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Rocky Mountain Cowboys #1

Christmas at Cade Ranch

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James Cade has one priority: keep the family ranch running smoothly in the wake of his younger brother's death. With Jesse's ex, Sofia Gallardo, and her young son, Javi, stranded at Cade Ranch over Christmas, this task just got a lot harder. The longer Sofia and Javi stay, the harder it is to imagine the ranch without them. James couldn't save his brother from his inner demons, but he can give his nephew a secure future. Maybe more—if he can figure out how to trust Sofia, and stop feeling like he's betraying Jesse. Because trying to stop thinking about beautiful, determined Sofia is impossible.

384 pages, Paperback

Published November 7, 2017

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Karen Rock

42 books1,588 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 66 reviews
Profile Image for Katie (Hiding in the Pages).
2,839 reviews205 followers
November 6, 2017
Something about this book wrapped me right around its little finger and captured my heart. I typically read to escape and although this story had plenty of chances to do that, there are some hard matters to process. Karen Rock magically transported me right into the thick of things and allowed me to watch the characters change and develop. Their trials and pains were almost tangible and it was enlightening to work through things right along with them.

Single mom, Sofia, and her young son, Javi, are trying to get on their feet. Sofia has had a very rough life but to see where she is now gave me so much hope. Rock takes the reader through some tough situations and struggles, but it's not depressing; I have so much admiration for Sofia. As for Javi, that little kid stole my heart. He's precocious and hasn't had the best shot at life, despite Sofia's efforts, but all he wants is love and acceptance and the way he warms up to this family, eager to please, is so sweet that it's almost heart breaking. James is stern and precise, but this second chance even melts him like a snowman in the sun.

The emotion and triumphs are what I love best about this story. With a sweet and gentle romance blossoming in the wings, second chances at life and a family's love give the characters power to change prejudices and allow for stunning growth. Family really is everything and this whole family is fantastic, even with their flaws. I ran the gamut with my feelings and was enveloped in Carbondale, CO from the first page to the last. This is one series that I'm definitely watching out for.

Content: mild romance; very mild language; mild talk of drug use, death, violence.

*I received a copy, which had no influence on my thoughts and opinions.*
November 13, 2017
Oh my goodness, y’all. Keep those fans handy for this read! Even though the book’s setting may be cold and wintry, the romance generates plenty of heat all its own. I’m still not sure I’ve recovered from always-in-control James being felled by one woman with a fierce heart and her endearing little boy.

Javi is completely adorable – the boundless faith of a child slightly tempered by the harsh realities he’s already endured. And yet, that sweet little heart keeps loving unconditionally and wholly. Sofia and James have an instant chemistry hot enough to melt even the coldest of blizzards, but of course many obstacles stand in their way – not the least of which are their own fears. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this trio of characters and watching them navigate the plot together. Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed? The Cade family!! We got a small taste of their loyalty and close-knittedness (which I think is a word I just made up) in the prequel A Cowboy to Keep but this further exploration is just delightful! I can’t wait for you to meet them – and I can’t wait to watch the rest of their stories unfold.

This isn’t just a romance though. It’s a story about family – the one you’re born into and the one you collect as you go through life. It gives us permission to own our pasts, even the moments we’d rather forget but it’s also a reminder that we aren’t defined by them. Change takes courage and so does trust – and we see both represented in James and Sofia.

Bottom Line: Christmas at Cade Ranch by Karen Rock is a great read when the weather outside is cold and snowy – or even just when you wish it were! Kisses to make you melt, a sweet message of family and faith and restoration, and vivid characters who settle right into your heart… when you want a clean read that isn’t short on romance, it doesn’t get much better than this!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower
Profile Image for Karen Rock.
Author 42 books1,588 followers
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September 7, 2017
Hi, Friends!

Meet the Rocky Mountain cowboys: proud, loyal, independent ranchers who work hard, play harder and love forever. In my new Rocky Mountain Cowboys series, you'll follow the lives and loves of two feuding Colorado ranch families, the Cades and Lovelands. In Book One, Christmas at Cade Ranch, you're in for a heartwarming holiday romance that will touch your heart and get you in the holiday spirit. It involves James Cade, second oldest brother and Cade Ranch’s manager. James is fiercely protective of his family and takes his responsibility of keeping them safe from outside threats seriously, especially after they lost their youngest brother, Jesse to vicious murderers. He’s shocked to discover that Jesse had a child when the boy's beautiful, enigmatic mother arrives on his doorstep. He senses there’s more to Sofia’s story than she’s telling and he’s determined to uncover what she’s hiding in case her secrets threaten the peace of his still grieving family. What he doesn’t expect to discover are his strong feelings for a woman he regards as off-limits. Yet the magic of Christmas heals all wounds and brings this deserving couple the love and family they need. I hope you enjoy this sweet romance full of traditional, wholesome values that reinforce the importance of family and the power of love.
Profile Image for Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa).
2,182 reviews169 followers
November 8, 2017
It is early for me to be reading Christmas books. I usually don't like to start anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

