Book review: Christmas at Cardwell Ranch

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

This is the fourth book in the Cardwell Ranch series, however it can be read as a standalone.

Like all other books in this series/written by this author the first chapter helps to draw you in but its the end of that chapter that gives the reader that bang that propels you forward throughout the whole story. And of course the more you read the more you are drawn into the story, what’s happening, the mystery, the characters lives, everything.

I thought Tag is a pretty good character, at first his role seems more minor than anything else but that is because there are a number of old and new characters being introduced at the start and so he kind of gets tossed into the mix. However all these characters will help to propel the story forward. Lily’s character was enjoyable as well, and both her and Tag grew on me as the story progressed. I believe she was mentioned or has small roles in the other books in he series, however I can’t recall one hundred percent.

I liked how when Lily and Tag first saw each other there wasn’t that instantly attraction. They saw each other, exchanged a few words and then went their separate ways without much thought of each other. It wasn’t until quite a bit later in the story that they began thinking about each other and developing feelings. It didn’t take long for things to pick up in the story and while the mystery seemed small at first, starting with a break-in it quickly snowballed into something much more which made me want to keep reading and find out exactly what was happening and why certain things occurred and how they would play a part later on as more things were revealed.

Among the recurring characters from the previous book I was quite excited to see Camilla, who pretended to be Dee Anna Cardwell in the previous novel, making an appearance again. Like always there is a constant flow of events happening, some directly connecting to the main storyline and others seeming more at random but would have significance later on in the story. Trying to piece together everything to attempt to solve the mystery before it is revealed at the end is something I love to do with books like this. While I had a few ideas of what was happening around the half way point I still wasn’t sure exactly of the who but the why seemed to be a bit more clear.

There was a good amount of action, suspense, mystery, romance and that western feel to it. However while I enjoyed this book and read through it quite quickly I found that it wasn’t as good as the previous Cardwell novels. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why this one didn’t shine a much as the others in the series though. In the end I still enjoyed this, would certainly recommend this book to others and am looking forward to seeing more of this series in the future.

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