Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy asks readers: Which is more important -- telling the truth or protecting loved ones? And, can a beautiful woman really be trusted? These themes of truth and trust dominate Connealy’s story of Elijah Walker and Annette Talbot. Running away from a couple with evil designs, Annette returns home to her father’s ranch only to find it deserted. She meets Elijah, a man whose past makes him cynical toward all women, and the result is a chaotic ride of strong emotions, dastardly plots, and lessons of learning to trust again.
With prods from his strong-willed mother, Elijah determines to help Annette survive on the Western frontier. She is running from more than he knows, however, and the details she leaves out only heighten his distrust. At the same time, Annette fears that telling the truth will bring more harm to those she cares about. Ultimately, they both must choose between trust and distrust, truth, and falsehood.
Through her humorous transitions and gentle pokes at gender differences, Mary Connealy keeps readers turning pages in an otherwise predictable plot. Some of the frustrations with each other that Annette and Elijah face are entertaining, but others may cause readers to pause and reflect on their own lives. Elijah’s struggle to trust Annette stands out, as does Annette’s battle to understand the Matthew 16:24 concept of bearing crosses for the Lord.
Although this is a fairly typical cowboy romance, the plot twists will keep readers interested. Connealy’s writing style is amusing, and she offers a satisfying story. Lovers of historical romances will especially enjoy this book. – Ruth Anne Burrell, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Get ready for a fun and suspenseful Christmastime romance. Trouble follows singer Annette Talbot to Wyoming—and rancher Elijah Walker finds himself directly in its path. Though still wounded by the betrayal of his ex-fiancée, Elijah finds himself attracted to the secretive singer. When it appears Annie is a threat to his mother’s life, Elijah must decide if Annie’s deep faith and love of God is genuine or if it’s all just a ruse. He decides to trust her—until he discovers she’s a wanted woman. As Christmas draws near, will Elijah respond to God’s gentle persuasion to find the truth before he loses Annie forever?