I read and listen to a lot of books every year, the subject matter nothing less than a United Nations level of diverse. I have an addiction to Irwin Shaw and Frank Sinatra biographies. I read books on climate change. I’ve read all of Sue Grafton’s alphabet (except for the newly released X), the complete series Bones is based on, and anything and everything written by Gabby Bernstein and Liz Gilbert (I would read their post-it notes for fun). I don’t have many “guilty pleasures” when it comes to reading; I believe reading, in general, is nothing but an amazing pleasure. I don’t do comic books or graphic novels and will never understand anime (but have nothing against them). But every once in awhile, in the midst of a biography spree or after 10 chapters of Song of Ice and Fire, I have to stop and take a break.
Thus enters the classic American romance novel. I have a friend who has read these books since we were in high school, only then she carried them around in a brown paper sack. About as racy as I personally ever got was reading my stepmom’s Danielle Steel novels. Having said that, I feel like the days of hiding a love of adult lit is now over. Thank you, Mr. Grey. And really, why would you even care what someone reads? If it brings them a moment of peace and it’s not Let’s Bomb Shit or How to be an Axe Murderer, get off their junk about it.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting two authors from this world via mutual girlfriends. At first we were just Twitterfriends, but I’ve since met both in person and can honestly say they’re two of the most fabulous women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. As a “writer” I envy anyone who can create fiction as much and as often as they do. Cat Johnson and Lorelei James are both New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors and are very well known and respected in adult contemporary literature, most especially in western romance. Ladies love those cowboys. So I’ve been told.
In order to spend time with two of my dear friends from Kentucky and at long last meet Cat in person, I went to RT Booklovers Convention this summer, conveniently in Dallas. Upon asking one of my girlfriends who else I should read (since I wasn’t going to the 400+ authors one-by-one), she immediately took me over to Cynthia D’Alba. Cynthia is one of those women who you instantly adore; she has a personality the size of Texas and genuinely loves what she does. I purchased and had her sign the first book in her Montgomery Mavericks series. I took it and one of Cat’s books to the beach this summer and read both in three days. Which kinda blew, since I was there for seven.
The Texas Montgomery Mavericks series, set in the fictional town of Whispering Springs, Texas (oh how I wish it was real), is about the well-known Montgomery family, with each book focusing on one member and his or her trials and tribulations at finding – and keeping – love. Having already read the majority of this series, I was excited to get my hands on an advance copy of book 6, Texas Hustle, for review.
Texas Hustle tells the story of Darren Montgomery and Porchia Summers. Porchia was born and bred in Atlanta high society and quickly shipped off to Whispering Springs to live with her grandmother by her overly pretentious (and irritating) parents after making a naive high school mistake. Having grown up and built a good life and popular bakery in Texas, she is devastated when the POS who got her in trouble in Atlanta tracks her down. In an effort to escape his blackmail attempt, she bids on a 10-day camping (more like glamping) trip with Darren at a charity auction. Darren, of course, has had his eyes on her and her “apple fritters” for awhile.
As anticipated, Texas Hustle is great fun with a little suspense thrown in and a seamless addition to the series. I got wrapped up in the story line and characters like I inevitably do with these books. Despite the fact you are certain what is going to happen in the end, you still get angry and anxious and maybe even yell at your Kindle because Porchia is being ridiculous. And Darren, well, he’s just the best – no matter how absurd and withdrawn she gets, he never gives up (chivalry isn’t dead in books, thank goodness). I still have a soft spot for Travis, however (book 2). And the naughty bits, they’re there. You won’t be disappointed. In addition, with each new book in the series, you always get a little update about couples from previous books and hints about who could be next.
I have a lot of girlfriends who never read adult contemporary until Fifty Shades and now read it more than I will ever get them to admit publicly. So I am taking one for the team by writing this and upcoming reviews. And you have plenty of time to read books 1-5 before Texas Hustle comes out Nov. 24. You’re welcome.