Arizona park ranger Vivian Hollister has been stationed at
Lake Pleasant State Park for several years. She's annoyed
at having a new partner thrust upon her. Sawyer Whitehorse
is filling in while her regular partner mends a badly
broken leg. On first meeting, his good looks warm even
Vivian's heart, making the December day feel like spring.
A RANGER FOR CHRISTMAS starts briskly as the two rangers
swap shop talk while driving. Vivian is an attractive fit
redhead in her mid-thirties, while Sawyer is not quite
thirty. They discuss previous parks and partners.
Eventually, Vivian explains that she's got an ex and a
daughter. The rangers really don't have much in common,
other than work and the love of nature. And work romances
are not approved of, as they can cause tensions. So there's
no chance at all of a relationship in the short few weeks
of Sawyer's stay. Anyway, they have more important things
to do, like track down the creeps responsible for assault
and robbery of a hiker.
We get to see a cattle ranch at Three Rivers, where
Vivian's brother Blake lives, a big homey sprawling house
and set of barns. By contrast, Sawyer stays with his
grandmother, who lives modestly on the nearby reservation.
I enjoyed seeing how these disparate families spend
Christmas, a season which does awaken memories but also
promises a fresh start.
A RANGER FOR CHRISTMAS is part of a series called 'Men of
the West' and amazingly this is book number 40. Other
series by Stella Bagwell include 'The Fortunes of Texas'
and she has also had individual titles aplenty since the
1990s. This author clearly takes both her men and her women
seriously and writes them modern, responsible roles while
talking a look at the structure of extended families. I
admire the culture contrast shown in Arizona, and I will be
looking out for more of Stella Bagwell's works.
Arizona park ranger Vivian Hollister is not having
a holiday fling with Sawyer Whitehorse—no matter how
attracted she is to her irresistible new partner. Not only
is a workplace romance taboo, she has a daughter to raise.
So why is she starting to feel that the Apache ranger is the
one to help carry on her family legacy? A man to have and to