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A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas

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It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love… Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has fo It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love… Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs… With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart? Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!


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It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love… Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has fo It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love… Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs… With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart? Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!

30 review for A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    With Christmas trees popping up at stores around town and the Hallmark Channel promoting their Christmas movie lineup, I couldn't say no to a holiday-themed new release. Yes, I know it's not even Halloween yet. What can I say? I'm susceptible to holiday cheer. A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas is the fourth installment in Maisey Yates's western romance series titled Gold Valley. I read it out of order as a standlone with no issue. It features a lonely heroine looking towards a hopeful future and a c With Christmas trees popping up at stores around town and the Hallmark Channel promoting their Christmas movie lineup, I couldn't say no to a holiday-themed new release. Yes, I know it's not even Halloween yet. What can I say? I'm susceptible to holiday cheer. A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas is the fourth installment in Maisey Yates's western romance series titled Gold Valley. I read it out of order as a standlone with no issue. It features a lonely heroine looking towards a hopeful future and a cowboy hero who can't move on from his past. The complexity of these characters, especially the male lead, was impressive with realistic attitudes towards the issues they each are dealing with. With themes related to abandonment, grief, and giving life and love a second chance, this was an emotional and engaging reading experience. Maisey Yates is a new-to-me author and to say I am excited to finally discover her is quite the understatement. I am 100% in sync with her writing style. Super sweet and sexy with an unexpected amount of character development. Who knew I liked cowboy romances? I like hers at least. Check it out! My favorite quote: "It was just that life had teeth wherever you were at and it didn't hesitate to bite you in the ass when the opportunity came up." Maisey Yates's Gold Valley series includes the following installments as of October 2018: 0.5-Cowboy Christmas Blues 1-Smooth-Talking Cowboy 1.5-Mail Order Cowboy 2-Untamed Cowboy 2.5-Hard Riding Cowboy 3-Good Time Cowboy 3.5-Snowed in with the Cowboy 4-A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas 5-Unbroken Cowboy (not yet released) 6-Cowboy to the Core (not yet released)

  2. 4 out of 5

    *Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com A TALL, DARK COWBOY CHRISTMAS (A Gold Valley Novel #4) by Maisey Yates is a contemporary holiday romance. This is an addition to the Gold Valley series and does have many characters crossing over from previous books in the series. The H/h romance can be read as a standalone, but I feel some of the backstory and character interactions are better understood if you have read this series in order. McKenna Tate was given away by her moth Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com A TALL, DARK COWBOY CHRISTMAS (A Gold Valley Novel #4) by Maisey Yates is a contemporary holiday romance. This is an addition to the Gold Valley series and does have many characters crossing over from previous books in the series. The H/h romance can be read as a standalone, but I feel some of the backstory and character interactions are better understood if you have read this series in order. McKenna Tate was given away by her mother and put into foster care at the age of two. At age eighteen, she received paperwork that could lead her to her birth father, a famous rodeo cowboy and his family in Gold Valley. After eight years of having no one to care about her, with only a suitcase to her name, she ends up in Gold Valley broke and sleeping in an abandoned cabin. She has to figure out a way to approach her father because all she has ever dreamed of is belonging to a family and having someone care about her. Grant Dodge has been existing, but not living for the last eight years since his wife died. He hates the pity in all of the townspeople’s eyes, but he cannot leave his responsibilities at his family’s dude ranch. He is shocked when he finds a woman sleeping in the abandoned cabin on the ranch’s property. His brother hires McKenna and there is something about her prickly and tough exterior that begins to break through Grant’s protective shell. They agree to a no-strings attached fling. McKenna wants the Christmas miracle of a family that cares for her and just maybe a man who loves her, too because she stills believes in hope. Grant believes he has no more emotion left for a new relationship, but he also does not want to give up McKenna. Can these two find what they want and need in each other or will their pasts overshadow their future? I loved McKenna and her never ending hope, but she also would not be taken advantage of or walked all over. Grant was a great foil to her with his loss of hope. All of the family and friends made the story feel realistic because of their own situations going on around the H/h. The sex scenes were explicit, hot and appropriate to the story. I did have a problem with how many times the author returned to McKenna’s and Grant’s backstories. There was a continual repeat of the same internal angst and it got to be a bit repetitive and I felt unnecessary. The unexpected love, hope and letting go of the past are what made this an enjoyable holiday read. Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    3.5 Stars I’ve been waiting for Grant’s story for some time. I always felt bad for the sullen cowboy who married and lost his high school sweetheart, but that’s exactly the kind of feelings of pity Grant hated. Mckenna comes along and doesn’t know anything about his past, and she’s got her own sad story and troubles to deal with. Kindness on the part of Dodges is unexpected as McKenna has never experiencing a big loving family. McKenna yearns to fit in, belong, and be loved. Yet, it’s the brusque 3.5 Stars I’ve been waiting for Grant’s story for some time. I always felt bad for the sullen cowboy who married and lost his high school sweetheart, but that’s exactly the kind of feelings of pity Grant hated. Mckenna comes along and doesn’t know anything about his past, and she’s got her own sad story and troubles to deal with. Kindness on the part of Dodges is unexpected as McKenna has never experiencing a big loving family. McKenna yearns to fit in, belong, and be loved. Yet, it’s the brusque, sexy Grant that captures her heart. She can tell he cares even if he doesn’t want to, and they start forming a close friendship. Of course, when Grant feels it getting too close he pulls away, but never for very long. Maisey Yates writes emotional and complex romances, she gets to the heart of her characters and makes me feel for them every time! My heart went out to Grant, but he frustrated me a bit too. McKenna made him happy and then he’d push her away, obviously afraid of another emotional commitment that had the potential to hurt him again. McKenna was very honest with her feelings, and I felt like she let Grant off a little too easily sometimes, but maybe that’s what he needed. Still, I enjoyed their romance and was tickled that McKenna got her heart’s desire in so many ways. I look forward to Bea and Dane’s story! Bea is such a sweetheart! All I have to say Dane better be good to her! A copy was kindly provided by Harelquin via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Completely engaging, emotionally invested in the outcome, I couldn't help but love A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas. Yates crafted an emotionally jarring tale of two people deeply scarred by life circumstances...but they still manage to have hope for the future. I loved how they managed to heal each other without all this unnecessary angst but focusing on change, making their lives better and not settling for anything less. A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas will put you through the gambit of emotions and Completely engaging, emotionally invested in the outcome, I couldn't help but love A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas. Yates crafted an emotionally jarring tale of two people deeply scarred by life circumstances...but they still manage to have hope for the future. I loved how they managed to heal each other without all this unnecessary angst but focusing on change, making their lives better and not settling for anything less. A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas will put you through the gambit of emotions and leaving you wanting more when it ends. I received this ARC copy of A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas from HARLEQUIN - Romance (U.S. & Canada) - HQN. This is my honest and voluntary review. A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas is set for publication 25 Sept 2018. My Rating: 5 stars Written by Maisey Yates Series: A Gold Valley Novel Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages Publisher: HQN Publication Date: September 25, 2018 ISBN-10: 1335474625 ISBN-13: 978-1335474629 Genre: Holiday Romance Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tall-Cowboy-Ch... Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-ta... Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-ta... Want more check us out on Tome Tender Book Blog or on Facebook

