Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: Rocky Mountain Cowboy #1
Title: Christmas at Cade Ranch by Karen Rock
Author: Karen Rock
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming, Harlequin (US & Canada)
Published: November 7th, 2017
This story certainly lives up to its heartwarming genre! It is a superbly crafted story dealing with emotive issues such as grief, trust, abuse and family relationships in a manner which brings the characters to vivid life in the imagination of the reader. Sofia Gallardo is a single Mum, doing her very best to raise her son after his father was murdered.
She had no plans to contact his family, but his Mother got in touch and convinced Sofia to let her meet both her and her grandson. She then connived to get Sofia to stay on the family ranch by offering her a job there – much to the chagrin of her child’s Uncle, James Cade. He is initially reticent to trust Sofia and makes his feelings plain. However, as he gets to know her, he is in a real turmoil as he is attracted to Sofia but feels he will be betraying his younger brother’s memory if he acts upon the attraction. Sofia is similarly conflicted. She’s never experienced family life like the Cades take so much for granted. This is what she hopes her son will always experience but she’s only supposed to be there for a limited time. As Christmas draws near, can the festive season bring new happiness and a fresh start for all those on the ranch, or will it be a distant memory, left behind forever?
The story is a real emotional roller coaster, with the characters coping with their grief and new circumstances in their individual ways. The author makes it easy to empathise with them all as they develop throughout the story. The dangers of addiction are sensitively dealt with in a manner that doesn’t minimise their impact but does stress the importance of support to help sufferers endeavour to avoid succumbing again in future. Even the impact on child is portrayed brilliantly. This is he start of a new series and I have to say that this is an author I certainly want to read more of in future. I was impressed by how she brought all the characters to life, making it feel like I was there witnessing and sympathising events. This truly is a heartwarming romance and I have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who enjoys escaping into this story which has “home, family, community and love” at the heart of it.
I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
The Christmas they never had.
James Cade has one priority: keep the family ranch running smoothly in the wake of his younger brother’s death. With Jesse’s ex, Sofia Gallardo, and her young son, Javi, stranded at Cade Ranch over Christmas, this task just got a lot harder. The longer Sofia and Javi stay, the harder it is to imagine the ranch without them. James couldn’t save his brother from his inner demons, but he can give his nephew a secure future. Maybe more—if he can figure out how to trust Sofia, and stop feeling like he’s betraying Jesse. Because trying to stop thinking about beautiful, determined Sofia is impossible.
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Harlequin Heartwarming: Wholesome, heartfelt romances with traditional values important to you: home, family, community and love.