Holiday in a Stetson

American #1378

Two contemporary western romances for the price of one. You don't get better than that! Each is a complete story and has no relation to the other. This means you have two ways to get lost in holiday cheer.

The first story, The Sheriff Who Found Christmas is by Marie Ferrarella. Sheriff Garrett Tanner is a loner and he likes it like that. His father died when he was very young and his mother remarried within 6 months. Her next husband was an abuse former Marine and the only good thing to come out of that marriage as far as Garrett was concerned was his younger half-sister, Ellen.

Unfortunately, she followed their mother's footsteps and married a Marine very much like her father. Now, she's called that her husband is dead and could she come home. Garrett isn't sure what to do with a sister he hasn't seen in years but can't wait until she arrives.

On the way home, the bus Ellen is traveling in is in an accident. The only survivor is a young girl, Ellen's daughter. Garrett didn't even know she had a child! With no other relatives, Garrett agrees to take custody of her which concerns his deputy.

Lani Chisholm was hired to be Garrett's deputy by the town council. He didn't want her and hated her sunny outlook and cheerful manner. He hopes she'll get bored and leave but it doesn't appear that she will. When Lani learns that Garrett is going after his niece, she offers advice he doesn't want. But soon she seems to be helping Garrett out a lot with his niece. While he is somewhat grateful, he also wishes she wasn't coming to mean so much to her..and him.

Can this be developing into something more than a professional relationship? Maybe, a friendship? Or, maybe more? What is going to happen when Garrett finds out that Lani's father is a retired Marine!

The second story is part of Tina Leonard's Rancho Diablo series, A Rancho Diablo Christmas. You do not have to read the series to thoroughly enjoy this story. It is standalone but does make you wonder about the other books in this series.

Johnny Donovan sold his business is Las Vegas to move to Rancho Diablo to be near his sisters. He has a job on the ranch but his riding skills aren't all that good. To remedy that problem, the Callahan brothers have asked horse trainer, Jess St John to give him lessons. She's more that capable but Johnny would prefer to impress her instead of having her see how inept he is!

With a house full of match makers though this may be an attempt to get these two together. And, when they are caught out on the range while looking for a horse overnight, they are sure the match makers will be putting them together. To stop this immediately, they agree to invite other people to the annual Christmas Eve party. The problem is, they would rather come with each other. As they fight the attraction, they may learn they are fighting a losing battle.

Each of these stories is fairly short making them perfect afternoon reads. Yet, each also has a fully developed plot and characters that are more than cardboard. With each, you have to give some leeway on how the characters end up together because there isn't a lot of courting going on but they are together a lot.

While I can't say that I was riveted to each page, I did enjoy each story. There was enough depth to keep my interest and the plots while somewhat predictable were done well. For stories to read during the hectic Christmas season, those you can put down and pick up as you run around trying to take care of all the things that must be done before the big day, this book would be perfect.

Book Blurb for Holiday in a Stetson

The Sheriff Who Found Christmas by Marie Ferrarella
Now that Sheriff Garrett Tanner is guardian of his niece, Lani Chisholm is more determined than ever to get the sexy Scrooge into the holiday spirit. With a heart the size of Texas, the ex-big-city cop has more than enough love for Garrett and his little girl. And with some unexpected help from a tree hunt and a missing angel, a certain Western lawman just may discover his own Christmas miracle….

A Rancho Diablo Christmas by Tina Leonard

Trading kisses under the mistletoe is not what brought Johnny Donovan to Rancho Diablo. After all, he's a diehard bachelor—and Jess St. John's the most undomesticated woman in New Mexico. Then why does the petite horse trainer fill Johnny with such heart-soaring holiday spirit? The plan was to outsmart the Callahan matchmakers. Only, now it's Johnny who's hankering to get Jess to say yes. What's a love-charmed Santa to do? 

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2011 4.50