The Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship
by Brenda Minton
About the book~
With her mortgaged farm, rebellious brother and two jobs, Layla Silver is struggling to keep afloat for the holidays. But does she need Gage Cooper riding to her rescue? Back in high school, Gage was nobody’s hero. Now he’s an injured bull rider home for Christmas to make amends for his checkered past. And something about the stubborn, beautiful Layla has him wanting more than forgiveness. Can a wandering cowboy turn a Christmas courtship into an everlasting love? 
Meet the Characters~
“When a guy looked death in the face, in the form of a one-ton bull, it made him think about how he’d treated the people in his life.” 
Injured bullrider Gage Cooper headed back home to Dawson, Oklahoma, to recover. While he was recuperating, he intended to make things right with a few people, starting with Layla Silver. But, with his large family and a granny intent on marrying him off, he didn’t plan to stay home long. Besides, he couldn’t look at his blind brother without being angry at God.
“She was not a good judge of character. She was the person who kicked the dog out of the house for chewing up the shoes and then let him back in, thinking he wouldn’t do it again.”

Layla Silver had learned from a young age not to allow people to get too close. Her mother always hid her black eyes, and Layla assumed that’s what people did: hid behind closed doors. So when her parents were killed in a car accident, she gave up dreams of college and a family of her own and assumed responsibility for her eight-year-old brother. Now he was a rebellious fifteen-year-old and she was worn out from working two jobs and feeling incredibly alone, but that didn’t mean she could allow herself to fall for Gage just because he flashed that dazzling smile at her. She knew he hid a lot of anger behind that cocky grin. And besides, he never stuck around long.
“Layla was the kind of woman a man married. He made a habit of staying away from the marrying kind.”
Sharing my thoughts~
What an intense opening scene between Layla and Gage. You know there’s a history between them, but the author doesn’t offer many details and that’s just the way I like opening scenes. Gage stops to help Layla, and sees her like he hadn’t before: strong, quiet, and never accepting help. Initially, he wants to help her because he feels he owes her, but somewhere along the way, his motivation changes into something deeper, something longer lasting. 
What a love story! I enjoyed the progression, from Layla’s high school crush and Gage’s feeling that he had to right a wrong  into something powerful and beautiful. Gage does such sweet things for Layla, and she can’t help but fall in love with the changed man.
“…he wondered why all of a sudden, his life no longer fit. It felt like a favorite pair of boots that were suddenly too small.”
I always like it when a romance runs deeper and treads into serious territory, and this one didn’t disappoint. Gage found himself asking tough questions, like why his brother was blinded and Layla could never catch a break while he skipped through life with hardly a care.
Although this book has a holiday setting and title, I’d recommend The Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship as a great read for anytime of the year!

Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Harlequin Love Inspired and NetGalley for providing me with an advance review copy of The Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.
Have you read The Cowboy’s Christmas Courtship? 
Do you agree with my review? What were your thoughts?

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