Friday, November 7, 2014

Cowboy Boots For Christmas (Cowboy Not Included) by Carolyn Brown

After two tours in Afghanistan, retired Army sniper Finn O’Donnell believes his new ranch outside the sleepy little town of Burnt Boot, Texas, is the perfect place for an undisturbed holiday season. But before he can settle in, an old friend shows up looking for protection and a place where nobody knows her name…
Callie Brewster must relocate to protect her young nephew, Martin, and the only person she trusts is her old Army friend, Finn. Burnt Boot seems like the perfect place to be anonymous, but it turns out a small town with big drama is no place to hide…

Finn O’Donnell purchased Salt Draw Ranch with the hopes of finding a place to call home and peace after two tours in Afghanistan as a sniper for the US Army. He never expected to see his spotter, Callie O’Donnell, the woman he trusted with his life, to arrive on his doorstep looking for a safe place for her and Martin, her nephew, to stay.
They soon realize that even though they lost touch with each other for a couple of years, the connection they shared is still there. Soon Callie and Finn fill Salt Draw with stray animals, children, and the ranches former owner as their relationship grows.
Cowboy Boots For Christmas (Cowboy Not Included) was one of the sweetest Christmas stories that I’ve read for a while.
Callie has seen the women in her life (her mom and sister) have relationships with cowboys that end poorly. And because of the way her sister, Martin’s mother, bounced from one place to another, Callie’s not sure if she has the ability to settle down.
Finn was betrayed by the woman he loved and thought he knew. He’s been hurt and what he’s gone through has left a mark on him he’s not sure he can erase.
While there is no denying that Finn and Callie are attracted to each other, they both have enough emotional baggage to sink the QE2. Although since both of their lives depended on each other during their time in Afghanistan, they know they can trust each other but it’s a bit harder trusting each other with their hearts than it is their lives.
The chemistry between Finn and Callie was amazing and given that they had a history together their quick starting romance didn’t feel rushed. They worked together because they knew the nightmares that each had endured and being together was, in a sense, a balm to their souls. They knew how to comfort each other because they knew what the other had been through.
The pacing was great. I didn’t feel as though the plot lagged or sped ahead. It had a nice rhythm to it that made it nearly impossible to put down.
While I truly enjoyed this book and thought it was a brilliant start to the author’s Burnt Boot Series (which I cannot wait to read more of), I wished there had been a bit more conflict between Callie and Finn.
What I like about Carolyn Brown’s writing is the fact she actually make me, a city chick who had never stepped foot in the country, enjoy the country life she portrays in her books. And if I’m being honest, she kind of makes me want a cowboy like Finn to call my own.
Overall, Cowboy Boots For Christmas has everything readers should want in a Christmas romance: an achingly sweet romance peppered with tenderness, laughter, joy, and a few miracles along the way.
One of my favorites from Carolyn Brown. Plus, I don’t think I will ever be able to get Joe, the parrot out of my mind.
Cowboys Boots For Christmas is definitely a keeper that I will happily revisit.

Book Details
Title: Cowboy Boots For Christmas (Cowboy Not Included)
Series: Burnt Boot Series Book 1
Author: Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 978-1-4022-9605-5
Formats: Mass-Market Paperback, E-book
Release Date: October 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
How I Read It: Mass-Market Arc from Publisher
Rating: 4.5 Cups
Review also featured on Royal Reviews

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