cover image A True Cowboy Christmas

A True Cowboy Christmas

Caitlin Crews. St. Martin’s, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-29523-1

Widower and farmer Gray Everett, the hero of this joyful, sexy contemporary set in Longhorn Valley, Colo., decides he needs a practical, sensible, sweet wife who can handle daily farm life, and no one fits the bill better than his longtime neighbor, Abby Douglas. Thirty-year-old virgin Abby has pined after Gray since childhood, but she never thought Gray would give her a second look, let alone propose a marriage of convenience. Her self-esteem destroyed by her verbally abusive and unreliable mother, Abby takes up Gray on his offer. Gray’s fun-loving teenage daughter accepts their union with ease, and although Abby’s friends think she deserves better, they fully support the couple. As the two transition into married life, Gray struggles with realizing he’s falling for Abby, while Abby learns to value her own feelings. Crews hits the mark by concentrating on personal development and internal struggles, minimizing outside drama. The story flows smoothly, is loaded with charming characters, and is full of wit. These mature, thoughtful, caring protagonists will win the heart of any romance fan. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Nov.)