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    I'm going to begin with the ending and say that this epilogue was one of the sweetest ! The gift and the note melt my heart and had me turning to goo ! I can't help but say this again and again and again, the feelings... Maisey Yates is one of the most skillful with it, in my opinion. Grant Dodge knows how reality can slap you in the face and that life can be a cruel bitch. Years ago, at a young age, he lost the two most important women in his life; his mother and his wife. Not at the same time, I'm going to begin with the ending and say that this epilogue was one of the sweetest ! The gift and the note melt my heart and had me turning to goo ! I can't help but say this again and again and again, the feelings... Maisey Yates is one of the most skillful with it, in my opinion. Grant Dodge knows how reality can slap you in the face and that life can be a cruel bitch. Years ago, at a young age, he lost the two most important women in his life; his mother and his wife. Not at the same time, but it wasn't less painful for that. He thinks he doesn't have any love left to give, but maybe the real question is, is he ready to receive it ? Dismissed at 18 from her last foster home, McKenna Tate has led a solitary life where she never belonged anywhere and never connected with anyone. Not quite a decade later, she come to Gold Valley to search for a man that could be her father. But when her truck break down and she run out of money before she could find a job, she look for shelter in an abandoned cabin. A cabin on Get Out of Dodge's property and it's just her luck than Grant couldn't sleep that night, went for a walk and found her asleep. Or could it be that her luck finally turned ? McKenna doesn't know Grant's story. That he became semi-famous for marrying his terminally ill high school sweetheart. She never had a cowboy fantasy before, but there's something about this one that she can't help but like, even if he's not quite rude, but not friendly either. Assigned to train McKenna on the dude ranch's chores by his brother and sister-in-law who hired her, Grant doesn't want an emotional connection and try to push her away, but he wants to be and be seen as more than just a tragic widower and McKenna might be the only woman who can make him feel like he yearn for. Like I always do every time I open a Maisey Yates' book, I was sucked into an emotional tale. The story of a hurting man who was only surviving and a down-on-her-luck woman who never surrender and kept fighting, no matter what life threw at her, and the beautiful romance of these two souls finding each other. This author excel in showing that love is not an easy thing, it's deep and sometimes too raw, but there's not a truer feeling than that. "This feeling was new. And it wasn't... Easy. It was sharp and hard, it was too much. But it was certain. The most certain thing she had ever felt." The Anne of Green Gables' references made me smile and I love that we were introduced to what I'm sure will be some next heroes, but I'm glad that Bea and Dane's story is next :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I’ve been waiting for Grant’s story since the first mention of his background. I love love loved McKenna. She’s had an interesting life and maintained hope the entire time. I enjoyed her tenacity and strength. Grant was just as stoic as I was expecting, but he’s also a bit of a gooey marshmallow. I loved seeing McKenna push his buttons and while their chemistry wasn’t super apparent to me, I was there for it. Plot wise, it did get a bit slow at points. There’s a lot more inner monologue than the I’ve been waiting for Grant’s story since the first mention of his background. I love love loved McKenna. She’s had an interesting life and maintained hope the entire time. I enjoyed her tenacity and strength. Grant was just as stoic as I was expecting, but he’s also a bit of a gooey marshmallow. I loved seeing McKenna push his buttons and while their chemistry wasn’t super apparent to me, I was there for it. Plot wise, it did get a bit slow at points. There’s a lot more inner monologue than there is dialogue. However, I loved seeing all of the other couples and the set up for the next story. Overall, it was definitely worth the wait. I can’t wait for Bea’s book. **Huge thanks to HQN for providing the arc free of charge**

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anna's Herding Cats

    Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup. (posting 12/11/18) Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MjYMN4 Christmas and grumbly cowboys? Yes, please! lol A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas was a heart touching romance that had me wiping away some pesky tears, laughing, and rooting for two damaged yet strong individuals. The Gist: Grant's found a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his property. Turns out she's homeless and a bit prickly. Suits him just fine since he's a bit of an asshole, too. Might be they'r Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup. (posting 12/11/18) Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MjYMN4 Christmas and grumbly cowboys? Yes, please! lol A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas was a heart touching romance that had me wiping away some pesky tears, laughing, and rooting for two damaged yet strong individuals. The Gist: Grant's found a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his property. Turns out she's homeless and a bit prickly. Suits him just fine since he's a bit of an asshole, too. Might be they're exactly what the other needs to soften some of those sharp edges. Both Grant and McKenna pulled at my heart. Life has treated both pretty harshly --he married his childhood sweetheart who was dying of cancer and McKenna was abandoned to foster care and wound up homeless. They've distanced themselves from other people just trying to survive each day but goodness they both have a strength to them that goes soul deep. It was hard not to fall for them completely as they started to get their lives together and deal with all their past pains. Their romance was herky jerky since both are dealing with so dang much on the emotional front. And, well, since they're both prickly as hell. But I enjoyed it. And watching them both find what they really needed even if they didn't expect it. Home, love, a second chance. Things heat up nicely, too with a couple of added surprises. All in all, A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas was Christmasy goodness.

  8. 4 out of 5

    GONZA

    I liked this book even if it is far from being the usual cowboy love story. I liked the characters and the deep scars they had, it made for much more drama and my day also! Questo libro mi é piaciuto pur essendo lontano anni luce dal cliche che vede i cowboy nei libri d'amore come maschi alfa dominanti, le cicatrici emotive dei personaggi hanno contribuito al dramma, che ha reso il libro migliore ai miei occhi. THANKS NETGALLEY FOR THE PREVIEW!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Brunson

    “It’s amazing how two broken people can fix each other.” I’m torn in the middle on this one guys! While it did have a main character and aspects that I loved, Grant is the reason why I couldn’t love it. I know, I know. Honestly, I did it to myself. I read a topic that I don’t normally like (widowed) because I love the Dodge family so much. Mckenna Y’all, I loved her so damn much! Even with everything that she went through, this girl had the biggest heart. She was smart and knew what she wanted. “It’s amazing how two broken people can fix each other.” I’m torn in the middle on this one guys! While it did have a main character and aspects that I loved, Grant is the reason why I couldn’t love it. I know, I know. Honestly, I did it to myself. I read a topic that I don’t normally like (widowed) because I love the Dodge family so much. Mckenna Y’all, I loved her so damn much! Even with everything that she went through, this girl had the biggest heart. She was smart and knew what she wanted. The thing I loved the most about her is that she wouldn’t take less than she deserved. From anyone, even Grant. “If she could love, after all this time, if she could want something other than the small, attempted cynicism she had tried to make for herself and call it a life, then why couldn’t he change, too?” Grant. Oh, Grant. When I heard that the next book in the series would be about Grant I was excited. His story was more on the A Walk to Remember side.  He's known in town as the guy who married his girlfriend at 18 even knowing that she was going to die. I needed to know his backstory and about the man, he became to be. However, we meet Grant YEARS after his wife died. He was really getting to me with the amount that he pulled Mckenna in only to push her away again. Ya’ll this was bothering me so much. Don’t do one thing and then another and expect someone to be there when you decided to get your crap together! I get where he was coming from, but it seemed like he was set on being miserable! We did get a lot of inner monologue than dialogue here and that made the book feel a little slow at times to me. I did like the message of the book as a whole. No matter your past, you can’t give up on your future. You never know what’s around the corner. Next up is Bea’s story, and to say I’m excited is an understatement! Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beth ~ Panda & Boodle

