cover image Christmas at the Ranch

Christmas at the Ranch

Anita Hughes. Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-81858-4

Hughes (A Magical New York Christmas) sparkles in this intricately plotted holiday romance. All introverted author Samantha Morgan wants for Christmas is to curl up in her Brooklyn apartment with her dog, Socks. Instead, her editor pressures her to accept an invitation to a house party being thrown by her publisher’s CEO, Arthur Wentworth, at Arthur’s ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyo. A nervous flyer, Samantha only gets through the trip with the help of another passenger, Drew, who distracts her with conversation and Kahlúa. Though she soon feels like she’s known him forever, she doesn’t think she’ll ever see Drew again once the plane lands—only to arrive at the Wentworths’ ranch and learn that Drew is Arthur’s son. Both Arthur and Drew’s fiancée, Beatrix, want Drew to return to Manhattan and take over the publishing company, while Drew wants to continue building schools in Thailand. Over the course of an emotional Christmas week, feelings develop between Drew and Samantha, even as Samantha strikes up an unlikely friendship with Beatrix—and encounters an important person from Drew’s past, who might jeopardize Samantha’s future with him. Hughes crafts characters readers will easily fall in love with and keeps the twists coming throughout this low-heat contemporary. The resulting exploration of unexpected love is sure to capture hearts. (Sept.)