Cowboy SEAL Christmas By Nicole Helm Release Date: September 4, 2018 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Book #3 in the Navy SEAL Cowboys series Number of pages: 320 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Romance/Western/Military M/F Rating: NC-17 Read 8/27/18 to 8/28/18
To be honest, I really wasn’t prepared to love Gabe so much. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked him in the other stories in this series. But I fell in love with him, and I fell hard. That man had me frustrated, angry, sad, and I shed far too many tears in the reading of this book.
Before I get too much further I should say, I don’t feel you have to read the other books to fully engage with this one. This ragtag group of former Navy SEALs and strong women and odd animals is such a joy, I don’t know why you wouldn’t go and read Cowboy SEAL Homecoming and Cowboy SEAL Redemption, though.
Although Monica has been in the other stories quite a bit, her role in those stories was much more as a therapist so we didn’t get to see exactly what makes her tick. I enjoyed seeing things from her POV. Not only as a woman and a therapist, but also as a mom, a widow, a military brat, etc. Monica has worn many hats throughout her life, and they all shaped the way she interacts with others. She’s usually a very warm and caring person. For some reason, her defenses tend to go up when she’s around Gabe and she turns the therapist part of her brain on full blast.
Gabe has issues with therapists and wants nothing to do with Monica’s professional side. Since that’s almost all she tends to show him when they’re together, they seem like oil and water. Gabe can’t help but push Monica’s buttons, and she can’t help but zing him right back. If it wasn’t so fun to watch, it would be exhausting! But the more the two of them are thrown together, the harder time they have ignoring the chemistry they have. Since Monica’s son, Collin, is enamored with Gabe (and truly, vice versa) they seem to find themselves together more and more.
Gabe, quite frankly, has a heartbreaking story. They way it comes out in fits and starts throughout this book really helped me, as the reader, to feel those emotions. The tiny moments he would let his walls down and show his vulnerability had me bawling my eyes out. One minute I’d be feeling warm-fuzzies because of his chemistry with Monica, the next I would feel like I got gut punched because of Gabe’s inability to see how lovable he really is.
There are so many other things I love about this story. So many little nuances that really built such a lovely and amazing picture in my mind. I think this may be my favorite Nicole Helm book so far. It was full of so many feels!
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**