Cowboy Christmas Homecoming

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Complementary copy given for honest review. 

What a lovely book about dealing with the trauma of PTSD! This was a good read that makes you see in to the brain and heart of our service members.
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Cowboy Christmas Homecoming is the fourth title in June Faver's Dark Horse Cowboys series, and it's the third title in the series I've read. While I wasn't over-the-moon about the previous two novels, I'm a sucker for a heartwarming Christmas story, and this novel does deliver some of that in addition to some tropes I'm not over-the-moon about, like insta-love, it held my interest throughout, and it gets 3.5 stars from this reader.

As the novel opens, Big Jim, a central figure as head of the Garrett family and someone we've met in previous novels, opens a letter from his sister-in-law, Adele, letting him know that after the death of Jim's brother, she could no longer keep the ranch his brother had worked so hard on for so long, intending it go to his son Zach, who enlisted in the army right after high school, and who is finally coming home after his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Big Jim always treated his nephew like one of his sons, and his sons treated Zach like one of their brothers, and Jim plans to do so again. But the Zach who returns isn't happy that the ranch he hoped to inherit from his father was sold by his mother who couldn't or wouldn't maintain it after the death of her husband, although the rest of the Garrett family is happy to have him back and he's welcome to stay at the Garrett ranch as long as he likes. Zach is a big, strong guy, honed by years of combat, but seems somewhat cool, disconnected and distant, which is no surprise to anyone who's had a soldier return home from war and feel displaced and detached, at least until Zach soon meets one very special lady.

The lady is Stephanie, a petite yet feisty firefighter, and the attraction between these two is instantaneous. Stephanie wants to adopt the two young children, Cody and Ivy, whom she rescued from a fire after their drunken, abusive father killed their mother in front of them and set the house on fire with his children inside, to hide his crime. Stephanie's testimony at his trial got him locked up for years, but we soon learn that's not the end of his story. His children are currently being kept at an orphanage, but the administrator is one large impediment to Stephanie's adoption plan, pointing out that Stephanie is single, in a dangerous profession, lives in a small apartment, and that the orphanage would much prefer to place the two children in a stable 2-parent household. When Stephanie is being lauded with a medal from her fire company, it's a black tie affair, and since she won't get involved with any of her fellow firefighters, she asks Zach to be her escort, and it doesn't take long before they chat, dance and soon wind up in her bed--a little too soon and too fast for this reader.

In Stephanie's company, Zach begins to feel alive again after 10 years of war, death and destruction, and working on the Garrett Ranch fulfills his need to feel useful, although, since all the Garrett men have been happily married and are starting their families while he's been overseas, he feels like a fifth wheel, except when he's with Stephanie--and it's not long before Stephanie's truck is keyed, her apartment invaded and destroyed and she receives death threats from the family of the abusive killer/arsonist she helped send to prison. The drama and suspense was a welcome addition to the somewhat overdone pre-Christmas goings-on at the Garrett ranch, multiple rounds of chili and hot cocoa, and Stephanie soon moves in with Zach, who is now living and working on Grandma Fern's now vacant, small ranch nearby.

As Christmas romances go, this one will certainly give you the warm fuzzies, and, of course, an HEA ending, but I wish the author had spent more time on developing her main characters and their attraction for one another than she did on their sex lives. The insta-love on their second date was again too much and much too soon, they barely know each other outside of bed, and the declarations of love seem both ill-timed and a tad hollow.

While this novel works as a standalone, with so many characters in the Garrett family, it's hard to keep them and their offspring straight, so I strongly suggest reading the novels in this series in the order they were written. Cowboy's Christmas Homecoming was an okay read for me, but it was a bit lightweight on both plot and character development and although I liked it, I didn't love it.

I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions expressed are my own.
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This is a voluntary review of an advanced copy.

You really feel the pain as Zach comes home from his life in the military and feels that the world has moved on without him.  With all his cousins married, he feels on the outside and a third wheel.  

When he meets Stephanie it is instant attraction and they are just so great together!  Things start to go bad for Stephanie when the murderer escapes from custody and brings along two of his brothers to start to terrorize and harm her.  

Zach is more than able to meet the challenge of keeping her safe and does she need his strength and skill set!

It was fun to see the other couples from the previous books and meet their cousin, Zach.  Great HEA.
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He’s come home from war, haunted by PTSD and trying to fit in to what has become an alien world so Zach isn’t sure he’s up for a noisy, boisterous Garrett Christmas. Stephanie Gale is a firefighter and EMT, who got her life under control…until she locks eyes with Zach and realizes her heart is in a whole new kind of danger.

