in where you could respond. I presumed that was for spam issues as most bloggers do that whereas I do not as I moderate the comment threads on Jorie Loves A Story.

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Blog Book Tour | “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal” (Book One: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a selection of #Harlequin HeartwarmingA Cowboy's Christmas Proposal
Subtitle: The Sweetheart Ranch
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

At a magical time of year…

Can a cowboy help falling in love?

For single dad Owen Caufield, living and working at Sweetheart Ranch for a month is the perfect change of pace. While the cowboy turned wedding officiant can now spend more time with his children, Molly O’Malley, his new boss, is less thrilled. A wedding ranch isn’t the best place for three rambunctious youngsters. But amid the chaos—and the coming holidays—it may be the best place to fall in love…

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633873

Also by this author: The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes), Her Cowboy Sweetheart

Also in this series: The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes), Her Cowboy Sweetheart

Published by Harlequin Books, Harlequin Heartwarming

on 6th November, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one)

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two) | forthcoming: May, 2019

This series is evolving into a proper quartet – there are four books planned!

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Unsure if there is a connection, but previously there were three novels set in Sweetheart, Nevada under the imprint: American Romance (by Harlequin) – I was wondering if the new series was a bridge between her current stories & this series. It could also be a coincidence in choice of titles – as just as I opened the first chapter I noted the new series takes place in Arizona and not Nevada! Still though, I know I’ll be fetching copies of this series as it is written with a similar venue and subject in mind at its heart!

The Rancher’s Homecoming (book one)

His Christmas Sweetheart (book two)

Most Eligible Sheriff (book three)

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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my review of a cowboy’s christmas proposal:

Of all the places I’ve stayed as I’ve travelled the best places by far are Bed and Breakfast Inns!! They have a cosy comfort level to them, most are in historic homes and all of them have their quirky hosts and hostesses who are welcoming you into their home for the duration of your stay! Unless, like what Molly and her Grandma Em were trying to accomplish – the B&B was also inclusive of cabins, which is rather ideal as it enlarges your booking possibilities!

McDavid doesn’t hesitate to talk about the worries and grief associated with historic properties either – from how issues can arise out of the blue with utilities to how doors can become warped or knobs can be frustrating to open; she presents a realistic impression on historic buildings and their upkeep which is a refreshing find as it anchours her story firmly in reality.

I did have a good chuckle over how strained Molly felt realising her and Bridget were going to have open the Sweetheart Ranch on their own! She was just getting to the point where she believed in this idea her grandmother had of focusing on hosting weddings in a unique setting which could draw clients to their B&B when she encounters a shocking surprise the day of the ‘big reveal’!! Watching her interact with Owen, the father of three who is still trying to sort out his life one hour at a time, gave me a heartfelt smile, as even Molly was having trouble staying upset with Owen – as he was an unexpected arrival. Owen for his part was trying to smooth things over with Molly, even encouraging her to let him help due the tasks which were either inclusive of heavy lifting or tasks she could easily delegate to him.

Owen’s children were in that familiar stage of sorting out their sibling order – to see who had the voice in the family and who could push enough buttons before their father stepped in to stop it. True to their nature, they also liked to act up in front of new people they were meeting (such as Molly) and you could tell might respond better to their father once he has had the chance to be around them more often. It was hinted that he was an absent father and you could see a bit of that in how the children behaved when they were in his company.

Molly’s sister Bridget was a bit more even-headed when it came to dealing with a crisis you weren’t expecting to work through – she went straight to task, starting making bread and figuring out what was needed to do before all the guests started to arrive. This shows the differences in sisters as Molly felt so dearly overwhelmed she couldn’t think straight long enough to see a plausible way forward. What the sisters did share in common is something I could relate too – sometimes it takes a bit longer to find the one person you were meant to meet. I loved how there was an underlying thread of awareness for choosing wisely whom you partner with in life but also, to listen to your heart as well. It was a theme of the story I enjoyed seeing play out as it wasn’t just the sisters’ this bit of wisdom affected.

If I were Owen I might have reconsidered my new position at Sweetheart Ranch! Goodness! I could see why Molly has issues working with others – instead of giving them helpful criticisms and words of suggestion, she has the tendency of making them feel like they can’t handle a situation at all! You really felt for Owen – here he was trying to help out his Uncle, fill a role he only had off the fluke of a dare to help out a friend who needed him and now, he was facing the wrath of Molly, as she was taking all of this just a bit too seriously. Not that she shouldn’t be serious about running a business but the girl definitely needs to learn how to breathe through her stress or at the very least take up a hobby such as Tai Chi, Pilates or fall in love with riding horses herself!

Despite his nerves (mostly caused by Molly), Owen found his own way with the ceremony – giving the bride and groom something they were looking forward to finding on their wedding day. My smirk came when I noted how fuming Molly was at Owen! She couldn’t cut him any slack and yet, the people round her who mattered a bit more as they were her clients were over the moon in joy for his presence! It made you wonder what as really bothering Molly? The fact Owen broke protocol or the fact he had an easier way of accepting the crises of life as they emerged? My favourite part though really was when the bride first saw her flowers – you have to wait to see why that is as important as it is but it is a scene that felt classic somehow! Almost as if perception and reaction really do play a part in our different we all are and how it can change what is seen.

