REVIEW: Lacy Williams’ A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS, And For Eternity

Cowboy_For_ChristmasMiss Bates is always happy to salute Wendy the Superlibrarian; Wendy’s led Miss Bates into many a romance love and is responsible for her obsessive love of category romance. Miss B. made a mental note to read Lacy Williams after reading Wendy’s review of her first inspirational historical category romance, Marrying Miss Marshal, which languishes in Miss B’s TBR still. 😦 It wasn’t a wholehearted Wendy endorsement, but it stayed with her because, like Wendy, Miss B. was intrigued by a “marshal,” that is, law-enforcing Western heroine. Reading A Cowboy For Christmas, Miss B. doffs her Stetson to Wendy for recognizing Williams’ potential in that early review. Lacy Williams’ A Cowboy For Christmas captivated Miss Bates from start to finish. Set in Wyoming in December of 1900, Wiliams’ novel tells the redemptive, healing story of two people who’ve suffered plenty and are ready and deserving of human and divine succoring.

Heroine Daisy Richards, with her “empty pinned up sleeve,” after a terrible runaway-horses-and-wagon accident, though fragile, frightened, and angry-sad, finds a way, with the help and support of the eponymous cowboy-hero, Ricky White, to embrace a full life. She learns to be strong and laugh again. Ricky (again with that unfortunate choice of name for a hero; what’s wrong with Rick?), former gambler, drinker, brawler, and promiscuous, with a new-found faith in God’s redemptive power, excavates the goodness that has been in him all along by helping and loving Daisy. As Daisy gains in confidence and begins to return Ricky’s feelings, what she doesn’t know is that he’s implicated in her accident.  Continue reading

REVIEW: Donna Alward’s HER RANCHER RESCUER, Or Knight In A Stetson

Her Rancher RescuerMiss Bates anticipates, welcomes, and relishes a Donna Alward category romance.  Alward has given us some great romance fiction: Honeymoon With the Rancher, How A Cowboy Stole Her Heart, and The Rebel Rancher are among Miss Bates’s favourites.  (Indeed, How A Cowboy Stole Her Heart may be one of her favourite categories, akin to Sarah Mayberry’s She’s Got It Bad.)  Clean air, horses, complex characters, thorny, believable issues, deeply-felt love, desire, need, and burgeoning friendship between hero and heroine are a winning combination.  Thus, Miss Bates was eager to read Her Rancher Rescuer.  Miss Bates loves how Alward takes her characters, especially her heroes, and twists them up and spins them every which way in the name of love and the heroine.  She loves how her heroines are the stronger emotionally, grow to be self-assured and decisive, yet never lose their soft touch, or tenderness.  Though Her Rancher Rescuer did not grab Miss Bates immediately and there are reasons for that, it grew on her.  She liked it  … a lot.  It didn’t reduce her to a sniveling, Kleenex-sodden mess, as did How A Cowboy Stole Her Heart, but the heartstrings were pulled taut. Continue reading