Steve-freaking-Springfield! Longtime fans of Katie Ruggle have been waiting for this book since Steve’s kids were rescued in On His Watch. Steve is the hot single dad/firefighter (with four kids) who has been on the periphery of the last eight (?!?!) Katie Ruggle novels. Finally, with the start of a new series, Steve got his well deserved Happily Ever After.
After moving two times in the last few years, Steve has finally settled his kids back in his hometown at family Christmas tree ranch with his three brothers. His first day on the job as a volunteer fireman, he is sent to find our quirky, artistic heroine, Camille. Camille had a crush on Steve back in high school. As soon as they reconnect, sparks fly.
I loved this story! Camille’s awkwardness and social anxieties made her extraordinarily relatable and an interesting foil to Steve’s calm level-headedness. Her antics with her meddling neighbors and encounters with Steve had me laughing out loud. Steve is a dreamboat but to be honest, his kids stole the show. Ms. Ruggle knows how to write a fun ensemble cast all with their own personalities.
There were only had a few sticking points with this book. One was Will’s parentage, it was explained a little bit but for the most part was an unresolved plot point. I was curious as to how he joined the family. I also felt a little let down that we didn’t find out much about Steve’s late wife, why they got married so young, etc. It seems odd that Camille and Steve didn’t discuss his marriage. The last thing that drove me a little bit nuts was the slow, slow, SLOW burn! The third or fourth time Steve and Camille were interrupted I was ready to toss my kindle across the room or scream, “JUST DO IT ALREADY.”
Overall, this book delighted me. It is the perfect Christmas romance with lots of warm fuzzy moments and an arsonist on the loose, so you don’t get bored by all the cute. The pacing in this book was excellent (besides the sexy times), and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Ruggle writes next (I’m rooting for Joe, Steve’s hermit brother).
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas releases September 25!