As a reader I am always sad to finish the last book in a continuity series. You’ve spent several books getting to know and love these characters. Saying goodbye is hard. Yes, I sucked at the last day of school and every retirement party I’ve been to has made me cry. I can only imagine what it’s like for the author. I have been honored to be a small part of the Colton’s world for the past several months. The authors have been warm, welcoming, and wonderfully supportive. It is any wonder that I’m going to cry since we’ve reached the end?
With Colton Christmas Rescue, Beth Cornelison had the unenviable position of the last book in the Colton’s of Wyoming continuity series. Lucky for her she got to tie up all the loose ends that have been trailing about since book one. At the same time she had to craft a story worthy of the time and energy the other authors and all readers had invested in the series. What it is they say about luck: it’s both good and bad and sometimes you can’t tell the difference? Good thing Cornelison was more than up to the task.
Colton Christmas Rescue brings us Amanda Colton’s story. She’s the last of the Colton siblings to find her HEA. Feisty, strong, and opinionated, Amanda’s been one of my favorite characters throughout. I was excited to see her find happiness, as well as be integral to the unmasking of the Mastermind that’s been terrorizing the ranch all fall.
Deep undercover, Wyoming special agent Slade Kent comes to Dead River Ranch with only one thing in mind: justice. Bent on solving a string of recent crimes, as well as his father’s long-unsolved murder, he won’t let down his guard for anyone. Until beautiful heiress Amanda Colton and her baby are attacked. He’ll do anything to protect them … even put his heart on the line.
Amanda’s done with deception, but the irresistibly mysterious Slade draws her trust. When danger – and uncontained passion – spark, they must both put aside secrets and agendas for survival … and love?
Slade’s presence, Jethro’s imminent demise, and overwhelming greed proved to be the Mastermind’s final undoing. There are some significant twists in this book that I did not see coming. Though I had my own suspicions, the reveal of the Mastermind truly caught me by surprise. It wasn’t who I thought at all. Additionally, the revelation of Cole’s kidnapper wasn’t who I expected. Along the way we also learned who murdered Slade’s father. The last wasn’t quite such a surprise. Cornelison times her reveals perfectly to keep the story moving and bring Amanda and Slade closer together.
Through this all, we grow to love Amanda and Slade. As the eldest Colton sibling still on the ranch, she is the heir apparent to take over as the family matriarch. This mantle of responsibility coupled with the pressures of being a single mother make Amanda a little prickly to start. She’s comfortable in her skin and doesn’t want to rely on anyone else. Slade, on the other hand, doesn’t want anyone to rely on him. The recent loss of his wife and baby daughter caused him to believe he wasn’t cut out to be a good guy. Watching these two overcome their fears and learn to trust each other is what makes good romance.
Tying everything up into a neat bow is hard. Cornelison did an amazing job keeping up with everything that was outstanding. She provided the final reveals for the kidnapping story and the Mastermind, a status update for all of our HEAs that happened along the way, and crafted a new story. To add to it, I have a feeling that Slade and Amanda were not easy to wrangle. I’m sad to see the Colton’s of Wyoming end. But I’m thrilled that I was along for the ride. Thanks again to all six of the authors for a great fall collection of books. I enjoyed each and every one.