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A Cowboy Thanksgiving–Thanksgiving with Christmas themes thrown in

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A Cowboy Thanksgiving

by Melinda Curtis

If you are searching for a good seasonal read, look no further than Melinda Curtis’ final book in The Mountain Monroes Series. Although you might think it would be daunting to start reading the series with the twelfth and last book, I think you would be pleasantly surprised. Characters from previous books are mentioned or have a recurring role, but their connections are either explained or are not critical.

A Cowboy Thanksgiving focuses on Bo Monroe, the last of the Monroes to come to Second Chance, Idaho, to weigh in on the decision he and his cousins would have to make a year after they inherited the town from their beloved Grandpa Harlan. Bo brings along a friend’s cousin, Max, whom because of a bad phone connection, he assumes will be a boy. Instead, he is tasked with providing a good holiday for Maxine. Her survival technique is to erect barriers to avoid being hurt as she has been in the past as “an unwanted orphan” who later in life is “crushed by a disappointing marriage and a calculated divorce.” Max is accompanied by her precious four year old daughter Luna.

To her surprise, Max finds herself warmly embraced by the huge Monroe family who has gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving and compete in the Monroe Holiday Challenge, a week long event of fun and games that the handsome, charming, and competitive Texan Bo has never won.

The challenges combine cowboying, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with a backdrop of snow. Because so many of the Monroes are young, the competitions have been designed with their limitations in mind so the week will be fun for everyone. Contests include scarecrow stuffing, sleigh decorating, gingerbread house decorating, and snow skiing behind a horse with the skier carrying a pumpkin head to top his team’s snowman at the end of the course. Bo, Max, and Luna comprise “Team Bo,” one of five teams, while the rest of the Monroes, spouses, and children gather round to help with preparations and support the teams.

While all this is happening, Max and Bo get to know each other better. Max does not fit neatly into Bo’s list of the ideal woman’ characteristics. Will Bo discover that the heart is stronger than the head? Will Max overcome her trust issues? It is fun to watch the journey of these two. All of the Monroe clan can see the attraction and the reader watches the relationship develop along with the Monroe cousins.

The author ends the book and series with an epilogue that explains the status of the various Monroes, tying up any loose ends. She also chimes in with what Grandpa Harlan would think about his grandchildren and the legacy he passed on to them as he took the silver spoons from their mouths and gave them the opportunity to develop strength of character and discover their individual paths in life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Romance

Notes: #12 in The Mountain Monroes Series. This is a family saga, but each book focuses on a different one of the twelve cousins. Melinda Curtis says she enjoyed “the challenge of making each book connected yet stand-alone.”

Publication: August 23, 2022—Harlequin Heartwarming

Memorable Lines:

“Luna will never know what it’s like to be an afterthought. I don’t want her to learn how to hold back her tears because she’s waiting for the other shoe to drop. She should’t have to walk on eggshells wondering when the next moving day will come.” She shouldn’t have to store important possessions in her suitcase for fear she’d leave something dear to her behind in the next move.

“As a fellow engineer, I know it’s habit to follow a logical plan. There’s safety in blueprints and standard processes. But sometimes you have to embrace the unknown and trust that your ability to creatively problem-solve will lead you to a more satisfying result.”

There were more Monroes swarming about the log cabin looking for clues about who had lived there than there were ants on a potato chip dropped at a summer picnic. They all wanted to know if their grandfather had stayed here during his visits.


14 Comments

  1. […] A Cowboy Thanksgiving–Thanksgiving with Christmas themes thrown in […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you can read this and not need to start with the first ones. What fun it would be to do all the activities for a week! Thank you for your review Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WendyW says:

    A book for each of the twelve cousins sounds like a wonderful series. I love the cover with the fall leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This series is appealing, but I do love that the books can be stand alones. I often find that I tire of either the author, theme or style when I’m reading a series from beginning to end…plus sometimes I get bored having to have former events and people explained over and over again, so I appreciate only a brief reference here and there. All the events and activities sound like so much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      It was fun going through the activities with the teams. I read the books as they were published so I didn’t get tired of them, but I understand what you mean. I am not a binge reader or television watcher although I know that is a popular thing to do right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gretchen says:

    This sounds like a charming story taking place over Thanksgiving and Christmas. You don’t often find books with a Thanksgiving setting. I bet it would be challenging to write a series of so many books and keep them connected, but separate. I always appreciate when an author ends a series and lets the reader know what happens with the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carla says:

    I just read this one while at my daughter’s and I loved it. I still need to go back and read a few of the books in this series, I missed along the way, but still enjoyed this a lot. I love the quotes you chose, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

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