The future looks merry and bright…
The little town of Branding Iron, Texas, keeps an annual tradition that makes the holidays especially festive—the Cowboys’ Christmas Ball. But Sheriff Ben Marsden, busy with work, joint custody of his son, and caring for his aging mother, has no plans to attend. Not until a pretty newcomer to his small town gets involved in the planning. Suddenly Ben finds himself wanting to keep a close eye on Jessica Ramsey, and not just because her relatives seem to be in jail more than out. He can tell the mysterious redhead has secrets in her past, but now that she’s bought a little fixer upper with her mom to start a bed and breakfast, the whole family’s turning over a new leaf. With the prospect of dancing and celebrating ahead, surely there’s time for everyone to unwind. Because this year, more than ever, Ben’s got Christmas—and loving—on his mind.
It’s Christmas time in the little town of Branding Iron Texas and all the residents are preparing for the annual Cowboys’ Christmas Ball.
Jessica Ramsey has no family left to call her own. She sets out to Branding Iron to find the woman who gave her up for adoption when she was just a baby. Finding herself stranded on the side of the road when her car breaks down, she is rescued by Branding Iron’s very own Sheriff Ben Marsden.
“She pressed upward, feeling the heat that burned through their clothes, flowing between their bodies, molding them together. Her pulse surged, pouring desire through her veins. Heaven help her, she wanted him, in all the ways a woman could want a man.”
Sheriff Ben Marsden takes notice of Jessica Ramsey right away. She’s all big eyes and sweetness. Unfortunately Ben doesn’t have time for romance. He’s back home taking care of his ailing mother and trying to deal with his ex wife over custody of their 8 year old son.
Will a holiday filled with love, wishes and whispered prayers bring these two lovebirds together? Or will secrets and misunderstandings make this a heartbreaking Christmas for everyone…
So where do I start with this review…I enjoyed this one, but I didn’t love it. The small town setting I loved. It felt festive and Christmasy. The secondary characters were interesting. Everything was just so sweet and angst free. I could best describe it like a marshmallow, super sweet, squishy, but without any real substance.
And there lies the problem as to why I didn’t love this one. Major issues (alcoholism, child custody, attempted kidnapping) all get wrapped up in a easy no mess it’s a “Christmas miracle” sort of way. There also isn’t any sexy times in this book *Gasp* I know right?! Now I am a big girl and can read a book without sex if the couple have off the charts sexual chemistry, unfortunately that isn’t the case in this book.
Ben should have been sex on a stick. Tall, dark, cowboy Sheriff with a smoky Texas drawl and a cowboy hat, yes please! Turns out Ben was about as exciting as cardboard. There wasn’t an ounce of spark between him and Jess. With just a few passionate kisses between them, I found it more than a little hard to believe theses two were in love enough to be getting a HEA. Jess I enjoyed more. She had a big heart and her interactions with her mom and other town folks I found sweet.
Overall this one was enjoyable, if a little bit fluffy. I’m sure readers who enjoy a simple and smooth sailing holiday romance will be ALL over this one. If that’s you, then I say “go for it.”