    She wasn’t sure if they locked together in place perfectly, or if they could ever be fully healed. But at least they weren’t alone in being broken. Their pieces were all mixed together, and somehow, somehow that worked. Hands down, my new favorite Maisey Yates book. I don’t think I could have loved A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas more. I knew Grant’s story would be a tough one—if you’ve read the earlier Dodge family books in Ms. Yates’ Gold Valley series, I suspect you’d agree. If not, never fear, She wasn’t sure if they locked together in place perfectly, or if they could ever be fully healed. But at least they weren’t alone in being broken. Their pieces were all mixed together, and somehow, somehow that worked. Hands down, my new favorite Maisey Yates book. I don’t think I could have loved A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas more. I knew Grant’s story would be a tough one—if you’ve read the earlier Dodge family books in Ms. Yates’ Gold Valley series, I suspect you’d agree. If not, never fear, because this is a stand-alone. (Though, the other books in this series are a LOT of fun, so give them a chance if you haven’t already. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.) A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas doesn’t shy from the aforementioned toughness, and as such, it’s excellent. I loved the way Ms. Yates balanced Grant’s heartbreaking past with his desire to move on—and inability to do so. It was refreshing to see his attitude toward his loss, and how that affected the choices he was making in his life. Refreshing, too, was the way McKenna approached Grant and his past—the way she viewed in comparison to her own—also heartbreaking—past, the way she opened up to it and was similarly affected by it. This book is chock-full of emotion that ranges from heartbreaking, to sweet and swoony, to steamy hotness, and every page had something that made me want to hold on tight to the feels. Because it had all of them. Yep, A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas is an all the feels kind of book—and that’s why it’s my new favorite from one of my go-to authors. She had become like water, like air, so quickly. But the fact that he was somehow singular to her? That was a damned miracle. Psst! This book comes with a short novella in the back—Snowed In With the Cowboy—and it’s a really good read. It’s quick but sexy, and really quite charming. Definitely worth checking out, my friends!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Traci Westling

    Wow ❤💕❤As excited as I was to read this , never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined how amazing this was when all was said & down!! Basically , anything Maisey writes is fantastic in my opinion but to take Grant & McKenna & all their pain and heartaches & throw it into the Xmas holiday setting with wineries , barns & deep rooted family stuff..?? EQUALS a brilliant outcome! Get yourself a box of tissues , glass of wine, tea or soda & prepare for a substantial book a Wow ❤️💕❤️As excited as I was to read this , never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined how amazing this was when all was said & down!! Basically , anything Maisey writes is fantastic in my opinion but to take Grant & McKenna & all their pain and heartaches & throw it into the Xmas holiday setting with wineries , barns & deep rooted family stuff..?? EQUALS a brilliant outcome! Get yourself a box of tissues , glass of wine, tea or soda & prepare for a substantial book altering experience!! Kudos to Maisey & think about RITA season ... (Conner , Lissy.. need I say more?)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Fiction Fangirls Book Review

    Y’all know I love me a broken, brooding curmudgeon so of course I loved this one. I think the premise was unique and well done. Exactly the kind of book I like to keep me cozy on a chilly fall/winter evening.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aaly

    3,5 stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4.75 stars Despite it being the end of September and this being a Christmas book, I knew I wouldn't be able to wait until Christmas for this book since this is a Gold Valley book that has been teased for over a year especially its hero Grant. I couldn't not read this as soon as I got my hands on it. I will say that despite the fact that this book did take place at Christmas, it wasn't inundated with Christmas. Christmas wasn't exploding on the pages where it was too much and felt odd reading it 4.75 stars Despite it being the end of September and this being a Christmas book, I knew I wouldn't be able to wait until Christmas for this book since this is a Gold Valley book that has been teased for over a year especially its hero Grant. I couldn't not read this as soon as I got my hands on it. I will say that despite the fact that this book did take place at Christmas, it wasn't inundated with Christmas. Christmas wasn't exploding on the pages where it was too much and felt odd reading it at the end of September, instead there were little touches of Christmas here and there that just added to the story, instead of being totally overwhelming with all the Christmas that was going on, which was a perfect fit for this book I think. I know in Christmastime Cowboy, which I absolutely loved, from the Copper Ridge series felt more Christmassy to me with all the holiday feels going, and that was okay because I read that book in November of last year so it was getting to be that Christmassy time. I think if this was too Christmassy then I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much being that I read it in September and not quite ready for the Christmas season of yet, but that wasn't case so that was very good because I just couldn't wait to read this one. This one was absolutely amazing, and I loved it on so many levels. It gave me an immense amount of feels while reading it and just made me glued to the pages. I knew that it was going to be good, but I didn't know it was going to be that good. I laughed. I teared up. I swooned. Just a whole range of emotions went on while reading this book, and I wasn't quite prepared for it to be honest. I knew that Grant had a tragic backstory, but I didn't realize how heartbreaking it truly was until I read it especially some of those flashback scenes were quite a doozy. I wasn't ready. It still gives me the chills thinking about it. It was quite an emotional punch to the gut for a lot of the book. There were quite a bit of angst thrown into the story, which I wasn't quite expecting but glad that it was in there because I always like a good health dose of angst in my romances. In McKenna and Grant's romance, there was no shortage of that. They just really pushed each other buttons and they fought along the way as well as hurt each other's feelings especially Grant as he didn't want an emotional connection with McKenna just a physical one while McKenna wanted more. It broke my heart to see him reject her and hurt her time and time again after all the hurt and rejection she felt in her life being a foster child. I could really feel her pain and sorrow from childhood as also was true with her relationship with Grant. She just wanted that close connection with him and he kept denying it and pushing her away time and time again that it bruised her heart a little bit as well as produced a lot of angst. I know that I teared up a little bit when Grant asked her to stay the night with him, which really was a step forward in their relationship that was beautiful to see that increase in closeness and intimacy between them. I really loved seeing their relationship develop and grow over the course of the book and show them falling deeper and deeper in love with each other. So beautiful. There were also quite a few surprises and twists thrown in there that I just didn't see coming especially Grant being a virgin, but just like people did in the book assumed that he was intimate with his wife so it was surprising, but a very good surprise and made me fall in love with Grant even more. It just added another layer to Grant and his story, and how much of a love story he did have with his late wife. It was true love in the purest of fashion, and even though it wasn't the main story in the romance, it was beautiful to hear about his romance with his late wife that had a tragic ending. Surprisingly I was so glad that little snippets of his past relationship was in there because it showed the complete story of Grant and just the depths of his feelings that he had for his wife. Despite the fact that I knew the ending, it was really nice to see that pure romance then transition over to his romance with McKenna and just how much he needed her in his life and how intensely he did love her. Usually I wouldn't be okay with comparing the two romances, but in this context it really fit and made for a complete story. Grant made me swoon even if he didn't mean to. He was just a really special guy, which what McKenna was trying to get through to him, but never believed her until end. Also I loved that McKenna and Grant's first time was told through his eyes and just the all the emotions and feelings that he was going through as he made love to McKenna. It was desire, yes, and finally doing this intimate act with someone, but it was about being with her and connected with her. He didn't want anyone else aside from McKenna. She was special to him from the beginning even he thought it was just because it was his first time, but I don't believe that. It was because he was close to her, feeling pleasure with her. It was a very passionate scene, but also a very special on so many different levels not only because he never experienced lovemaking, but McKenna never felt this much, this connect before despite being intimate with other men in her life. For her this was special, and it was because she was with Grant. They had that connection that was as passionate as it was special, and that was really amazing. I just loved seeing the experience for both of them and in their both eyes. It just showed how truly important their relationship truly was. This was almost a five stars for me, and there was nothing wrong with this book, but I was so totally blown away by Wyatt's book that I was comparing this one to Wyatt's book. Not that this book didn't blow me away because it did on very many different ways, but Wyatt's book really blew way in ways I didn't expect or anticipate. I think because he was the story I was looking forward to the least out of the first four in this series that when I read Wyatt's book I was totally amazed and I loved that I knew that it was a five stars for me and I knew that while I reading it. For this one, it was a little bit a different feeling than Wyatt's, and even though it was amazing on every different level that there was I just couldn't quite give it a five stars, even though McKenna and Grant together and just how they sparked off of each other because they really did have something special. It was very close to a five starts though. There was no way not to fall in love with their romance or Grant and McKenna, which was so compelling to read from beginning to end. I really adored so much about this book for so many different reasons. It was an amazing read experience all the way around from the time Grant stumbled on McKenna on one of the ranch's cabins and McKenna experienced grumpy Grant for the first time to their amazing declaration of love with all the bumps and bruises in between. It was a compelling read. It was a heartbreaking read from both sides of their tragic pasts. It was passionate. It was beautiful. It was special. There was just so much depth there that I couldn't help but be invested in McKenna and Grant's story. I loved them together. They fit perfectly. They truly needed each other. They just had a very special story to be told, and it was totally worth it in the end. I know this book will stick with me always, and I know I'm going to be rereading this book over and over again for years to come because it was that special of a book. Amazing. I thought nothing could top Copper Ridge series for me, and I was little upset that they were taking off HQN imprint in lieu of Gold Valley , but this series is really blowing it out of the water for me. With each passing book that goes by in the Gold Valley series the better it gets. I adore this so much more than I thought was impossible. The stories are amazing. The characters are amazing. The families amazing. There was really no way for me not to be invested in the stories told in town of Gold Valley , and I hope there are a lot more stories to be told because I never want to leave. I know that there's four stories coming out next year that I am beyond excited about especially the first one that features Bea and Dane, which I feel like I have been waiting forever for even since its been teased to us. My only complaint is that we have wait until April 2019 for that and I am dying for it then will come the stories from the Dalton brothers after Bea and Dane, which we got to see all of them in this book with two of them being introduced her, which peaked my interest even more and makes me curious for their books, and hope there are more stories from Gold Valley books for years to come because I will definitely being read them for years to come, and Copper Ridge too. This series really know no bounds and really could go for years just like the Long, Tall Texans series by Diana Palmer, which was my first love and my first romance novels that I got into plus the whole cowboy thing was a win for me. So, I hope these two Maisey Yates series are like that too because I'm really obsessed with these books. There so many possibilities there, and I hope that we get more and more as time goes on, but we still have four more to go, and hopefully there will be a hundreds of more to go with no end date in sight for at least twenty years or so. That should be enough, or maybe not. I can't wait to see what's to come next. Highly recommend for people who love cowboy romances, angst reads, emotional powerful love stories, Maisey Yates, and Gold Valley and Copper Ridge fans alike. Trust me you will not be disappointed and you will be rereading this one over and over again like so many others in this series. Lots of love here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Wright (Cat's Guilty Pleasure)

