Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas: A River Ranch Novel

Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas: A River Ranch Novel

by Soraya Lane

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Billionaires, cowboys, and romance collide during the holidays in this next book in the River Ranch series!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the Ford family ranch. Will one cowboy’s homecoming be the greatest gift of all?

He left town and never looked back.
Cody Ford is a Wall Street honcho with humble Texas roots. This holiday season, he’d be content to just stay in New York and not face his family—and dodge their questions about when and with whom he plans to settle down. . .and if he will do so back at home. But his father isn’t getting any younger, and Cody doesn’t want to miss any last chances to see him and the rest of the folks back on the ranch. The last person Cody was expecting to see? His one-time girlfriend, Lexi Murphy, who’s been working as his dad’s new live-in nurse.

She never forgot him. Can she ever forgive him?
Lexi still holds a grudge against Cody. Back then, the college-bound heartthrob believed he was too good for a small-town girl like Lexi. But now Cody can’t help but see her in a whole new light. Could it be that this beautiful single mother with an unbeatable can-do spirit is the one he’s been waiting for all along? That depends on whether Cody can prove to Lexi that, this time, he means business—and if a sudden snowstorm can lend just the right amount of Christmas magic to help move things along. . .

“Lane warms hearts of readers across the globe.”
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250224293
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Series: A River Ranch Novel , #3
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 51,419
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

As a child, Soraya Lane dreamed of becoming an author. Fast forward more than a few years, and Soraya is now living her dream! Soraya describes being an author as "the best career in the world", and she hopes to be writing romance for many years to come. Some of her other titles include All Night with the Cowboy, Cowboy Stole My Heart, The Devil Wears Spurs, and I Knew You Were Trouble.

Soraya loves spending her days thinking up characters for books, and her home is a constant source of inspiration. She lives with her own real life hero and two sons on a small farm in New Zealand, surrounded by animals and with an office overlooking a field where their horses graze.

As a child, Soraya Lane dreamed of becoming an author. Fast forward more than a few years, and Soraya is now living her dream! Soraya describes being an author as "the best career in the world", and she hopes to be writing romance for many years to come.

Soraya loves spending her days thinking up characters for books, and her home is a constant source of inspiration. She lives with her own real life hero and two sons on a small farm in New Zealand, surrounded by animals and with an office overlooking a field where their horses graze.

