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review 2018-12-15 04:49
It's Christmas with the Campbell-Hayes family...
Home For Christmas (Texas #9) - R.J. Scott

I freely admit that although I was looking forward to this one. I really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as the previous books about Jack and Riley…well, I was wrong. I love Connor and River and quickly came to realize that comparing them to Jack and Riley, which I think I was doing in my mind, was like comparing apples and oranges.

 

Connor’s been lucky, and he knows it. Growing up with the kind of warm, supportive and loving family that some can only dream of…others like his friend River.

 

River doesn’t have a family and once he’s done with college his one safety net will be gone but he’s convinced himself that he’ll be ok. It’s how his whole life has been, and he knows how to do this. But when Connor finds him drunk, alone and shouting on the roof of the campus admin building things are about to change. When Connor basically decides that River’s coming home with him for the holidays, every thing’s going to change for both of them.

 

Texas #9 is as always about the ‘Campbell-Hayes’ family but it’s the next generation of the ‘Campbell-Hayes’ clan. At 22 years of age Connor and his friend River are both finishing their studies and getting ready to go out into he world. River knows what he wants to do…he’s going to spend a year working as a volunteer in Kenya helping to assist with protecting their resources and assisting with fair distribution before returning to the states and settling into a job. Connor on the other hands has a life mapped out that he’s come to realize isn’t quite what he wants… he’s going to work at CH with his dad, Riley and his sister Hayley…now if he could just work up the courage to tell his dad’s that this isn’t what he wants for the rest of his life.

 

As River and Connor maneuver their way through the holidays with the loud, gregarious and loving Campbell-Hayes family.  They also have to work their way through changing and growing emotions as their friendship becomes something more.

 

Just like with Riley and Jack, I really can’t decide who I liked better in this story I went back and forth between these two men for varying reasons. I loved Connor and his big generous heart and even though like River there were times that I probably would have wanted to punch him. I loved that Connor wasn’t the type to just give up and walk away. He was willing to get in River’s face with his worries and concerns and when River tried to walk away Connor followed, letting River know that he wasn’t alone and there was someone who really and truly cared. I loved River’s strength no matter what life threw at him he kept going, kept trying and working to have something better for himself.

 

People are so much more than the sum of their past and River truly personifies this…it’s not our past that defines us but where we go and how we get there that shows the world the measure of who we are. River was strong and resilient. He may not have always done the right thing, but he never gave up and he didn’t let himself be defined by a past that for him only held pain and disappointment.

 

My only niggle in this story was the ending there’s a bit of a time jump between the last chapter and the epilogue and between that time jump and the brief amount of time covered by the epilogue I was a tiny…and I do mean tiny bit disappointed. I would have liked a bit more about Connor and River’s life…not enough to bore me to tears or anything but just a little bit more than what was there and maybe that’s just me being greedy. I can own that. Despite this little niggle of mine, I truly loved this story and the feelz…so many wonderful feelz!!!

 

‘Home for Christmas’ is about two men with very different backgrounds coming together and realizing that the past may have helped shape them but it’s the present and the future that will define who they are and what they want and it’s about opening your heart, finding love and hope during the holidays it’s about how the family you make and the family you are given can become one to create the family you love and the one that loves you.

 

If you love R.J. Scott’s series ‘Texas’ than you won’t want to miss this one! Definitely recommended!

 

*************************

 

A copy of ‘Home for Christmas’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-12-09 08:55
Audiobook Review: Texas Dreams (The Gallaghers of Sweetgrass Springs #3) by Jean Brashear (Author), Eric G. Dove (Narrator)
Texas Dreams - Jean Brashear

 

 

Jean Brashear makes sure that family takes center stage within her Gallagher and Marshall series. Her stories are a celebration of love, whether it be the connection between blood relatives or branching out into starting a love match, each character shows the beauty and the heartbreak of the most flawed emotion in the world. Texas Dreams is a humorous look at why family is so important. It's the chance to leave a mark on life, love and happiness. Family are the people who help get you through the tough spots, helping you become your greatest self. There is plenty of heart in every emotion conveyed as the Marshalls and the Gallaghers become one big united, heartwarming, unforgettable family.

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review 2018-12-07 13:03
REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - Home For Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott
Home For Christmas (Texas #9) - R.J. Scott
Home for Christmas is the ninth book in the Texas series, and we reunite with the Campbell-Hayes clan. It starts with Christmas (obviously) and Connor ready to make his way home. Before he goes though, he has to rescue a friend from a roof. River is blind drunk and speaks about things he had wanted to keep from Connor. Connor decides to throw an intervention, and the story starts.