This holiday romance warms the heart while tugging at every heart string a readers has and there is absolutely no one could not fall far this solider cowboy. The emotional turmoil in this story flows with eager abandon from every page and puts readers though the gauntlet of them all as Stephanie and the Garrett family give Zach back some of what he lost. The characters are strong, compelling, and believable, easily drawing readers into their story while the romance sizzles with lots of chemistry and the holiday makes a perfect backdrop and time for such new beginning for such a wonderful couple. 

Surprising twist captivates readers while the hero steals readers’ hearts and the fierce heroine fits perfectly with Zach and readers just know that the couple will definitely have a forever ever after. The steady pace along with all the happenings with family and friends, celebrations, adoptions and births adds such wonderful and delightfully warm feelings that readers can’t help but sigh in happiness and envy as the this romance fills them full of holiday spirit.
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I have enjoyed the entire Dark Horse Cowboy series so much, Zach and Stephanie simply added to that enjoyment as extended family. Zach is returning from his time overseas with a lot on his shoulders. His father died while he was away, his mother sold the ranch, and he is dealing with PTSD – in many ways, his life has been turned upside down as he accepts the invitation from his uncle to land at his ranch with family for a while. To find his way again among family who will do everything in their power to help. He didn’t expect to heal, he certainly never saw love in the cards for himself, and a few surprises will change this soldier cowboy in ways he never dreamed possible.

This is a story with some twists and turns, a truly loving and in love extended family, and two adults and two children who are discovering that love comes in all shapes, sizes, ages and needs – and Stephanie, Zach and the kids really, really need each other. We’ll get to catch up with the rest of the now happily together family over the Christmas holiday season. I had such a good time returning to this world. If you love a romance where the family is not the least bit shy of showing they love each other, where no one is a stranger, and a couple who can overcome “life” happening around them as they fall in love – then COWBOY CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING is a story you’ll love. I’d recommend this one or the entire series to any reader who enjoys Modern Western Romance, strong characters, and intriguing plots.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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Cowboy Christmas Homecoming brings us back to the Garrett family and Big Jim's nephew Zach returning from deployment.
Zach is struggling to adjust being back in Texas seeing that his cousins have moved on with life while he was away the last ten years makes him feel a little unsettled and out of place.
Stephanie is tough she is a firefighter and is so taken with two small children she rescued from a domestic violence situation.  She is also taken with a certain member of the Garrett family that just returned. 
This book is so amazingly good kudos to June Faver it deserves more than 5 stars.
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Dark Horse Cowboys #4, I am so glad the series didn't end with the Garrett Brothers it has now expanded to Zach Garrett their cousin who has been away in the Army. Like with his cousins when Zach meets the woman that was meant for him he's practically 100% all in from the start. It is an easy romance with very few bumps. Zach spent two tours in the military and during his second his dad died and his mom wasn't able to maintain the ranch so when Zach came home he came to his uncle's house not his mother's new home in Ft. Worth. Big Jim welcomed his nephew with open arms. Zach is dealing with a bit of PTSD and feeling like he doesn't fit in with the family any more, but then there is Stephanie.

Stephanie Gale, we met in one of the previous books, is a firefighter/EMT who specializes in confined space retrieval. She recently was called on to a scene where two young children witnessed their step father murder their mother. She was first on the scene and was the one who took the kids to the hospital. Stephanie and the kids formed an attachment and if the social worker wasn't such a *clears throat* wasn't so old fashion Stephanie would have adopted them weeks ago. Unfortunately right before Christmas the step father managed to escape police custody with help of his two brothers. Stephanie worries about the kids but she should be worried about herself too. After her first official date with Zach he bring her home to a destroyed apartment and a couple hours later she's attacked by one of the brothers. Zach's protectiveness amps up he may not have a lot to offer Stephanie but he can protect her until she's no longer in danger.

Stephanie falls for Zach quickly she wants to help him even if that means tracking down Jewel and bringing her here. Trying to track down Zach's dog from overseas took many phone calls being put on hold and transferred a bunch of times, but being a bit sneaky but it payed off. Big Jim has such a big heart he wants what's best for those poor kids so he offers to bring them to his home for Christmas and since Stephanie will be spending the holiday at his house too, well, two birds one stone everyone is happy. That is until Stephanie goes missing.

