Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wit’s end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby―and the inescapable longing in his heart―off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?
Abby and Clayton meet after her younger brother is accused of stealing cattle from Clayton's ranch. The sparks are instant, as is the wariness Abby feels toward Clayton and the fact that he holds the future of her younger brother in his hand.
Clayton isn't really that happy to be back on the ranch, it isn't as successful as it has been in the past due to the lack of attention to detail of his family and a shady accountant, and he has had to give up his career in the Navy to come home.
There were parts of this that I really enjoyed and I thought the relationship with Abby and her brothers and Clayton and his family were wonderful. I liked the hero worship of Abby's brothers toward Clayton and the willingness of his family to make them feel welcome.
All of this, though took away from the relationship with Clayton and Abby and I felt that there was a slight opportunity missed for their relationship to build while the focus was on the other characters in the story.
This book felt more like an ensemble holiday story than it did a romance with a central couple and some side characters.
I do recommend this title. It's a great, warm family holiday romance.
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