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Sidelined with a major injury, steer wrestler Cort McGraw struggles to come to terms with the end of his career. Shanghaied by his sister and best friend, he finds himself on a run-down ranch with a worrisome, albeit gorgeous widow, and her silent, solemn son.
Five minutes after Cort McGraw lands on her doorstep, K.C. Peters fights to keep a promise she made to herself to stay away from single, eligible men. When her neighbor said he knew just the person to help work her ranch for the winter, she never expected the handsome, brawny former rodeo star to fill the position.
Ready to send him packing, her little boy has other plans…
Wrestlin’ Christmas is a sweet romance between an ex-rodeo steer wrestler and the young widow he’s tricked into helping out for the season. Only about the last quarter or so takes place at Christmas, so if you’re not quite ready for the holiday season yet, it eases you into it all slow-like. 😉
When the novel started, I wasn’t at all sure I was going to like Cort, or hero. Injured while on the rodeo circuit, he’s now living a bitter half-existence back on his family’s ranch where he parties hard every night and isn’t too terribly helpful around the ranch by day.
And then his family kicks him out, and he’s off to stay with his newly married best friend and former rodeo pal, Tate (hero of
The Christmas Cowboy
). Cort’s doing marginally better there–less drinking, anyway–until Tate promises his neighbor, widowed single mother K.C., Cort’s help on her ranch for the season.
Blindsided by the fact that the mysterious “Casey” is actually a beautiful woman and charmed by her young son Jacob, Cort isn’t at all sure he should stay on at the Hanging P Ranch. But soon his growing regard for his employer and her son has him trying to be a better version of himself…
Kaley is surprised by the hunky, brawny ranch hand that shows up at her door. Since her husband and father-in-law’s death in an accident, it’s been all she can do to keep the ranch afloat and try to homeschool Jacob, who hasn’t spoken since the accident. Her knowledge of ranching is limited, but she’s not convinced that having Cort around is the best idea either…
The romance between the two is slow to develop and very sweet, making it all worth the wait in the end when they finally get together for good. Jacob is adorable, especially when he gets together with Tate and Kenzie’s young son Gideon–those two really steal the show! There is a lovely Christmas-y ending and plenty of inspiration for Christmas crafting (I want Kaley’s craft room!) along the way. You hear just enough about Tate and Kenzie’s romance to spark an interest in the first book in the series as well.
There was a good deal of head hopping throughout the story, which sometimes made trying to follow who was thinking what a little dizzying. The big relationship crisis is caused by Kaley, and though I understand the reason behind it, it was an extreme overreaction to events which she then turned around pretty quickly. All’s well that ends well, though, and the very satisfying ending here makes up for any previous shortcomings.
A nice way to ease into the Christmas season!
Rating: 4 stars / B
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.