Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas (River Ranch) – ARC Review

45298802._SY475_Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas
By Soraya Lane
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Book #3 in the River Ranch series
Number of pages:  304
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance/Holidays M/F
Rating: NC-17
Read 10/21/19 to 10/22/19


He left town and never looked back.
Cody Ford is a Wall Street honcho with humble Texas roots. This holiday season, he’d be content to just stay in New York and not face his family―and dodge their questions about when and with whom he plans to settle down. . .and if he will do so back at home. But his father isn’t getting any younger, and Cody doesn’t want to miss any last chances to see him and the rest of the folks back on the ranch. The last person Cody was expecting to see? His one-time girlfriend, Lexi Murphy, who’s been working as his dad’s new live-in nurse.

She never forgot him. Can she ever forgive him?
Lexi still holds a grudge against Cody. Back then, the college-bound heartthrob believed he was too good for a small-town girl like Lexi. But now Cody can’t help but see her in a whole new light. Could it be that this beautiful single mother with an unbeatable can-do spirit is the one he’s been waiting for all along? That depends on whether Cody can prove to Lexi that, this time, he means business―and if a sudden snowstorm can lend just the right amount of Christmas magic to help move things along. . .

There was a moment in the first half of this story that I was afraid it was going to go down a path I didn’t like.  I had just read another story where a character lied, and kept lying, to her love interest and I realized I really dislike that trope.  While Cody was withholding some very important information from Lexi, the author was kind enough to not drag it on through the whole book.  Let me tell you, the tension I was starting to feel (not in a good way) was relieved as soon as I realized the focus of the story wasn’t going to have a huge veil of deceit over it the whole time.

I found the trajectory of Cody’s and Lexi’s relationship to be very interesting.  Especially once I started to understand why Cody did the things he did and how he ended up leaving everyone and everything behind.  He’s lucky Lexi even gave him the time of day, but at the same time it was obvious that they had unfinished business.

While I did feel a connection between these characters, I never really felt the spark.  I’m not sure why that was since I found them to be great for one another.  I enjoyed that Cody fell into a comfortable patter with Lexi’s son almost immediately.  It didn’t feel forced or fake and was actually very sweet.  Yet I still never got the warm-fuzzies with these two.

That being said, I enjoyed this story and appreciate that the author didn’t make Cody out to be a jerk who was being a jerk just because he could be a jerk.  Cody had some deep-seated issues that needed to be dealt with, and even he saw how skewed his thinking was once he started dealing with his real life.  Not just in regards to Lexi, but also his siblings and his father.

When it was all said and done, I enjoyed this storyline and the characters.  I just didn’t feel the emotions I would have liked to feel the way I normally would. I enjoy this series and adore this author’s historical fiction so I’ll be reading more for sure.

3 stars

**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**


About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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1 Response to Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas (River Ranch) – ARC Review

  1. Pingback: Looking Back at 2019 | All In Good Time

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