[A quick note: No lie, part of why I wanted to read this was the adorable cover! Also, I read one of this author’s other Christmas romance books and really enjoyed it! It sure looks cute. This author writes these books to be stand alone, so you do not need to read her other books to read this one.]
Ranch manager Annie McCade thought she was having a nice, quiet Christmas with her niece and nephew. Instead, she sends a snowball flying and hits an unexpected arrival square in the chest, the ranch property’s owner. Tate Sheridan and his family haven’t spent Christmas at the ranch in nearly two decades. Its history is riddled with tragedy. When he appears out of the blue and finds Annie, his childhood friend, sparks fly. Together, they must get the ranch ready for the holidays before the rest of his family arrives.
This was my second RaeAnne Thayne book. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as her other Christmas book, it was a cute, heartwarming read. Very Hallmark. It’s a “sweet romance,” which means nothing beyond kissing….whomp whomp. Everything else is off screen. But I enjoyed it despite that. There are plenty of romantic tropes: forced proximity, tragic past, childhood reunion that blossoms into something more, billionaire love interest, etc. And like her other book, there’s a side romance that takes place. So, in a way, you get two for one.
Our romance story takes place entirely on a ranch near Jackson Hole WY. It’s set in December (duh) so there’s plenty of snowy aspects. If you love ranch settings, horses, puppies, big ranch houses all decorated for Christmas, etc. then you’ll enjoy this.
I will say, that while this was easy to slip into, and I didn’t want to put it down, I did find my mind wandering at times. It didn’t hold my attention like her other book (All Is Bright). But as far as holiday romances, it had all the feel-good aspects you crave. I especially loved Annie’s niece and nephew. They were the CUTEST! They also added a great break in the tension.
Our story mainly follows Annie and Tate, however, we get a third support character/romance out of Brie. I actually liked Brie’s story the best; her tragic past and her character arc were a lot more dominant. Brie blames herself for her father’s death, and she’s forced to confront these feelings twenty years later by the ranch hand she begins falling in love with. While Annie and Tate’s romance took front-center stage, I think I liked Brie’s better.
Overall, if you want a relaxing, low stakes romance that has a Hallmark feel with a bit more depth, you’ll like this one. 𝑴𝒀 𝑹𝑨𝑻𝑰𝑵𝑮 𝟑.𝟓/𝟓 ⭐️