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    4.5 STARS!!

    An unforgettable story of brokenness, forgiveness, and healing. After a prequel story in Cowboy to Keep, Christmas at Cade Ranch officially begins a series featuring the Cade family, their recovery from grief, and their hard-won journeys to happily-ever-after.  Although the Cade matriarch and siblings are all introduced and featured within this first book, the romantic focus is on eldest brother, James.  After the death of sibling Jesse Cade, the family is still dealing with their grief and guilt when Jesse's son and mother of his child are brought, unwittingly, into the Cade fold.  While James is leery and suspect of Sofia, the rest of the family embraces the positive changes she and her son, Javi, bring to the Christmas holiday and possible future. Within the first three chapters of this book, my heart was continually breaking.  I know what to expect from Karen Rock's writing, but still the poignancy in her stories never fail to give me pause.  I knew from these first chapters that the HEA would be mightily welcome and well-deserved.  Impressed is the only way to express how I felt about the depiction of substance abuse.  Rock never gets too gritty, but she’s honest and didn’t shy away from the negative effects it brings to the abuser and their loved ones.  To temper the addiction storyline, there was the sweet and swoony romance between James and Sofia.  At times I wanted to throttle James with his blatant suspicions and hypervigilant scheduling, but the author flawlessly turned his character around until I fell for him myself.  My only insignificant critique was the seemingly implausible quick about-face of Sofia’s dad with his there-and-gone appearance.  Overall, a poignant, sweetly romantic and compulsively readable story by this author.  (This is my voluntary and honest review of an advanced copy of Christmas at Cade Ranch via Netgalley.)
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    A Warm Rich Book

    If you are looking for a sweet, lighthearted book Christmas at Cade Ranch might not be the book for you. But, if you are looking for a warm, rich book with characters who feel real, with true life issues, than this may be just the ticket. Sofia Gallardo is fighting a past that she is not too proud. She is a single mother, who is struggling with staying clean from a drug addiction on a daily basis. Will she finally believe that she deserves a better life? James Cade has the weight of the world on his shoulder. His mother is merely going through life on auto pilot, and he is trying to hold the family ranch together after the deaths of his father and brother. When the two worlds collide will they both crumble or will they meld into something better? I received a copy of Christmas at Cade Ranch by Karen Rock from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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    An amazing Christmas Read!

    This story wasn’t about the love interest between James and Sofia, it’s about so much more. It’s about love of family, and one’s self. It’s about addiction and the long and difficult road to recovery. It’s about acceptance and finding the strength to forgive. It’s about finding the courage to claim the happiness you deserve, despite all the wrongs in your past. And it’s about second chances, giving them and receiving them. I loved the story. I love meeting James, his wild and crazy siblings and his wonderful mom. Sofia and her son Javi are a wonderful addition to their lives and this story. Sofia is a true warrior. She’s fought indifference, abandonment, addiction, accusations and is still fighting for her son and her sobriety. Javi is a beautiful soul and such a loving child and I saw so many parallels between him and my own son. CHRISTMAS AT CADE RANCH is a heartfelt holiday read full of family, love and forgiveness and I’d recommend it to any reader in search of the same. ***I voluntarily read a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own***

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