Title: A True Cowboy Christmas
Author: Caitlin Crews
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date Published: October 30, 2018
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
*I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review*
A truly heart-wrenching Christmas miracle! In this story of a woman forever haunted by an utterly appalling excuse of a mother, Abby Douglas has resigned herself to live out her days as a lonely spinster. That is until her lifelong crush, Gray Everett, suddenly appears in her grandmother’s living room, proposing marriage as if this sort of thing happened on an everyday basis. His reasoning is simple. He wants a wife to raise a family that can continue running the Everett land long after he is gone. Abby is a dependable strong woman, cool-headed, and…..his neighbor? Burying her doubts deep down, she accepts his offer secretly over-the-moon that she is getting the only thing she ever wanted. While these two may have known each other all their lives (Abby with her crush on him since the third grade and Gray knowing her as Martha Douglas’s granddaughter and neighbor), they enter into a marriage of practicality.
(Spoiler Alert: I cried.)
Two souls damaged by the parenting they received, I normally roll my eyes at so much self-depreciation and haunted pasts. Gray tries so hard to not be like his late father, the drunken wretch, that he’s built up a wall around himself that only leads to anger and turmoil while Abby suffers mental abuse still at the hands of her mother. Their attraction towards one another, even with these backgrounds, isn’t one of need. That traditional “we’re both broken so why not be broken together” trope. That’s not what this was. I felt more of a give and take between them. They understood what the other was going through, had gone through, and was there to show each other that you can move on.
When it came to the characters themselves, how they interacted, the type of banter they had with one another, the author nailed it with this. It didn’t matter if it was Gray and his brothers arguing, or Abby and her mother sparring, or (oh lord I’ll cry all over again if I reread that last chapter) Gray when he takes Abby in his arms. The dialogue was real. I felt the passion when words were exchanged. There were times that humor or sarcasm dripped into a conversation and it made me laugh out loud. Because it didn’t feel forced, it felt like something those characters would really say in the moment.
Would I recommend this?
It takes a true masterpiece in order to make me cry, and I’m telling you I was in tears by the end of this book. They may have married for convenience, but seeing this couple build a relationship, build love together, it was a beautiful thing. If ever there was a Christmas miracle, it was delivered in that last chapter. Caitlin Crews knows how to pull that emotion out of you while reading this. So would I recommend this? I’ve already got this in my Amazon cart so I can have a physical copy to read, and reread, and reread some more. Be sure to pick up your own copy, so you can experience for yourself the love and beauty of A True Cowboy Christmas.