Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Review: Tall, Dark, and Texan by Jodi Thomas

Teagen McMurrary would ride to hell and back to protect his land. He’d certainly never felt that way about a woman. At least not until Jessie Barton showed up with her three little girls, desperate for a place to stay. Suddenly he finds himself proposing marriage, telling himself it is only to protect her and her children …

Jessie had no place to go except Whispering Mountain—and to Teagen, the one person who couldn’t deny her, thanks to the correspondence he shared with her dead husband. But what will happen once the man she’s loved through his letters discovers her tangle of lies?

The third in the Whispering Mountain series, Tall, Dark, and Texan proved an enjoyable read from start to finish. I read the book over the holidays and found myself stealing away at odd moments from the family in order to sneak in a chapter or two.

Jessie is a perfect mix of vulnerability and strength. What I liked most about her was that she didn’t really understand how strong she was until she had to stand up for herself and her children. Her courage grew throughout the novel as did her confidence. Because of this, she was able to make a hard decision that proved the right one in the end. 

The romance between Teagen and Jessie developed at a lovely pace, each learning about the other quickly. I really enjoyed Jessie’s need to be near Teagen without really realizing what she was doing and Teagen’s half-hearted attempts to stop her. From the very beginning the reader knows Jessie is going to win him over in every way without Teagen becoming the typical Alpha-hero. She softened him from the instant she met him. Her secrets are quite understandable and Teagen, after his initial reaction comes to her quickly, lovingly because he realizes she only did what she had to do.

The best part of the romance, however, is two lonely people finding each other. Each are surrounded by family, yet each has a distant ache in their hearts, unable to truly connect with others. Teagen and Jessie complete each other and as a reader, I was wholly satisfied. I look forward to the final installment (will there be one?) featuring Sage and (hopefully) Drum.

Things I Liked

~ In the previous two books, I didn’t have a real liking for Teagen and so in picking up this novel, I was a bit wary. He’s mean, he’s crusty, he doesn’t talk much (I’m a beta-hero girl myself) but Ms. Thomas managed to shine a light into Teagan and gave the reader great understanding of his nature. By the end of his first meeting with Jessie, all my reservations died away.  

~ The children – they weren’t cookie cutter cutsey and they added real value to the story. I loved Bethie’s antics, Rose’s forthright nature but I truly loved the evolving relationship between Teagen and the oldest, Emily.

Things I Didn’t Like

~ There were a few clichés in the book – all things you expect to find in Western romances – the bad guy, the bad family coming to get the children and forcing a marriage … but I was able to overlook these for the most part.

Additional Info

Published  ~ November 2008

~ Price ~ $7.99

Series ~ Whispering Mountain: Texas Rain and Texas Princess

~ Favorite Jodi Thomas ~ Two Texas Hearts

~ Author Website ~ www.jodithomas.com

(this review can also be found at Reading Romance Books)

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