This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Forever
Released on December 16, 2014
Down home hijinks in a small West Texas town with the fireworks provided by a pair who run to detesting each other more than loving. Or do they? I love contemporary western small town romance, quirky town characters, family togetherness and enemies to lovers so I was glad to try this new to me author. I took a chance on reading the last book, but it worked out fine and left me eager to go back and read each story in the series. This was fun, touching, and exciting all rolled up with a great setting and engaging characters.
The youngest Cates brother and the girl adopted by the Hens have had their mean on since the moment they laid eyes on each other when he was a skinny geek and she a chubby girl. Then they grew up and Star’s a big country singer occupied with her songs and rodeo cowboys until the night a big buff Marine rescues her and its none other than Beckett Cates who looks anything but geeky just as she is a far cry from her chubby awkward self.
[quote]Beckett’s head was pulled closer to Starlet’s soft breasts. So close that he felt like he was suffocating. Which didn’t explain why he wasn’t protesting. Maybe because he could think of a lot worse ways to die than cocooned in a set of sweet breasts that smelled like lilac and…bananas? Loc. 311 Beckett from The Last Cowboy in Texas[/quote]
Someone’s out to get Starlet and Beck finds himself her rescuer every time he turns around even though he’d rather be doing anything else. They bristle and snarl, but in between something starts to happen. Beck and Star go with what is building until Star’s past catches up in more ways than one ruining a good thing.
Meanwhile, the mayoral election heats up in Bramble as do the libidos, the gossip mill is going, a stranger comes to town and the Cates brothers have trouble brewing in their own households from new babies to wild teen sons. But when trouble comes to Bramble, the whole town turns out to help.
This was just a fun story. Star and Beck had me rolling my eyes and chuckling over their bristling at each other and totally misreading the other one much of the time. That is until Beck catches Star doing a sensual fan dance and seizes the moment. They both grew up and now can see each other so much better once they really pause to look. Star has scars from her childhood and Beck is troubled from his time at war. They share a passion, but also the ability to help each other heal. I liked them together even as I dreaded the moment when Starlet’s manipulating catches up with her and Beckett discovers it all.
[quote]”I’m not a hero, Starlet.” He gave her a little shake to emphasize the words. “And I’m tired of trying to prove that I am. I’m just an imperfect man who likes computers, reading and noncontact sports. An imperfect man who has made a lot of mistakes and will no doubt make a lot more in his lifetime. One of the biggest is not letting you know how I felt from the first moment I stepped into Miss Hattie’s and saw you standing on the stairs in that pretty prom dress.”
“Pretty? You thought my dress was pretty?”
“Yes, but not even close to as pretty as the young woman who wore it.” Loc. 3449 Beckett from The Last Cowboy in Texas[/quote]
The town setting with all the side stories of the town folk, the Cates family and even the Hens was just a treat. Small town folk are the best and the quirkier the better. This book is not just Star and Beck’s story, but their story is part of a whole blending of stories with multiple narrators and threads. Normally, I would find that distracting, but I had a good time in this instance and had a lot of people that I was cheering for to get a good outcome.
The plot had some excitement and intrigue surrounding Star and for all that most of the story is light, there were still some good twists as a result. Pace of the story fluctuated, but never really dragged. The tone balanced right on the tip of the absurd, but stayed just on the right side so that the humor was played well against the other elements.
This was the last book so it was obvious there was a lot of wrapping up for the series and reunions with the previous couples. It was fun and was woven in so that it wasn’t tedious, but enjoyable. I loved the time that Beck spent with his brothers and sister with their families and I loved the scenes with Star, the Hens and Star’s family. Her uncle was a total scene-stealer.
All in all, I had a good time with the colorful characters, snippy lovers and small town atmosphere. I would recommend this one to Contemporary Romance lovers who like a western feel and some spice to their romance.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
‘pig before slaughter’
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