on October 24th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Western, Holiday
It's Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped...
Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery's new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?
Thirteen years ago, Liam's boss at the winery offered him a bribe--leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn't good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he's back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together...
I know so many romance readers that adore stories that take place during the holiday season, but I have to admit I have never been one of them. I haven’t ever been able to pinpoint why these books don’t resonate for me like they seem to for so many other people, I just accept that I am odd and generally skip over them. So when I saw that the latest installment in Maisey Yates’s Copper Ridge series was titled Christmastime Cowboy, I was a little bummed. I had been waiting on Liam and Sabrina’s story since we saw Sabrina take off out of the bar after seeing Liam in Slow Born Cowboy so there was no way I was going to skip this installment but the fact it was a Christmas themed story meant I probably wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as I normally would have.
Since the Donnelly brothers landed on the scene it has been clear that Sabrina and Liam shared a history and I have been dying to know what it was. I assumed it would be something big like him taking her virginity and then taking off out-of-town or maybe if they had been in a relationship cheating on her given that even after 13 years even the sight of Liam seemed to send Sabrina into a tailspin. So when the situation was revealed in Christmastime Cowboy, I’ll admit it felt a little flat. It just didn’t feel momentous enough that at 30 years old Sabrina would still be so affected by the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that she would have been hurting at 17 years old and that seeing Liam would still sting a bit, but to be so affected that she couldn’t ever tolerate being in the same room as him seemed a bit extreme.
Seeing the glimpses into Liam’s past helps you understand who Liam is today and why he took the bribe that Jamison Leighton offered him at 20 to leave town. My heart broke for him when I realized that even after everything he had accomplished he was still that little boy who didn’t feel like he was enough. Even after everything he had accomplished and the time he had spent reuniting with his brothers he was still keeping everyone around him out believing he didn’t have anything to offer.
If I could have reached into the book to strangle Sabrina’s parents for all of the unnecessary hurt they had caused her for their own mistakes, I would have done it. They were so immature and so busy focusing on their situation that they had no compassion for a mistake that a 17-year-old girl made when they were making much bigger mistakes as adults. When Sabrina met with her father to finally put the past to bed, I wasn’t quite ready to let my grudge against him go even having a better understanding of his motivations where she was concerned.
The scene between Liam and Sabrina when she gave him her goodbye speech made my chest ache. Knowing Liam loved her but didn’t believe that he had anything to offer anyone unless is was money or something else outside of himself when all she wanted was him broke my heart.
Sabrina’s wit made for some very entertaining interactions between her and Liam. My favorites were when she told Liam he was protecting her from his “big bad penis” and when she said she only stuck her tongue in his mouth because it seemed polite.
I am happy to report that the holiday setting didn’t detract from the storyline at all in this instance. As a matter of fact, it seemed to be the perfect backdrop.