Customer Reviews

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Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas: A River Ranch Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Cali-Jewel 6 days ago
Adored this heartwarming, second chance holiday romance.... was filled with sweetly thrilling twists, sexy fun charters, witty dialog and undeniable passion. An excellent read from beginning to end full of small-town goodness!
Dedee1 7 days ago
Great Christmas or beach read! Characters are interesting and have a lot to say to each other! The dialogue between brothers is believable and fun. The story is along the lines of a good Hallmark movie except for being quite descriptive with the love making scenes, Sex scenes were more detailed than necessary for me, as I I prefer leaving some things to the imagination. It will not distract from the story of you skip or skim those those pages. You will want to jump in and tell them all a thing or two but the patriarch, Walter, sits back and gets it done for you! A little confusing at the end with re use of character names but different people, but maybe that will change before publish date. The book is a good set up for future books with these characters. I received this book as a complimentary copy for an unbiased review. The opinions expressed are my own. Thanks to the author,publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC.
FanniAnn 10 days ago
Christmas and a Cowboy, what more could a girl want, this is a wonderful story and also from a new to author, i would definitely pick up another book from her. I received a copy from Netgalley and I am voluntarily leaving my own honest opinion
ThreesmomDC 11 days ago
Cody has been running from his feelings, his family and life in general for years, ever since his mom became ill and died. As long as Cody stays at his company in New York, he can easily forget that anywhere or anyone else exists. His father is now ailing and Cody decides to go home for a few days at Christmas. Not only is he confronted by memories of his mom, but he is also confronted by his one true love who is now his father's caregiver. Lexi is not the same girl that Cody left behind all those years ago. She is now a single mom with the added responsibility of providing for her mother's care while being a caregiver for Mr. Ford. Her job at the Ford ranch was easy until Cody decides to come home for Christmas. Now things get a little more complicated as Lexi realizes she still cares very much for Cody, but she just isn't sure she can forgive him for the way he left, until she learns the reasons for why he left the way he did and that he had sent her a goodbye letter of which her mother hid. The road to true love is definitely not easy, but especially when you add in a misunderstanding, long buried feelings, a dying father and a soon to be evicted ailing mother. Read this lovely story to see just how and if Cody and Lexi can finally obtain their own HEA. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to have an ARC of this book and in exchange I am freely giving my honest open of said story. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
CathyGeha 11 days ago
Once Upon A Cowboy Christmas by Soraya Lane River Ranch #3 Second chances don’t come to all but in this novel high school sweethearts Cody and Lexie get their second chance when Cody returns for the holidays and finds Lexie the caregiver her for his father who has terminal cancer. The two do not hit it off well and have a great deal of tension between them throughout the book. They may still care for one another but what they had 15 years ago id definitely different in the present. I had mixed feelings about the story. I found Cody a bit aloof, cold and cut off from his family and even himself. His focus was success and money and he seemed to have lost sight of those around him and the warmth relationships with family and friends might provide. I actually had trouble seeing why Lexie would want to have anything to do with him even though there were times I could see what she might have seen in Cody when he was a teenager...though that lighter-hearted more carefree person peeked out from time to time. I think the show-stealer of the story might have been Lexie’s son, Harry. He was such an open loving well-behaved child that he would be hard not to love. Did I enjoy the story? I think so Would I read more in this series? Probably Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – this is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
book_junkee 12 days ago
I loved the premise of this one and couldn’t resist an early Christmas story, sadly it was disappointing. The main issue I had was that I didn’t care for either of the characters. Lexi was nice enough, but she was stuck in the past. Cody was super cocky and came across as self-centered. There’s a fairly large family, but it never felt confusing keeping everyone straight. The best part was Lexi’s son, Harry. Plot wise, it was a bit all over the place and everything felt unfinished. The high school relationship was a focal point, the chemistry was non-existent, and the conversations between Lexi and Cody were superficial. Most of the story was telling instead of showing and several phrases and words were repeatedly used...like pleasure. Overall, I kept reading because of the promise of a second chance romance. And while I did get that part of it, the rest of the story didn’t deliver for me. **Huge thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing the arc free of charge**
stanhope3234 13 days ago
This book was a really good Christmas romance and a second chance romance.
Anonymous 14 days ago
Cody Ford is an arrogant city boy, now. He left town and his small town girlfriend and never looked back. Now, Lexi is his father's caregiver. SHe's the one he left behind. Will Cody have matured to see what was right in front of him all along?
