Texas Tall by Kaki Warner #Review

Texas Tall by Kaki Warner #ReviewTexas Tall by Kaki Warner

Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Published by Berkley on October 4, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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four-stars      three-flames

Kaki Warner continues to impress and dazzle me with her fantastic western historical romances.  A tall, handsome Texas Ranger and a strong-willed pretty woman share painful pasts and a desire for something special in the future if they can get past her dark secret and their different dreams.

Texas Tall opens with fourteen year old Charlotte Weyland finishing a task set to her by her grandfather that nearly guts her before she moves on to start a new life in a new, accepting small town in Texas.  She makes a place working for a kind couple at their store and making friends with others in town.

The peace of the town is shattered when a gun battle happens between Texas Rangers bringing in a man to justice and the man’s friends trying to break him free.  Lottie rushes out into the street to care for the wounded ranger who caught her eye earlier.  This was the first encounter and they proceed from there.  He antagonizes her and she returns it in full.

Both know that a lot stands in their way.  He’s a ranger and not allowed to be married as a ranger and when he quits he plans to go into ranching.  Lottie never wants to go back to dirt poor ranching and has dreams of making money with her business acumen and being rich.  Then there is her past and the deed she has done which Ty might not be able to forgive.

Meanwhile, Lottie immerses herself into the doings of the townspeople and making her wise investments.  Until the day her past comes calling and she sees the betrayal of trust in Ty’s eyes.  Will their love survive this?

Alright, so this one did well setting up a Texas ranch town with colorful characters and a heroine woven into the fabric of a town and the many situations there.  Ty is the outside element who gradually shifts from wandering ranger to future rancher.  The story slowly builds.  It’s not just an isolated romance, but the story of a whole town of people with Lottie as the catalyst.

Lottie is not typical of her times.  Her grandfather raised her to wield her intelligence like a knife, to stand on her own, to trust only herself, and be courageous in the face of impossible situations.  She has a strong need for control because of all the losses early in her childhood and the one last thing that made her grow up fast.  I thought it was cute that for all her brilliance, she is still very much a sheltered young woman who needs to grow into her britches.  She’s curious and has to be up in everyone’s business.

Lottie gets most of the narration time, but Ty shares it.  He was a hero to ride the river with.  This man had to grow up hard and fast living in Texas border country, losing his family, and then riding with The Frontier Battalion.  He has no idea what to make of this sharp, beautiful woman he suddenly has in his sights.  He wants her, but he won’t let her run roughshod over him either.  I loved that he appreciated her intelligence and applauded her gifts even while also standing firm so she would respect him, too.

I love how the author surrounds her story with western feel and historical setting with it always feeling organic to the story.  I learned about the border country situation and the rangers, the boom of economy after the war and the desperate times for the smaller ranches.  I loved the inclusion of the ‘English’ invasion, the saloon life, and the other ordinary citizens and their lives in the town.

The romance is steady, but slow.  Just when it looks like they’ll leap ahead, one or the other puts on the breaks and does the mature thing.  Near the end, I was starting to get anxious because Lottie kept pulling the handbrake out of fear and her control issues, but then she gets whopped with an epiphany that set a fire under her real fast.  I loved this pair and enjoyed their passion, playfulness, and sizzling battles.

All in all, this was another fabulous Western story by an author that I’ve begun to just snag her next book with no hesitation whatsoever.  Western historical romance lovers do yourselves a favor and give this one a go.

My thanks to Berkley Romance for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #320 HR

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I don’t know why, but whenever I read a word “history” from a book, I instantly get bored even if I haven’t started reading it yet. But because I sometimes challenged myself, I tried to read Shadow of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu which is an historical romance too just like this book. But fortunately for me, I was able to enjoy it. Too bad this story only got three stars from you. I’m not yet in the mood for any historical romance but maybe I could try to squeeze it in my overcrowded reading list lol

    • Yes, history can take some people that way. For me, its fascinating and historicals were my big entrance to romance. Glad you gave it a chance. Oh, and this one is a four star.

      I hear you about the uber crowded reading list, Vanessa. 😉

  • It’s been a while since I’ve read a Western. Glad to hear you liked this one.

    • Oh yes, this was my third book by her and I think she’ll be an auto buy soon. 🙂

  • oh oh me want now >.< it's been a while since i read a historical western but the fact that this book is so involved makes me super curious

    • You really must, Lily. 🙂 Pamper yourself with this one.

  • Western historical, interesting… I don’t know that I’ve read a Western historical romance novel before. Cowboys and such, I’ve not read many of those types. I’m glad this author has not let you down! Hopefully her future books will be just as awesome. =)

    Great review, Sophia!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • It’s okay if it doesn’t grab you. 😉 I do enjoy her books so far and want to read the older ones.

  • Debbie Haupt

    OMG Sophia Rose I just saw this on Herding Cats LOL 🙂
    you both loved it looks like there’s gonna be a Texas cowboy on my pile 🙂

    • Haha! Yep, I saw that Anna and I were review twinsies. And yes, dear lady you do need this Texas Cowboy on your reading pile. 🙂

  • It has been a while since I read a western historical but oh how I used to love them. This sounds like a really well done book and I love the Ranger aspect. Great review!

    • Yes, the Rangers was one of the elements that had me perking right up with the interest, too. Thanks, Carole! Hope you get the chance!

  • Oh it’s great to see you had a good western story. It’s a years since I haven’t read one I confess but I think I have one or 2 to read… I didn’t even know aout the author. thanks!

    • You’ll have to pull one of yours off the shelf and give it a try then, Melliane. 🙂 Glad to introduce you to a new author.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever read a western historical, not sure if I would like them, but I would be willing to give one a try once. I like the sound of the setting in this one with the Texas ranch town. It also sounds interesting how the female is part of the city and the male is the new element. They sound like a fun couple. Glad to hear this was a good one!

    • Oh yes, I am curious to see if you would like this type of historical romance. I like some more than others as is the case with all romance genres, but I do consider this a good one.

      This was like a small town romance set in the past so yes, her being from the town made it a great setting for the story. The surrounding characters were a vital part.

  • LOL yes I was starting to get nervous as well because you’re running out of time you two!!! Ahh! I enjoyed this one too Sophia. It was my first from her but I’ll be back. The characters were all so fun. I’m hoping we’ll get some of their stories told.

    • It’s funny how sometimes I find myself ‘talking’ to the story characters and look around in case I said that out loud- but then remembering that I’m by myself in the room. Ha!

      She usually writes in a series so I would love it if she did tackle some of the other stories. The English pair was a plot thread that was nagging at me when it all ended.

      • Oh yes. It was nagging at me as well. Them and then the whorehouse owner. I loved him. I have it marked on Goodreads to check back in a while and see if others have been added 😀

        • Oh, that’s a good idea. I need to create a ‘wait and see’ sort of shelf like that so I’ll remember to go back and check. I’ve got a few authors that I’m hoping they write more.