NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Cowboys are a different breed…
They work hard, play hard and love harder.
It’s all about the ride, until the right woman
makes them fall.
Cord Dixon, former bullrider and Mr. Laramie in the world of western clothing modeling, loses his job because he refuses to sleep with his boss. Christmas is coming and his bills are due, so he takes the only job he can find as a mall Santa.
Socialite wedding photographer, Hope Carlisle’s life disintegrates when she ruins the wedding of the year. Desperate, she takes the only job she can find at the local mall as the elf photographer for their Santa kiosk. Hope feels like she’s really hit rock bottom until she meets her sexy Santa and decides taking photos of him would be no hardship at all.
But then grumpy Old Saint Nick opens his mouth, the kids form a lynch mob to take them down, and Hope and Cord run from the mall for their lives. When they put their heads together to hatch a plan to save Christmas, will the magic of the season bond their hearts too?
Let’s take a trip to a ranch in Texas. I love how Becky puts us right into the feel of ranch life. As you read you can smell the hay and other things. But mostly the sweet, fresh country air.
Cole and Hope have last ditch jobs at the Mall, as Santa and his photographer elf. However her first day becomes their last when a screaming child’s antics pushes Cole beyond his limits.
Cole fires his agent, who is faithful to the client and blackballed Cole’s modeling career. With no career he decides to tuck tail and return home where he belongs.
Hope lost everything, her best friend, her fiancé, her inheritance and her family when her camera malfunctioned at a socialite’s wedding. The Mall elf job was to pay her rent, now she’s lost that too. Then she comes up with an idea that would save her career, boost her friend Tina’s company and launch Cole’s career again if he chooses.
With the ranch falling apart, his dad sick and his brother distant from his son, Cole’s return is like a slap in the face. Hope’s initial idea falls to the wayside, but she offers up another way to make everything right for her, Cole and his family.
This is a favorite scene as they work on cleaning the bunkhouse.
Standing on her tiptoes, Hope scrubbed at a cloudy spot on the window at the front of the bunkhouse while she admired the beautiful colors painting the sky as the sun faded behind the trees. A fly picked that opportune moment to buzz around her head. It landed on her forehead, and without thinking, Hope slapped at it with her soapy, gloved hand. Soap slid over her eyebrows and right into her eyes.
She gasped and squeezed them tight, flailing her hands and trying to figure out what to do. She couldn’t rub them, she only had on a tank top so there wasn’t enough material to wipe with, and she couldn’t see to go to the bathroom and wash them out.
“Help!” she shouted as she blindly tugged at the gloves while trying to get them off, but they were suctioned to her hands. She rubbed her face against her shoulder, hoping to hit the thin strap of the tank top.
“Hey—are you okay?” Cord shouted from the kitchen then she heard his boot heels tapping on the wooden plank floor she had just mopped a few minutes ago.
“Your boots are dirty!” she wailed, wiping at her eyes with the hem of her dirty tank top. “You’re gonna mess up the floor!”
“Oh, sorry!” His steps stopped. Hope heard him grunt and figured he must be pulling them off. One clattered on the floor then the other. She fanned her eyes with her gloved fingers then gave up to rub them with her fists. “Oh, man this burns.”
Cord stopped beside her to pull her arm away from her face. Hope couldn’t pry her eyes open. “What the hell did you do?” he demanded gruffly.
“I tried to swat a stupid fly and soap got in my eyes.”
“One second,” he said as he stepped back from her. The next second he was back. His warm fingers closed over her chin, and he gently dabbed at her eyes with a cool cloth, then wiped her face. Cord grabbed her hand to pull her across the floor toward the kitchen. “I think we’re gonna need more water. You probably have makeup in there too.”
Cord stopped at the sink and she heard running water. He swiped an even wetter rag over her eyes. Droplets of cold water streamed down her face and onto her chest. Her nipples hardened and Hope gasped. Cord’s hands stilled for a second then he started wiping again.
When the stinging in her eyes finally stopped, she grabbed his forearm to stop him and opened her eyes. Not two inches from her nose was his firmly muscled bare chest. Cord had evidently been using his shirt to wipe her face. Every tight ripple in his abdomen was on prime display. All the way down to the low slung waistband of his faded jeans. Her eyes followed the dark, thin happy trail bisecting his stomach until it ended there.
Water droplets scattered across the smooth skin of his chest, and Hope fought the urge to lean forward and lick them off. Her head even gravitated that way until she caught herself. Cord’s eyes darted to the front of her wet tank top then back to her eyes. He put his hand on the side of her face and his eyes met hers. “Burning stop?” he asked, his voice more gravelly than usual.
“Yes, thanks for saving me,” she said with a smile.
His thumb brushed over her lower lip, and the burning started elsewhere. His eyes followed his thumb as it made a second pass over her lip. Hope’s knees went weak and she put her hand on his shoulder. Cord put his hand over hers and pulled it off. Heat baked her face as she stepped back from him.
“Gloves,” he explained with a chuckle, his blue eyes shining. “I don’t want to get soap in my eyes too.” Cord took her hand and removed one glove then the other, and threw them in the sink before he gently put her hand back on his shoulder.
Their eyes met, and Hope held her breath. As his head lowered toward hers, his breath brushed her mouth before his lips met hers. The kiss was soft, sweet, and too fast for her to fully enjoy. A soft breath escaped Hope as he pulled back.
McGraw, Becky. Hope For Christmas (A Cowboy Way Novella) (Kindle Locations 729-763). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
From here things heat up in more ways than one, with family drama, and helpers from the rodeo, and Cole’s nephew Jeremy caught in the middle of things he doesn’t understand.
The only thing these two don’t see coming is the love that sneaks up on them.
A story of family and hardship and the love that binds them together whether they like it or not.
The Cowboy Way is one of my favorite series and this is the first book of the series Guaranteed to hook you!
5 Contented Purrs for Becky!
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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Becky McGraw writes happily-ever-afters with heat, heart and humor. A Jill of many trades, Becky knows just enough about a variety of subjects to make her contemporary cowboy and romantic suspense novels diverse and entertaining. She resides in Florida with her husband of thirty-plus years, is the mother of three and grandmother of one. Becky is a member of the RWA, Sisters in Crime and Novelists, Inc.