The quick of it is that Declan and Betsy, well, they've each secretly had a thing for each other but they're on opposite sides of a 100 year old family feud so even lookin' nicely in each others direction is completely off the table. Starting up a romance? Not. Likely. Until a bunch of fool boys playing poker come up with a bet that Declan can't seduce Betsy. It's just the chance he's been looking for to get close to her so he's all in. Even if he knows he'll be in for a smack down once she finds out.
"And if a single one of you lays a hand on a hair on his head, you will answer to my shotgun. I mean it, and you can spread the word. If anyone gets to shoot him, it will be me, and I haven't decided if I want him dead yet. Understood?"
"But Granny--" he said.
"I'm meaner than Naomi Gallagher ever hoped to be and don't you forget it."
Rosalie chuckled. "Sounds like a love war to me. You just took up for a Brennan."
"I didn't take up for him. I'm saving him until I decide what his punishment is going to be. For the record, I'm still deciding what Tanner's and Eli's ultimate fates will be too."
"Maybe we'd better rename this new feud the come-to-Jesus war."
"Or come-to-Betsy war." She finally smiled.
Now the bet. I'm not a huge fan of the whole betting thing but it worked here for me since you know right from the start that Declan's totally smitten for Betsy and struggling with keeping the secret.
The town was crazy as ever and the old women steering the feud totally batshit crazy. Honest to goodness I would totally bundle those nutters up and drop them in the middle of the wilderness somewhere. Those old grandmom's needed someone to take them both down. Whew boy! I loved that one of the missions Betsy and Declan take on is making sure the church has it's Christmas play even though the grandmoms are refusing to let anyone donate funds to it. Pulling together items on the sly from everyone in town and helping to end the feud.
There were a couple spots with some iffy dialogue or elements that just didn't quite sit right with me but they weren't enough to really impact the story negatively.
All in all, Brown did a fabulous job with A Cowboy Christmas Miracle. It's fun and full of the Christmas spirit. The perfect way to end the series.
Betsy can outshoot anybody in Burnt Boot and loves ranching more than anything-until she falls for Declan. He's fallen for her too. But when she discovers what sparked their courtship, Declan will need a Christmas miracle to save his hide-and his heart.