This week I have had the good fortune to read three books centered around the Christmas Season and it has been wonderful. All three of them have had a central theme about second chances, helping out those who are less fortunate, and are generally about loving others. I need these themes in my life. I need the reminder about what the season is about, even if it is out of Holiday order.

Sofia is an amazing character. She has endured many hardships and overcome drug addiction. She keeps it together for her young son, Javi. He is the center of her world and she does all that she can for him. It is heartbreaking to think of a young mother with little to no income, on the brink of starvation, carving out a better life for her and her son.

The Cade's are a pretty incredible family. They were rocked by the death of Jesse, Javi's father. He was the son who they couldn't save from addiction. His older brother, James, has taken it upon himself to be the protector of the family. He doesn't want to see his mother hurt again, and that would include getting Sophia and Javi out of her life before they become attached.

As I stated above, this is a story about second chances. I also found the themes of redemption, second chances, and forgiveness in the book. This book can really be read at anytime, even though it centers on the Christmas Season. The messages that it contains are good for anytime and help me feel a little more thankful in the month of November.

Source: I received an electronic copy of the book from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Carole Jarvis.
793 reviews42 followers
November 14, 2017
Reviewed at The Power of Words: http://bit.ly/2AzdNVD

Christmas at Cade Ranch is my kind of story … filled with an atmospheric setting that you can see in your mind, serious real-life issues, dynamic romantic chemistry, and characters who experience healing restoration. It’s emotional, even raw at times, but beautifully uplifting. Romance is central to the story, yet there’s so much more depth and character development. Karen Rock has written an entertaining and powerful story that touches the heart. I haven’t read much from Harlequin’s Heartwarming series before now, but if Christmas at Cade Ranch is the norm, then I’m a fan.

One of the main themes is the importance of family – reflected in the loving, tightknit Cade family of James, and in the lack of love and approval in the dysfunctional family of Sofia’s growing up years. This story also reminds us that no family, no matter how caring and close knit, is shielded from the effects of drug addiction – and that no one should be defined by their past, but rather receive the grace of a second chance. Christmas at Cade Ranch is written from a biblical worldview, and actually has more Christian values than some of what passes for Christian fiction these days.

I loved James and Sofia so much and found them easy to relate to. There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing a character like James, totally inflexible with rules and daily schedules, thrown off track by unexpected feelings and attraction. And oh, how I admired Sofia’s courage and strength in overcoming her past mistakes and pouring everything into her son, Javi. In the beginning, James reminded Sofia “of who she was, not who she wanted to become.” I could understand both her desire to be accepted and believed in, and James’s desire to protect his family.

I thought the drug addiction theme was handled well, especially Sofia’s determination to succeed by herself, without the support of NA meetings. The first one she attended was one of my favorite scenes, as she questioned … “Wasn’t it far worse to wallow in ancient history than to simply let it go and step away, clean and free?” The romantic tension between James and Sofia is palpable, and the growing relationship between James and little Javi is beautiful to behold.

Readers will love James and Sofia, as well as the whole Cade family, and I eagerly await further stories in this series. I encourage you to add Christmas at Cade Ranch to your seasonal reads and get to know this appealing family.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Profile Image for Emily.
560 reviews38 followers
November 9, 2017
Sofia and her young son Javi have been struggling through life, since Sofia's past of drug addiction does not allow her to keep a steady job. They are getting ready to restart in a new city, but by chance the mother of Javi's deceased father invites the two of them to stay a few nights at her ranch. There, Sofia meets James Cade, Javi's uncle. Sofia and James hit it off immediately, but their reservations and flaws have the potential to keep them apart.

Christmas at Cade Ranch is a sweet Christmas story. Set on a ranch in contemporary times, it tells a cute romance between Sofia and James. I enjoyed it, and it reminded me a little bit of a Hallmark movie. It was sweet, showed the characters facing real struggles, and ended satisfyingly. 