Overall, great book. It can be read as a standalone even though Leah (from book one of the series) and her pregnancy have a big chunk of this book just about her. It did distract a little from the other storyline but it was nice to see Tyler, Leah and Gracie I just wish it didn't take up so much of the book. I don't want the series to end I kind of want to see Dex, the deputy, get a book.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Cowboy Christmas Homecoming 
By: June Faber

*REVIEW*  🌟🌟🌟
I  fully expected a possible rendition of a Hallmark movie with this story. And I wasn't wrong, which is both good and bad. It's good because Christmas reads should be warm and fuzzy feel good stories. The elements of love, trust, belief, redemption and home were all represented. The bad is that the threshold for predictably and sugar sweetness was breached. A bit too much for me personally. While I did enjoy the story mostly, a little pull back of the wonderful holiday warm fuzziness would have made it more relatable and believable. But, hallmark lovers will love this book!
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This story read like fan-fiction. Hurried action, way too much going on, too much sweetness. All it needs is for the characters to call each other honeybunch and sweetums to complete it. I thought from the description that I would be reading something with grit, but it didn’t happen.
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THE DELIGHT

The middle of a series did't turn out too bad, but the story was too predictable with a side of way to silly sweet to make it enjoyable. The story line just didn't grab me and it felt off rather than exciting and romantic.

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REVIEW

Zach Garrett is returning home for several tours, suffering from PTSD. His mother sold the ranch while he was gone and all he wanted was to turn to his own ranch to build a life. Instead he heads to his uncles ranch, his cousins and the town he grew up. This isn't his ranch though and he feels a little left out and on edge, but the family won't let that stand. They don't address it all right on, but through subtle acts to let him know they are his family and will be there for him through thick and thin.

Stephanie Gale is a firefighter and EMT with special skills. When she is the first to respond to a call, she finds two kids who witnessed their mother's death by the hands of their stepfather. Bondig with the kids, she so wants to adopt them and become a mom. But her risky job and apartment along with her single status, makes it next to impossible for this to happen.

When Zack and Stephanie meet, they both feel sparks, but take it incredibility slow ....so slow. But with anything, the bad guy escapes a jail transport and now she lives in fear as little things start to happen that make her aware she is in the cross - hairs of the stepfather. Now all she wants to do is protect the kids and thinks she is invincible.

The story suffers from predictability with a side does of the couple never really having a conflict moment to make it seem like they would never get together. It just was your beautiful here, your wonderful there and all the gooey words that after awhile become boring.

It all works out happily ever after, but I feel let down in a western story that brushes a lot under the rug and makes people seem so perfect. Perfect is boring.
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I have voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this title given to me via NetGalley. Cowboy Christmas Homecoming is the fifth book in Dark Horse Cowboys series. I really enjoyed this installment. It was really well written and it just had you trying to solve the mystery. I look forward to seeing what’s next from this author.
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader – ☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance

Zach is returning from war and isn't quite sure where he should land. His dad died during his service and his mom sold off their farm. Zach had always thought that he would take over the farm, but with it gone, he's not sure what to do. He ends up heading to a place he spent a lot of his childhood – his uncle's farm.

Stephanie is a firefighter/EMT and loves her job. She is of small stature and is part of a crew where she is sent into small spaces in order to rescue people. Stephanie has known the Garrett family for a while and when she's visiting their farm, she runs in to Zach.

The attraction between Zach and Stephanie is intense. But with both of their lives unsettled at the moment, neither really knows what to do about their attraction. These two main characters were very well developed. I loved watching them lean on each other and their friends and family. Also, watching them navigate their relationship was fun.

This is a sweet story about coming home, accepting what you can't change, and loving yourself. It has some good action and mystery, but it doesn't take away from the romance in the story.

Potential Triggers: Stalking, Murder, Kidnapping
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It is a very interesting and lovely story from June. It is so sweet to see a big strong guy falling in love. What a great writer. .
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I don't know why I bothered when the other two books in this series fell incredibly short. This one left me feeling the same way. DNF 24%. Constant repetition, no real character development and desperately in need of a good editor. 

Talking about Stephanie..."she's....awesome!"

What grown man uses awesome to describe a woman he's falling for? I could maybe see as part of a description, but that was the extent of the description. The !!!! are everywhere in this book, though rarely needed.

The little bit of the book I read was extremely predictable.
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Thank you NetGalley and Source Books Casablanca for the Review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Uh, so the fourth book in the series. The prior novels characters are included quite often. Zack has come back from the war and has PTSD. Stephanie is a firefighter who saved these two kids she wants to adopt. They meet and have a connection. There’s a bad guy who’s trying to hurt Stephanie because of her saving the kids. This book just seems rushed. The two meet and go on a few dates. Then suddenly they are in love and living together. Stephanie keeps being told she can’t adopt the kids because she’s single and works in a dangerous job. Zack is still having bad dreams from being at war, but being around his family and Stephanie makes it all better? Okay then. Also the entire Garrett family is so annoying. They are so happy and in love all of the time. And they all really love Christmas. I was being hit over the head with those points repeatedly. Also the subtle references to God and Amen all the time were obnoxious.

