Title: The Cowgirl’s Christmas Wish
Author: Barbara Ankrum
Series: Canadays of Montana #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 24th Oct
Event planner Eve Canaday and her secret crush, Dr. Ben Tyler, are unexpectedly drafted to help a little girl fulfill her late mother’s wish—a magical Christmas to create some happy memories. Eve sees this opportunity as a sign; Ben, as a glitch in his plan to leave Marietta behind for good.
As the trio checks off the to-do list of Christmas fun, Ben’s ‘bah-humbug’ opinion of the holiday fades, along with ideas about keeping his distance from Eve. Getting involved is the last thing he wants to do but, alas, there’s no accounting for cosmic interference.
With the season of miracles upon this jewel of a town, will Eve find it’s possible that Christmas wishes aren’t only for little girls?
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
I came very close to not finishing this book. The reason that I stuck with it to the end is also the reason why this has 2 stars rather than 1 – because everything concerning little Lily and her father Malcolm is plain lovely. The Christmas wish list of her deceased mother is touching and wonderful and when they’re with her, both Ben and Eve are great to read about.
Sadly when it came to the romance, I could barely stand either of them. Their feelings for each other are unbelievably selfish and lead to some pretty childish behaviour.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Eve seems to believe she knows Ben better than he does himself. And everything he does is about her – which justifies her overreacting to every little thing. Ben is leaving because he doesn’t love her enough – except she’s never made any move to tell him how she feels, so he doesn’t even know he’s supposed to be in love with her. He could have asked anyone to help him with Lily, but he chose her which must mean something, right? Well, maybe if she hadn’t been the one to strong arm him into the good deed in the first place. Oh, and she had to beg him to go to the ball with her, which just shows how he can’t possibly care for her as much as she does for him, except she never actually asked him and made it a condition of her helping him with Lily and then overreacted when he didn’t whoop for joy at going to the ball when she already knows how much he hates Christmas.
Oh yes, and that hating Christmas thing clearly shows that he’s running away from his emotions. Just like he’s running away because he wants to leave Marietta and do something good in the world. But that’s so selfish of him because
Eve people need him in Marietta – and those isolated people in the jungle don’t. Because it’s all about Eve.
There were times when I just wanted to shake her and tell her to grow up – and don’t even get me started on her massive overreaction to what happens at the ball. No, it didn’t look good, but it didn’t look completely damning either. Stop pouting.
Not that Ben comes out of this well, because he doesn’t. He knows Eve is the type of woman to want forever, which is why he’s kept his distance. Now that he’s leaving, though, suddenly he thinks starting something is a great idea. No, it’s selfish and the way he accepts Eve’s wild claims about why he’s running away just shows that they deserve each other. I also don’t think much of him for reneging on his commitment right at the end. That was just the cherry on top of the disappointed cake.
So safe to say the romance didn’t work for me. Plus the idea that anyone who ever wants to leave their home town in order to do something good in the world must mean they’re running away from something really annoyed me. Which is a huge shame, because when this book isn’t about Eve and Ben it’s actually really good. The Christmas spirit of Marietta comes through strongly and the delight they bring to Lily is so lovely to read about. Throw in the reindeer and white feather and some parts of this book are actually really special. But sadly it is supposed to be about Eve and Ben, which led to an ending that left me annoyed and disappointed in equal measures. Bah humbug.
The Cowgirl’s Christmas Wish is out October 24th.
Visit Barbara Ankrum for more details.