Friday, November 10, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Christmas at Cade Ranch

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Christmas at Cade Ranch
(Rocky Mountain Cowboys #1)
by Karen Rock
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
November 7th 2017 by Harlequin

The Christmas they never had.

James Cade has one priority: keep the family ranch running smoothly in the wake of his younger brother's death. With Jesse's ex, Sofia Gallardo, and her young son, Javi, stranded at Cade Ranch over Christmas, this task just got a lot harder. 

The longer Sofia and Javi stay, the harder it is to imagine the ranch without them. James couldn't save his brother from his inner demons, but he can give his nephew a secure future. Maybe more—if he can figure out how to trust Sofia, and stop feeling like he's betraying Jesse. Because trying to stop thinking about beautiful, determined Sofia is impossible.

My Thoughts

“When you don’t have any place to turn,
sometimes you go the wrong way.”
- Sofia

Christmas at Cade Ranch is my kind of story … filled with an atmospheric setting that you can see in your mind, serious real-life issues, dynamic romantic chemistry, and characters who experience healing restoration. It’s emotional, even raw at times, but beautifully uplifting. Romance is central to the story, yet there’s so much more depth and character development. Karen Rock has written an entertaining and powerful story that touches the heart. I haven’t read much from Harlequin’s Heartwarming series before now, but if Christmas at Cade Ranch is the norm, then I’m a fan.

Carbondale, CO
One of the main themes is the importance of family – reflected in the loving, tight-knit Cade family of James, and in the lack of love and approval in the dysfunctional family of Sofia’s growing up years. This story also reminds us that no family, no matter how caring and close knit, is shielded from the effects of drug addiction – and that no one should be defined by their past, but rather receive the grace of a second chance. Christmas at Cade Ranch is written from a biblical worldview, and actually has more Christian values than some of what passes for Christian fiction these days.

I loved James and Sofia so much and found them easy to relate to. There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing a character like James, totally inflexible with rules and daily schedules, thrown off track by unexpected feelings and attraction. And oh, how I admired Sofia’s courage and strength in overcoming her past mistakes and pouring everything into her son, Javi. In the beginning, James reminded Sofia “of who she was, not who she wanted to become.” I could understand both her desire to be accepted and believed in, and James’s desire to protect his family.

I thought the drug addiction theme was handled well, especially Sofia’s determination to succeed by herself, without the support of NA meetings. The first one she attended was one of my favorite scenes, as she questioned … “Wasn’t it far worse to wallow in ancient history than to simply let it go and step away, clean and free?” The romantic tension between James and Sofia is palpable, and the growing relationship between James and little Javi beautiful to behold.

Readers will love James and Sofia, as well as the whole Cade family, and I eagerly await further stories in this series. I encourage you to add Christmas at Cade Ranch to your seasonal reads and get to know this appealing family.

Highly recommended.

Karen has created a fascinating Pinterest board featuring lots of cowboys, so be sure to check it out at

I was provided a free copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

In a quest to provide her ELA students with quality reading material, educator Karen Rock read everything out there and couldn't wait to add her voice to the genre. In addition to her work as a Young Adult romance novelist, she's now an author for Harlequin's Heartwarming line and thrilled to pen stories that moms can share with their teenage daughters. She's loved Harlequin books since she spent summers going through her grandmother's Presents books that she passed along in paper grocery bags each year. As half of the writing duo J.K. Rock, Karen also pens young adult romance. 

When she's not busy writing, Karen enjoys scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, reinventing her gardens to suit her moods, and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels, who have yet to understand the concept of "fetch" though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website.


Other Heartwarming Books by the Author

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card along with print copies of HIS KIND OF COWGIRL, UNDER AN ADIRONDACK SKY AND A COWBOY TO KEEP by Karen Rock, TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH by Elizabeth Lowell, THOSE TEXAS NIGHTS by Delores Fossen and FAMILY TREE by Susan Wiggs. - US Only.
- Ends November 15th


  1. Hi, Carole :) Thank you so much for joining the tour and for your stunning review. It was powerful, insightful and beautifully written. Such a gift for an author. Jared's story is up next for January and I believe Tressa is putting together a blog tour with review arcs. I would be honored to be on Books Music and Life blog again.

  2. I want to read Christmas on cade ranch soon!

  3. The book cover brings Peace to my mind as I look at it, Peace is what this country needs right now. Thank you!!!

    wfnren at aol dot com

  4. If I win, the books will be going to my Daughter-In-Law and the Amazon gift card will be for yours truly.
    Janet E.

  5. Great review! =)
    Sounds like a wonderful story.

  6. I, too, think family is extremely important. Having had a daughter with a drug addiction, I can also relate to that theme. I'd love to read this book.

  7. amy guillaume lindermanNovember 11, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    the cover really draws me in....i love the mountains....and it gets me in the holiday spirit...and i love the theme of the importance of family in the story

  8. yay! i'm so glad you loved it too :D Great review, my friend!

  9. Christmas books are my favorite and this cover is so pretty. Thank you for the chance.

  10. I just love the cover and the book sounds really good!