A Cowboy Christmas
Zebra, Oct 2009, $5.99
In 1894 in Maverick, Wyoming, Ellie Jo Cade arrives from Denver as the new cook at the Crown Seven Ranch. Her employer Reid Barclay thinks she is beautiful, but has doubts she belongs on an isolated ranch where he raises thoroughbreds.
His initial impression of her not belonging on a ranch proves correct when she burns everything she bakes. Ellie Jo wants to make the holiday season like those she remembered enjoying at one time in her life, but cannot adapt to the wood burning, make that food burning stove. As her employer tries to catch a horse thief, her uplifting spirit proves contagious as he and the cowhands appreciate her efforts although not her food. As Ellie and Reid fall in love; he must make it right with his foster brothers Trey and Dave as they agreed as youths to take care of each other at the Guardian Angel’s Orphan Asylum and she must reveal her secret and pray for a Yuletide miracle.
This is a terific Americana tale that will have readers believing they are on a Wyoming ranch in the late nineteenth century as one can smell and visualize Ellie Jo’s cooking fiascos. The story line is warm and uplifting but fast-paced with a strong lead couple and support cast. With a fine overarching mystery tied to upcoming other “Foster Brothers” cowboy romances, fans will enjoy spending some time celebrating A COWBOY CHRISTMAS.