In a captivating novel spiced with holiday magic—perfect for fans of Rachel Gibson, Susan Mallery, and Molly O’Keefe—a rugged Montana man mends a Northeast girl’s jaded heart.
Boston veterinarian Hayley Scampini tends the city’s pampered pets but dreams of the rural life of a country vet. She’s single and determined to stay that way, convinced that love isn’t permanent enough to trust. Then a vacation to the Whisper Creek dude ranch introduces her to Daniel McKee, a sexy single dad who runs the kind of veterinary practice she aspires to—and rattles her conviction to keep men at a distance.
Managing a thriving practice, coping with the loss of his wife, and fighting a custody battle with his in-laws over his twin daughters, Daniel couldn’t be more overwhelmed. Hayley is a godsend, accompanying him in the field and winning over his girls. It doesn’t take Daniel long to realize he’s falling for this woman, hard and fast. So before Hayley returns to Boston, he extracts a promise: that she will return to Whisper Creek for Christmas. It’s the perfect time and place to show Hayley that the promise of a beautiful life together is something she can believe in.
Published November 18th 2014 by Loveswept
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Four Stars: A simple, sweet holiday romance.
Haley is eager to be free of the irritating pet owners that patronize her vet clinic in Boston. She is headed to Montana for one of her best friend's summer weddings. While Haley wouldn't mind a fling with a hot cowboy while in Montana, she is unprepared to fall in love. Haley isn't big on commitment. Things change when Haley meets the handsome, widower with two adorable girls. Before Haley knows it, she is smitten, but she isn't ready to commit. Will Haley give up everything for love?
What I Liked:
- At last, a simple, straightforward, feel good holiday romance. Even though this is a bit predictable from the get go, I liked that it refrained from unnecessary drama and angst. If you want a terrific holiday romance grab this.
- I adored both Haley and Daniel. Daniel is a hardworking country vet who is trying to balance his career with fatherhood. Daniel lost his wife two years ago, and since then he is doing his best to raise his two daughters. I loved him. He is kind, compassionate, and big hearted. Haley has seen her fair share of heartbreak as well, but that hasn't stopped her from reaching her dreams and becoming a vet. I loved how thoughtful and caring both characters were. It was easy to like them and root for their romance.
- The romance was clean and rather simple. It starts with an immediate attraction, even though both parties repeatedly deny it. I worried that it was going to head into the insta love territory because during the first portion, Haley is only out in Montana for two weeks for a summer wedding. Thankfully after the initial two weeks, the romance takes time to develop into a friendship with calls and skype. Toward the end, I was concerned that things were unfolding to fast, but the epilogue reassured me that the proper time was spent to make sure it was right. In the end, I felt the romance was realistic and sweet.
- I adored the Montana setting. I grew up in Big Sky Country, and so it was easy for me to picture the scenery. I thought the author did a great job with the setting and descriptions, it made me want to head over to Montana in the summer.
- I enjoyed the additional story line involving Daniel and his two daughters. I liked seeing them bond with Haley. I also liked the difficulties that Daniel encountered with his in laws regarding the girls' custody. I appreciated the way that the issue was resolved. It was surprising and refreshing.
- This is a clean romance without detailed sex scenes. It is nice to pick up a romance and not have to wade through pages and pages of explicit sexy times. This one has kissing and steam, but the actual intimate details are scant. So if you are looking for a clean romance, this is good bet.
- This book is a companion novel, and the second in the series. I had no idea it was a series going in, but it wasn't never an issue. The author does a great job of catching the reader up on the events that unfolded in the previous book. I would very much like to go back now and read the first book as it is all about Haley's best friend Kyla and her romance.
- I appreciated that this was a feel good holiday read. There was just a touch of drama, but nothing that ruined the coziness. If you want a true cozy, sweet romance for the holidays, grab this one.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though everything regarding the romance and the two little girls wraps up at the end, I was disappointed that one of the other story lines is left hanging. In fact, it was a bit of a cliffhanger. I am hoping there is another book now because I need to know what happens now regarding Haley and her stepsisters.
- While I enjoyed the romance overall, I struggled a tiny bit with the pacing. At times, it felt like things were moving way too fast, and I didn't like that. However, it does back off, and I liked that the epilogue clarified that they didn't rush into things.
- The ending felt rushed and it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I wish that the author had taken just a bit more time with that final scene before plunging into the epilogue. The epilogue answered many questions, but it left me wanting more. After the slow, steady buildup throughout the book, the rapid fire ending was a bit jarring.
The Cowboy's Christmas Promise is a delightful holiday romance about new beginnings, and friendship. Set against the stunning back drop of Montana, this feel good read is terrific for the holidays or anytime you are in the mood for a cozy, light, clean romance. I highly recommend this one for a pick me up read.
"Falling in love doesn't mean lose yourself, Hayls. Sometimes it means you find yourself."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.