Thursday, November 22, 2018

*Review* All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy by Jessica Clare

Genre: Holiday Romance
Published: November 6, 2018
Pages: 303

Christmas arrives early when a fateful encounter leads two strangers to unexpected love in this holiday romance from New York Times bestselling author Jessica Clare.

Christmas may be coming, but it's just another day at the ranch as far as Eli Pickett is concerned. Someone has to take care of the herd and that means no holiday vacation for him. But that's just the way he likes it--it’s not like he has a woman to spend time with anyways. Most women don't want the ranch life, or the surly, silent cowboy that comes with it. Fine with him. He'd rather have the quiet of a roaring fire and the company of his dogs.

Cassandra Horn is trying to make it to her parents' winter cabin in Wyoming before the blizzard hits. She desperately needs a vacation from the chaos of Manhattan...and her boss’s boyfriend, who is making her life miserable. But Cass never makes it to the cabin.

A raging snowstorm causes her car to crash, where she's found unconscious by Eli. When Cass wakes, she has no memories of who she is. Eli takes one look at Cass's big blue eyes and dark curls, and like a Christmas miracle, falls head over heels in love. But while the attraction is mutual, can she give her heart to this cowboy if she’s not sure it’s hers to give?

I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program. This is my honest review. 

It's that time of year again when I want to read all things Christmas (and I even find myself more inclined to just veg out in front of the tv watching cheesy movies as well), so I was excited to be able to guarantee a copy of this book and dive right in to the holiday spirit. Unfortunately, this book failed to completely live up to my expectations. 

First of all, it was severely lacking in the Christmas spirit. Eli doesn't have fond memories of the holidays, so he just has no intention of celebrating, and Cass is not really in a position to do much to bring Christmas spirit to the ranch since they're snowed in through the holiday. Even after Eli begrudgingly allows Cass to use Maria's decorations to add some festivity to the ranch house, the spirit is still lacking, so it didn't really feel much like a cheesy Christmas novel to me. 

Second of all, it didn't fall into any of the classic tropes that I tend to associate with holiday romances (and I fully understand that that will be viewed as a positive thing by some people, but I personally want my holiday stories trope-y). Because Cass has lost her memory and is basically helpless after her wreck, Eli doesn't really get mad at her for ANYTHING. He doesn't tell her to stop feeding the dogs table scraps, he just cleans up the huge messes she makes in the kitchen, and he doesn't even resent her just a little bit for taking his bed which leaves him sleeping on the too-short-for-him couch. I think I would have enjoyed this story better if she'd been mildly banged up, but still stuck at the ranch because of the snow, and they'd been at each other's throats first: she's annoyed because she's trapped on this ranch with a strange guy instead of alone at her family's cabin, and he's irate because she's less than useless on a ranch and just adding to his already full workload for the holidays. (That would be classic holiday romance trope.) 

So those were the problems I had with the story. But the story wasn't all bad. For one thing, Eli is a truly good guy. He is so worried about not becoming a #MeToo story for Cass, that he doesn't even want to let her know that he's attracted to her. This led to some frustration on my part because he just needed to tell her, but it also made me like him more and hope for him and Cass to eventually hook up. And once things started moving along in the romance department for Eli and Cass, I started to enjoy the story more, but only as a standard romance (it still didn't feel holiday romance-like to me). 

Overall I give All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy 3.0487 stars because it didn't satisfy my holiday cravings at all, but the romance itself was decent. - Katie 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Clare writes under three pen names. As Jessica Clare, she writes erotic contemporary romance. As Jessica Sims, she writes fun, sexy shifter paranormals. She also has a third pen name, because three is more fun than two. As Jill Myles, she writes a little bit of everything, from sexy, comedic urban fantasy to fairy tales gone wrong.

She lives in a teeny tiny town in North Texas that has no Starbucks, which is a cruel and unusual punishment. She spends her time with her husband, pets, and Keurig. Because, coffee.

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