Christmas at the Ranch
by Anita Hughes
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Pub Date 27 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 11 Oct 2022
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin
Filled with Christmas cheer, and the magic that can only be found in Jackson Hole, Wyoming under the shadow of the Tetons, Anita Hughes's Christmas at the Ranch is a love story that is sure to enchant, and warm your heart like a cup of hot apple cider.
It’s days before Christmas and Samantha Morgan is in her Brooklyn apartment when her editor, Charlie, shows up. Her publisher Arthur Wentworth is throwing a Christmas party and wants Samantha to be the guest of honor. Samantha tries to come up with an excuse to miss it. She writes a series of books featuring a female James Bond-type heroine named Sloane Parker and Charlie is the only person who knows that Samantha is the opposite of Sloane, though the marketing team has built up an entire social media presence for her claiming that she is just as adventurous. In reality, Samantha rarely leaves her neighborhood and does her research online. She is afraid of almost everything and is only happy when she’s sitting in her apartment and writing.
Samantha reluctantly agrees to go. But instead of taking her to Arthur’s house in Connecticut, the driver goes to the airport. On the phone, Charlie admits that the party is at Arthur’s new ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For a person who hates even walking around the block when it snows, this is her worst nightmare.
But when a handsome stranger sits next to her on the plane, things begin to look up. She feels comfortable enough to spill all her secrets to him, including all of her fears and the truth about her fake Instagram account. However, when she shows up at the house, it turns out that this man, Drew, is Arthur’s son. Now Samantha is worried that Drew will tell his father about her lies.
Over the course of Christmas week, Samantha grows closer to Drew. But when his fiancée, Beatrix (who recently gave him an ultimatum about settling down), shows up, things get more complicated. As Samantha’s fears of bison and giant icicles subside, and her feelings for Drew grow deeper, new fears develop…
Will she leave this Christmas adventure broken-hearted? Or will true love prevail?
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Average rating from 65 members
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This is my first time reading Anita Hughes and I fell in love with this book from the get go.
Samantha Morgan is a published writer and is well known for her Sloane Parker books. Samantha is nothing like her character Sloane but her PR people have tried to make her more adventurous than she really is.
Samantha has become afraid of so many every day things in life ever since Roger left New York without so much as a word and an explanation of why he left.
Arthur Wentworth is the head of the publishing firm that has the rights to the Sloane Parker books. Arthur has invited Samantha to his ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming for the Christmas season. Samantha doesn't want to go but her agent Charlie insists that it would be bad for her writing career to not accept Arthur's invitation.
On the flight from New York to Jackson Hole, Samantha talks to a very nice man on the plane who helped her get over her anxiety and fears of flying.
Samantha later finds out that this man is Drew Wentworth, Arthur's son. Drew is home for the holidays and his fiance, Beatrix is supposed to be there also.
Friendship, romance and love of the great outdoors is what is in store for Samantha during this 10 day outing.
A very quick read with lots of wisdom and relationship building to take in.
Anita Hughes has created a work of fiction but made it feel so real, when I looked up from the final page, it took a moment to refocus on my reality, where I live and the weather outside. What do you do when you are living a lie? When fear holds you back from living your life much less enjoy the adventures that your Instagram account reveals? And what do you do when a work obligation moves you out of your comfort zone and away from a beloved furbaby (don’t you just novels that include your furry family members)? A holiday novel but well worth reading regardless the time of year, you won’t regret experiencing Christmas at the Ranch.
How often we deny ourselves adventures or simple things in life because we are afraid of something? Sometimes we just have to take a leap just like Samantha. And, oh boy, we are in for a ride. We laugh and cry with Samantha. We also admire her loyalty and kindness. And we all fall in love with Drew. A Christmas time novel that even non-Christmas person (like me) will absolutely enjoy the book. And maybe take a leap of faith in the new year.
Anita Hughes’s Christmas books are some of my absolute favorite holiday reads of all time! I anticipated that I love this and she did not let me down. These are predictable, comforting, heartwarming romance novels in enviable settings. There’s excellent character development and no gable writing.
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