Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review of Be My Texas Valentine

Be My Texas Valentine
Four stories by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, and DeWanna Pace
Western Romance
Historical Romance

The last couple months have been a flurry of writing, revising, scheduling, rescheduling, contacting committees, reserving a room, and more writing. On Thursday of last week I had my thesis defense completely scheduled and a room booked, and I turned in the first draft of my thesis.

Within a few hours of handing in my thesis, I flew to SeaTac and commenced the long mutli-stage journey of getting to snowy peaceful Holden Village.

And so it was that Friday evening, in a bed above the dining hall at Holden, physically and mentally exhausted, I happily opened Be My Texas Valentine. There is nothing so satisfyingly cozy when you need a vacation as a mass market romance.

I found the book in Potty Patrol, which sounds quite odd, but is kind of like Holden Village's free bin. I'd never read any Western historical romance before, but as it was February a book about Valentines seemed quite appropriate.

The first story, "The Valentine's Curse" by Jodi Thomas, was enjoyable and fun, if not quite as well-written as I like my romances. Brody Monroe, as a Yankee in Texas post-civil war, is an outcast just trying to get by. Young Valerie Allen is twice-widowed, and people stay clear of her, believing her cursed. The two loners are thrown together at a Valentine's Day dance.

The two middle stories had good plots, but it was hard to find that amidst the bad pacing and bumbling characterization. I don't regret reading them, but I will certainly not be reading anything else from Broday and Miranda.

I haven't read the fourth story; I'll save it for a future Valentine's Day.

So, while this anthology wasn't stellar, it was easy and light-hearted when I needed that sort of reading. And it has piqued my interest in Western historical romance; I'll be keeping an eye out for some good cowboy romances. Comment if you know of any.

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