One of the major themes is the impact of drug addiction. Sofia and Javi's father, Jesse, both struggled with it. Sofia stopped because of her son but it ultimately ended Jesse's life. Although Sofia quit doing drugs, but the temptation and the guilt continue to haunt her. But it doesn't only haunt her, either. She worries about her son's reaction and future in that context, and James doesn't seem willing to trust her as an individual until he is certain she is done with drugs for good. This portrayal of the impact of drugs was very telling for how drugs impact people in real life. 

I enjoyed Christmas at Cade Ranch, and I recommend it to fans of sweet, contemporary romance. 

I received a complementary copy of this book. All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for stating them. 
Profile Image for Sophie (Blogger).
156 reviews8 followers
November 14, 2017
Christmas At Cade Ranch is one of the first Christmas books I have read this year and with the winter coming nearer, it made me get excited about Christmas and the joy that the season brings. Although for Sofia, life haven't always been joyful with her own personal issues she is hoping to make changes for herself and her son, Javi.
The story starts out with Sofia and Javi having had some unexpected news although to Sofia she knew it would only be a matter of time before her past came back affecting her present once again. With Christmas drawing nearer, Sofia and Javi have the chance to escape their life and spend time at the Cade Ranch, with the family that holds a past linked to bad memories. Although Sofia is soon taken with James Cade, her son's uncle and the brother of the man who gave her, one of the best things in her life...her son.
Moving on from her issues proves harder than she originally thought due to having different focuses in her life now but maybe Sofia can find the happiness she needs to move on from her past and to a future that is full of joy and not heartache. She just needs to see that she deserves happiness and focus on her future and not the past.
Christmas At Cade Ranch is a truly inspiring story about a mother's journey and her wanting a better life for herself and her son, along with finding love along the way. I liked how the story drew on a topic, such as substance misuse which not many books draw upon as it is a sensitive subject. Although it is one of those things that is relevant in the world today and I am was really pleased to read this amazing story that can put it into a truly modern spin on a brilliantly written Christmas story.
Three Words
Magical, Romance and Hopeful.
Profile Image for Lola.
1,469 reviews242 followers
October 31, 2017
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

When I pick up a book by Karen Rock I know I am in for a good read. This book was no exception. It grabbed my attention with the first scene where we meet Sofia and her son Javi. It's a heartwarming book set around Christmas. It deals with a bunch of topics like dealing with the dead of a loved one, trusting and believing in yourself, addiction and single parenthood to name a few. Karen wrote a compelling novel that deals with some tough issues and also has some beautiful uplifting parts.

From the first scene I felt for Sofia, she had been through a lot. She had a difficult time growing up with a father who didn't support her or believe in her and she struggled with addiction and only got clean once she got her son. At the start of the book she meets the mother of her now dead ex and gets introduced to the rest of the Cade family. I liked how much she cared about her son. But my favorite part was probably seeing her change throughout this book and how she really grew into herself and found her way.

James is the main male character of this book. After the dead of his brother his family fell apart and the only way he can keep them together is with a strict schedule and control. I could relate to James at times and at other times wanted to shake some sense in him. He could be a bit too controlling at times, although it did came from a good place. he cared so much about others and did his best to make everyone happy he forgot about his own happiness at times. I liked seeing him warm up towards Sofia and Javi.

Besides the two main characters there is a rich cast of side characters, they were all easy to keep apart as Karen did a great job giving them all their own unique personality and I can't wait to get to know them all better once the series progresses. We also got to see Jack and Dani from the prequel novel, which was fun. I also liked how realistic the author wrote Javi, Sofia's son. He was so adorable and had that innocence of a child and that unique viewpoint only kids have. I liked how Karen captured his personality.

While this book is a romance novel, it's also so much more. We see Sofia blossom under the love and care of the Cade family, find her way in life and start believing in herself. I also liked her relationship with Joy, James's mother. We see how she still deals with the addiction and how she feels ashamed and still struggles with parts of her past. We see how she tries to be the best parent she can be to Javi and gives him all the love in the world. And then how nicely James fits into their family, but they both deal with guilt over Jessi and for a long time don't allow themselves to be together. We see how James tries to be less controlling and go with the flow at times and grow to care for both Sofia and Javi.

It's a very slow burn romance, which worked well for this book. There are a lot of other things going on as well. Karen weaves the multiple plot lines and side plot lines so neatly together and it all feels very natural. I did like the romance, there are some great scenes involving the two of them and I liked seeing them get to know each other better before it blossoms into more. It was very well done.

