Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pink Heart Picks: The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle

In the final Pink Heart Picks installment for 2010, Donna Alward is here to chat about Raeanne Thayne's THE COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE - and announces what book we're tackling on her tbr in January!

December naturally calls for a holiday story and so I snagged Thayne's The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle off my TBR.

WHY did it take me so long to read something by this author? I wish I'd done it sooner. I really really loved this book. Maybe not everyone would - I know my neighbour doesn't enjoy romances with kids in them for example. But here's my list of what I loved:

  • A strong heroine who has faced adversity but hasn't let it make her bitter - she's a hard worker and a good woman. Jenna's kindness and patience are definite virtues.
  • A sexy, aspirational hero who is a bit grumpy at first but boy, when those kids win him over, he's irresistible.
  • Speaking of kids - loved them. All of them. Even the sullen Hayden. I knew there had to be a scene where something changed for him and when it came I was wiping my eyes. Brilliant move for Christmas Eve.
  • It made me hungry. Yummy food. I love books with food.
  • Realistic dialogue. Sometimes it had me laughing out loud, but anyone who has raised a family will recognize certain conversations! :-)
  • Fantastic sexual tension. Even though it was a sex-scene-free story, the ST was tight and breathless and believable.
  • Take all those good things and wrap them up with a Christmas bow and I closed the back cover with a sigh, looked at my dh and said, "That was PERFECTION."
In the end, I was a happy reader, and as a writer I was thinking to myself, now that's the kind of book I want to write!

So what did you think? Have you read it? Do you read in the Special Edition line, or have you read any of Thayne's books before?

And now you can help me....


In January I thought it would be fun to visit the Superromance line! I have CALLING THE SHOTS by Ellen Hartman on my TBR and I think January is the perfect time to read a heartwarming story featuring a single dad and HOCKEY!

Come on back on January 27 to talk about CALLING THE SHOTS!

Donna's latest release is PROUD RANCHER, PRECIOUS BUNDLE, out in Australia and New Zealand in January, and coming to North America in February!


  1. Okay, I'll be first :)

    I've had Raeanne on my TBR list for a while. So funny, though. I looked at your list of all the things you love in a book, and I don't write that. Well, I do on the realistic dialogue. I think. But I don't usually have kids and my heroines are often bitter and snarky, but not unlovable. My heroes trend towards stable, smart in matters of the heart, and sexy. And I always have a sex scene because I feel guilty if I don't let them get it on. LOL. Strange how different readers' tastes are.

    Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't love Raeanne's book. But you might not like mine. LOL. What I've come to realize is that I should expect some people to totally "get" my writing while others just won't. And I think I'm okay with that. Took me a while.

    Oh, and I've read Ellen. She's good. Love that you're featuring Superromance. Near and dear to my heart :)

    I loved visiting yesterday, Donna. I'll have to pick up Raeanne's book. You've intrigued me.

    Liz Talley

  2. I've read a lot of Raeanne's books and loved them all. You might want to look at the reviews of her books in the Community reading challenge and get a good idea of which ones to read.
    I have also read Ellen's book and loved it. It's a really good choice.

  3. Ellen - thanks for the tip!

    Liz - hang on, these are things I liked in *this* book. Not every book has to - or should - fit this mold! Kids are not requisite, and I love a heroine with a sharp tongue! Stable, smart and sexy fit the bill for heroes, too. And as far as explicitness - I read everything from inspy to Blaze. I think that comment came from knowing that the door COULD be open in SSE and it wasn't, but that didn't mean it didn't have snap and sizzle, you know? There is a kissing scene in the kitchen and it is like all the air is sucked out of the room. :-)

    Now I'm going to have to grab a Liz Talley! :-) I have such a hard job!

    Thanks for being with us yesterday, Liz!

  4. I’m so happy you enjoyed the book! I loved writing it and the characters have definitely stayed with me.

    Hi Liz! ☺ I worry sometimes that some heroines can seem too good. In this case, after an extremely difficult childhood with a drug-abusing mentally ill mother, Carson really needed a sane and loving heroine who could nurture him and surround him with healing sweetness and light. I do write my share of prickly, difficult heroines, though.

    Interesting side note, as I told Donna in a private conversation, THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE was one of those magical ideas that came to me in a dream, weirdly enough. I sold the idea to my editor in a quick email instead of a complete synopsis but when it came time to write the book, I really struggled to make it all come together. I ended up having to go back and write that full synopsis and subsequently decided to make some serious plot changes. Instead of having Carson become injured at Jenna’s place, forcing him to spend Christmas recuperating there with the children, I realized Jenna already knew how to take care of people since she had four kids. Carson, on the other hand, was this really self-contained person with little experience with family or kids. What he need most in the world was to learn how to look outside himself. Once I made that change, the whole story fell together.

    Anyway, thanks for the great review. Happy New Year to all!

  5. Raeanne, thanks so much for dropping in! I can understand how making that change helped, because when Carson took charge and helped out at her house, it really developed his arc and more than that - made this reader really fall for him. He wasn't doing what was easy for him, but he did it anyway.

    Thanks for such a great read. It was a pleasure.

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  7. I get you, Donna. I think my point might have sounded, um, can't think of a good word. But my main point was that Harlequin has such diversity, and for a while, because I'm new, I took offense when someone didn't like my character or the way I wrote my books. Took me a while but I realize that it's okay, in fact, it's great that we have such a wide range in our readership.

    And I've done the same thing, Raeanne. The one I'm working on sounded so good in principle, but as I wrote, I realized something was lacking and I didn't like my heroine at all. Had to do some tweaking. I think your book sounds great. In fact, the next time I'm out, I'll pick it up. :)I love the cover.