Susan's Reviews > Baby, It's Christmas & Hold Me, Cowboy

Baby, It's Christmas & Hold Me, Cowboy by Susan Mallery
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2018-books-read, anthology, category-romance, romance

Baby, It's Christmas/Their Little Princess

Very good story of love, forgiveness, and letting go. Tanner is a confirmed bachelor, happy with fleeting relationships, until one of those women ended up pregnant. Though he initially agreed to give the baby up for adoption, by the time the baby was born he had changed his mind. Even though he knows nothing about babies, he's determined to keep his daughter.

I loved the encounter between Tanner and Kelly. As the doctor who delivered the baby, she knows about the adoption, so she is surprised when Tanner shows up at the hospital. Her low opinion of him undergoes a quick transformation as she sees his sincerity about raising his daughter. I loved watching him fumble around, trying to find the words to explain how he felt. His panic was pretty amusing as Kelly started to tell him what he needed to do, and his relief was clear when she offered to help.

I loved the development of the relationship between Tanner and Kelly. They quickly became friends, bonding over the care of little Lia. I liked the way that each of them grew comfortable enough to share the shadows in their lives. I ached for Tanner and his fears that he isn't capable of the commitment needed to be a good father. I liked the way that Kelly's support and confidence in him lessened those fears. Tanner's concern for Lia and what to tell her about her mother hits Kelly hard. She is still dealing with the guilty feelings of giving up her own daughter when she was a teenager. I loved how Tanner tried to show Kelly that she wasn't the selfish monster that she thinks she is. While all of this is going on, there is a growing attraction between Tanner and Kelly. Neither expects it, and they aren't quite sure what to do about it until it becomes impossible to resist. Their feelings for each other grew, but both of them had issues holding them back. In spite of his success, Tanner has some deep-seated esteem issues, causing him to believe that as a builder he isn't good enough for Kelly the doctor. Kelly believes that she doesn't really deserve to be happy and has been hiding from living life fully. It takes some heart-to-heart advice from those they love to open their eyes. I loved the advice that Tanner got from his brother, but what really got to me was the talk that Kelly had with her dad. I loved seeing Kelly go after what she wanted and Tanner's surprise when it was him. I loved the epilogue and seeing the family a few years down the line. There was a nice little surprise along with it.

There were quite a few emotional and heartwarming scenes throughout the book, as well as some that were laugh out loud funny. Tanner's introduction to his daughter was one that reminded me of when my daughter was born and her daddy held her for the first time. Kelly's devotion to her patients was incredible. She brought me to tears with the one emergency situation with the teenager and the talk they had afterward. I also laughed at the scenes where Tanner first dealt with the diaper and the baby shower was a riot. He was especially sweet and funny when he talked about buying Christmas presents for Lia.

Published as Baby, It's Christmas in November 2017

Hold Me, Cowboy

Good story of opposites attracting. Madison is a member of Copper Ridge's wealthiest family, but one who has been something of an outsider for the past ten years. At seventeen, she was seduced by a married instructor, but when the affair was discovered, she was blamed. Hurt, bitter and emotionally devastated, she has avoided any relationships since then, using a snarky attitude to keep people at a distance. But she's tired of her celibacy and has set up a weekend away with an acquaintance, one that she feels won't threaten her defensive walls. But a snowstorm keeps her partner away, and a power outage sends her to the cabin next door for help. To say she isn't happy at who opens the door would put it mildly.

Sam is the local farrier who has taken care of her family's horses for several years. He is also a talented metal sculptor who has come to the cabin as a retreat to decide what he's going to make next. Sam is gruff, grouchy and anti-social. He's carrying some baggage of his own from the past which has left him guilt-ridden and emotionally closed off. He, too, has avoided intimacy of any kind since it happened. Having Madison, who has been a thorn in his side for years, show up at his door is not the inspiration he was looking for. But he can't let her freeze, so he lets her in.

Sam and Maddy have been butting heads for years. He thinks she's a snob and she thinks he's just a jackass. But all that antagonism has been a cover for the attraction that both have been trying to deny. When Sam finds out about Maddy's plans for the weekend, he offers to fill in. A passion filled weekend will scratch their respective itches and they can go back to normal when they go home. However, things get much more intense than either expected, and within a few days of going home they decide they want to continue for a little longer. They give themselves permission to carry on until Christmas, and then they'll end it.

But a funny thing happens in the midst of all that window steaming togetherness. Sam's gruffness hides a pretty sensitive heart and Maddy finds herself opening up about the events behind her ten year dry spell. His lack of condemnation for her actions and his disgust with the instructor, go a long way toward healing the hurt that has been with her for so long. It also makes her far more willing to open herself up to the feelings that are growing for Sam. He has also begun experiencing feelings that he has closed off, but he's not at all happy about it. He tells Maddy about the tragedy that has made him the way he is, and is stunned that she doesn't feel the same disgust with him that he does. I ached for Maddy as she tells him how she feels and he does his best to drive her away. I loved seeing her admit that she's made her mistakes, but that she's through accepting all the blame. But getting Sam to see that he doesn't deserve the guilt he heaps on himself doesn't go as well. I cried for her unhappiness, as she is sure that Sam loves her, but can't get past his own pain. I loved seeing his brother Chase dish out the same medicine that Sam gave him, enabling Sam to finally see the truth. I loved the ending, with Sam and Maddy coming together, but also agreeing that love isn't going to turn them into a unicorns and rainbows kind of couple, that snark and sarcasm will always be a part of who they are.
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Reading Progress

December 1, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
December 1, 2017 – Shelved
Started Reading
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-books-read
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: anthology
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: category-romance
February 16, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
February 16, 2018 – Finished Reading

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