One thing I liked a bit less was the tad of drama toward the end, it just felt a bit off and I am not a fan of those type of scenes. The ending and resolution felt a tad rushed and I would've loved to see an epilogue as I like epilogues to wrap up a book like this. I also felt like some side plot lines didn't get wrapped up as neatly, but as this will be a series I hope they will simply continue into the next book.

To summarize: Christmas at Cade Ranch is a heartwarming novel about love, family and believing in yourself. It deals with some tough topics. The author manages to weave all the plot lines neatly together into a compelling story. I really enjoyed the book and I loved getting to know the various characters. The main characters were great, they both had their share of struggles and it was great seeing them find each other. The side characters were great too and I am looking forward to reading all of the other Cade siblings their stories! The romance was well done, it was a slow building romance with the character getting to know each other better before it turned into more. I wasn't a fan of the drama toward the end and the ending felt a bit rushed. All in all this was a great read and I am looking forward to the rest of this series.
Profile Image for Dale Rogers.
31 reviews3 followers
September 5, 2017
A former drug addict and single mother, Sophia is at her wit's end. Not only was Jesse, the father of her five-year-old son, killed in a drug-related incident two years earlier, but Sophia has been evicted from her apartment. Her only hope is that a move to Portland, Oregon will be a fresh beginning. But first, she needs to visit Carbondale, Colorado to fulfill the wishes of Jesse's mother, Joy, who desires to meet her only grandson.

What she doesn't count on, however, is losing her wallet before she arrives at Cade Ranch. But since Joy needs help around the house during the holidays, spending Christmas with the Cade clan seems a viable solution. Will the family accept her and Javi without Jesse? She's relieved that they seem to feel as if part of Jesse is still with them, since Javi is his son, but Sophia fears she does not hold the approval of James, the eldest of the grown Cade children.

Living on her own from an early age, Sophia is enthralled by the Cades' relationships with each other, and she hopes Javi will finally have the Christmas she's always wanted to give him. But she can't get past James' serious nature and what she perceives as suspicion on his part. This, along with an ancient feud the Cades have with the Lovelands--their less than stellar neighbors--complicates Javi's and Sophia's stay, wreaking havoc in her heart. 

As usual, Karen Rock keeps the reader engaged with her descriptive writing and realistic, no-holds-barred portrayal of circumstantial human behavior. She also offers possible avenues of resolution, making the reading of Christmas at Cade Ranch a meaningful learning experience as well as a gratifying journey.

Reviewed from an advanced copy.
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,932 reviews242 followers
November 9, 2017
Karen Rock is one of my favorite author in the Harlequin Heartwarming line. She is so good at telling me a story with characters I feel something for. I am loving this Cade family! I sure am glad this is a big family with plenty more stories to come.

Sofia is a single mother, struggling to take care of her boy. She's made some mistakes in her life, but ever since becoming a mother, nothing has been more important to her than her son, Javi. I loved Sofia. She is strong and determined and such a good mother. She fills Javi's life with love. I had such a growing respect throughout this book for Sofia because she did what was best for Javi even when it meant swallowing her pride and doing things that were hard for her. She has the heart of a mother.

James is Sofia's polar opposite in most ways. But one thing they share in common is love for their family. James is pushy and bossy. He is a stickler for rules because rules keep people safe. James and Sofia both both learn and grow throughout this book and that is always a satisfying journey as a reader.

If you are looking for a book to put you in the holiday spirit, this book has plenty of that as well. 'Tis the season for a good Christmas romance! I can't wait to get back to Cade Ranch with the next book.

Content: talk about drug addiction, death, mild swearing, kissing
Profile Image for T. Rosado.
1,666 reviews41 followers
November 6, 2017

4.5 STARS!!

An unforgettable story of brokenness, forgiveness, and healing.

After a prequel story in Cowboy to Keep, Christmas at Cade Ranch officially begins a series featuring the Cade family, their recovery from grief, and their hard-won journeys to happily-ever-after.  Although the Cade matriarch and siblings are all introduced and featured within this first book, the romantic focus is on eldest brother, James.  After the death of sibling Jesse Cade, the family is still dealing with their grief and guilt when Jesse's son and mother of his child are brought, unwittingly, into the Cade fold.  While James is leery and suspect of Sofia, the rest of the family embraces the positive changes she and her son, Javi, bring to the Christmas holiday and possible future.

