Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review: Texas Blue by Jodi Thomas

Texas Blue
Texas Blue by Jodi Thomas
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: April 5, 2011
Paperback, 336 pages 
Fiction, Historical Romance
Setting & Timeframe: Texas, late 1800s

My Review:
Why I read this: Jodi has me completely hooked on her Harmony, Texas series so when she contacted me about this blog tour, I was definitely on-board :)

My thoughts:
I love Jodi's contemporaries, so trying a historical was a little different.  I like historicals, but honestly haven't read many of the romances set her in the U.S. and especially those with western-like settings.  I must say that after reading Texas Blue - I will not shy away from this time period or setting any longer. Jodi writes this time-period and setting so well that I felt like I was right there.

Texas Blue is a great story that involves two people pretending to be other people.  They meet, they clash at first and then they learn there is something else there, but neither one wants love or marriage.  We all know that when that happens of course they find it, but there will be bumps along the way.  I thought the romance and characters were great in this book.  I really liked Em and her independent streak and her ability to run their ranch in their father's absence.  She's a strong female who is sure she will never marry and does not want to be involved with a man.  But she finds she has a softer side when she is with Lewt.  Lewt is a gambler, that is what he does and usually he makes no apologies for it, so when he tries to pass himself off as a well-bred gentleman to find a rich woman to marry, he quickly learns that the well-bred life is not the life for him.  He finds himself more at home helping out the mysterious boyish-looking Em than hanging out with the three McMurray sisters (one who is not a McMurray but standing in for Em since she doesn't want to be a part of finding a suitor) and the other two well-bred gentlemen.

There is also other conflict in the novel that made a great sidestory.  Duncan is the McMurray sisters' cousin and a Texas Ranger.  He is also the one who sent the men to Whispering Mountain to meet his cousins, though he would have never sent his gambler friend Lewt.  Duncan goes on a mission with the Rangers that goes wrong and there is the adventure plot of the story.  I liked this part for the suspense and the edge-of-your-seat what would happen next.  And I found myself really liking Duncan.  He's one of those white hat cowboys - always doing the right thing, the good guy.

The novel moved quickly for me.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and this is a continuation of the Whispering Mountain series featuring other characters in this family and I will be checking those books out along with continuing with this series as it moves along.  But I found you do not have to read the earlier novels to enjoy Texas Blue - it stands-alone quite well.

If you love this time period and love romance, especially ones where the characters pretend to be something they are not, then this is a book for you.  Or if you are looking for one of those first beach reads of the season I urge you to pick this one up, throw it in your beach bag (or pool bag) and enjoy it one beautiful afternoon.

I'll finish with one quote that really just shows the romance in this novel (this is Lewt thinking):

When he kissed her, the whole world seemed to stop, and if he could get her to look at him he swore she had the bluest eyes in all of Texas.
My Rating: 4.25/5.0

Other books in this series (though Texas Blue can be read on it's own)

Texas Rain (Whispering Mts)Texas Princess (Whispering Mts)Tall, Dark, and Texan (Whispering Mountain)The Lone Texan

Be sure and check out my guest post from the author, Jodi Thomas about Texas Blue and also enter the giveaway.

About the Book:

Gambling man Lewton Paterson wants to marry into a respectable family, even if it costs him his friendship with Duncan McMurray. After fleecing a train ticket from one of the three gentlemen picked to call on Duncan's cousins, Lewt makes his way to Whispering Mountain. But seducing a well-bred woman is harder than Lewt thought, and he realizes that to entice a McMurray sister, he'll need to learn a thing or two about ranching and love.

About the Author: 
A fifth generation Texan who taught family living, Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon.   A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable. 

With a degree in Family Studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer In Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, "When I was teaching classes full time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher, or nurse, or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place."


FTC Information: I received this book from the author/publisher for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


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