Where did you get book: Review copy
Release date: Out now.
Love comes home for the holidays in a brand-new McKettrick tale from New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
The sudden death of the town marshal leaves Blue River, Texas, without a lawman…and twenty-five-year-old Dara Rose Nolan without a husband. As winter approaches and her meager seamstress income dwindles, she has three options. Yet she won’t give up her two young daughters, refuses to join the fallen women of the Bitter Gulch Saloon and can’t fathom condemning herself to another loveless marriage. Unfortunately she must decide—soon—because there’s a new marshal in town, and she’s living under his roof.
With the heart of a cowboy, Clay McKettrick plans to start a ranch and finally settle down. He isn’t interested in uprooting Dara Rose and her children, but he is interested in giving her protection, friendship—and passion. And when they say “I do” to a marriage of convenience, the temporary lawman’s Christmas wish is to make Dara Rose his permanent wife…
*Blurb taken from author’s official website*
When I was offered a chance to take part in the blog tour, and review a copy of Linda Lael Miller’s latest I immediately said yes as I very much enjoyed the last Miller title I reviewed. I haven’t read previous books in the McKettrick series, so reading this book was a new set up for me. I think Linda Lael Miller is a very talented writer, and I did like the set up of A Lawman’s Christmas. Unfortunately, I found the story to be slow, and the romance between Clay and Dara Rose to be nearly non-existent, and it doesn’t happen until the end of the book.
Dara Rose had been leading a tough life before and after her last husband’s death, and with two young children, she has a constant worry and struggle about feeding them, clothing them, and simply surviving. So when her husband dies — who was the Marshall — the house they live in will soon go to the next Marshall of the town, the hero, and it leaves Dara Rose fraught with worry about where they are going to live with no money.
When Clay comes to town, he soon sums up the situation and kindly lets Dara Rose and the kids stay in the house for the time being. And it’s through that time that Clay develops feelings for Dara Rose and her two young children, Edwina and Harriet. Whilst the setting felt authentic to me, and Linda Lael Miller depicted the desperation Dara Rose was facing extremely well, I found the romance story to be barely featured, and unfortunately by the time they do get together, it was quite rushed.
I also had a problem with the two children, who are six and five years of age. I found their dialogue and behaviour to be that much older of their respective ages, and it brought me out of the story. I also found myself loosing any warmth towards Dara at the end of the book because of the way she rained on her kids parade when Clay bought them things as they were then married. And the marriage of convenience does not happen until 146 pages in which is a long time for nothing to happen in the story. And because the romance does not happen until the end of the book, there’s not much that I can say about Clay and Dara Rose’s relationship because there wasn’t much of one.
I really did like Clay’s character and I found him to be the strongest throughout the book, and the way he treated the young children was adorable. And honestly, sometimes I did wonder what did Clay see in Dara Rose because as the book got on further she wasn’t a bundle of joy at all.
All in all, it was a nice read that passes the time pleasantly but the romance left me wanting. I give A Lawman’s Christmas a C-
Thanks to Media Muscle, we have one copy of A Lawman’s Christmas to giveaway. Restricted to US only.
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