Within the first three chapters of this book, my heart was continually breaking.  I know what to expect from Karen Rock's writing, but still the poignancy in her stories never fail to give me pause.  I knew from these first chapters that the HEA would be mightily welcome and well-deserved.  Impressed is the only way to express how I felt about the depiction of substance abuse.  Rock never gets too gritty, but she’s honest and didn’t shy away from the negative effects it brings to the abuser and their loved ones.  To temper the addiction storyline, there was the sweet and swoony romance between James and Sofia.  At times I wanted to throttle James with his blatant suspicions and hypervigilant scheduling, but the author flawlessly turned his character around until I fell for him myself.  My only insignificant critique was the seemingly implausible quick about-face of Sofia’s dad with his there-and-gone appearance.  Overall, a poignant, sweetly romantic and compulsively readable story by this author.  (This is my voluntary and honest review of an advanced copy of Christmas at Cade Ranch via Netgalley.)
Profile Image for Marcie Robinson.
306 reviews4 followers
October 15, 2017
“Christmas at Cade Ranch” by Karen Rock epitomizes the Harlequin Heartwarming brand. The story of James Cade and Sofia Gallardo will do more than touch your heart. It will have you looking at those who battled an addiction in a new light. And yet this story is also about family – the need to have one of your own and the need to protect the one you have.

Sofia Gallardo is a single mom to five-year-old Javi. She is struggling to survive and before setting off to a fresh start, she agrees to meet Joy Cade, mother to Jesse Cade, Javi’s deceased father. After Sofia’s wallet goes missing, Joy invites Sofia and Javi to Cade Ranch, where Sofia meets James Cade, Jesse’s brother. Though interest and attraction is immediate, Sofia and James are both dealing with guilt over Jesse’s death and what they believe is their part in it.

Sofia also struggles with self-worth. She is more than what people give her credit for. She just has to believe in herself, that she is the one in control of her life, of her happiness.
James is stubborn and set in his ways. He thinks by controlling everything is the best way to live.
Sofia and James learn these things about themselves through each other as they find themselves falling in love.

Ms. Rock has written a relevant story filled with emotions like love, trust, and forgiveness that not only are for us to feel for others, but for ourselves as well.
Profile Image for Lynn Brooks.
2,944 reviews30 followers
November 8, 2017
A heart wrenching story of love, forgiveness and redemption! Sometimes the hardest forgiveness to give is to yourself … and watching it occur is a beautiful thing. James carries a guilt no one else can understand … until he meets Sofia and learns of her own self-doubt. Apart they are haunted, but together they can see the strength in forgiving themselves and honoring Jesse’s memory the only way he would have wanted. This story delves into a touchy subject and brings us two very different sides of the picture. We learn the innocent family’s side and how it can tear them apart to have to doubt their loved one … and we learn the agitators side and how they hope and pray every day for answers that their body just isn’t willing to give them. A very powerful message … and a sweet story of coming out on the other side!

James Cade would do anything for his family, and when they are all blindsided by his little brother’s death, he steps up to take charge and keep them all afloat while their hearts are crumbling. When a surprise shows up at the ranch when they least expect it, he has to stay on guard and protect his family from whatever deceit may be hiding within … but as his heart starts to defrost and warm up to the interlopers, he might be in bigger trouble than he thought!

Sofia Gallardo only intended to make a quick stop through Carbondale, Colorado, but when she finds herself stranded at Cade Ranch with her son, she hesitantly accepts their help and hopes to give her son the best Christmas he’s ever had! Javi might no longer have his father, but letting him get to know his extended family might be the next best thing.
Profile Image for Kay Garrett.
369 reviews54 followers
October 5, 2017
Christmas at Cade Ranch by Karen Rock is not only an excellent Christmas story, it’s an awesome story any time of the year - period!

It has everything you want in a book – facing hardships head-on with life changing decisions that can affect your whole life, different family dynamics, human chemistry and developing relationships of which most aren’t perfect, love interests and a great story that keeps you wanting to keep reading to the very last page. Reading the last page you are already so anxious to read the next book that it’s hard to have to wait for it come out.