Nora is a lovely addition to the supporting cast because she wears well. She’s the kind of person who knows when to comfort you when your down and when to lend a hand if your overwhelmed. By the way things were shaping together for Molly and Owen, Nora had plenty of things to keep herself occupied just as the Sweetheart Ranch was getting launched. Nora is also the warm-hearted elder Aunt you never had and wished were in your life; even if by ‘Aunt’ it was more adopted than related by blood.

The hardest bit to learn about love and romance is giving yourself time to heal and grieve if a relationship goes south. For Molly, she seems to know about this in theory but not in practice. She is her own worst enemy at times because she can’t see past the ‘here and now’ to where things can settle down giving her a chance to find her breath. Molly is as tightly spun as fibre ready to be knitted into a pattern. She can’t let herself falter in her relentless pursuit of perfection and that is one of her most fatal of faults. Perfection is a fruitless pursuit and sadly, for Molly it is how she judges everything in her life against this line of perfection she wants to create everywhere she lives.

Owen’s gentleness with his children was heartwarming to see – his patience in understanding and respecting their unease round him was tender-hearted. His children have the same kinds of issues most children face at their ages but compounded by the fact they barely know their father. McDavid did a great job of showing how to bridge a family back together but also, show how sometimes it takes a lot of false starts to get the unity of a family to return.

There was an incident where Molly distrusted Owen’s instincts as a father and I have to admit, I sided with Owen. Mostly as Molly is too uptight for her own good and I thought she could have seen the lesson Owen was trying to give his children. Plus, finding out his good news (in regards to a career) I felt should have proven his slight impulsive decision wouldn’t have a long term effect on Molly or the ranch. It goes back to what I was musing about previously about perceptions and perspectives. Molly has tunnel vision when it comes to anything outside of the ranch itself – Owen meanwhile, was learning to ‘live outside himself’ and to put his children first for once in his life. I had a feeling Molly hasn’t released the guilt she has about her choices with past relationships and careers to where she’s still trying to earn back the years she’s lost in some crazy plan of redemption towards restitution she feels she owes herself.

I was overjoyed finding out what McDavid had in store for Owen!! I sensed it was going to head in that direction (in regards to his career) but watching it unfold was priceless! I also liked how she brought back Grandma Em right at a moment where the girls (Bridget and Molly) needed her to return. This is a novel centered round family and how sometimes, in order to find the tomorrow your wanting most in your life – you have to be willing to take risks. Without risking your heart, you lose the chance to find someone who is your rightful match and without being willing to go outside your comfort zones – sometimes you miss opportunities for self-growth.

on the western styling of cathy mcdavid:

What I noticed straightaway is how McDavid places us into the heart of the drama as it is unfolding – the curious bit there is you get to see her characters off-guard and out of confidence from who they are when things are going right. It leads to seeing their faults a bit earlier on in the story-line but also, to see their hearts and what makes them individualistically centred. For Molly and Bridget might have different personalities, there is no denying their sisters. Each of them helps compliment the other by what they are able to do in the pinch of a moment where life throws them a few curve balls! For this, I appreciated the choices McDavid was making on their behalf – as she was guiding us into where their lives shifted into the chaotic before giving us a path back to the serenity they once had known.

I look forward to seeing what develops through the series – being a quartet, I can imagine the POV is going to switch back and forth from characters we’ve become introduced too already in this first installment and newer characters we might meet in future ones. The best part of how this series was founded though is that McDavid kept family center-most of importance but also, how sometimes you have to encourage yourself to see life from different angles. Similar to how Bridget kept trying to encourage her sister Molly. It is one thing to see life from one perspective all the time but if you give yourself a chance to exchange one view for another, the surprises it affords could make the biggest differences.

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A note of gratitude to the author and Prism:

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make my tour date for this novel, as by Monday night, ahead of Wednesday, I still did not have my copy of the novel by Post. On Tuesday much to my surprise the novel arrived and I spent Tuesday night reading the story in time to post my thoughts on its behalf on Wednesday morning! I am thankful to Tressa @ Prism for giving me the option of delaying my review to post later in the tour, but I truly wanted to read this story this week – thereby, it was a night well spent at the Sweetheart Ranch!

I am thankful to the author for including a few sweet surprises for me like lip balm, a postcard showcasing a cowboy and his sweetheart and for enscribing the novel, too! I love little surprises arriving in my postbox whenever #bookmail arrives!

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal blog tour via Prism Book ToursClick through via the badge to find out what else awaits you! Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Cathy McDavid and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Sweet Romance, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal” (Book One: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a selection of #Harlequin Heartwarming

    • Hallo, Hallo Shirley,

      If your keen on Cowboy Fiction, I also highly recommend reading through my reviews for the Blackwell Brothers (a five book mini-series) and the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series which is continuing into 2019. I am going to be releasing my thoughts on two more Blackwell Brothers novels soon as they were a bit delayed due to being ill this December. I really love the authors I am finding who are writing both Historical and Contemporary Cowboy & Rancher fiction. Harlequin just happens to be finding these writers and I am blessed that their stories are crossing my path.

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