by Catherine Palmer, Linda Goodnight, Lisa Harris

October 2004
ISBN: 0-8423-8120-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Heart Quest
Trade Paperback

A Rancherís Heart by Catherine Palmer, set in Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory, 1885.

Victoria Jennings was used to a life of luxury as the only daughter of a wealthy rancher. But upon her fatherís death, she was reduced to a penniless orphan while her fatherís property was sold to pay off his extensive debts. Working for a cruel task master, who only allowed her to eat pig slop, Victoria dreams of her old home and longs for a way to return. She hopes the new owner will need a housekeeper. The new owner is none other than Jesse Conroy, a man who despises Victoria more than any other woman. Can Victoria ever find true happiness again?

Undercover Cowboy by Lisa Harris, set in Colorado, 1880

Abigail Covington doesnít think men can be trusted. The one man she believed in was hung for scamming the townsfolk. Now her dad is suspected for sabotaging the neighboring ranches so he can buy them out. Pinkerton Agent, Cole Ramsey, is hired by the neighboring ranchers to prove Mr. Covingtonís guilt. Cole figures the best way to prove anything is to work on the Covington ranch. He poses as a cowboy to get work. Then someone started shooting at Abigail. Would Mr. Covington try to kill his own daughter to have suspicion removed? Or is someone else behind this?

The Outlawís Gift by Linda Goodnight, set in Oklahoma Territory, 1888

Raven Patterson has lost her parents and is now struggling to raise her younger brother and sister as best she can on a failing ranch. The townsfolk arenít willing to help, but they are trying to take the younger children away to farm them out to others as extra help. Raven is determined to fight to keep the family together. Sheís grateful when Seth Blackstone appears and offers to be her hired hand in exchange for a place to stay during the winter. But Seth is an outlaw. If the local sheriff finds out his true identity, Seth will hang and the children will be removed from Ravenís care. Is there any hope that this struggling family will stay together?

Cowboy Christmas is a charming anthology written by three talented authors. I instantly fell in love with each of the heroines and heroes. They were realistically written, faults and everything. I was able to read through the entire anthology in one day. I couldnít put it down.

Cowboy Christmas is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit as each story is set during the holiday season. The authors included a special recipe at the end of each story so the reader can sample some of the foods eaten by the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Cowboy Christmas and highly recommend it for a fantasic holiday read.

Reviewed in October 2004 by Laura.