Sunday, December 4, 2022

Review: The Christmas Bargain by Shanna Hatfield

Series: Hardman Holidays #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Released: Nov. 13, 2012
296 pages
About the Book:
One Old West Cinderella discovers Prince Charming is a. . . Cowboy?

The death of her mother left Philamena Booth grieving and at the mercy of her drunken father. After spending more than a decade held captive on their run-down farm, she’s left speechless and dazed when her father strikes a bargain to settle a long overdue debt. In lieu of payment, a handsome cowboy agrees to take her. Mortified yet relieved to leave the farm, Philamena unexpectedly finds herself married to a charismatic, caring man.

Luke Granger might own Hardman’s bank and the fanciest house in this Eastern Oregon town, but he’d much rather be outside riding his horses or wrangling his herd of cattle than keeping his account books straight. In a strange, unsettling turn of events, he finds himself accepting a farmer’s daughter instead of money to cover a loan. If the man hadn’t threatened to sell her to the saloon owner, Luke might have refused. He has no idea what to do with beautiful Filly or their marriage of convenience, but he’s about to get far more than he bargained for.

Full of Victorian and western charm, The Christmas Bargain is a sweet holiday romance filled with the spirit of the season.

My Rating & Thoughts:    

This was my fourth time reading this book. I so enjoy the story of two strangers ending up married and growing to truly care about one another.

Luke, the local banker, goes to Filly’s house to collect a debt. When her father is unable to pay, he gives his daughter to Luke as payment. Luke agrees to take her just to get her away from her father. Luke and Filly agree to get married for propriety’s sake, Filly will serve as Luke’s housekeeper and cook while Luke will protect Filly from her father. As they get to know one another their relationship grows from acquaintances to friends to love and not being able to imagine life without the other. But will they share their feelings with one another or will be they stay with their current agreement?

Some readers may find this book a bit steamy with the kissing scenes and the character appreciation of their partner’s physical appearance, but the fact that they are two strangers married to one another made me want them to be drawn to each other. The kissing lessons added fun and teasing moments between Luke and Filly but never crossed the line where it makes the other feel uncomfortable. I just loved Luke and his desire for his wife, but also his care not to hurt her or push her. Filly endured so much abuse at home with her father, it was tough to learn how she was treated. She could have become a bitter person, but instead she has a very generous and caring spirit.

I enjoyed seeing the relationship bloom and felt like I was experiencing day to day life with them. The descriptions were so well done that I easily pictured this western town, felt like I could reach out and touch the horses, walk the streets, and smell the baking. Luke’s good friends, Chancey and Abby added a level of friendship and entertainment to the story. They were warm and welcoming to Filly from the moment they met her. They way they encouraged Filly warmed my heart. I laughed so much during this read as there are lots of funny moments. The story of two people finding love in such an unexpected way just warms my heart. 

Favourite Quote: 
“We all have things we'd rather keep to ourselves than share with others, although sometimes sharing lifts our burdens just a bit.”
(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Other books from this author that I have reviewed: 

The Christmas Token (Hardman Holidays #2)

The Christmas Calamity (Hardman Holidays #3)

The Christmas Vow (Hardman Holidays #4)

The Christmas Quandary (Hardman Holidays #5)

The Christmas Confection (Hardman Holidays #6)

Crumpets and Cowpies (Baker City Brides #1)

Thimbles and Thistles (Baker City Brides #2)

Corsets and Cuffs (Baker City Brides #3)

Bobbins and Boots (Baker City Brides #4)

Lightning and Lawmen (Baker City Brides #5)

The Christmas Cowboy (Rodeo Romance #1)

Wrestlin' Christmas (Rodeo Romance #2)

Capturing Christmas (Rodeo Romance #3)

Barreling Through Christmas (Rodeo Romance #4)

Chasing Christmas (Rodeo Romance #5)

Racing Christmas (Rodeo Romance #6)

Garden of Her Heart (Hearts of the War #1)
Home of Her Heart (Hearts of the War #2)

Valentine Bride (Holiday Brides #1)

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