Friday, October 6, 2017


Publisher:     Forever
Published:     September 26, 2017
ISBN:        978-1455597475
Genre:      Contemporary Romance, Inspirational
Format:     Print  
Obtained via:  Publisher

Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina




Nash Lamont gave his heart, soul, body and mind to his country.  His last mission sent him home with more than a tremendous sense of loss with the deaths of three of his team.  He came back with PTSD.  To heal, as much as one can, from the things he saw, he has moved back to the family ranch, Texas Star. There he’s found something of a life for himself raising sheep.  But his memories rise again and again, especially when he meets the wife of one of his dead team members.

Kasey McKay, nee Dawson, has also given her heart and soul to her country by virtue of the death of her husband, Adam.  She does, however, have her family at their ranch, Hope Springs, and more important, the three children she and Adam made together.  Despite Adam’s words to her before his last deployment, moving on is just not something she is ready to do.  How do you let go of the love of your life? 
When she first meets Nash she finds him attractive but there is something about the man.  Not something bad…but something that reminds her of Adam.  When Adam takes a tumble off a ladder he wakes up to Kasey bending over him. He knows without a doubt she is his wife—even though he cannot remember much about their life together, he’s sure of one thing—she is the love of his life and his wife.
Feeling responsible for his accident, Kasey agrees to move into Texas Star until Nash regains his memory.  But what if he never does?

Carolyn Brown’s LONG, TALL COWBOY CHRISTMAS was not an easy read and I do not imagine it was easy for her to write.  In this second book of the Happy, Texas series she takes on the issues of PTSD and loss of a beloved husband in the service of his country.  PTSD is perhaps the most difficult of war injuries a service person can suffer.  There is no rhyme of reason to what triggers the flashbacks and reactions.  And it isn’t always the same trigger.  Too often undiagnosed, hidden for myriad reasons from friends, family and loved ones, it is devastating.  Kudos to Ms. Brown for her compassionate portrayal through her characters, especially Kasey, in telling Nash’s story. 

What disappointed me was some of the writing when Nash believes Kasey is his wife.  The narrative and dialogue were more of what I would have expected from Kasey’s children, Rustin, Emma and Silas.  The juvenile and stilted language was incongruent with the rest of the story and I wondered if perhaps Brown turned that scene over to an aspiring, much younger, author.  Fortunately the story moved on.

I’m not normally a fan of “cute” kids in books but Kasey’s three, especially Silas, won my heart.  He was just adorable.  What a little cutie.  I liked how her family rallied around her and the children and how those opposed to her growing relationship with Nash came around. 

I did feel that there were some of the characters’ personal issues that could have been resolved in the story.  For instance, was Adam’s mother so adverse to Nash because she couldn’t move on from her son’s death?  That would have added another layer of emotion, especially when she finally came to accept Kasey and Nash’s relationship.  There were other scenes that I felt could have been more emotional, but given the difficulty of the subject matter, sometimes it’s just too hard to go in that deep.

There is a lot of sadness in the story.  There is a sense of starting a long emotional journey that will never end.  Like PTSD, just as you think all will be well, something triggers it.  Sometimes it passes easily, sometimes it takes a long time and sometimes, never. It does come to a happy ending, just be ready for a lot of sadness before you get there. When you do, it is worth the wait.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.



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