Connor admits to being a fixer, and he thinks River needs fixing. The only trouble is, he doesn't really know River that well, and therefore has no idea on what to fix.

It was good catching up with the clan again, and I love how Jack and Riley still have their say, and insights, in their children's lives. Personally, I would have liked a bit more about River and his past, his condition, and what it took to move him forward, but this is only a short novel so I guess I can't have everything.

As with all of R.J. Scott's books, this was smoothly written, with some angst, and definitely some sexy times. The characters are wonderful to return to, and the scenery is breathtaking, making me want to see their ranch in real life. 

Another winner for this author, and the series. I know this is supposed to be the final book, but is it really...? I hope not! Definitely recommended by me.
 
* I received a copy of this book with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.com/2018/12/review-tour-giveaway-home-for-christmas.html
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review 2018-11-29 20:18
A decade in the life of...
Texas Gift - R.J. Scott

While it's only been a half decade since RJ Scott first shared the story of how Riley and Jack came to be together in 'Texas Gift' we're given not 'a day in the life of' but 'a decade' in the life of these two men. We find out what life has brought to the 'Campbell-Hayes' clan and those they love as dearly as family.

 

I've read every book in this series and yes, I've loved some more than others but regardless of that I don't regret reading any of them and for me this is the kind of series where you need to read them all so that you can truly have the whole picture. 

 

In 'Texas Gift' we go through the whole gambit with them 'for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, '  (well...except that last part. Thankfully we are spared this). 

 

While book 7 wasn't the most notable book for me this one delivered and then some. I cried...oh man did I cry...happy tears, sad tears I pretty much shed them all. I've been hanging on to this one for about a year now...last year I said good-bye to a few series that have been dear to my heart and when this came up I just didn't have it in me to say good-bye to another favorite, but with another year coming to a close it just felt like maybe it was time to let go. So I opened the book and I started to read by the time I went to bed I had less than 20 pages to go...20 pages in which I realized that I'd fallen in love with these men and their family all over again....so few words remaining with so many feelings attached to them.

"I love you," Riley said, hoping the words meant more to Jack each time he said them. "I've always loved you, and I always will."

"I love you, too." Jack said, softly, "I've always loved you, and yeah, I always will."

Of course before I started this story I also knew that with it's ending I didn't have to truly say good-bye to the Campbell-Hayes family because while it's not about 'Jack and Riley' there is at least one more story to come in 'Home For Christmas' we get to know Connor and I can't lie...I'm more than a little curious because at the end of 'Texas Gift' Connor brings his boyfriend Elliot home to meet his family but in the blurb for 'Home For Christmas' the name that seems to be occupying Connor's time isn't 'Elliott' but a young man named 'River'...so if you think I'm not scurrying off to find out what's happening in Connor's life well...sorry, think again. 

 

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text 2018-11-14 14:52
ARC REVIEW Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom

 

Big Bad Cowboy (Once Upon a Time in Texas, #1)

 

Once Upon a Time in Texas #1, A good Autumn read that takes place just before Halloween and ends with a Christmas epilogue. I adored this book! Maggie and Travis meet at a Halloween costume party, Maggie dressed as slutty Red Riding Hood and Travis as a Wolf. Instant sexual chemistry sparked between them they snuck off together not knowing each others real names and for Maggie not knowing what her Big Bad Wolf actually looked like only to part quickly after but not before Maggie's best friend slipped Maggies's number on to his phone. Travis is fresh out of the military and stuck in his hometown taking care of his nephew, Henry, whose mother just died of cancer and Travis' worthless brother is in jail, again. He's trying to earn money the best way he knows how, especially since the property taxes on his Dad's, now his, ranch are overdue. Maggie is the owner and operator of her own business, Petal Pushers, with her landscaping degree she made a name for herself, now she views Travis as competition, and really annoying, and too sexy for his own good. They wind up getting hired for the same job but for different reasons and the more time Maggie spends with Travis she realises how wrong she was about him. 

Travis recognizes Maggie as Red Riding Hood right away but because he was the one wearing the mask Maggie doesn't recognize him. With her number in his phone he makes contact. Through text messages they flirt and sext and Travis falls in love. Maggie is torn between the her Big Bad Wolf and Travis, and what will she do when she realizes they are one in the same. Between the adorable Henry, the loveable Mrs. Garza (I want one of her) and Maggie's two best friends Claire and JD the secondary cast of characters is just as entertaining as Maggie and Travis. I really did like everything about his book. Overall, it ends up being such a heartwarming story with an endearing cast of characters.   

 

 

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