Karen Rock has definitely NOT disappointed my expectations in this book. She shows you that wishes are magic and they do come true! I can’t wait for the next installment in this series.
72 reviews15 followers
October 15, 2017
Another winner. I particularly liked the courageous and head on addressing of a major problem in this country and the forthright hand l ing of it.
The characters were real and affecting making this story relatable.
One is left knowing there is always hope and there are resources available to those who need it.
My review is not colored by receiving an ARC to read to review.
Read this book and enjoy it!
Profile Image for Laura.
263 reviews
November 5, 2017
Sofia wanted to give her son Javi a special Christmas. She was moving to Portland when she made a stop in Colorado. She lost her wallet with their last money and their bus tickets. They went to the grave of Javi's Dad, Jesse Cade. They met Jesse's Mom, Joy there. Joy let Sofia and Javi stay at her ranch until the wallet can be found. She also wanted to spend more time with her Grandson. James, Jesse's oldest brother, is suspicious of Sofia. He doesn't want his mother to be hurt. James fights the feelings of attraction he has for Sofia.
This is a touching story of healing and love. Jesse's death effected each person that loved him. Each one dealt with their grief differently. Some threw themselves into work and others hid away at home. Their journey to healing brings them closer together.
I enjoyed reading this book. I look forward to the next story in this series.
149 reviews
October 7, 2017
Karen Rock is a new author for me. I loved reading this book. It was very well written. I can't wait to start reading her other books
9 reviews23 followers
October 29, 2017
Karen Rock really hit it on the nose with this book. It drew my interest from page 1 until I finished this book. James Cade had been keeping his family ranch running smoothly even in the wake of his younger brother's death. His mom Joy had been checking into her late son's girlfriend Sofia & Jessie's son to find out if they were really family. When his mom brought Sofia & her son & therefore Joy's grandson Javi home, James was interested to find out if they were really family. From that point on there were a lot of up's & down's between him & Sofia, but he couldn't help feeling maybe she was the girl he was looking for all his life. I know if you are anything like me, you will love reading this book and it will make you feel warm and cozy inside.
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,220 reviews97 followers
November 8, 2017
This story certainly lives up to its heartwarming genre! It is a superbly crafted story dealing with emotive issues such as grief, trust, abuse and family relationships in a manner which brings the characters to vivid life in the imagination of the reader. Sofia Gallardo is a single Mum, doing her very best to raise her son after his father was murdered.

She had no plans to contact his family, but his Mother got in touch and convinced Sofia to let her meet both her and her grandson. She then connived to get Sofia to stay on the family ranch by offering her a job there - much to the chagrin of her child's Uncle, James Cade. He is initially reticent to trust Sofia and makes his feelings plain. However, as he gets to know her, he is in a real turmoil as he is attracted to Sofia but feels he will be betraying his younger brother's memory if he acts upon the attraction. Sofia is similarly conflicted. She's never experienced family life like the Cades take so much for granted. This is what she hopes her son will always experience but she's only supposed to be there for a limited time. As Christmas draws near, can the festive season bring new happiness and a fresh start for all those on the ranch, or will it be a distant memory, left behind forever?

The story is a real emotional roller coaster, with the characters coping with their grief and new circumstances in their individual ways. The author makes it easy to empathise with them all as they develop throughout the story. The dangers of addiction are sensitively dealt with in a manner that doesn't minimise their impact but does stress the importance of support to help sufferers endeavour to avoid succumbing again in future. Even the impact on child is portrayed brilliantly. This is he start of a new series and I have to say that this is an author I certainly want to read more of in future. I was impressed by how she brought all the characters to life, making it feel like I was there witnessing and sympathising events. This truly is a heartwarming romance and I have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who enjoys escaping into this story which has "home, family, community and love" at the heart of it.

I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Profile Image for Harlie Williams.
Author 2 books41 followers
November 15, 2017
What can I say? Another Karen Rock book that is a Harlequin Heartwarming and she hits it out the park for me. There is something about an author that can write emotional, at times raw, heartwarming romance like this and then funny young adult books. I couldn’t wait to dive into this book and dive I did.

This book is about addiction and the after effects that linger well past being clean. I wish I could have known Jesse Cade. Just listening to his mother and siblings, he sounded like a really good person. Even Sofia really couldn’t say a bad thing about him in the end. I’ve seen addiction in my own family. My brother still struggles every day with it so I could identify with the Cade family in that sense. I’m was glad that Sofia went to NA meetings. But it did bother me a bit that James was the one that told Javi about her.

There are a lot of issues that come to light throughout the book in regards to Jesse and how it greatly affected his entire family; not just Sofia and Javi. This is a family that will always grieve for Jesse but also needs to get some understanding of what he did and the why through Sofia. Sofia is a great character. I could see her strength when she didn’t; her ability to love even when she felt like she wasn’t lovable but more importantly, how she really was trying to be a better person and parent for Javi.

