Friday, November 28, 2014

Cowboys for Christmas - by Liz Talley, Kim Law, and Terri Osburn - A Book Review

Typically, I have always been leery of reading anthology books that are based in the same location and time period.  This book was a pleasant surprise.

Cowboys for Christmas is a compilation of 3 separate stories.  Three friends, Claire, Georgia, and Mary Catherine, have come together for Mary Catherine's wedding.  Each of these women will be faced with choices that are life altering.  

Claire has always felt love for Mary Catherine's brother, Tyler.  When they were teenagers, they had a drunken one night stand.  Each remembered the event but never faced it in the light of day.  Claire was over weight at that time and couldn't believe that Tyler would want to sleep with her except that he had taken part in a bet with his friends.  Tyler, always was attracted to Claire.  Her weight was never an issue.  When she left him after their time together, he never understood why she had gone.  Now, she is back in Holly Hills, Texas, and he is not about to let her get away again.  

Georgia is a volleyball coach at an ivy league school.  She left Holly Hills after to get away from her horrible childhood.  Growing up in poverty, she set goals for herself that did not include ever returning to Holly Hills.  Taking part in her friend's wedding, Georgia makes the journey back to Holly Hills and meets the local veterinarian.  The fireworks between these two start firing off right away.  Can this small town vet convince Georgia that she can find a new life in Holly Hills, despite the past?

Mary Catherine is getting married to a man she went to school with.  At a time when she should be glowing with happiness, Mary Catherine is miserable.  Her overbearing stepmom has taken over her wedding, turning it into a 3-ring circus that she hates.  Her stepmom has her convinced however that this spectacle is exactly what a young woman of her breeding should do, especially when marrying a young doctor.  As Mary Catherine slowly sees pieces of her life being chipped away from her by the expectations of her fiance and stepmom, Mary Catherine is falling apart.  What makes things worse is that she has never gotten over her first love who owns on the ranch next door.  As her wedding day draws near, she has to face the decision of whether to marry her fiance as planned, or take a chance on recapturing the past with her first love.

The three stories, while each could hold it's own separately, blend well together.  There is just enough overlap to tie them together yet enough original material in each to make the stories interesting.  One story in the set, Georgia's story, was a harder read for me.  While it followed the timeline of the stories really well, the writing was hard to stay with.  I found myself skipping ahead a few times to get through it.  Over all though, the stories worked together and I found myself enjoying the book for the most part.

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