Review of THE COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL by Judy Christenberry (see her website)
Harlequin Romance #3986, November 2007
When her parents are both killed in a car accident, Penny Bradford is devastated. Only the knowledge that her family ranch is in good hands, that her father's foreman will remain, keeps her going. But when she overhears the foreman claiming to have robbed her father and his plans to continue to rob her, Penny has to put even that certainty behind her. On a trusted neighbor's advice, she hires sexy cowboy Jake Larson both to serve as foreman and to train her to be a rancher. She never wants to be so dependent on anyone again.
Jake Larson is ready for the promotion to manager--it's something he's been working toward all his life. And he certainly doesn't mind working for a woman who makes his pulse pound. But Penny's lack of faith in anyone threatens to undermine his authority as new foreman and her insistence on keeping up with the men runs up against his protective instincts. What's worse, though, is when he's forced to touch her--as when he's training her to shoot. Because touching Penny leads to thoughts of kissing Penny--and more.
Author Judy Christenberry (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Christenberry) spins a sweet story of a woman forced to come to terms with tragedy and to grow beyond it. Penny intends to keep the ranch, but everything around the ranch, and especially every Christmas event, serves to remind her of her lost parents and the emptiness that remains of her life. After being betrayed by her former foreman, Penny has a hard time wanting ever to trust again. But there's only one way she can get past her parents' death and that's to start her own life--a life with a man she loves. Can she put aside her pain to grab her best chance at happiness, or will she cling to the ruins of the past? One thing is certain--a guy like Jake Larson won't be on the shelf forever.
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