Connie_T 17 days ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and I am voluntarily reviewing it. First I just need to say that I was a little disappointed in the editing of this ARC. I am used to typos and misspelled words or incorrect words used in context to the sentence and/or paragraph. It is common unfortunately to prevent piracy. While I do understand it, this book was littered with errors. It took me a lot longer to read than it should have as I was trying to figure out what was going on. I especially loved Lexi's magic bra. She took it off and the very next page, he took it off. Okay on to the review. The plot was a good one. I felt that it dragged in spots (but it could have been due to the errors). Cody comes home at Christmas time to spend with the family. He lives in New Year dealing in land development. After high school, he couldn't get away fast enough once his mother became ill. He only comes home for Thanksgiving and Christmas with the one exception of his mother's funeral. Not only did he leave his family but he left his girlfriend without even a good-bye. He was running from the pain of losing his mother. A problem that I had with that was he left before she passed away, missing out on her remaining time. This did not endear the character to me. Then he meets his father's care-giver and introduced himself to the gorgeous woman. Another check mark, IT WAS HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND. It isn't until later that we find out that he is suffering from a form of PTSD. Okay now it all makes a little more sense. Lexi, has a wonderful son, Harry. He was absolutely wondering in the book. I truly felt for Lexi. She has had several curve balls thrown at her over the years but she keeps up a brave front. That is until Cody returns. I loved seeing prior characters throughout this story. Also having a dual POV format normally helps me to understand the characters and to identify with them. Unfortunately not here with Cody. There are a few sexy scenes so I would not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 18. The reason for the 4 stars versus 3, the author did make me feel while reading this book. Not all characters are perfect and likeable but they should make the reader FEEL. The reason it wasn't a 5 star isn't from the editing but I did feel it dragging at times.
CarissaR 17 days ago
This is a first read for me by Soraya. I enjoyed this story. It has a few different tropes so I think it helped with having a mix in this story. Cute read especially by the end. I received this book at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Lori-Gonzo 17 days ago
A very heartwarming tale of two reunited loves, struggling with their emotional lives, but finding love again with each other. This story pulls at your heartstrings for Lexi and all she is going through. Between her bills, her mom's health, trying to raise a son on her own, and finding a new place for her mom, as well as taking care of her patient, her emotions were all over the place. It is very hard to not to wish her the best or sympathize with her. Then throw in a long lost love who still makes your heart beat fast and keep you on edge, it is no wonder she doesn't have a breakdown. But to see Cody and Lexi reunite and feel stronger feelings is very sweet. He did not realize how he was really feeling and what he needed to do in order to be fulfilled in life. I loved their journey and their happy ending. By the end of the book, I truly wanted more of their story as well as the rest of his family. Cody's dad stole my heart too. Such a great man! I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
tiggeruoSO 18 days ago
I will start off saying I did not read any of the other books in this series so I am not sure of the background of these characters. I will say I was not a fan of this book is was so completely predictable and I found the main characters annoying and whinny. I can honestly say the few characters I did like was Mia, Harry, and Walter. Mia was this spitfire mama who stood up for all those she loved and cared for. Walter was the patriarch of the family and he's fighting cancer but he also played a huge roll in this book. This book did have some good moments in it. Also there is sex and a good fair amount of cussing in this book so this may not be suitable for all. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I was under no obligation to post a review and have given my honest opinion
Darlene491 18 days ago
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Receiving an ARC is a true privilege and one I certainly enjoy. Being able to share my opinion is a pleasure. Once Upon A Cowboy Christmas, by Soraya Lane, is available at booksellers on 10-29-19. The third book in Ms Lane's River Rance series is realistic in many ways. It's also a tad bit unbelievable as it's a romance and has to turn out well. I'm not going to give away too much of the plot, you need to enjoy that yourself. Once Upon A Cowboy Christmas is my first experience with Ms Lane's work and I'm surprised and pleased. Cody Ford, of THE Ford family, is home for Christmas. A bigwig in NYC, he hates being back in Texas. His father is dying & it all brings out his deeply buried feelings, PTSD. He is so oblivious to what's going in his life that you want to shake him till his teeth rattle. He uses work to make darn sure he doesn't have a social life, no messy feelings or complications. I felt sorry for him while I wanted to wake him up. He figures it out in the end, of course, but it's a long journey & he's kicking & screaming the entire way. Exasperating man. Alexandra "Lexie" Murphy is Cody's ex-girlfriend. When he did a cut & run 15 years ago he left Lexi without a backward glance. He broke her & she hasn't healed to this day. She did marry, a loser, and has a cute little boy. The loser also did a cut & run so she's a single mon now. She's been hired to take care of Walter, the dying father, so she & Cody see each other again. Lexi is so closed off, she's got a ton of trouble but still, geeze. I like that she gives Cody hell for what he did to her, eventually she forgives but it's nice how long it took. She's a helicopter mom, so she got on my nerves a bit. I suppose they deserve each other, neither is any good on their own. I liked Ms Lane's writing style, easy & flowing. I liked the Ford family, we're coming in after the others have had their HEA's so it's happiness all around. I became invested in the characters and their journey. That's a good recommendation for a book, it grabbed me. Happy reading #Netgalley #SorayaLane #StMartin'sPress #OnceUponACowboyChristmas #RiverRanchseries #ContemporaryRomance
MKF 18 days ago
Do you love second chance romances? If you do, this is one for you. Cody left the ranch after high school, went to Harvard, and built a life away from home because of demons he's kept hidden behind a gruff exterior. When he does come back, it's because it looks like it might be his last opportunity to spend time with his father. Turns out, his father's nurse is Lexi, his high school sweetheart who is, as one might expect, annoyed with him for taking off and not coming back. She's built a life for herself- she's the single mom of Harry- but she's going through some stuff too with her own mom. Sparks don't fly right away. They circle each other (even as their families egg things on a bit) and well, you know what's gonna happen! This might be the third in the series but because the stories are more linked than sequential, you'll be fine with it as a standalone. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A merry read.
