Lena Nelson Dooley starts off this collection of Christmas romances with the story of Charlsey, the youngest daughter of Frank Ames , Texas rancher. This little blonde cattle-roping bombshell resists the appeal of Harold Miller whom she disparagingly refers to as “Boston” for his cold Northern upbringing. Can Harold warm up to ranching and Texas ways to sweep her off her feet in time for a Christmas wedding?
Next, Darlene Franklin brings us the tale of older sister Lucy, gifted with a keen sight with a rifle. Lucy finds more gifts than she thought she possessed as she tours in a Wild West show. Can her unique talents win the heart of the show proprietor’s son, Gordon? Will Gordon’s calling from God whisk him from the arms of this humble beauty? A special gift awaits them on Christmas.
Vickie McDonough ropes heartstrings with her yarn about Sarah Ames, the daughter who believes she should have been born a son. Sarah finds more ease among the horses than she does in the kitchen. When her father hires a new hand with her beloved horses, will her rivalry and suspicion of him prevent her from yielding to attraction to this gentle horse trainer? Will Carson Romero put his brand on her heart under the mistletoe?
Finally, the oldest Ames girl, Bess, emerges in the voice of story weaver Kathleen Y’Barbo. Bess struggles with a self-image hurt by an unflattering childhood rhyme that Joe Mueller made up about her. “Bessie Mae, plain as day.” Will her grudge against this man, now a handsome Texas ranger, harden her stubborn heart? Her father courts a neighbor widow, and she fears she will intrude upon their newlywed home if she stays an old maid forever. Can Joe win her confidence and rescue her from a fearful fate? Christmas holds the biggest surprise of all for Bess, with a new rhyme and a new life.
Wild West Christmas provides an authentic flavor of Texas ranching life at the end of the 19th Century. Each character captured the rugged independence of the lone star state, and each tale depicted a unique romance sure to capture the heart. I especially enjoyed the three dimensional characters, like Lucy’s humility despite rising to acclaim, and Sarah’s conflicting desire to make her father proud when he demands that she give up the one thing that stirs her passion—horses. Each story weaves a redemptive thread through to a satisfying conclusion.