    I love this series and I looked forward to Grant's story and I was right about thinking it was going to be an emotional one. I loved him and all his broodiness. I loved McKenna, as well, she was prickly and soft all at the same time. This was a great story about finding love and being able to hold onto it. I can't wait for the next book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn

    Enjoyed this well written romance. This book has a good plot and great characters. I enjoyed the writing and look forward to reading more books by this author. Fans of the romance genre will enjoy this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality It’s hard to believe that anyone would actually WANT to win a gold medal in the “Life Sucks” Marathon, but when Grant Dodge and McKenna Tate meet they are both serious contenders for that “grand” prize. Possibly it’s a grand prize in the joke sense that first prize is one week in Hell and second prize is two weeks – although the way they both have been chasing this particular goal, that might actually be the other way around. We’ve met Grant Dodge in the prev Originally published at Reading Reality It’s hard to believe that anyone would actually WANT to win a gold medal in the “Life Sucks” Marathon, but when Grant Dodge and McKenna Tate meet they are both serious contenders for that “grand” prize. Possibly it’s a grand prize in the joke sense that first prize is one week in Hell and second prize is two weeks – although the way they both have been chasing this particular goal, that might actually be the other way around. We’ve met Grant Dodge in the previous books in the Gold Valley series as his brothers have discovered their own happy ever afters. But Grant is a special case. He already found his happy, and knew perfectly well at the time that there was no “ever after” attached. Grant is semi-famous for having married his high school sweetheart knowing that she had terminal cancer, and caring for her for the eight years she managed to survive. But he’s also been a widower for eight years, and is more than tired of all the pitying looks he gets from everyone in town and everyone he meets. His tragedy was so touching that it became fodder for one of the morning quasi-news shows, so no one ever lets him forget. He’s wrapped his misery around him like a well-worn but scratchy blanket and doesn’t let anyone get close – not even his family – even though they are all working on the ranch together. While Grant should be the first place finisher in that misery marathon, McKenna Tate is still in the running. He finds McKenna camped out in one of the ranch’s few remaining dilapidated (unheated and uninsulated) remote cabins. In December. In Oregon. He claims he doesn’t want to be bothered, but he still takes her into the ranch house, where his brother and sister-in-law promptly offer McKenna a job and a cabin. She doesn’t want to take the charity, but she NEEDS it. She’s broke and homeless and out of options. And she needs to be in Gold Valley. Her mother gave up her parental rights back when McKenna was only two, so she was raised in, or survived, foster care. Now she’s 24 and has come to Gold Valley to discover if the man listed on her birth certificate as her father is willing to give her a hand up. She’s afraid to acknowledge, even to herself, that what she really wants is to belong. To someone. To be part of something. To finally have a place. But while she tries to figure out how to approach her possible father, who turns out to be “rodeo royalty”, she becomes part of the mixed family of birth and choice that centers around the Get Out of Dodge Ranch. And just maybe, she and Grant might manage to stop racing towards that first place in the misery marathon and reach for each other instead. Escape Rating B+: In my review of Good Time Cowboy I called Maisey Yates the cowgirl queen of angsty western romance. The story in A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas certainly adds more sparkle to that crown. Both Grant and McKenna begin the story in a serious bad way. But the bad way they’ve found themselves in, and the equally bad ways that they feel about it, feel like exactly the way a person would feel under their individual circumstances. It’s not manufactured angst or self-inflicted angst. They’ve had terrible things happen to them and they feel terrible because of those things. Grant, in particular, has been living so much on the periphery of life at the ranch that it is more than possibly to read this book without having read the other books in the series first – not that they aren’t terrific reads. But Grant has done his best to not let other people in, to the point where he only plays a very minor role in his brothers’ lives – and is only willing to let them a tiny way into his. McKenna has certainly had a lifetime of hard knocks that led her to Gold Valley. But she also has one attribute that draws Grant in like a magnet – she doesn’t know anything about his history. She doesn’t pity him or feel sorry for him. And she doesn’t want either of those things from him. She just thinks he’s hot. And she gets him hot and bothered in a way that he’s never allowed himself to feel. The begin what becomes their relationship by finally giving into their amazing chemistry. They both think that’s all they have. But as much as Grant tries to stick to a rule of “no talking”, they can’t. McKenna can’t stop herself from talking under any circumstances, and Grant has spent so many years locked inside his own head that once he opens up at all he can’t make himself stop. There is so much heartbreak in this story. Both Grant and McKenna begin the story as very broken people, and it’s tough reading their emotional turmoil. Watching them slowly heal each other is lovely, especially with their acknowledgement that it’s the hurts that they’ve each suffered that has made them the people they need to be for each other.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kay (aka) Miss Bates

