Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane

Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane
Series: Deep in the Heart of Texas, Book 4
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance Trouble in Texas Cover
Release Date: December 18, 2012
ISBN: 9781455515714
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Prim and proper Elizabeth Murphy is the spinster of Bramble, Texas. But what Bramble’s townsfolk don’t know is that their librarian has just inherited a house of ill repute! Elizabeth wants to sell the legendary Miss Hattie’s Henhouse, but its elderly residents aren’t about to let Elizabeth sell the place without a fight. The “hens,” as they call themselves, want to restore and reopen Miss Hattie’s and they want Elizabeth to take part in their legacy. If that wasn’t enough to give Elizabeth a headache, the drugged, bound, handsome man the hens have taken captive will definitely do it.

Branston Cates has come to Miss Hattie’s for answers. He wants to break the curse on his family before he loses someone else he cares about. Instead he finds himself in a bed with the most intriguing woman he’s ever met. Brant knows there’s more to Elizabeth than meets the eye, and he’s willing to use every seduction technique he has to find out what’s beneath her oh-so-proper fa├žade.

With a little help from the hens, Brant and Elizabeth will discover that there’s magic to be found in the walls of Miss Hattie’s Henhouse. The kind of magic that’ll help Elizabeth and Brant find not only their purpose in life, but love.

Trouble in Texas is a difficult book for me to review. I really wanted to love it, but I had some issues with the story. My biggest problems with the book were (1) the story felt slightly sexist at times (which was annoying) and (2) I couldn’t connect with either Elizabeth or Brant (which was disappointing). The two of them felt a bit flat and I was saddened that author Katie Lane simply tells readers Elizabeth and Brant fall in love rather than showing why we’re supposed to believe in the love story. As for the characters themselves, Brant was a fine hero, but largely unmemorable. Elizabeth, however, stands out in my memory for all the wrong reasons. I understand and liked that she’s supposed to be rather sheltered, but Ms. Lane takes Elizabeth’s “innocence” a bit too far and instead makes her come across as improbably ignorant (virgin or no, in a contemporary romance I don’t expect to see a thirty-seven-year-old woman believing her hero’s “attributes” are too big). What I believe was an attempt at comedy just struck me as ridiculous. So goes a lot of the humor in Trouble in Texas.

Enough with the bad. The bright spots of Trouble in Texas are Brant’s irrepressibly good humored brother, Beau, and the over-the-top hens of Miss Hattie’s Henhouse. Beau, Minnie, Baby, and Sunshine brought life and laughter to Trouble in Texas and it’s because of these four that I didn’t put down the book indefinitely. The twists and turns involving the reopening of Miss Hattie’s and the mystery of Brant’s family curse were interesting as well, though I won’t spoil the book for readers by saying anything about these plotlines.

Trouble in Texas is the fourth book in the Deep in the Heart of Texas series and I think it’s possible my enjoyment of Brant and Elizabeth’s story was lessened by my not having read Going Cowboy Crazy, Make Mine a Bad Boy, and Catch Me a Cowboy. Perhaps had I read those books I would have been able to connect with the townsfolk of Bramble and the cameos from past heroes and heroines would have meant something to me. At the moment, I’m not quite inspired to give the first three books in the series a try. However, I was intrigued by Beau Cates and I want to read his book, Flirting With Texas. While Trouble in Texas wasn’t the book for me, perhaps I’ll enjoy Flirting With Texas more.