Wrestlin’ Christmas by Shanna Hatfield

Sidelined with a major injury, steer wrestler Cort McGraw struggles to come to terms with the end of his career. Shanghaied by his sister and best friend, he finds himself on a run-down ranch with a worrisome, albeit gorgeous widow, and her silent, solemn son.

Five minutes after Cort McGraw lands on her doorstep, K.C. Peters fights to keep a promise she made to herself to stay away from single, eligible men. When her neighbor said he knew just the person to help work her ranch for the winter, she never expected the handsome, brawny former rodeo star to fill the position.

Ready to send him packing, her little boy has other plans…

Titles in the Rodeo Romance series include:  The Christmas CowboyWrestlin’ Christmas – Capturing Christmas – Barreling Through Christmas – Chasing Christmas –

Title:  Wrestlin’ Christmas
Series:  Rodeo Romance
Author:  Shanna Hatfield
Published:  September 2, 2014
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Everyone deals with disappointment and anger differently.  For Cort having to step away from the rodeo career that defined him was a difficult blow and he didn’t handle it well, at all.  He ended up turning to a liquor bottle to get through the anger, and if his family hadn’t intervened, well, he’d probably be dead in an accident while drunk – or caused one himself.  Although he couldn’t see it at the time his parent’s decision to kick him out of their home where he was doing nothing but brooding and getting wiped out drunk every night was the best thing that had happened to him – right up until he stood on the porch of a young widow and her silent son.  That was the best day of his life, the day he began living again… without a bottle as a crutch.

Kaley has had a difficult life, there is no way to sugar coat the mistakes she’s made, and the life she chose for herself when a teen.  Now she’s a widow with a ranch to run and a sweet little boy who hasn’t spoken a word since the accident that killed his father and grandfather.  She doesn’t have the time for a handsome cowboy in her life.  And if truth be told she doesn’t have the self-confidence to believe in his attraction for her.

Cort knew the moment he met Kaley that she was it for him.  Jacob, her five year old son was simply icing on the cake that made up this little family that he wanted as his own.  He’d slowly worn Kaley down, gotten her to go out on a date, maybe even gotten her to start thinking of a future with him – until one event spooked Kaley so badly that she put the brakes on anything between them… ever.  Cort knows that he’s never going to love another woman, and if Kaley really cannot get past a one time event and see what she’s tossing away, well then he’ll leave because he cannot stand by and watch what might have been destroy them both.

Wrestlin’ Christmas was an easy story to fall into, with believable characters in situations that felt natural, even when they hurt.  In this second story in the Rodeo Romance series we’re a couple years beyond Tate and Kenzie’s romance in The Christmas Cowboy, and it was certainly a treat to see their lives now.  It hurt to watch Kaley go through such pain and turmoil when she was pushing Cort away.  I can’t say that I’d react the same way, but everyone reacts to situations differently.  But it was an emotional, and heartwarming story that I enjoyed very much – especially the way it ended.

If you love cowboys of any age, a really good story and believable characters then this Christmas Romance is one you’ll want to check out.  I happen to enjoy series that pick up again each holiday season, so this is a group of stories that will not only give us a happy couple but a look back at past couples as well.

I read this title through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Available for the Kindle

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