Length: 9 hours 17 minutes
Series: Navy SEAL Cowboys #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Narrator: Abby Craden
Also in this series: Cowboy SEAL Homecoming
Also by this author: Cowboy SEAL Homecoming
Single mom and Revival Ranch's on-site therapist Monica Finley has dedicated her life to helping brave servicemen and women, but former Navy SEAL Gabe Cortez is the one man whose shell she just can't crack. Yet with the holidays fast approaching, she may finally have a plan. In a bid to get Gabe to open up, she'll ask for as much help as possible-cutting down the Christmas tree, stringing lights, the whole nine yards. Who could possibly be a Grinch with so much holiday cheer in the air? Gabe has always hated Christmas-the holiday never fails to remind him just how alone he truly is. But the more time he spends with Monica and her young son, the more he finds himself drawn to their cozy little family . . . and the more he begins to realize his long-suppressed Christmas dreams may finally be coming true. Contains mature themes.
Cowboy SEAL Christmas delivers a blend of things I often enjoy-grumpy ex-military men and Christmas! I thought this would be a holiday novella, but it is a full story! This is the tale of Gabe, an ex-SEAL who has a slew of family issues as well as PTSD, and Monica, the psychologist/single mom who lives on the ranch.
Revival Ranch started in book one with Becca and her ex-stepbrother (one of the SEALs). Now Becca and Alex are getting married and the only single people left on the ranch are Gabe and Monica. Both feel an attraction to each other, but Gabe doesn’t trust shrinks and Monica doesn’t think it would be wise to cross that professional line. Her husband was in the military and died during a routine training exercise when their son was still a baby. Colin is 10 now and Monica hasn’t dated at all. Her and Gabe both have…issues. Gabe is physically and mentally better off than both Alex and Jake, but that doesn’t mean he is okay. Gabe and Monica sort of dance around their feelings for each other and that is the main plot of the book. Personally, I thought it felt a bit slow at times. I loved getting to see the previous characters (including Rasputin and Ron Swanson!), and Colin was a good addition. I enjoyed the story but I think it might have actually worked better as a novella.
You can read this as a stand alone. While the previous characters are present, its not necessary to KNOW their stories in order to understand Gabe and Monica!
This was my first listen to narrator Abby Craden and she was great! She didn’t attempt to ‘over act’ the male voices and her performance was enjoyable.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: hate to love, ex-military, single mom
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler