Wyoming Christmas Reunion
by Melinda Curtis
I had read and enjoyed all of the Blackwell saga until the Blackwells of Eagle Springs came along at a bad time for me to accept more books to review. So, coming to the party late, as a fan of author Melinda Curtis, I thought it would be fun to read another Christmasy romance by her. She is very good at making even her series books work well as standalones, so that was not an issue for me. Big E from the other Blackwell series is even a crossover to this one.
I liked the first part of Wyoming Christmas Reunion, and I loved the last part and the wrap-up. I didn’t enjoy the middle where divorced Helen and Nash bounce back and forth ad nauseam on overcoming their backgrounds and their current problems, on their love for each other, and on their commitment to each other.
Nash, an outstanding trainer for cutting horses, in his efforts to save the Flying Spur, the family’s ranch, from developers makes a very risky bet. Helen is a farrier by trade; she has given up riding due to the trauma of injuries from horses, Nash’s bet puts her in the position of needing to overcome her fears to even get on a horse again and then learn how to compete on a cutting horse…all in two weeks. I did learn a lot about cutting horse competition and would love to view it live.
The character in the book that charmed me and kept me going during repetitive parts of the book was Helen and Nash’s son Luke, a sweet kindergartener who wants to train his own horse like Nash did as a child. The book has a lot of themes that appeal to me—family, friendship, and forgiveness. Some of the positive attributes on display in the book are commitment, persistence, kindness, and the ability to open up to communicate on even the hard issues. I enjoyed the ending of the book, and I think those who have read the whole series will be pleased with the conclusion as all the major characters in the series make an appearance in the tale that culminates with the traditional Blackwell Holiday Feast. I also enjoyed the way Christmas carols were incorporated into the story to lighten moods and help Helen focus during the competition.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Notes: 1. #5 in the Blackwells of Eagle Springs Series
2. This is my last Christmas book review for 2022 and probably for quite a while. Next up—a cozy mystery and then historical fiction (WWII).
Publication: November 29, 2022—Harlequin Heartwarming
On those rare occasions when Helen was visibly frustrated, the very air around her was charged the way it was during a summer thunderstorm. Noise, huffing, words flung about looking for a dramatic crash landing. And then the clouds moved on as quickly as they’d blown in. And she’d be evenkeeled and easygoing, like a clear cloudless day where you’d feel recharged beneath her rays of sunshine.
She held Luke still. “Just to recap—no kisses, no kicking, no pushing or putting people in prison.” “You’re funny, Mama.” Luke kissed her cheek and ran out of the bathroom, as if leaving all his cares behind him. An enviable skill.
When the gelding realized they were going in, it was as if he was a completely different horse. He cocked his ears and snorted, head high, gathering himself like a sprinter before he took his mark at the starting line. And then he strutted forward, like he was used to being large and in charge, unafraid of zombie apocalypse bovines.