Natalie arrived at Lucas’ ranch earlier than she was supposed to. She and his housekeeper/cook Hazel planned a big welcome home for him. But then Hazel fell and nearly broke her hip, leaving Natalie at the ranch by herself to greet Lucas when he arrives two days earlier than expected. In the months after Drew’s death, Lucas helped her cope with the loss of her best friend. But there was one secret she never told Lucas. One drunken night with Drew, before he left for Kuwait on his last tour, had ended when they woke up in bed together. Nine months later, Natalie gave birth to Joshua. Upon first discovering she was pregnant, Natalie had been in denial, but afterward when she and Lucas grew close via internet, she did not know how to tell him. But she never expected him to take the news this badly. All she wants now is to take Joshua and leave. However, Hazel called from the hospital and begged her to stay while she recuperates for a month at her daughter’s home.
Agreeing to stay until Christmas, Natalie struggles with the desire she feels for Lucas as she begins to fall in love with him as well as the three older men at the ranch; Lucas’ father, his grandfather and a ranch hand. The men dote on the baby and become secret matchmakers, but they are not the only ones drawn to the baby. A whole assortment of local animals find their way onto the ranch and into the house to meet the newest arrival. Living in close quarters and working side by side, Lucas and Natalie soon give into the passion between them, as the town speculates about the couple and the identity of the baby’s father.
Meanwhile, Natalie is just a hair’s breadth from a catfight when Lucas’ self-absorbed ex-fiancée shows her claws. But Lucas also has a secret of his own. Will Natalie remain on the ranch after Christmas, or will Lucas lose the one woman he can imagine spending his life with?
A fun, heartwarming tale, THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY, the second book in author Carolyn Brown’s COWBOYS AND BRIDES series, is a witty, down-home contemporary romance that will keep you glued to the page to the very end. Although Lucas and Natalie have communicated via internet for almost a year, they have never dealt with each other in person. Seeing the baby whom she had kept secret, Lucas wonders what else she lied about. I enjoyed watching them adjust to each other and their feelings for one another in the daily life on the ranch. The older men were a delightful bonus in this story and their love for the baby was palpable. Additionally, the animals provide some hilarious moments and situations as they welcome new baby Joshua to the ranch. This has particular meaning since the Christmas holiday is fast approaching.
Packed with sexual chemistry, ranch life, secrets, grief, Christmas, matchmaking, motherhood, romance, love and new beginnings, this story is perfect for the holidays and all year long. Ms. Brown is one of my favorite authors and I am especially enjoying this series. In her stories, she brings her characters to vivid life and never disappoints as she provides delightful tales filled with plenty of spice, spunk and spirit. Why not pick up a copy of THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY and find out for yourself? I highly recommend it!