Harlequin Historical October 1 2011
288 pages by Jillian Hart, Carol Finch, Cheryl St. John
The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by Jillian Hart
Wrongly imprisoned, Caleb McGraw is finally free—but the bitterness he holds still makes him feel trapped. Until he sees the beautiful Caroline holding a little boy with eyes just like his own. Discovering his long-lost son is just the start of Caleb's Christmas miracles!
Christmas at Cahill Crossing by Carol Finch
One Christmas night, outcast Lucas Burnett finds a silver-haired angel buried in the snow. But Rosalie Greer is no pale spirit—she's a fiery, independent woman, as wild as the mustangs Lucas breeds. Can she be the one to finally thaw Lucas's frozen heart?
A Magical Gift at Christmas by Cheryl St.John
Meredith has always dreamed of a grand life but, stranded on a train in heavy snowfall with two young stowaways, she unexpectedly finds she has everything she needs with just one strong man to protect her….
If you are looking for sizzling hot Cowboys in a Christmas setting, then this book may not be for you. Don't expect shots of shirtless, muscled cowboys on the cover or hot love scenes.(except in one story) The cowboys in these stories generate a different kind of heat of the heartwarming variety. The homey, sweet cover conveys the tone of the stories in this anthology.
THE COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE: by Jillian Hart
Jillian Hart crafts a heart warming tale of forgiveness and redemption in this short story. Caleb McGraw fits the role of weary loner returning to town after a long absence. He looks up the woman he was involved with before he was hauled off to prison (for a crime he didn't commit) and discovers she is dead and left a son. Seeking out the kindly widow Caroline Dreyer that took in the boy, Caleb stumbles into a horse robbery in progress and thwarts it ably. Caroline is grateful and Caleb becomes a Shane-like hero to Thomas. One look at Thomas and Caleb knows he is his son. The rest of the story is heartwarming and I will admit to getting a lump in my throat at the loneliness and longing of Caleb. The story is sweet and the emotion real, all ends on a happy Christmas note.
3.5 out of 5 Heat Level 1
CHRISTMAS AT CAHILL CROSSING: by Carol Finch
This short story is the only one in the trilogy with any kind of love scene and Carol Finch certainly delivers. Lucas Burnett is a mixed bag of a cowboy, his Indian/White/Mexican heritage makes him an outcast and a loner. Imagine his surprise to find a woman caught in a blizzard, a very beautiful woman, Rosalie Greer. Rosalie awakens to find a 6'3 golden skinned handsome hunk as her rescuer. The attraction between the two is immediate and incendiary, but the obstacles seem insurmountable as Rosalie is from a well to-do rich family and Lucas is hardly husband material, at least in his mind. A cute Christmas sub-plot rounds out this solid short story, the hero and heroine generated lots of heat and you are pulling for them all the way.
3.5 out of 5 Heat Level 3
A MAGICAL GIFT AT CHRISTMAS by Cheryl St. John
I kept thinking of a young, good looking John Wayne while reading this short story. U.S. Marshal Jonah Cavanaugh is on a train guarding a gold shipment. Under threat of attack, he separates a few of the cars from the rest of train, he finds a woman the sole occupant of the private car. Meredith Abbott is a rich beauty, daughter to a railway magnate. Jonah did not count on having a woman in this mess. Throw a couple of children stowaways into the mix and Jonah has his work cut out for him. The four share some heartwarming moments alone in the luxury car while a storm swirls outside, making their own Christmas. However when the Bloom gang shows up to rob the gold, all hell break loose. Cheryl describes the action scenes wonderfully. What does Meredith do, return to her stuffy fiance, or take life by the horns and chose the loner hunk of Marshal? Is there any doubt?
3 out of 5 Heat Level 1
FOR ENTIRE BOOK 3.5 of out 5 HEAT LEVEL 2
*as posted at THE SEASON website*