    Maisey Yates opens Gold Valley romance #4 with the line “Grant Dodge was alone. And that was how he liked it”, ensuring the reader that Grant Dodge is about to NOT be alone and that his hold on his solitude is to be shaken by the heroine. Said heroine, McKenna Tate, is blithely slumbering in an abandoned cabin on the ranch Grant shares with his brother Wyatt, sister-in-law Lindy, and sometimes-around veterinarian brother Bennett and sister-in-law, Kaylee. A “full house” of family and connections Maisey Yates opens Gold Valley romance #4 with the line “Grant Dodge was alone. And that was how he liked it”, ensuring the reader that Grant Dodge is about to NOT be alone and that his hold on his solitude is to be shaken by the heroine. Said heroine, McKenna Tate, is blithely slumbering in an abandoned cabin on the ranch Grant shares with his brother Wyatt, sister-in-law Lindy, and sometimes-around veterinarian brother Bennett and sister-in-law, Kaylee. A “full house” of family and connections, but Grant prefers his solitude: what’s up with that and how will it be “shook up”? My tone may be flippant as I introduce Yates’s romance, but the romance is anything but: it’s angsty, heart-wrenching stuff with two very broken, very vulnerable, pain-filled protagonists. One is broken by his first marriage and the other broken by a life as a foster child, unloved, unwanted, uncared for. Reading their story, I thought Yates penned her most painful story yet, unredeemed by humour, or playful sex, banter (okay, there are soupçons of banter, but hardly) tenderness or joy. Grant and McKenna are two suffering characters, with burdens making Aeneas’s look like fluff, and the romance suffers under their weight as much as they do. Grant’s story has been lingering in the background of his brothers’ HEAs through three full-length novels. He’s the brother who married his dying high school sweetheart, nursed her through eight years of cancer and chemo, and remains Gold Valley’s saddest story. He suffers under the burden of not necessarily loss and grief – eight years HAVE gone by – as being defined by what happened to him and Lindsay RIP. McKenna’s story is also heart-breaking. She is the orphaned waif, young, tiny, hungry. Moving from foster home to foster home, never chosen or wanted (indeed, Yates weaves a wonderful Anne Of Green Gables allusion to her story), to add insult to injury, McKenna lost her job, truck, home, and savings to a worthless boyfriend. All she wants is to belong to someone, to find a sense of home and family. She has come to Gold Valley with this purpose, to reunite with the father (and his sons, her half-bros) who’s been named on her birth certificate, “rodeo royalty” Hank Dalton and his rodeo-daring sons, Gabe, Caleb, and Jacob. Together and apart, Grant and McKenna’s stories are wrenching, their pain so palpable and sad, their romance pales in its wake. Grant and McKenna share attraction, passion, and a misery-fest friendship. They’re likeable and I really wanted them to be happy. I wanted Grant to find a way to redefine who he was in a loving, sexy relationship. And I wanted McKenna to find family and connection. Their passion for each other was beautifully rendered: it served them well. They found joy and pleasure. As two monogamously-inclined, serious people, they found a way to share their burdens by talking about them. They were resurrected, moving from under the weight of everything having gone so terribly wrong for them. I believed in their emotional return to life and I believed in their deep friendship. There was really not anything terribly “romantic” about their romance: no candle-light, no fun (except in the bedroom and even that felt overwrought at times), no teasing, not much by way of being immersed in each other. They understood and liked each other. When they suddenly internally declared they were in love, individually and apart, I couldn’t see it, couldn’t feel it. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who reads this blog that Yates is one of my favourite romance writers, as I declare it every few months, with every new release. Finally, Yates has disappointed me: she’s written very well about two wonderfully deserving characters and managed to leave me, at the end, feeling they should move on, unsure they should be together. It was like being doused with ice water to realize this about my beloved Yates romances, but I’m not abandoning ship. This was obviously a story she really wanted to tell and it did not smack of WF, thank goodness. I’m looking to the next one and a more convincing HEA. By all means, read A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas, it’s angsty and heart-tugging and sexy, just don’t expect the warm and fuzzy HEA. With Miss Austen, we say that Yates’s latest Gold Valley romance is “real comfort,” Emma. Maisey Yates’s A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas is published by HQN. It was released on September 25th and may be found at your preferred vendor. I received an e-galley from HQN, via Netgalley.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    McKenna longs for a family, something she hasn't had since she was a toddler when her mother gave her up and she was placed in foster care. Aged out of the system at eighteen, she spends nearly a decade hoping against hope that someone was out there that she could indeed call family. When information about a man who might possibly be her father comes her way, she grabs her suitcase and heads for Gold Valley. Grant is out of hope. He's out of longing. He's...out. The losses he's suffered have made McKenna longs for a family, something she hasn't had since she was a toddler when her mother gave her up and she was placed in foster care. Aged out of the system at eighteen, she spends nearly a decade hoping against hope that someone was out there that she could indeed call family. When information about a man who might possibly be her father comes her way, she grabs her suitcase and heads for Gold Valley. Grant is out of hope. He's out of longing. He's...out. The losses he's suffered have made him distant and ornery, not really a good place to be for someone so young who has so much life going on around him. But loss is loss, and grief is grief. Doesn't mean he gets to be annoyingly contemptible. Discovering McKenna was a surprise. Training her on his family ranch was ground-breaking. Engaging with another human on a civil level was amusing. But McKenna wasn't just a match to his cantankerous personality. She was his perfect opposite. Where Grant's well of hope had run dry, hers was overflowing. Hers became his, renewing that longing, that desire for more that he hadn't felt in so long. Their romance wasn't easy though. In no way was it smooth sailing. There was so much pushing away instead of pulling together. There was so much hurt and anxiety over letting go and staying. Like I said, loss is loss, and grief is grief. Both manifest in unexpected ways and can lead to a world of hurt and regret if it isn't acknowledged and dealt with accordingly. And realization is a powerful motivator. Realizing what could be, what won't be, what needs to be, what has to be. When Grant reached this point with McKenna, the significance wasn't lost on anyone aware of their relationship. It was truly time to move forward, to open up again, to love and be loved again. While the focus of this story is Grant and McKenna's romance, the underlying plot is McKenna's search for family. She finds her father, who, unfortunately, isn't the man she deserves to have as a father. His attempt to buy her off is appalling, but meeting one of her half-brothers gave me hope of her keeping some connection to that side of her even if her father doesn't want her. If I could sum up this book in one word, it would be one I've used throughout this review: hope. Life has a way of knocking a person down, but it's hope, more often than not, that pushes them to get back up and keep pressing forward. There's a good amount of determination and will as well, but hope fuels all of that. Coupled with love, it's an echo of what the Christmas season is about, why there are songs and poems and stories (yes, stories upon stories!) written about such powerful and compelling sentiments. It pulls people, like Grant and McKenna, from the pits of minimal existence and thrusts them into lives that are filled to overflowing with long-forgotten or never-before-felt emotions and feelings that they are so deserving of and cherish. This is one I'll hold close this holiday season, not just for the loveliness of the story but the reminder of hope in uncertainty. Ms. Yates knew what she was doing when she penned this story. May it's message ring loud this coming Christmas season. Received from publisher for an honest review

