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HomeContemporaryContemporary WesternUncaged Review - The Christmas Cowboy by Shanna Hatfield with Excerpt

Uncaged Review – The Christmas Cowboy by Shanna Hatfield with Excerpt

The Christmas Cowboy
Shanna Hatfield
Western Holiday Romance

The combination of Christmas and hunky cowboy
May prove to be more than she can resist. . .

Tate Morgan is as tough as they come. He can handle the wildest bronc on the rodeo circuit, but he loses the ability to think straight around the beautiful woman he keeps running into at the airport. Completely captivated by the uptight executive who makes it clear she detests cowboys, Tate will have to work a little holiday magic if he wants to win her heart.

Married to her job as a corporate trainer for a successful direct sales company, Kenzie Beckett doesn’t have time for a man. Besides, after being burned twice by two-timing losers, she refuses to allow a third opportunity to exist. Unfortunately, no one told that to the handsome rodeo cowboy who catches her eye at the airport. He’ll need more than a pair of fine-fitting jeans, dusty boots, and dimpled smile to break past her resistance and bring her a heaping helping of holiday cheer.

Full of laughter and tender romance, The Christmas Cowboy takes readers on a sweet Christmas adventure to a happily ever after.


“Do you think she’ll come?” Cort asked Tate as he stretched behind the chutes at the rodeo.
Determined to center his focus on the upcoming ride, Tate struggled to block out thoughts of Kenzie.
If he hadn’t been in love with her before last night, he certainly was now.
He kept picturing how tempting she looked in the candlelight at the restaurant, how her skin felt so soft beneath his fingers, how much that one amazing kiss had him wanting hundreds more.
“Probably not.” Tate stretched his legs, making sure the adjustment on his stirrups was just right.
“You sent a ticket to her at the hotel, didn’t you?” Cort leaned against the fence and chewed on a toothpick.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be here,” Tate said, annoyed and out of sorts for reasons he couldn’t explain and didn’t want to examine.
More than anything, he wanted Kenzie to watch him ride tonight. He knew she had a meeting, but from what details he gathered, it should be over at seven. If she really wanted to see him ride, she’d have time to get to the rodeo.
His current state of irritability derived from the thought that she honestly wasn’t interested in him.
Cort’s chuckles caused him to look up with a cool glare.
“What’s so funny, man?” Tate asked, looking around for the source of his friend’s amusement. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, all he could see was a bunch of other cowboys getting ready to compete.
“You.” Cort shook his head as he waggled a finger at Tate. “I’ve never seen you so worked up about a girl before and I’ve seen you with a lot of girls.”
“Yeah, well most of them weren’t of my choosing, you know. I can’t help who is in the recent circle of biggest fans or stalkers,” Tate said, continuing to stretch his muscles as he brushed aside a niggling concern over one fan that wouldn’t leave him alone. He was convinced the woman was certifiably insane.
“Whatever.” Cort waved a dismissive hand at Tate. “Admit it, man. She’s under your skin.”
“I’m not admitting anything,” Tate said, knowing Cort was right. Kenzie was under his skin, wrapped up in his thoughts, with an ever-tightening hold on his heart.
If he wanted to win the event, let alone stay on the horse he’d drawn, he was going to have to concentrate on the ride ahead and quit speculating about Kenzie and her feelings for him, or the apparent lack of them.
Later, they sat on a fence watching the grand entry of the rodeo. Cort nudged Tate so hard he almost fell backward off the top rail.
“Is that her?” Cort motioned to the bleachers as Tate regained his balance. Although he hadn’t met Kenzie, his friend shared several photos he took of her with his phone.
Tate’s gaze followed Cort’s pointing finger and his eyes widened in surprise. Kenzie maneuvered her way to her seat dressed in a navy suit and heels.
Quickly jumping off the fence, Tate jogged toward the stands. Kenzie looked around, getting her bearings, as he hustled up the steps and squatted down beside her.
“Dewdrop, I didn’t think you’d be able to make it.” He took her hand in his and squeezed her fingers. The warmth in her eyes as she gazed at him made his heartbeat kick into overdrive. Maybe she cared about him more than she wanted to admit.
The jubilant smile on his face made her glad she raced through her presentation, ran through the hotel as if the building was aflame, and pleaded with the taxi driver to put some hustle in it so she’d arrive at the rodeo on time.
Kenzie smiled at Tate, savoring the feel of his big, rough hand against hers. A bright light twinkled in his blue eyes while the grin on his face was both charming and engaging.
“My meeting wrapped up early so I decided to come. I realize, though, I am probably the only person here in a business suit, so don’t make fun of me,” Kenzie warned good-naturedly.
“No, ma’am.” Tate kissed her cheek before taking a seat on the steps beside her. He’d reserved a seat for her on the end of a row with some of his friends in hopes if she did come, he could sneak in a few minutes with her. “I’m really glad you’re here.”
“Me, too,” Kenzie said with a sincerity Tate could hear in her voice.
“Is there anything you need me to explain to you?” Tate asked, as they watched the end of the grand entry.
“This ain’t my first rodeo, cowboy.” The western twang she inflected into her voice made them both laugh.
“Okay,” Tate said in surprise. He wondered what else he had to learn about the beautiful woman who just made everything right in his world by showing up to see him ride.
When the bareback riding began, Tate whipped off his hat to hide their faces and gave Kenzie a kiss that made her wonder if her shoes would melt right off her feet.
“For luck.” He stood and settled the hat on his head as those around them laughed or hollered.
“Ride ‘em, cowboy.” Kenzie grinned at Tate with flushed cheeks. Thoroughly embarrassed, his attention also pleased her immensely. He’d just made it known to anyone watching that she was off limits and that was fine with her.
Tate hurried down the steps and behind the chutes with Kenzie’s eyes glued to his jean-covered backside.
A little girl sitting beside her watched her observation of Tate.
“Is he your boyfriend?” the little girl asked.
Kenzie looked down at the blond hair in pigtails, red flowered T-shirt, and jeans tucked into bright red cowboy boots. The cherubic face staring up at her made her smile.
“Not exactly,” Kenzie said, not wanting to discuss her feelings for Tate with a six-year-old.
“Either he is or he isn’t,” the wise child said, staring at Kenzie with tiny arms crossed over her chest and an impatient look on her face. “Grammy says you’ve got to learn to make up your mind.”
“Your Grammy sounds very smart.” Kenzie watched as Tate disappeared into the sea of cowboy hats barely visible behind the chutes from her seat.
“Is Tate your boyfriend?” the cherub asked again. “He’s really nice, and all the girls think he’s cute.”
“He is nice and very cute.” Although she replied to the child, her thoughts remained lost in the kiss Tate planted on her in front of everyone. Normally, she would be mortified at such behavior, but somehow, tonight, it seemed perfect.
“If you let him kiss you like that, don’t you think he’s probably your boyfriend?”

Uncaged Review

This is a sweet romance that simmers slowly and even though it’s not an action packed book, the characters are easy to love and the author infuses enough humor to keep you turning the pages. There was a couple times I wanted to shake some sense into Kenzie, but she does finally get to where she needs to be, and the journey is a fun, holiday romance well worth picking up this holiday season. I also love the idea that one of the supporting cast in this book, has his own story in book two of the series. Reviewed by Cyrene

4 1/2 Stars


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