Tuesday, December 12, 2023

#Giveaways Sophia Rose Reviews Christmas in Painted Pony Creek by Linda Lael Miller Day 8 #HoHoHoHarlequinHolidayExtravaganza


On Day 8 of the holiday blog bash Sophia Rose is sharing her review of the Queen of Western Romance, Linda Lael Miller's holiday novel, Christmas in Painted Pony Creek 
Sit back enjoy her review and don't forget to enter the 2 #Giveaways.

Christmas in Painted Pony Creek by Linda Lael Miller

#4 Painted Pony Creek

Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance

Publisher:  Canary Street Press

Published:  10.10.23

Pages:  288

Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: eARC

Source: Harlequin via NetGalley

Sellers:  Publisher

ADD TO: GoodReads

GoodReads Blurb:

Get cozy with this heartwarming holiday story! 

Can a Christmas miracle mend her broken heart?

Tessa Stafford will do anything for her daughter, Isabel…even stay on the run to protect Isabel from her narcissistic grandmother. But when her car breaks down in Painted Pony Creek, Tessa gets caught up in the warm embrace of the town and feels safe enough to build a home—and a life—for them both. Love is the last thing on her mind until rugged cowboy and lawyer Jesse McKettrick’s sexy smile and easy way tempt her into imagining more. But can she trust this handsome stranger with her heart?

When Tessa and her adorable daughter blow into town, Jesse McKettrick is smitten—by both the little girl and her beautiful mother. He’s always wanted a family of his own. Maybe this Christmas, his wish will finally come true. But the walls around Tessa are impenetrable, and when Tessa’s past threatens their newfound future—and the family he’s come to love—Jesse won’t let them go without a fight.


Sophia Rose's Review:

A woman and her little girl on the run break down in Painted Pony Creek for the holidays and find wonder and magic and love.  But, a self-centered, determined woman won’t leave them be and running has been their only option until now.


Christmas in Painted Pony Creek was my intro to the widely acclaimed Linda Lael Miller’s writing.  Boy howdy, I can see why now.  I’m no stranger to the snug and comfy small town holiday romance where a wanderer finds home, but instead of it feeling stale and same-ol’, I settled in from the start and regretted closing the book on the last page.  While I could see this was part of an ongoing series and met characters who starred in previous books, I had no trouble reading this out of order as a standalone.  The tone was gentle and sweet, but it read swiftly for me.  I have future dates with the rest of the Painted Pony Creek series so I can meet all these kind folk who felt like family from the beginning.


As I mentioned, Tessa and her little girl arrive by way of their car giving out and discover a town of people ready to embrace them and their needs.  They meet Jesse at the diner.  He’s taking a sabbatical from his legal work to work construction and needs to figure out what he wants to do.  Their mutual attraction was a lovely layer in the story rather than the only focus and I’m a total sucker for a cowboy and little girl connecting on their own so Jesse fell for both ladies.  The western movie references were a fun running joke through the book.  I enjoyed meeting all the small town characters and seeing them generously step in to help Tessa and Isabella and wish Jesse well while going about their lovely holiday traditions.


Isabella’s step-grandmother was over the top the way she kept coming after them to get Isabella.  Her relentless pursuit gave a pinch of suspenseful spice to an otherwise sweet story full of holiday cheer and magic.


A small town western charmer of a holiday romance hit the spot and left me smiling and satisfied.  Drop this bit of holiday cheer into your stocking for a feel-good from Painted Pony Creek.

Author Bio:

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, Linda pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a spacious property outside Spokane.
Linda traces the birth of her writing career to the day when a Northport teacher told her that the stories she was writing were good, that she just might have a future in writing. Later, when she decided to write novels, she endured her share of rejection before she sold Fletcher’s Woman in 1983 to Pocket Books. Since then, Linda has successfully published historicals, contemporaries, paranormals, mysteries and thrillers before coming home, in a literal sense, and concentrating on novels with a Western flavor. For her devotion to her craft, the Romance Writers of America awarded her their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Long a passionate Civil War buff, Linda has studied the era avidly for almost thirty years. She has read literally hundreds of books on the subject, explored numerous battlegrounds and made many visits to her favorite, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where she has witnessed re-enactments of the legendary clash between North and South. Linda explores that turbulent time in The Yankee Widow, a May 7, 2019 MIRA Books hardcover, also available in digital and audiobook formats.
Dedicated to helping others, “The First Lady of the West” personally financed fifteen years of her Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women, which she awarded to women 25 years and older who were seeking to improve their lot in life through education. She anticipates that her next charitable endeavors will benefit four-legged critters.
More information about Linda and her novels is available at www.lindalaelmiller.com, on Facebook and from Nancy Berland Public Relations, nancy@nancyberland.com, 405-206-4748.

Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience so many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Though, sorry, no horror or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sophia.rose.7587

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiarose1816

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13418187.Sophia_Rose


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  1. I haven't tried this author but you've given me a positive impression.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. Yay! Glad to tempt you, Anne. I was glad to finally pick up her work and enjoy it so much.

  2. Great review Sophia! I love small town romance books! And the cover is just gorgeous! Very festive!

    1. Oh yes, that town was like its own major character. :) I thought that cover was gorgeous, too.

  3. I think I may have this book. Sounds like I need to move it up on my TBR. I love an added bit of suspense in my romance, so I'm happy to hear there is some here! :)

  4. I enjoy this author whenever I pick her books up. This sounds lovely.

  5. you can never go wrong with the queen of western romance :) great review