Readnread 19 days ago
Wonderful story! .... and not just for the holidays. Although this book is set at Christmas , it is a story of love, family and dealing with the emotions of losing a loved one. Cody has made is life in the city, leaving the family ranch, running from his mother’ s illness and death. He comes home only at the holidays, leaving as quickly as he can. This year, however, he is forced to face his former decisions.. His father is ill and he comes face to face with his past and all the people he unintentionally hurt by running from his feelings. An emotional and heart warming read. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
Momma_Becky 19 days ago
The title of this one led me to expect both a cowboy and a Christmas romance, a second chance romance at that. Other than the story taking place at Christmastime, I never really got the holiday vibe with this one. And Cody does not feel like a cowboy. He's around the horses while he's home, and his childhood home is a ranch, but Cody is a businessman through and through. Regardless of the picture on the cover, I just never pictured him with the Stetson or any of the things I'd expect of a cowboy. The romance is a second chance for Cody and Lexi, but we're told more than we're shown so it's not easy to get behind these two as a couple. There are several secondary characters, and the author does a solid job of giving each of them a distinctive voice, so there's no confusion about who is who. The shining stars in this one were Cody's dad and Lexi's son. I absolutely loved Walter and Harry, and they are what kept me reading until the last. They both stand out in every scene they're a part of, and you can't help but love them. I really would've liked a bit more development of our couple and the romance, especially since that should've been the focus of the story, but it is what it is. In the end, this one was just okay for me.
Shirleylinn 19 days ago
Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas was a heartwarming story. It was a second chance at love story with interesting characters.
Evampire9 19 days ago
He’d be content to stay in New York and dodge his family’s questions about when and with whom he plans to settle down and if he will do so back at home. But Cody Ford’s father is getting any younger and Cody doesn’t’ want to miss any last chances to see him and the folks back on the ranch. Lexi Murphy is working as Cody’s dad’s new live-in nurse and she holds a grudge against Cody since he believed he was too good for a small-town girl but she ever forgot him. This second chance holiday romance is an angst ridden, emotionally gripping read that puts readers through an emotional wringer as Cody and Lexi tries to overcome the past and some emotional issues. Readers can’t help but experience all the emotions of the strong, compelling characters as they draw readers into their story which means they shed some tears but also hope and forgiveness as Cody works to prove that this time, he means business. The plots is steady paced and captivates readers right from the start while keeping the readers glued to the pages with suspense as the HEA remains in question until the very end. Lots of family and secondary characters add that something extra to the story that makes it enjoyable and while Cody may be a bit of over dramatic, the magic of the holiday season and spirit of togetherness during the holidays makes this a gratifying and entertaining read.
CCholger 19 days ago
There was a moment in the first half of this story that I was afraid it was going to go down a path I didn’t like. I had just read another story where a character lied, and kept lying, to her love interest and I realized I really dislike that trope. While Cody was withholding some very important information from Lexi, the author was kind enough to not drag it on through the whole book. Let me tell you, the tension I was starting to feel (not in a good way) was relieved as soon as I realized the focus of the story wasn’t going to have a huge veil of deceit over it the whole time. I found the trajectory of Cody’s and Lexi’s relationship to be very interesting. Especially once I started to understand why Cody did the things he did and how he ended up leaving everyone and everything behind. He’s lucky Lexi even gave him the time of day, but at the same time it was obvious that they had unfinished business. While I did feel a connection between these characters, I never really felt the spark. I’m not sure why that was since I found them to be great for one another. I enjoyed that Cody fell into a comfortable patter with Lexi’s son almost immediately. It didn’t feel forced or fake and was actually very sweet. Yet I still never got the warm-fuzzies with these two. That being said, I enjoyed this story and appreciate that the author didn’t make Cody out to be a jerk who was being a jerk just because he could be a jerk. Cody had some deep-seated issues that needed to be dealt with, and even he saw how skewed his thinking was once he started dealing with his real life. Not just in regards to Lexi, but also his siblings and his father. When it was all said and done, I enjoyed this storyline and the characters. I just didn’t feel the emotions I would have liked to feel the way I normally would. I enjoy this series and adore this author’s historical fiction so I’ll be reading more for sure. **I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
ljtljtljt 19 days ago
Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas by new to me author Soraya M. Lane, is a nicely written holiday romance with a ton of emotion and longing. The story takes place in small town Texas, where the two main characters were high school sweethearts about fifteen years ago. Lexy Murphy is now a nurse and Cody Ford is a successful financier on Wall Street. Cody left Lexy, without even a goodbye, right after high school ended. He had to get out of town, unable to face the tragic loss of his mother. Cody prefers his job in NYC to life on his family's very successful ranch, and only returns home when it is absolutely necessary. Cody's father is dying of cancer, so spending Christmas with his family is the right thing to do. He learns that Lexy is his father's caregiver, when he runs into her in the kitchen. At first Lexy is uncomfortable being around Cody, however, she needs her job in order to care for her young son and pay for her mother's nursing home bills. Overtime, they rekindle their feelings for each other, as they deal with the tremendous stress in their respective lives. I enjoyed this book about the meaningfulness of the holiday season. Not only are the Lexy and Cody interesting, the secondary characters, especially Lexy's son Harry, are engaging. Lexy is a strong, independent woman and her determination is inspiring. The sexy times between Lexy and Cody are hot, both in and out of the bedroom. Overall, a wonderful holiday romance with great characters, an entertaining plot and more than a hint of spice. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
