The Christmas Cowboy, by Shanna Hatfield
Published October 2013
About the Book:
Flying from city to city in her job as a busy corporate trainer for a successful direct sales company, Kenzie Beckett doesn't have time for a man. And most certainly not for the handsome cowboy she keeps running into at the airport. Burned twice, she doesn't trust anyone wearing boots and Wranglers, especially someone as charming and handsome as Tate Morgan. Among the top saddle bronc riders in the rodeo circuit, easy-going Tate Morgan can handle the toughest horse out there, but trying to deal with the beautiful Kenzie Beckett is a completely different story. As the holiday season approaches, this Christmas Cowboy is going to need to pull out all the stops if he wants a chance at winning her heart.
My Take: First things first, the title is a little misleading. This is not a regular Christmas romance set amongst warm fuzzy holidays, although there are plenty of cowboys. The book starts in spring and the first half runs through the summer and fall rodeo season, right up through the finals in Las Vegas in early December. We don't get into the Christmas spirit until a little more than halfway through the story.... Kenzie Beckett is a corporate sales trainer, flying around the country to give training sessions and pep talks to consultants. She first closed the door on ranch life and those dreams when her father ran out on her family, and slammed it tighter when her cowboy ex fiance cheated too. When she meets a handsome cowboy in the airport, there are no stars in her eyes. In Kenzie's mind, what cowboys did best was sweet-talk and walk away, and she wasn't about to trust another one. Rodeo cowboy Tate Morgan never met anyone quite like Kenzie before, and as their hectic travel schedules bring them together over the course of the spring and summer, he finds he can't get enough of the sharp witted, sarcastic business woman who somehow understands the nuances of rodeo life. He's never wanted to settle down, but Kenzie makes him feel like anything is possible. This is an old-fashioned sweet romance with head hopping between the main characters, with some of the minor characters' thoughts thrown in as well. The world the author paints is also a bit old fashioned and black and white, with few shades of grey. Their dates have no sizzling sex, no drinking, no swearing... but a lot of cuddling, homemade dinners and hot chocolate. Like I said, sweet. There are a few conflicts and a whole bunch of trust issues Kenzie and Tate need to work out, but in the end (no surprise) romance wins. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.