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sascha

    If there was ever a situation that proves the futility of rating books by a star (or in my case, butterfly) system, then this novel, A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates, would be it. I gave the first novel I read by her, Smooth Talking Cowboy, five butterflies, but A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas is so much better, it pulls on the heartstrings; it made me smirk and, okay, giggle; it made me cry; and it made me FEEL all the feels. So, what do I do then? Say, well the first butterflies wer If there was ever a situation that proves the futility of rating books by a star (or in my case, butterfly) system, then this novel, A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates, would be it. I gave the first novel I read by her, Smooth Talking Cowboy, five butterflies, but A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas is so much better, it pulls on the heartstrings; it made me smirk and, okay, giggle; it made me cry; and it made me FEEL all the feels. So, what do I do then? Say, well the first butterflies were swallowtails, but these are monarchs? Yep, a dilemma. We’ve known Grant Dodge through three novels of the Gold Valley series. He’s the middle brother, the functional, almost-alcoholic drinking his pain away, the widower whom everyone pities, which drives him practically insane. He’s been quiet. He’s been moody. And, come on, if you’ve been following the series, you couldn’t wait to read his story because you knew it was going to be something else. Enter McKenna Tate. She’s sleeping on the floor of a ramshackle, abandoned cabin on the Dodge ranch. She’s homeless and has come to town in hopes of finding her real family. She’s part of the foster system. She’s tough, no one’s fool or victim, but she also has a heart a mile wide. And that’s how Grant comes upon her, cowering, afraid of what’s going to happen to her. Grant’s family takes her in. Sometimes she wondered if the reason she had hope in her heart was because of all the books she’d read. Because they had often depicted bleak things, and sometimes had shown her things she didn’t like. But they had also taught her things about herself, and things about the world. The terrible things people believed and did, and the wonderful things, too. And the ways in which people could triumph as long as they always believed in something. And, she has hope, even when she tries not to because she knows better than anyone that hope can sometimes lead to unhappiness. And, perhaps that’s the best description for McKenna Tate: she’s always hopeful. The two wounded souls, Grant and McKenna are drawn to each other time and time again, even when they decide not to be. Because this is a romance, you know how the tide is going to turn. But it’s what Yates does in the meantime that makes this novel so sublime. She has written two wonderful characters who have known pain but find healing and joy in each other. An understanding place. So, I’d like to say this can be read as a standalone, because if you love romance novels, you would love this, but I’m not sure it’s fair. I’ve read the preceding novels and those characters populate this novel. I know how I react when a novel is inundated with characters I know nothing of nor care about. Perhaps, unlike me, that doesn’t bother you. I’ll just say that this is the Christmas romance of the season from all that I’ve read so far, so it’s up to you. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christi Snow

    My Review: Finally we get Grant's story...and OMG, it did not disappoint. But what was surprising is that McKenna's story was so much more heartbreaking than even Grant's was. This book has so much emotion in it...and yes, I actually cried through one scene in this book...a sign of a good book in my opinion. Grant has been the tragic figure throughout this entire story. He married his high school sweetheart, although she had cancer, but they had 8 years together before that happened. That was 8 ye My Review: Finally we get Grant's story...and OMG, it did not disappoint. But what was surprising is that McKenna's story was so much more heartbreaking than even Grant's was. This book has so much emotion in it...and yes, I actually cried through one scene in this book...a sign of a good book in my opinion. Grant has been the tragic figure throughout this entire story. He married his high school sweetheart, although she had cancer, but they had 8 years together before that happened. That was 8 years ago and since then Grant has pretty much stopped living too. He drinks too much and is the grumpy curmudgeon. Everywhere he goes he's reminded that he lost his wife (small town living) and he lives his life in a constant state of grief...and horniness. See, Grant may have been married for 8 years, but he's a 34 year old virgin. And when you live in the same small town where everyone sees you as the tragic, heroic widower, it's kind of hard to have a one-night stand...so he hasn't. And that's slowly killing him, too. McKenna entered the foster system when her mother voluntarily gave her up at the age of 2. She's been struggling ever since. Her only hope is to track down the guy that's listed on her birth certificate and hope that he can give her a leg up, because she's homeless. So, she heads to Gold Valley and is camping out in one of the Dodge's abandoned old cabins which is where Grant finds her. There were so many layers to this story and every single one of them worked for me. I loved McKenna's character. She's pretty straight forward about everything, even the things that hurt. I loved that about her. She definitely doesn't play games of any sort. I liked that she called Grant out on so much of his self-pity, because he isn't the only one who's had a hard life. She tells him constantly...life isn't fair. But she also brings a lightness to his world, because he can see that she's had a hard life, but she hasn't let it defeat her...something that Grant struggles with. And then there's the sex...seriously is there anything better than a virgin hero? That part of the story was just breathtaking. I loved the two of them together. Overall this was a fantastic read. It was emotional and heartbreaking, but there's a whole thread about family with literary references to Anne of Green Gables and the Secret Garden that took my breath away. I loved reading this book. In fact, I bought a print copy of it so I can continue to reread it later. I highly recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest and voluntary review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gmr

    Grant Dodge and McKenna Tate. At first glance, as different as can be...but at soul depth, a match like no other. I've adored ALL my ventures to Gold Valley, but getting to the heart of Grant's story felt like a privilege. No, not because he supposedly deserves sainthood, but because he's always been a man of little words, hanging around the sidelines, there when needed, but unobtrusive, and when we discover what's been hiding in those depths, there's no turning back. My heart fell so hard for h Grant Dodge and McKenna Tate. At first glance, as different as can be...but at soul depth, a match like no other. I've adored ALL my ventures to Gold Valley, but getting to the heart of Grant's story felt like a privilege. No, not because he supposedly deserves sainthood, but because he's always been a man of little words, hanging around the sidelines, there when needed, but unobtrusive, and when we discover what's been hiding in those depths, there's no turning back. My heart fell so hard for him as his past was revealed, and, in a third-party-haven't-actually-experienced-anything-close-to-that sorta way, I get why he shut himself off from the world. It was easier to bear being the one left behind, to deal with all that had happened as well as all that hadn't, and to protect his ever loving cowboy heart. Hey, they may be stubborn, but they can be bruised too...as can cowgirls, or those trying to get the hang of being one. McKenna was such a full character. She had strong survival skills with a no nonsense attitude that helped to shield a tender heart of gold. Now don't get me wrong, she's no saint either, but she tries to do what's right, tries to be fair, even to her own determent at times. Her sudden appearance in Gold Valley seemed strange, what with her hiding information and all, but her mission wasn't one of great deception, but rather to find the best way to discover the truth without upsetting numerous lives. All she wanted was a place to belong, a place she could be part of a whole...to love and be loved. Too much to ask? Certainly not...but while the familial love may be hard enough to gain, the cowboy she's get her knickers in a twist over is just as much if not more of a hurdle. Even as their barriers begin to break down, even as they bare more than just their skin to one another, it's one relationship that wasn't planned...that may simply be not meant to be...unless some concessions are made on both sides and real acceptance, bone deep, is achieved. All in all, I LOVED THIS BOOK! From start to finish, there was always something to discover, feelings to immerse yourself in, and friendly faces to reminisce with or look forward to. (SO looking forward to Jamie getting a story...and I'd love Bea to as well!) It's not a quick and easy romance, but a much heartier tale of what happens when love is all you have versus all you need. Sometimes there is another once in a lifetime, and as unexpected as it may be, it doesn't make it any less REAL. **copy received for review

