Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of , 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 enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.
I received a complimentary copy of “The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Hallo, Hallo dear hearts –
This year, my showcases for #blogmas started a bit earlier than expected – as I never know which month the Christmas stories will be available to host – as some touring companies set the standard early-on in Autumnal months whilst others leave most of their showcases for November in an early draw for Christmas readers seeking new books to read in December. Each year, I have the tendency of leaving it to chance and to simply enjoy the journey of discovering #newtomeauthors and celebrating new reads by the authors I already know I dearly love to be reading!
Such is the case today – as I came to know the Western Contemporary Romance styling of Ms McDavid through her first series with Harlequin Heartwarming which was the Sweetheart Ranch series which has concluded as a quartet! I was wicked thrilled with the ways in which she gave us a sweet ending to a series which I had truly become attached to reading. It was one of my top favourite series by the Heartwarming line overall and definitely one of my top Western Romance series I’ve been reading for the past several years.
When I first saw this blog tour being adverted I was growing more than a bit giddy about the announcement as I was curious which direction she might take us in next as she endears us to continue our journey into her next series with Heartwarming. Finding out she’s kicking off this new series “Wishing Well Springs” with a Christmas story was brilliant news – as this is how she started off the Sweetheart Ranch series as well. There is something quite special about series which begin at Christmastime and then, carry on through the seasons thereafter, connecting you to their communities, their characters and the writers who are penning them.
This marks my first #ChristmasReads for November but not for 2020 – as that honour went to reading “Christmas in Bayberry” by Jennifer Faye (see also Review) during #ChristmasInJuly. From this moment forward you’ll be seeing me share more posts about what I’m reading for Christmas, which stories/series I’ll be focusing on this year for the Christmas season and how I’m determined to spend quite a heap of time wrapped up in one Classical author’s collective works as a Christmas gift to myself this year. Stay tuned – this is only the early beginnings of my #blogmas posts for 2020!
My thoughts on how Ms McDavid concluded The Sweetheart Ranch series:
One of the reasons I’ve grown attached to the Sweetheart Ranch series (and the Harlequin Heartwarming line overall) are the realistic story-lines which continuously greet me whenever I make a return visit. What is hard about letting go of this series is the fact once you take up residence inside a series you love reading its hard to simply ‘let go’ and ‘let live’ wherever you last see the characters and where they have gone with their lives. It would be great to re-visit this series again in the future (if the author is inspired to do so) and to rekindle the joy of the Sweetheart Ranch.
Having said that – I loved how this installment focused on some rather difficult topics and remained true to its core about how those who come to the Sweetheart Ranch find a way of renewing their spirits, finding second chances and have taken some unexpected twisted turns to arrive in this small towne and to intersect their path with the Sweetheart Ranch. Some might call that fate but the beauty of the series is how serendipitously McDavid wrote their lives. In particular for this novel – if Carly hadn’t taken a chance to distance herself from her ex, she might not have had the opportunity to run the boutique at the ranch nor to raise her son without the fear of what ‘could’ happen if she had staid with her husband. Percolating in the background of this sweet and idyllic setting are dramatic lives of people who are overcoming their circumstances and finding a true way forward even if the path didn’t feel as assured previously. We all need a bit of hope and encouragement at any given time and the Sweetheart Ranch series feels like such a brilliant lift of joy to be reading.
McDavid also brought in a particular kind of craft Carly could make to turn a profit – I loved the ingenuity of what Carly chose to be a creator of as it ties into her love of the ranch and the lifestyle of a single Mum who lives on a ranch. I felt she had the right kind of instincts you need to make it in this life whilst at the same time, it felt right that she and JD might want to hope for ‘more’ for themselves rather than shortchanging their chances at happiness.
Ooh my goodness! This final installment of the series doesn’t disappoint! I had wished it might have looped back to the beginning a bit – or felt a bit more connected to the previous installments moreso than it had but what I loved about this story is how hopeful McDavid wrote it! She didn’t want you to give up on the hope peeking round the corners of the drama and the angst! And, trust me – there is angst in this novel! For one thing, McDavid truly tapped into the needless trauma self-deserving grandparents can inflict on their divorced daughter-in-laws! I was truly baffled by the lengths they went to deceive and assist someone against Carly! I mean, at some point – why did it take the grandfather to be the voice of reason?
The true heroes of this story are JD, Carly, Hombre and Rickie! Each of them has a reason to take notice of them – from JD whose rectifying where he is with his health and to Carly whose trying to sort out how to live out from under the shadow of her ex and his parents. The growth of the characters is happily in tandem with a sweet and slow romance – as both JD and Carly were unsure how they felt about pursuing any kind of a relationship. These are the kinds of romances I love most – the unexpecting ones and the ones you’re never quite sure how they will resolve until you reach the very last chapter!
-quoted from my book review for Her Cowboy Sweetheart
Changing his heart…
Would be a Christmas miracle!
Cash Montgomery creates Western-themed weddings and knows all about happily-ever-after. In theory. He’s been hurt too many times to think that he could ever be a marrying man. His business partner Phoebe Kellerman doesn’t agree with him—on anything! At Christmas, Cash is visited by three of his past girlfriends…and he begins to see the error of his ways. Will it be before he loses Phoebe, the woman he’s falling for?
Places to find the book:
Published by Harlequin Heartwarming
on 10th November, 2020
The Wishing Well Springs series:
The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride (book one)
→ forthcoming in 2021: How to Marry a Cowboy (book two)
Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)
Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback
Converse via: #Contemporary #WesternRomance & #Harlequin Heartwarming
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- #blogmas 2020