Jackson Stone will always be grateful to the Lamberts, who took him in when he was just a kid. But since the accident that killed his foster brother, Brock, he stays away from the family at Coffee Creek Ranch. Especially now that Brock’s former fiancée, Winnie Hays, is back in town with her little boy.
The simmering attraction between them may surprise Winnie, but Jackson fell for her at first sight years ago. Loyalty and guilt require he keep his distance…even as their feelings blossom into love. In the end, it’s his own conscience Jackson must master. But with the help of the Lamberts, can this Christmas be a time of healing and a new beginning?
I am in two minds about this review. The premise and the setting of Big Sky Christmas are right up my alley, and it was a perfectly enjoyable read. However, it just didn’t blow me away.
Winnie has returned to Coffee Creek with her infant son in tow. 18 months ago, she fled town after the wedding day death of her fiancé Brock. Having raised her son alone to this point, she moves back to run her café. After her return, she has to deal with the disapproval of Brock’s mother, Olive (a bitch on wheels for much of the book). She also has to deal with the discovery of hitherto unknown feelings for Jackson, Brock’s foster brother. Jackson has always had a thing for Winnie and now that she’s back, he is reminded of this. Now Jackson doesn’t believe himself to be worthy of Winnie because of his background and the fact that he was driving the day Brock died.
There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between Winnie and Jackson. One minute, it’s all ‘let’s see where this goes’ and next thing, ‘I’m not worthy’. That got to me after a while. This isn’t a hardcore dramatic romance, and Winnie and Jackson are very nice people, but I couldn’t help but think some of the drama was there purely to move the story along rather than being an integral part of the plot.
I must admit that I hadn’t read the first three in this series, Coffee Creek, and I am pretty big on reading a whole series. This time though, I can’t say I will be rushing out to get them – and that’s a little disappointing for me as I have enjoyed books like this in the past.
One thing I will say I enjoyed about Big Sky Christmas was the setting. There’s just something that always draws me to this kind of book. I think it’s the snow and cowboys. I live in suburban Melbourne, so anything that allows me to escape to somewhere different to my experience usually catches my eye. I’ve also got to say thank you to the author for not making it overwhelmingly Christmas-y!
Now, I am fully aware that not every book I read is going to rock my world. For some reason, however, I think there could have been more….something in this for me.
My rating: 2.5 out of 5
Release Date: 1 October 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Harlequin via NetGalley in return for an honest review.