  23. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Another excellent book by Maisey Yates. Readers know Grant from earlier books in the series and know his backstory. But, of course, not all of it. The snark between McKenna and Grant is great. She thinks he is such a good looking guy and it's such a contrast to how he sees himself, which reoccurs throughout the book. When his brother and sister in law offer her a job and a place to stay, he is very weary of her and becoming involved because he An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Another excellent book by Maisey Yates. Readers know Grant from earlier books in the series and know his backstory. But, of course, not all of it. The snark between McKenna and Grant is great. She thinks he is such a good looking guy and it's such a contrast to how he sees himself, which reoccurs throughout the book. When his brother and sister in law offer her a job and a place to stay, he is very weary of her and becoming involved because he does supervise her at times. This is very well handled in the book, as they make it clear they're both interested. A lot of this book focuses on how they see themselves and how it's been reflected by those around them. There is a great deal of personal growth before they can admit they're in love and may want more than a sexual relationship. One thing of note: Grant is a widower, as mentioned, but he's not determined never to love again because Lindsay was his one true love. He just feels burnt out after his wife died after eight years of cancer relapses and pain, like he's maxxed out his ability to take care of others. Lindsay helped him with the rage he had after his mother died and he feels like she made him a good person again (not due to her illness, but because she loved him). I thought the background here - which is so important to both characters and their developing relationship - was really well done. The backstory is smoothly woven throughout the book and doesn't feel like info dump. McKenna's in town because she had discovered that there was a typo in her birth records that she received at age 18 and her father is actually Hank Dalton. She's not sure how to approach and she desperately wants to be part of a family; part of it is she also wants support as she's been on her own since her mother left her in foster care when she was two. Her dad attempts to buy her off to not upset his wife (who knew he cheated multiple times, but they reconciled a decade ago and he doesn't want to lose her again). She meets one of her half-brothers, Gabe, who definitely has some history (and maybe a future) with Grant's sister Jamie. Ultimately, a deeply satisfying book. I look forward to seeing more of their HEA - as we see Lindy and West's in this book - in future books.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara Strand

    I am such a Maisey Yates fan so you know when I saw this come up for review I was all over it! I've read others in her Gold Valley series and I really have enjoyed them so I love that she made this holiday book a part of that series. You don't need to read the rest of the books to enjoy this, it's fully a stand alone. If you're fans of the rest of the series you see cameos of previous characters so that's kind of nice. In this book we have Grant, who is basically a functioning alcoholic since th I am such a Maisey Yates fan so you know when I saw this come up for review I was all over it! I've read others in her Gold Valley series and I really have enjoyed them so I love that she made this holiday book a part of that series. You don't need to read the rest of the books to enjoy this, it's fully a stand alone. If you're fans of the rest of the series you see cameos of previous characters so that's kind of nice. In this book we have Grant, who is basically a functioning alcoholic since the death of his wife/high school sweetheart. He gets the pity of people around town and that drives him crazy so he hasn't pursued relationships ever since. Enter McKenna, a woman with no ties to anything and only the contents of her backpack to her name, but she's in Gold Valley to hopefully find her birth father. She takes refuge in an abandoned cabin and Grant finds her. Instead of treating her like an unwanted criminal, the Dodge family take her in. She starts work on the ranch and they give her use of one of the cabins which is the nicest place she's stayed in for as long as she can remember. The best part of this is that you know these two are going to end up together and they both need each other. They are both a little bitchy, for lack of a better word, and they get on each other's nerves, constantly snipping back and forth. They both need love and to be cared for in different ways and they can give that to each other... if only they can stop barking long enough to see it. Overall? I'm giving this one 5 stars. Honestly. I really love Maisey Yates because she gives you a story that grabs at your heart strings, throws in some fun romance, and brings it all together for a great ending. This book all comes around Christmas so it adds another layer of Hallmark movie goodness that makes me love it even more. I really liked both characters because independently they have pretty tragic back stories, but together they make a pretty great couple and you can see it early on. This might be the holiday book I recommend the most, you guys. Get it now while it's still in stock!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Books and Spoons

    A heartbreakingly beautiful, deeply emotional, wonderful story of hope and love, a story that not only had me in tears at the 5% mark but kept me at the roll-a-coaster of feelings throughout the unputdownable tale. I mean, it wasn't a surprise to me that Grant Dodge's story would bring me to tears, or that it would be a wild ride through some deep emotional waters. Also, I expected the lady to finally catch his eye to be something spectacular and nothing short of amazing. And then walks in McKen A heartbreakingly beautiful, deeply emotional, wonderful story of hope and love, a story that not only had me in tears at the 5% mark but kept me at the roll-a-coaster of feelings throughout the unputdownable tale. I mean, it wasn't a surprise to me that Grant Dodge's story would bring me to tears, or that it would be a wild ride through some deep emotional waters. Also, I expected the lady to finally catch his eye to be something spectacular and nothing short of amazing. And then walks in McKenna Tate, and yes, she is a spectacular and amazing woman, she is strong, she is fierce, she is an independent woman who knows what she wants. And she is as broken inside as Grant is. Yes, the tears are still coming as I write this because I do not know if I have ever loved book characters as much as I love Grant and McKenna. I have read thousands of books, yet these two just walked right into my heart like no one else, and I wanted them to find peace, trust, love, home, family, and all the happiness that they deserve. While no one had ever claimed McKenna as their family or loved her, Grant had loved greatly, been loved deeply yet lost it to all to cancer. Their stories are the opposite yet the same. There is that golden line that goes through both of their stories, that need to be loved, learning to trust those feelings, and daring to take the risk even with the possibility of losing it all. McKenna and Grant's tale is a delicate and delightful love story, it is as fragile as it fierce, as ardent as it is alluring, and it does take a bit of the magic of the season to bring them the full circle back to the old, abandoned cabin again. What brought McKenna into the town of Gold Valley is the search of belonging, an attempt to find her father and a family to belong to. That secondary storyline is no less touching as the romance developing between her and Grant, as turbulent, and much in need of a Christmas miracle as well. Allround a poignant, passionate, and moving story. A captivating tale of love, family, and hope set to play out during the most special time of the year. ~ Five Spoons!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 10/16/18. OMG, Grant's story--loved!!! Watching Grant drink his way through his brothers' stories was painful. I hoped against hope that his journey toward his own HEA would be worthy of his backstory, and oh, boy--was it ever. McKenna was exactly the heroine he needed. She didn't know his tragic history for a large portion of the book, and certainly didn't know the secret that no one else knew--he got to tell her both of those things, if not exactly on his Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 10/16/18. OMG, Grant's story--loved!!! Watching Grant drink his way through his brothers' stories was painful. I hoped against hope that his journey toward his own HEA would be worthy of his backstory, and oh, boy--was it ever. McKenna was exactly the heroine he needed. She didn't know his tragic history for a large portion of the book, and certainly didn't know the secret that no one else knew--he got to tell her both of those things, if not exactly on his own schedule, then at least in his own way. She had her own less-than-ideal upbringing; in a twisted sort of fashion it was their individual crappy histories that helped to make them prefect for each other. Though of course it's not going to be easy, Ms. Yates makes sure of that ;) OMG, you guys--I cried some pretty ugly hopeful/happy tears in the last 10% or so of this story. It. Was. So. Good. I'm afraid I'm going to be good for pretty much nothing for the rest of the day... A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas should work just fine as a standalone if needed--really, it's Grant and McKenna's story, and everything you need to know about how their pasts influence their present is revealed in due course here. Because it's a Maisey Yates book, though, there's all kinds of secondary characters with equally wonderful and awkward relationships on the pages too--if you've read previous series books, you'll love seeing them all again, but if you haven't, that's fine too. There's all kinds of delightful hints at future stories here too (Bea and Dane! Jamie and Gabe! Gabe's brothers!) that are going to make sure that Ms. Yates' books are going to be playing an active role on my TBR for quite some time to come... Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nate Brightman

