Texas Christmas (Texas #5) by R.J. Scott


Texas Christmas is a nice addition to the Texas series as we get to “check-in” on the Campbell-Hayes clan and the Double D ranch family. Ms. Scott does a good job of keeping the focus of the book and series on Riley and Jack and their ever expanding family, while showing the development of the side characters and their relationships. This combination has me addicted to Riley and Jack’s story, while keeping the series fresh.

 The main focus of Texas Christmas is Riley and Jack adjusting to the twins’ arrival while they await – impatiently – for Max to become a permanent part of their family. I found the scenes which illustrated their shared parenting of the twins endearing, especially those that occur after they finally find a suitable nanny. Riley is hell-bent on not being the kind of father he had, while Jack seems determined to insure that having two dads will not leave their children feeling as though they’ve missed out on something. This combination makes for two very dedicated daddies and we only see their determination to do it right increase once Riley FINALLY becomes Max’s adoptive father. When Jack talked about the roadblocks they kept facing during the adoption process, I was glad that the author chose to inform us via Jack’s conversation rather than showing us the obstacles as they encountered them as it would have ticked me off to witness the bigotry they faced. With Jack and Riley once again becoming new parents in this book, there seemed to be fewer sex scenes as their opportunities for intimacy were more limited – which was a nice touch of realism. However, that doesn’t mean they were any less hot! Saddle up cowboy!

Texas Christmas also gave us the chance to get to know Liam better and learn about his past. With his arrival in the last book, Texas Family, it was clear that Liam had suffered some kind of trauma and the author does a good job of dropping hints along the way that clue the reader in on what Liam’s secrets are. So while I was not surprised by what happened, I was appalled at what he had endured. Fortunately the author tempered that bad with the good that was Marcus’s pursuit of SOME kind of relationship with Liam. With their house being finished and Robbie having more involvement in the Double D, fans of the series got to catch up with him and Eli and see how their relationship was faring as well. But the character whose development I enjoyed the most was that of Max. I thought the author did a wonderful job of introducing elements of Max’s autism and showing how Jack and Riley had to adapt their parenting styles accordingly. I found Riley’s envy regarding Jack and Max’s ability to bond over horses as cute as could be – his “solution” to what he could share with Max was perfect. My hands-down, absolute favorite part of Texas Christmas was what Jack chose for Riley’s Christmas present and I cannot wait to see them break it in. Texas Christmas was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to reading Texas Fall soon.

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This is book five in the series and they must be read in order. And where I have enjoyed all the books to this point, I’m kinda looking forward to this wrapping up. Or at least my obligation to being done, even though each book is different and good in its own right, to me the series itself seem to be dragging a long.

Once again, we are focused around Riley, Jack the family and friends and we pick up pretty much where we left off. Twins are few weeks old, Beth is about to give birth, Eli is remission and things with Max and the adoption is going ok. So what can go wrong? Liam, the new hand seems to bring the ranch some unwanted trouble but once again everyone steps up and helps. I liked the new love interest between Liam and Marcus. Marcus completely understands how to treat and love Liam even if he doesn’t understand what has happened to him. And when Marcus comes to the rescue, perfect! I enjoyed how the story was spread out over several months so we really got a feel of growth within each relationship. And of course we end with the a very special holiday season.

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