SherriBabb 19 days ago
This is the first book I have read by this author and I am going to go back and read more. Even though this is the third book in the series it can be read as a standalone. I am for sure going to go back and read the first two books. This third book is about Cody and Lexi. They were high school sweethearts but their relationship did not end on a good note. Cody left without even saying good bye. Now he is back for Christmas and feelings he had long forgot start to surface. Lexi has no time for romance and she has not forgiven Cody for breaking her heart. She is divorced and has her son to worry about she does not have time for romance. Sometimes the things we do not have time for push their way back into our lives. I found this book to be a very emotional romantic read. I am looking forward to reading more by this author. Thanks Net Galley. I voluntarily reviewed this book in exchange for an honest review
Luadri 19 days ago
Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas is the third book in the River Ranch series. This book is about second chance of love between Cody and Lexie. These two were a couple when they were teenagers, but from one day to the next Cody decides to leave everything behind and pursue his college education in a different state. He leaves Lexie dumbfounded. She's heartbroken about how he left her without an explanation. Fifteen years later they see each other again because she's the nurse taking care of his father who is dying of cancer. This is when they realize that they might still have a chance to be together. My thoughts on this book are unfortunately not good. I just couldn't like Cody. What he did to Lexie and even his family was not nice and for him to just come back into her life like what he did was not hurtful was not nice. I understand that time has gone by, but she deserved to be treated better by him. He seemed to be very selfish. This book was going to be a DNF one but I decided to read it to the end to see how Cody would redeem himself. Sadly, to me, I don't think he did. The only thing I liked about him was how he treated Lexie's son. I would of loved if Lexie had made Cody really work for her forgiveness a little longer. I think she didn't make him grovel enough. She easily forgave him, but also easily got upset with him. After all that he confesses to her, about his reasons for running away and NEVER contacting her during all those years, Lexie should of realized that Cody's feelings were not a sure thing. Thank you to the publisher for providing me an ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.
MaureensBooks 19 days ago
I just love Christmas and I love cowboy stories. So when I got the opportunity to read the third book in the River Ranch series, after also reading the first two books, I just couldn’t resist. I mean who doesn’t love romantic Christmas story about a cowboy? In ‘Once Upon A Cowboy’ Cody Ford returns home for Christmas after rarely coming home for over a decade. Cody has made a success for himself and just doesn’t really want to think about the past and everything he left behind all those years ago. But when Cody sees his father after months, and realizes he is a lot sicker than he let on, he knows he has to stay a little longer. After seeing the woman who takes care of his sick father, and who happens to be his ex-girlfriend Lexi, Cody is torn about what to do. He really wants to run on the one hand, but he also really wants to get to know Lexi again. After reading the first two books in this series, I really couldn’t wait to read this book too. And I was happy to find myself enjoying this book just as much as the previous two. The two main characters Cody and Lexi are really fun to read about. Cody, this successful guy who has been hiding from his feelings for a very long time and happens to find the one girl he loved in his old home. And Lexi, the single mom who has to work like crazy to get every bill paid. I loved Lexi. She was so tough and such a great mom. The chemistry between Cody and Lexi is there from the start. And it was fun to read how there relationship developed. I also really enjoyed reading little bits about the characters from the previous two books. The Christmas charm in this book was a little hard to find if you ask me. It wasn’t bad, but I could easily forgot that it was almost Christmas. There was snow, and it was cold.. but there wasn’t a lot of Christmas feelings in this book. I didn’t miss it, but seeing the title of this book I just expected there to be more. Overall I really enjoyed Cody and Lexi’s story. And I can’t wait to read the book about the fourth Ford sibling. If you looking for a fun, romantic cowboy story.. This is definitely the series for you!
Twicky 19 days ago
I received this ARC for an honest review. I hate to admit it because I know how hard authors work, but the story was meh. A couple of times, I got lost with the time line ( is it the same day or not because a lot happened in a small amount of time). Maybe I received the ARC before the final editing, I don't know. I never connected with the characters. This story wasn’t for me.
Irene_SZ 19 days ago
.More than a Holiday Fling…Cody only comes home on a holiday and then he is itching to return to work back in NYC. He is very surprised to find out that Lexi his high school sweetheart as his father's nurse. Lexi still harbors anger on how Cody left town 14 years ago without saying goodbye. Cody is very attracted to Lexi, the divorced mother of a six year old son, but she doesn't want a holiday fling with Cody. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgallery. This is my honest and voluntarily given review. I liked Lexi very much. Since room and board are included with her job caring for Cody's father, Lexi has to be careful not to offend Cody's family. Being around Lexi, her son, and his family help Cody remember the good times. This book has sweet as well as steamy moments. This is the first book that I read in this series and it can be enjoyed as a standalone. I really like this second chance book.