    OMG this book left me so emotionally drained and happy at the end I'd give it 10 stars! If you only read one Christmas time romance book this holiday season, read Maisey Yate’s “A Tall Dark Cowboy Christmas.” It’s really that good. I’ve already read a few Christmas releases by well known, best- selling authors, some okay, some very good but this book stands out as the best. It’s the latest in Ms. Yates Gold Valley series which is a spinoff of her Copper Ridge Series. I know most people reading th OMG this book left me so emotionally drained and happy at the end I'd give it 10 stars! If you only read one Christmas time romance book this holiday season, read Maisey Yate’s “A Tall Dark Cowboy Christmas.” It’s really that good. I’ve already read a few Christmas releases by well known, best- selling authors, some okay, some very good but this book stands out as the best. It’s the latest in Ms. Yates Gold Valley series which is a spinoff of her Copper Ridge Series. I know most people reading this review are women but if you can’t fall in love with McKenna Tate the heroine in this story, if you can’t feel her pain and longing to be loved for who she is and not what she can give (her body, rent money) her desire to belong, you just don’t have a heart. I know mine broke for her several times while I read this book. Oh and of course for you ladies we have the broody, handsome Grant Dodge and the in depth story of his tragic teen marriage to his late wife Lindsay. Somehow these two emotionally damaged people with more emotional baggage than a freight train can carry find and heal each other. But not without a lot of struggle and help from family along the way. Its an emotional roller coaster of a read so bring a box of Kleenex. All the previous couples from this series get an appearance and even a few from Copper Ridge get a mention which is always nice when you’re a fan of a series. As an added bonus we get another novella Snowed in with a Cowboy about the Reid family, another Gold Valley family whose stories are separate from but interlaced with the Dodge family stories in the series. Does oldest Reid brother Tanner and his younger step-sister Chloe who has lusted after him forever finally hook-up? I know at first blush it sounds incestuous but you have to keep reminding yourself they aren't related by blood.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Figueroa

    Life had been tough for McKenna and she had set out to look for her birth father. Grant isn't doing so hot when it comes to his life hating the pitying look the the towns people give him after the death of his wife a while back. Imagine his surprise when he finds a women in a cabin on his family ranch, and for once he's come across someone who doesn't look at him like everyone else dose with that sad look. McKenna isn't a fan of Grant at first but slowly warms up to him as they start to get a co Life had been tough for McKenna and she had set out to look for her birth father. Grant isn't doing so hot when it comes to his life hating the pitying look the the towns people give him after the death of his wife a while back. Imagine his surprise when he finds a women in a cabin on his family ranch, and for once he's come across someone who doesn't look at him like everyone else dose with that sad look. McKenna isn't a fan of Grant at first but slowly warms up to him as they start to get a connection. Thing is both have reasons for distance and its hard after a while to keep that distance when the heart gets into it. I thought that this was a pretty great book, its a seasonal book so if you are looking for a good book to read during the holiday season then pick this book out. But I will tell you if you are looking for a flood of holiday cheer your not going to get that in this book the holiday that is going on was subtle but enough to set the tone if you know what I mean. I loved the connection between McKenna and Grant and how they worked together. There were plenty of steamy scenes to keep this book interesting if your into that sorta thing. I loved getting to know their backgrounds that helped shaped them into the current characters that they were and I loved getting the dual point of view to see where they were coming from at time. This was a pretty great book and you can't help but root for the best when it comes to these interesting characters. I really enjoyed this book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Urban

    Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates is a book that grabbed my whole heart and soul. A young woman is sent off to live in the fosters homes at the age of two. From there, she goes back and forth with no one loving her. She has no family. Just as she leaves the foster system, they give her a birth certificate. One that led her to her birth father. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime. Meet her family. But she's afraid. Then, upon her way there, she sleeps in a broken down cabin where Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates is a book that grabbed my whole heart and soul. A young woman is sent off to live in the fosters homes at the age of two. From there, she goes back and forth with no one loving her. She has no family. Just as she leaves the foster system, they give her a birth certificate. One that led her to her birth father. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime. Meet her family. But she's afraid. Then, upon her way there, she sleeps in a broken down cabin where a tall, dark cowboy found her.  Grant Dodge has lost his mother. And then his young wife. She died of cancer. His heart has never been the same. Until he found a young tiny woman sleeping away in a cabin. That's when his world got turned upside down. Utter chaos, complicated, and hot sex...make Grant feel again. Things he never wanted to feel yet he does. All because of McKenna. A lost woman searching for family.  Maisey Yates created a beautifully written novel about family, hope, and love. Letting go of the past is harder to than others say. Grief, loss, and unexpected love found its way into my heart. I cried. Their loss and pain felt like it was my own. The characters were downright charming. Irresistible banters and plenty of humor to keep my interest. Overall, this sexy contemporary is a must read for all.  I received this copy from the publisher. This is my voluntary review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin. So. I love the small towns that Maisey Yates creates and I will likely read every new item published by her. But I didn't connect with this one. (view spoiler)[ First, I generally prefer to have the holiday volumes center more around the holidays than anything else. This one gets Christmas-y at the end. And I just didn't feel like that was enough for me ... I wanted more holiday drama, more snow, more cold weather adventures. Second, I think my major issue is ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin. So. I love the small towns that Maisey Yates creates and I will likely read every new item published by her. But I didn't connect with this one. (view spoiler)[ First, I generally prefer to have the holiday volumes center more around the holidays than anything else. This one gets Christmas-y at the end. And I just didn't feel like that was enough for me ... I wanted more holiday drama, more snow, more cold weather adventures. Second, I think my major issue is that I didn't really ship Makenna and Grant together. I didn't not like them together ... and I was waiting for the HEA but I was left wanting. I am not certain that a pre-existing local character would have worked for Grant as a love interest (because of his backstory) but I also don't know about bringing in an entirely new character either. While the similarities in what the characters are feeling emotionally tie them together as a pair working through the same types of feelings (loneliness, grief, loss, sense of belonging, not wanting to be pitied, etc.) I am not sure that is enough for the reader to connect them and/or want them to hook up. Third, I can appreciate Grant's "revelation" about his past. Because that's not something that turns up in a story all that often (if at all). (hide spoiler)] Like I said, if Yates keeps writing them, I will keep reading them ... this volume just let me feeling a little meh. Bring on Dane and Bea!

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