A Cowboy for Christmas

Author: Lori Wilde

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: October 30, 2012

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5


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For most of her life Lissette has been fascinated with cowboys. At sixteen, a fortune teller had told her that a cowboy would bring about great changes in her life. So it was no surprise when she meets and marries former bull rider Jake Montclief, who had left the rodeo to enlist in the army. After their wedding, he bought them a house in Jubilee, Texas, where she could be close to his mother while he was away. However, he returned from Afghanistan a much different man. Eventually, he re-enlisted, returning to Afghanistan and leaving her and their baby son. But this time, he did not return. However, to her shock, his huge insurance policy listed his half-brother Rafferty as the beneficiary instead of her and their son, nor is she entitled to survivor benefits since Jake was killed while disobeying an order. Lissette had not even known that Jake had a half-brother. So now she is determined to make it on her own, as she works part-time baking wedding cakes for a wedding planning business and planning to one day have a bakery of her own. But her heartache does not end with Jake’s death. A recent visit to the doctor’s office has disclosed that her now two-year-old baby, Kyle, is going deaf and there is nothing she can do to stop it. Just as she believes she cannot take anything else, she backs into a pick-up truck while leaving the grocery store.

Rafferty Jones grew up in a bad section of town. His bipolar mother constantly had men in and out of his home. All through his childhood, his one hope was that his real father would come for them, as he helped raise his two siblings. At sixteen, he met his half-brother Jake for the first time and idolized him. In fact, Jake called him from Afghanistan just days before he was killed. With a ranch in California, Rafferty now trains horse for the movies. But Rafferty was in Australia for three weeks, so he did not know about Jake’s death until his return to the States when he discovered the insurance check. Although he could use the money, he knew that Jake’s wife and son deserved it and needed it more than he did. So he drove to Jubilee and discovered a town he could easily spend the rest of his life in. After stopping at the grocery store where a woman backed into him, he headed to the address he was given and was shocked to see the same woman from the grocery store parking lot…Lissette.

When Lissette refuses to take the money, Rafferty tries to find a different way to help. After all, he had promised Jake he would be there for his family if something happened to him. Besides, Rafferty finds himself attracted to the young widow. So he offers to train Jake’s cutting horse so she can get more money for it when it sells. As he tries to help her with the horse and teaching sign language to Kyle, Lissette makes plans to open her own bakery, specializing in cowboy treats. But Claudia, Lissette’s mother-in-law, is having a hard time dealing with Lissette’s relationship with the son her husband had with a different woman. Claudia also fears that an action in her past will cause her to lose the close friendship she has with her daughter-in-law, if it comes to light.

However, Rafferty has a plan in mind. Since Lissette will not accept the insurance money, he will use it to buy the horse under another name. As he and Lissette spend time together, passion flares and they get lost in each other arms. Although he is falling in love with her, he wonders if they can get past the fact that he is Jake’s half-brother. But what will she do when she discovers that he is the one who purchased the horse…with the insurance money that she has already refused? Can they get beyond their guilt to have a happy-ever-after?

A heartwarming tale, A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS, the third book in New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde’s JUBILEE, TEXAS series, is a poignant, passionate contemporary romance that is sure to touch your heart. Rafferty is a godsend for Lissette as he has a deaf foreman who has taught him sign language. So he is able to help her in ways that few others can. In the past, she has always be accommodating to keep the peace, but things have changed since Jake’s death as she is determined to live life on her own terms. I really enjoyed reading about Rafferty and Lissette, two vulnerable, lonely people who are perfect for each other. Brimming with tragedy, deafness, passion, complex, well-drawn characters, believable dialogue, ranch and family dynamics, romance and love, this story is one that you will remember long after the last page is read and the book is closed. In addition to the romance between Rafferty and Lissette, there is a budding romance between Claudia and her next door neighbor, widower Stewart. I highly recommend A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS. Do not miss it!

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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