There was nothing special about this book or the romance. You could guess what was going to happen. Insta love is lame. Just like this book. I would not read the other books in this series or anything else by this author. It’s just not for me.
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This is the first book I’ve read by June Faver. Cowboy Christmas Homecoming is book 4 in the Dark Horse Cowboys series. When I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, the book description appealed to me, so I agreed to read and review in advance of publication. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

The premise for Cowboy Christmas Homecoming is intriguing, and the characters are engaging. The pacing is good because the story has a good bit of action. There are plenty of suspenseful scenes that kept me engaged from the beginning to the end.

Stephanie Gale’s character is fiercely passionate about her work as a firefighter, but underneath, she yearns to be a mother. She rescued two little children who have lost their mother, then their father had abused them. They are in state custody, and she wants to adopt them, but the caseworker believes they would be better off with a two-parent family. I could feel her pain when it looks like she will not get to adopt the children.

Zach Garrett is a tortured hero who suffers from PTSD, after he loses several members of his team. He feels a lot of survivor’s guilt, to the point that he left the military when he’d expected to make it his career. He’s struggling to fit in with his uncle’s family. He’s lost a lot. His mother sold the farm he’d expected to come back to when his father died, and now he must find a new way to make his way.

The romance between Stephanie and Zach moves incredibly fast, and I must admit, it felt unrealistic to me. They go on one date, and then they fall into bed together. Although neither characters were into flings. Zach’s not been with a woman for many years, and Stephanie’s always held herself back from entanglements after she had her heart bruised. It all just moves too fast.

Now, the part of the story involving the children was very appealing. The children were adorable, and Stephanie’s generous heart called to me. I also enjoyed the interaction between her and the other women in Zach’s family.

If you enjoy Christmas stories with large family gatherings, and a suspenseful plot, then you will enjoy Cowboy Christmas Homecoming. While this wasn’t a strong, emotionally fulfilling love story, the other aspects of this book made it an entertaining reading experience. Happy reading!
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This is a feel-good story. Perfect for the Christmas holiday. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it any other time though. You know how sometimes it is easier to just close yourself off from others rather than try to explain? Both Stephanie and Zach have this problem. Keeps you from getting hurt doesn’t it? But this isn’t your everyday story. This is a story about a female firefighter and a veteran.

It’s a good story with some action and while romance is not my usual genre, this is not any kind of explicit romance. Romance is the side plot of this story. There’s plenty more of story to read and characters you’ll like, both good and bad.

I won’t tell you this is a heavy, complex book. It isn’t. But as I said it’s a story to enjoy and make you feel good and hope that things turn out your way.
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A well written fast paced story with enough drama and action to keep you turning the pages. A military man returns hope searching for himself and the love he is missing from his life. With lots of turns along the way he reaches his HEA. This was my first book by June Faver but it definitely won't be the last.
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I voluntarily offered to review this book with no obligations and my opinions are honest!
This was a great book !
Zach is just back from the war.
For now, he is living with his uncle Big Jim.
Stephanie is a firefighter and an EMT.
The holidays are approaching, and these 2 are single.
I think that we all can do the math.
Will these 2 give love a chance ?
It has all the ingredients that you need for a great book
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A Cowboy Christmas Homecoming by June Faver is a Dark Horse Cowboys novel and a beautiful love story between Zach Garrett, a newly discharged soldier and Stephanie Gayle a local firefighting badass. Zach's father had died while he was overseas and his mother, overwhelmed, sold the ranch Zach had always thought would be his. Stephanie had rescued two children from a fire after their stepfather, right in front of them, had murdered their mother. Not really a match made in heaven, or is it? Stephanie really wants to adopt these two kids and Zach really wants to stop the nightmares and get back on his feet. What does he have to offer? Not much, or so he thinks.  Big Jim Garrett is his uncle, a second father to him, who lives on his ranch with his three sons, Zach's cousins, all of whom are ready to welcome him back into the family. 

A heartbreaking portrayal of PTSD and how difficult it is for a soldier to come home. Zach is likable and an all-around decent guy who has been through a lot. His character is one the reader takes to immediately and roots for the entire way. Stephanie has worked so hard to prove she's a good a firefighter as the guys at the department, that it is difficult for her to let loose and be a human, plus the reality of trying to adopt as a single woman with a dangerous career. She is tired and frustrated. What else can go wrong?  Well, she soon finds out, but a lot goes right, as well. I gripping novel exploring aspects of real life that many readers will be unfamiliar with. I enjoyed it. I think you will, too. I recommend it. 

I received a free ARC of A Cowboy Christmas Homecoming. All opinions and interpretations contained herein are solely my own.  #netgalley   #acowboychristmashomecoming
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