This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I loved this book! I am not usually someone who reads a lot of Christmas stories. I will read them but I don't really look for them. This book made its way into my hands and something about that cover drew me right in and I wanted to start reading it right away. Once I started, I didn't want to stop and I ended up reading the whole thing from cover to cover in a single day. I really enjoyed every moment I spent reading this wonderful little story.
Clayton is ex-military and has been working overseas until he is called home to the family ranch. The ranch is in trouble and his dad is sick so Clayton must come home to run things and try to save the ranch. Abby has not had it easy. She has been raising her two younger brothers and doing her best to get ahead in life.
Abby and Clayton meet when Abby's brother is caught stealing cattle from the ranch Clayton's family owns. Not the best way to start things. Clayton turns out to be a really nice guy and instead of sending Abby's brother, Brice, to jail he lets him come and work his debt off at the ranch. Clayton also enlists Abby's help with the ranch's books hoping that she can sort out exactly what is going on.
I loved the characters in this book. Abby and Clayton were both amazing. Abby was strong and cared deeply for her two brothers. She was smart and willing to sacrifice her wants for the sake of other people. Clayton was such a good guy. He has had some things to deal with in his personal and military life. I loved this pair together. They had great chemistry from the very beginning and it was really wonderful to watch them fall in love.
The secondary characters were also really well done. Abby's two brothers, Brice and Caleb, played a large role in the story and were really great. Their relationship with their sister really helped illustrate how much she cared for them. Clayton's parents were also key players in the story. I liked how they welcomed Abby and her brothers as if they were family right from the start.
The mystery in the book kept things interesting. I really wanted to see Clayton save the ranch with Abby's help. There were a few scenes where we got to see Clayton, a former SEAL, in action which was pretty exciting. This was really a book more focused on romance than anything else and it did a wonderful job with it. I don't know that there was really anything too surprising in the book but everything was executed perfectly. I couldn't help but get swept away by this romantic tale.
I would highly recommend to fans of contemporary romance. This book had just the right combination of romance, action, and great characters. The story had just the right amount of Christmas adding just a bit to the story. This is the first book by Donna Grant that I have read and I am really looking forward to reading more of her work soon.
I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.
I loved this book! Clayton and Abby were absolutely perfect together. I thought the secondary characters were amazing and the mystery held my interest. This probably falls somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me so I am rounding up for now.