Hello, and welcome back! I hope that somewhere this summer isn't as ungodly hot and miserable as it has been here in our area. I really do hope that some of you are enjoying a summer with cooling breezes and occasional rain to keep the grass green instead of brown and crunchy. That place is not, however, my backyard. Good thing my desktop stack of reading material has held so many enticing books this summer.
This time out, I have Give Me a Texas Outlaw (Zebra, purchased) with stories from Jodi Thomas, DeWanna Pace, Phyllis Miranda and Linda Broday. Thomas leads things off with 'The Outlaw', in which Cozette Camanez commandeers a thief to be her groom so her greedy uncle can't take her father's ranch. Michael Hughes didn't intend to spend his life as thief, but his 'uncles' can't seem to help themselves. He just can't find it in him to say no when the desperate Cozette asks for his help. Neither of them intends the marriage to be permanent, but he can't help wishing Cozette could really be his. 'Trouble in Petticoats' from Broday is next, with heiress Larissa Patrick going along when Johnny Diamond is sent to bring back her kidnapped sister. Johnny doesn't want her along, as it just makes his task more difficult, but Larissa refuses to go home without her sister. Instead, she rides along with him into danger, tempting him every step of the way. Miranda's 'Texas Flame' has Ethan Kimble off to bring Savannah Parker back after she's involved in a string of bank robberies, only his former love is keeping more secrets than even he can guess. But he's not going home without his woman, one way or another. 'Most Wanted' from Pace rounds things out with Odessa Kilmore in desperate need of some help to get back to her small hometown to prove her innocence. Gunslinger Shadow Rivers is just the man to do it, only they'll have to spend a lot of time in very close quarters, with danger following them every step of the way. If you're a regular reader, you already know I love Jodi Thomas's books, whether they're historical or contemporary stories, as she creates totally believable characters whose conflicts will draw you right in, exactly as she does with Cozette and Michael. I'm also a big fan of DeWanna Pace, and her story here will make you laugh aloud as you're reading with the escapades Odessa and Shadow get into as they're falling in love. I really enjoyed Miranda's story, too, with the stubborn Anna afraid to trust her heart with Ethan when she believes he means to arrest her. If you love cowboys, this anthology will be a great addition to your keeper shelf. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for it.
Until next time, happy reading!