In Merry Christmas Cowboy, by Janet Dailey, Paula is a police officer in Denver. She's volunteered to work security, as well as generally helping out, at The Christmas House. Zach is a rancher who also does carpentry work, he's in Denver to help a friend. After being pulled over by Paula, he is just as intrigued when he meets her at The Christmas House also. Not needed at his family ranch for a while, Zach decides to stay on in Denver for a while, also volunteering at The Holiday House. Besides being for a good cause, it also means he'll get to see more of Paula.
As Paula and Zach start to know each other, they also start to enjoy each others company more and more. It's been a while since Paula has any kind of social life, but Paula can't help if Zach is hiding something from her back on his ranch. As Paula and Zach alternatively fight the attraction and attempt to give in to it, they are drawn into the life of Brandon, the teenage boy living with his Grandma (who runs The Christmas House). They are worried about the path he's on, who he's hanging around with, and what kind of future he'll have. Between the romantic dance Zach and Paula are doing, Paula's mixed signals, knowing what they want but neither of them sure enough to reach for it, and dealing with Brandon and some mystery's at The Christmas House, Merry Christmas, Cowboy is a sweet holiday read that will keep you on your toes. Will Paula and Zach find a way to be together, or is this destined to be a holiday romance only? Can they find a way to reach Brandon and help him off a destructive path?
Janet gives us a lot of interesting characters in Merry Christmas, Cowboy that help strengthen the story. Paula and Zach alone were a bit ho-hum and even if they could feel the attraction I had a hard time capturing it. I never felt like I had a good grasp on Paula and her story...Zach jumps out at the reader way more! I felt the romance between Zach and Paula had a bit of a too slow build up, so it was a bit hard for me to get into the book.
I liked the concept of the plot, The Christmas House and the mix of a bit of mystery into the story line.
Merry Christmas, Cowboy is a clean Christmas romance, the heat is there but what happens behind closed doors stays off the pages and I think that worked well with Zach and Paula's story.
I'd recommend Merry Christmas, Cowboy to romance readers looking for a light holiday read.