I didn’t like James in the beginning. Yes, I didn’t. Too controlling, at times self-righteous and basically a douche when it came to Sofia’s motives or lack thereof. When he finally started to warm to Javi, my heart melted a bit but it wasn’t until he realized that he was truly going to lose Sofia and Javi, that I fell for him. Stubborn man. Fiercely loyal to his family, it was almost like he resented Sofia for living instead of Jesse. Like I said, this book is very emotional, raw at times and deals with a lot of family issues. Sure there is a romance and it’s sweet but also swoon-worthy. It just takes a while for the true romance part to come to light. Not complaining. They had to work through it to get to that point.

I can’t wait to see what Ms. Rock has in store for the other Cades. I can’t wait to get an update on James, Javi, and Sofia. Plus, I must know about the feud and hopefully, Joy and Boyd will find some happiness in the end. Oops, I said too much.
Profile Image for Books and Spoons.
1,613 reviews28 followers
November 20, 2017
An emotional and heartfelt story about family, addiction, learning to accept yourself, and allowing yourself to be happy.
I love the author's voice. Her style of writing is so smooth, the story has a lovely, natural flow that pulls you in. The rich and variable plot holds the interest throughout, and I found the book hard to put down, as I was invested in the characters and their lives.
Sofia Gallardo has had a rough life but she is a survivor, and I admired her toughness, her ability to beat her addiction and hold herself clean while being a single mom working in a low-income, constantly changing jobs. The vulnerability, the past hurt, the raw and realistic emotions running through Sofia's mind went straight to my heart. I can't say I could relate to her or should I say know where she has been and understands her pain and situation, but the author paints a picture that shows the challenges clearly, points out the obstacles she has overcome and celebrates the victories she has achieved.
I really loved Sofia, and her son, and the kind of mom she was. The love between those two was palpable, I wanted to reach out and make everything better for them.
And I understand that this was the goal James Cade also had, but oh, I struggled with James. He is a bit too controlling, too adamant, too stubborn, too rude, too unforgiving, he was just too much for me. And I kept reading, hoping there would be redemption for him, that he would overcome his problems with control, and he would see the error of his ways. And yes, he is not completely blind to his overpowering ways to control and command everyone around him, but is it enough and was it too late?!
A story that smoothly blends together the sweetness and magic of Christmas, a family trying to hold it together after a tragedy, the raw and real struggles of addiction, and the Wonderwoman state of survival many single moms perform daily. A story that will touch your heart and makes you appreciate your blessings
~ Four Spoons
62 reviews1 follower
October 9, 2017
This book tells a story of addiction, loss, faith, trust, and forgiveness. Miraculously, it does so without foul language, sex. violence, or religion. It brings me back to the days when things weren’t added merely to reach specific demographics. I enjoyed this story so much. It was topical, and thought provoking. Despite the subject, it wasn’t a heavy read. It was instead loving and encouraging, with some laugh out loud humor.
The characters are well represented, well thought out, and stayed true to their selves. James’s family has suffered from his brother’s addiction, and will do anything to protect them from being hurt again. Joy understandably wants a relationship with her new-found grandson. And finally, we have Sofia, who is ashamed of her past, wanting to start fresh. The story line played this out naturally, without forcing a swift resolution. The dialog was good; not too wordy, no stereotyped speak, or trendy phrases.
I look forward to the next book of the series!
Profile Image for Jean.
459 reviews10 followers
October 25, 2017
This was a very moving story.
Sofia has overcome a lot in her life already. She is a single mother who is a recovering addict and who has no family support system at all. She is attempting to start fresh for herself and her son, but one meeting with her son's paternal grandmother, Joy, and a lost wallet ends up changing her plans for her.
Sofia and James were great characters, along with the whole Cade family, especially Joy. They are all battling their own demons from the past, but Sofia and her son Javi bring new life into the family.
This is a wonderful story about hope, second chances, forgiveness, and mostly believing in yourself. I could feel Sofia's pain and struggles as she tried to work through her own fears of relapsing while doing everything she could to be a good mother. I wanted to reach through the pages to hug her - she seemed so real to me.
Profile Image for Janice Sisemore.
1,458 reviews11 followers
November 6, 2017
Christmas at Cade Ranch

