ARC Review | A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe by Jessica Clare

Between Tess LeSue and now Jessica Clare, I’ve rediscovered my love for Western romances this year. It doesn’t matter if I’m getting swept away in a canvas covered wagon or a rusty old pickup truck, I’m in! I’m especially fond of the ‘softer’ cowboys, because I feel like they’re harder to come by. Luckily for me, A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe definitely fits that bill.

A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe by Jessica Clare
Series: The Wyoming Cowboy

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019
ARC from the publisher

‘Tis the season for starting over for one military man turned cowboy in this new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Cowboy and His Baby.

Former Navy master-at-arms Jason Clements is down on his luck and calling in one last favor. His cousin has secured him a job opportunity as a cowboy working at Price Ranch in Wyoming. Too bad Jason has never even saddled a horse. If he can keep this job without his PTSD getting in the way, it’ll be a Christmas miracle.

Local busybody Sage Cooper loves Painted Barrel something fierce, but it’s time for her to move on. Since her father passed away, the family ranch feels too big for just her, and there’s no chance of finding a husband in this small town. To the rest of the world, she’s just another local fixture, known for her closet full of ugly Christmas sweaters and being perpetually single.

It isn’t until Jason shows up in desperate need of a cowboy crash course that Sage discovers a tall, dark, and handsome reason to stick around. And with the holidays coming up, Sage is in need of a date for a special event—maybe they’ll turn out to be each other’s best Christmas present.

| Book Review |

5 reasons why  A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe will lasso your heart:

  1. A Relatable Heroine – I found Sage to be such a relatable heroine in so many ways. Her life is stagnant; she’s stuck in the small town she grew up in, and while she feels like she’s living life in a fishbowl, she also feels overlooked. She’s a good friend to everyone who knows her, but she’s unable to set boundaries, often letting people take advantage of her. In spite of all that, she’s not afraid to put herself out there, and while she could be shy on occasion (like when a sexy new cowboy swaggered into town,) she wasn’t one to hold back. She’s antsy to break away from her small town surroundings to finally get on with life, but not to the point where she’ll make a run for it if something (or in this case, someone) worthwhile comes along. Her heart particularly aches around Christmas because of the loss of her father, and living alone is such a sprawling place.
  2. A Sexy Cowboy Hero – I loved Jason as much as I loved Sage. The events of his life have shaped him, but not in the way I’d think. I would expect him to be somewhat hardened; that’s not who he was at all. It may have taken him just a teensy bit longer, but he was also willing to put himself out there, and he was as patient and kind as Sage was – such a perfect match for her. He was always there to tell her just how special she was, and as an outsider of Painted Barrel, he was able to see the situation for what it was and offer her some ‘sage’ advice. (Har,har.) His PTSD was never pushed to the back burner in this book; it was relevant and prevalent, and his struggle was pretty devastating to watch. I thought this was portrayed very well, and the way it was manifested throughout the book realistic. And one last thing – this soft, sexy cowboy had a mouth on him in the bedroom!
  3. The Emotion – I know I’ve covered it when talking about Sage and Jason, but there really was so much emotion in this book. From Jason not feeling good enough to Sage’s loneliness (and vice versa,) it really was a tangible feeling. But it wasn’t all sadness. Sage had a true love for Painted Barrel. She did everything she could to make this town a place it’s residents enjoyed and loved, and she did it so well. It was such a part of who she was, and it almost made everything Sage did for it seem so effortless. Everything she did was done with heart. And Jason made a furry friend that stole his heart, and the way he adored him and treated him was so sweet and heartwarming. 
  4. That ‘Small Town Feel’ – I’ve mentioned this before, but Small Town Romances can be hit or miss for me. It’s easy for the meddling to go overboard, but it didn’t feel that way here. Yes, there was the town gossip, but even Sage said she knew how much the woman loved everyone and just wanted everything to be OK. There were a lot of shop owners, and I loved the camaraderie and support they shared. Even when some of those people didn’t deserve it. (I’m looking at Greg and his real estate business here…grrrr!) Earlier pairs from the series also appear in this book, and I enjoyed meeting them. I can’t wait to go back and read their stories!
  5. All the Holiday Things – The only thing better than a Small Town Romance is one that sports a holiday feeling as well; A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe didn’t skimp on that. From the snowy weather to Sage’s ridiculous Christmas sweaters, and from holiday shopping to town events, you get it all here. It was rife with all things Christmas, and I loved it!

A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe was such a wonderful read. It was all heart, and I just love that Sage and Jason found their way together. They really deserved each other. Now I just need to go back and read the previous books in this series so I can get the scoop on some of these other couples!

| Rating |

Series Reading Order

15 thoughts on “ARC Review | A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe by Jessica Clare

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  1. I just finished this one and haven’t wrote my review yet, so I’ll come back and read this after I’ve done mine up. Happy to see your 4 stars as I really enjoyed this one too! 🙂

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  2. I loved Jason and Sage equally, too! Both had struggles and I just loved what a positive impact they had on each other! Oh, I did love Jason’s dirty mouth. This was surprisingly hot, right? Fab review, Angie Elle! 🙂

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  3. Hallo, Hallo Angie Elle,

    When you mentioned this title to me on my #HoHoHoRAT post, I had a sneaky feeling you might have reviewed it! 🙂 I haven’t seen this style of a review before – I liked how you pulled us into your impression by focusing on talking points but expounding on them as you gave us hints into the novel’s central arc as well. That’s appreciative because I love knowing more facts about a story and the characters inside it if I’m contemplating reading a #newtomeauthor such as this author would be for me.

    Like you, I appreciate it when authors write about mental health issues in a way that not only honours the person who is struggling with mental health but to write about this authentically.

    *Small Towne Fiction* is a thing on my blog! 🙂 I love honing in on small townes (across the board) but especially in romances because what is seriously NOT to love? The close-knit aspect of the community but also the clever ways you can find characters spun to interact in ways that they might not be able to do in larger areas…. I just love them because of their quirks and because there is a strong chance they are series and not one-offs.

    I have to keep reminding myself that those ugly Christmas sweaters I love stateside are known as Christmas jumpers in the UK as I have a few holiday reads slated this year from British authors!! It never fails to make me smile though as I don’t quite get the reason why their called that?

    You did a wicked good job at convincing me I need to be reading this novel! I’ll have to see if my library can acquire it as they have a few other selections by her but not this one.

    Happily visiting with you,… Jorie

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