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review 2015-05-11 18:23
Lone Star Christmas - Cathy Gillen Thacker (HAR #1525 - Dec 2014)
Lone Star Christmas (Harlequin American RomanceMcCabe Multip) - Cathy Gillen Thacker

Series: McCabe Multiples (Book 2)





Callie McCabe-Grimes has one thing on her holiday wish list: to make this the best Christmas ever for her little boy. Without including Nash Echols, whose team of lumberjack cowboys is creating a Texas-size racket at the Christmas tree farm next door! But she has no defense against two determined males when her son decides Nash is the extra-special present he wants from Santa.


Just the sight of the beautiful widow who bought the sprawling spread east of his puts Nash in the yuletide spirit. Callie and the toddler in the tyke-size cowboy hat fill his head with visions of the three of them together under one roof. That is, if Callie can let go of her past and picture a future with her one and only Lone Star cowboy!


Good story. Callie is a widow with a two year old son. She moved to the area to start her life over after losing her husband. The holidays are very hard for her, but she's doing her best to give Brian the best Christmas she can. She has started a ranch and corporate retreat and is ready to welcome her first guests when Nash's Christmas tree farm kicks into high gear. Suddenly the noise looks like it could kill her business before it really gets started.


The initial meeting between Nash and Callie was pretty fiery. Nash and his crew are cutting down trees, trying to fulfill a large order, when Callie arrives hot under the collar. She confronts Nash, telling him that he has to stop making so much noise and so on. Rather than being angry, Nash is pretty amused by her and basically tells her to stuff it. Later that day, Callie arrives at his place with her son to apologize and bring him a welcome dinner. After being invited to stay for dinner, they manage to work out a compromise. Nash is attracted to Callie, but thinks she is married, so tries to ignore it.


After inviting Nash and his crew to join them for Thanksgiving, Callie realizes that she's attracted to Nash also. But losing her husband devastated her and she's not ready to risk her heart again. Once Nash discovers that there's no husband in the picture, he feels free to pursue her.


I really liked Nash. He has tragedy and loss in his own background, but he has made the decision not to let his grief run his life. I loved seeing how he connected with Callie's son. The more time he spends with both of them, the deeper his feelings get for Callie. I liked seeing the way he kept up his pursuit, working to overcome her fears, even though he nearly gave up at one point. 


Callie had built up some serious walls around her heart. She's really afraid that if she gives in to love again it could totally destroy her, so she tries to keep Nash at a distance. Unfortunately for her, he's determined to get past those walls. She tries to keep him to a physical relationship only, but can't hide from herself that she's falling for him. When Nash pushes a little too hard for more than she's ready for, it scares her into withdrawing from him. I loved seeing her finally open up to him about her fears, and how they worked things out together. I loved the surprise she had for him in the epilogue.


One of the best things about the book was Callie's son Brian. He was a real little sweetheart and he took to Nash right away. I loved seeing the way that he brought Callie and Nash closer together. I had fun seeing the way he would think things out before making a decision. He was also definitely his mother's son, as once he had decided something it was really hard to change his mind.

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review 2014-12-06 20:37
The Battle for Christmas
The Battle for Christmas - Stephen Nissenbaum

How I ended up between its sheets: When Book Riot asked readers what they were reading for Christmas, it got me thinking. While I normally don’t read anything different than normal during the holiday season, I decided to change that. After a bit of research, I settled on this history of American Christmas.


What stimulated me:

  • I love history and I seem to have inherited my grandmother’s Christmas freak gene, so a book combining the two is a no-brainer.
  • The clear, detailed explanation of the holiday’s evolution and how our modern Christmas came to be so.
  • This read contains tidbits about Christmas that most never knew and couldn’t imagine, e.g., it being outlawed by the Puritans, its former carnival-like atmosphere, the connection between it and charity, its original focus (hint: not children or family), origins of its commercialization.
  • Covers varying traditions in several parts of the country: New England, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and the South.
  • Reprints of earliest Christmas illustrations


What turned me off:

  • This is a scholarly work, which I liked, but sometimes the level of detail, number of examples, and constant citing of historical documents became a bit tedious. In truth, I skimmed over some parts.


Final Thoughts: This is a fascinating book, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Given its academic bent, it is dense reading that for some will be way more than they ever wanted to know about Christmas. Too, it may not necessarily put one in the Christmas mood, if that is the aim. On the other hand, if one wants to see exactly how Christmas in the U.S. came to be what it is, this book is the ticket.

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review 2014-01-08 19:08
A Callahan Christmas Miracle - Tina Leonard

In A Callahan Christmas Miracle by Tina Leonard, Rose Carstairs has been secretly interested in Galen Callahan since the first time she met him. But he never seemed interested in her or in anything permanent with anyone. But when a job opening as a nanny at Rancho Diablo was announced, she knew that she had to at least try. Now at her interview all she can do is wait to be approved by the Callahan siblings for her to get the job.


Galen knows that with the feud between his uncle and them, and Rancho Diablo under siege, he could not consciously bring a wife and family there and not a future he saw for himself. But when he meets Rose he cannot help the immediate attraction he feels. He wants her and he knows that he will have her. Read More...

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review 2014-01-06 18:28
The Texas Christmas Gift - Cathy Gillen Thacker

In The Texas Christmas Gift by Cathy Gillen Thacker, Eve Loughlin knows that the one thing she does not want is marriage or family. She knows what it’s like to b on the other side of a parents divorce and hate and she does not want any child of hers to go through that, therefore she plans to never marry or have children.

Now Eve lives to work, specifically making sure that her mother’s company is the best realtor company in town, and hopefully they will be able to win the award for the most sales this year. But in order to do that they need to make sure to sell as many houses as possible before the end of the year, and if in they range in the millions even better. Read More...

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review 2014-01-06 18:22
Second Chance Christmas - Tanya Michaels

In Second Chance Christmas by Tanya Michaels, Elisabeth Donnelly is known as the quiet, reserved, mature and responsible Donnelly twin. So when she started dating Justin Cade, whom at the time was working for her family as a hiking guide, she was encouraged by her sister to do what she would not normally do. Their time together was great and she fell in love with him almost immediately, but when she told him he dropped her faster than she could blink and quit his job at the lodge.

Justin knows loss, and he doesn’t want to commit himself only to lose once again. He only commits to his siblings and even then he still holds back a little. He was there when his sister fell pregnant by a near stranger and helped her throughout her pregnancy and her courtship with her baby’s father, always keeping the right amount of humor to make sure that things didn’t get too serious. Read More...

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