The book deals with how addiction can affect family. What a sweet boy Javi is. Love how Sofia cares for her son (Javi).and how she overcame addiction. Love the Cade family and looking forward to more in the series. I really loved Joy, who is the Grandmother of Javi and mother of the Cade clan. A lot of feeling to be deal with, learning to love again and forgiveness, mainly forgiveness of self. I love Karen Rock writing and I have to say this is one her best books. Sometimes a really special book is hard to write a review on, even if never dealt that close with addiction or someone that experienced it this book will touch your heart. I would love to give this book ten stars. I received the book from NetGalley and thru Prism book tours.
Profile Image for Beverly S.
217 reviews
October 27, 2017
A sweet tale of finding redemption. Sofia has had a hard knock life. She is raising her son Javi on her own. In her search for a new beginning her life takes slight detour to meet javi's grandmother Joy. Joy takes them both under her wings and brings them to Cade ranch where both Sofia and Javi blossom and grow. Sofia find her inner strength with the help of James who is Javi's uncle. In the same breath as Sofia and Javi grow to find a home with extended family James learns there is more to life. He finds his views on life are too set and Sofia and her son are the ones key to his true happiness.
Profile Image for Elizabeth H..
911 reviews72 followers
November 12, 2017
This story wasn’t about the love interest between James and Sofia, it’s about so much more. It’s about love of family, and one’s self. It’s about addiction and the long and difficult road to recovery. It’s about acceptance and finding the strength to forgive. It’s about finding the courage to claim the happiness you deserve, despite all the wrongs in your past. And it’s about second chances, giving them and receiving them.

I loved the story. I love meeting James, his wild and crazy siblings and his wonderful mom. Sofia and her son Javi are a wonderful addition to their lives and this story. Sofia is a true warrior. She’s fought indifference, abandonment, addiction, accusations and is still fighting for her son and her sobriety. Javi is a beautiful soul and such a loving child and I saw so many parallels between him and my own son.

CHRISTMAS AT CADE RANCH is a heartfelt holiday read full of family, love and forgiveness and I’d recommend it to any reader in search of the same.

***I voluntarily read a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own***
372 reviews2 followers
November 2, 2017
WOW!!! JUST WOW!!! This book deserves more than 5 stars. This book gives you all the feels. You must have at least 2 boxes of kleenex. There will be tears. I was a blubbering mess reading this book. Not only is it romantic, emtional, heartfelt, heartwarming, it will tear at your heartstrings. Especially Javi who is Sophia's son. Sophia had a hard life and is taking one day at a time and meets James which is oh, so sweet when the sparks fly. Karen Rock did an outstanding job giving us readers such a joyful story. I seriously highly recommend reading this book.
Profile Image for Therese Scacchi.
76 reviews8 followers
October 10, 2017
Awesome start to a new series!! Who can’t love a hard working, handsome cowboy? Sofia is a single mom who is also a recovering drug addict. When she arrives at the ranch with her son and meets James Cade, she knows that he doesn’t trust her because of her past. This is a beautiful story of two people who learn to love each other and trust each other. This is a great beginning to this series and I can’t wait to read more about this hard working Cade family.
Profile Image for Debbie.
118 reviews1 follower
October 11, 2017
If you are looking for a sweet, lighthearted book Christmas at Cade Ranch might not be the book for you. But, if you are looking for a warm, rich book with characters who feel real, with true life issues, than this may be just the ticket.

Sofia Gallardo is fighting a past that she is not too proud. She is a single mother, who is struggling with staying clean from a drug addiction on a daily basis. Will she finally believe that she deserves a better life?

James Cade has the weight of the world on his shoulder. His mother is merely going through life on auto pilot, and he is trying to hold the family ranch together after the deaths of his father and brother.

When the two worlds collide will they both crumble or will they meld into something better?

I received a copy of Christmas at Cade Ranch by Karen Rock from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Cathy Cermele.
688 reviews10 followers
January 4, 2018
I know that it's after Christmas and you may wonder why I'm posting this review now, well, I'm posting it now to say that loved this book! I loved each of the characters immediately.

Sofia and her young son, Javi are so sweet and they will touch your heart. She has made some mistakes and she's working to make a better life for the two of them. I could imagine the joy Javi felt when he meets his paternal grandmother, aunt and uncles.

The attraction between James and Sophia is instantaneous and delightful. The one thing that doesn't come immediately is trust, which is something that needs to be earned. This book is about forgiveness and second chances and the author writes the story beautifully.

This is the first book that I've read by Karen Rock, but it wont be the last. I adored the Cade family and am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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