Cowboy Christmas Redemption by Maisey Yates
Reviewed by Ginny
**I received an advanced readers copy in return for a free and honest review. We’d like to thank Harlequin and Maisey for the opportunity**
What I drank prior: buckle up kiddos because boy do Inhave a review for you. I went to one of my favorite restaurants, had a beer, and went home to have a delightful glass ofnwine before I introduce you to the confusion that was this book
Cowboy Caleb Dalton has loved single mom Ellie Bell, and her little daughter, Amelia, for years. But since Ellie is his best friend’s widow, Caleb’s head knows Ellie will always be strictly off-limits. If only his heart got the memo. So when Caleb discovers that Ellie has a Christmas wish list—and hopes for a kiss under the mistletoe—he’s throwing his cowboy hat into the ring. If anyone’s going to be kissing Ellie and sharing this magical time with her and her daughter, it’s him.
Ellie has dreaded the holidays since losing her husband. But this year, she’s finally ready to make some changes. She never expects the biggest change to be the heart-stopping kiss she shares with Caleb. For almost five years, Caleb has been her best friend, her rock, her salvation. This Christmas, can Caleb prove he’s also the missing puzzle piece of Ellie’s and Amelia’s hearts?
Drunk Overview: okay, very short summary. Ellies husband Clint died befor their daughter was born and hia best friend Caleb helped the family along, except Caleb always held a torch for Ellie and loves the daughter Amelia. Then Ellie asks Caleb to bang her for… closure?
Spoiler-free Thoughts: got plenty
- This book does not have normal christmas book vibes. If youre looking for something cute and light please run the fuck away.
- Thia book has some incredibly realistic and beautiful descriptions of how people cope with trauma and grief. Even beyond Clint’s death all these people have dealt with some shit and it shapes them as people
- That being said, I hace opinions
- Starting with the fact that holy shit does this relationship seem unhealthy
- Dont get me wrong, oitside of the bedroom its a relationship I really like
- But once they stary getting down and dirty I felt the need to sit both of them down and be like “you know sex can be both passionate AND fun, right?”
- You shouldnt be miserable
- Like, love sucks sometimes but you shouldn’t feel like youre going to fall apart because your partner is so intense at all times.
This book has a lot going for it. A cast of characters that feels unique in a way that a lot of romances dont. A way about coming at problems from a relatively unique perspective. A couple that had a surprisingly healthy way of dealing with their trauma, that discusses things in healthy ways.
But all that seems to fly out the window as soon as theyre the least bit horny.
Back to the funny stuff: Ellie has got to work on her list because thise 5 items frankly could have used a bit of word smithing and more imagination.
Characters: like I said the trauma and grief is real. Not just with Ellie and Cakeb but pretty much every character. The matriarch and patriarch of the Dalton fam are going through some shit. And so are the siblings in their various ways. These characters are full of life and motivations. Its really quite impressive (considering this is coearly part of a series and I didnt read the earlier book(s) and everyone still made sense and had their personalities). The daughter did at times feel like a character who was there to check a box, but she was really the only one
Plot: not too much to say here. Its people trying to make changes to their lives after living through what is functionally a catastrophe.
Writing Style: I have a bit of a problem writing here. I received and ARC and read it on the kindle app on mh phone and had some formatting issues. Sentences ended up having some weird breaks so portions of the book (i.e. dialogue and inner monologues from the beginning and end) felt stilted. I cant tell if it was the formatting or my writing. The scenes with the open heartfelt conversations tended to flow really well.
What to pair it with: Man this is surprisngly difficult. This book didnt follow the hallmark trope of having everyone drink the same holiday beverage so I have to be at least a little bit clever… a shot of whiskey. It burns all the way down, hits you hard, and oftentimes isnt healthy for you.
Rating: this is also very hard. The book itself had some beauty to it. But it also had a lot I was unsure of… I just cant get past how uncomfotable their phsyical relationshio made me. 2.5/5shots
Author Bio: New York Times Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.