The Texas Ranger’s Reward
Earlier this month I kicked off my reading challenge with a Harlequin Superromance, which was then a new category line for me. So when I had a choice between reading another Superromance and Harlequin’s American Romance series—yet another new Harlequin line, I decided to go with the American Romance.
Thankfully more than a year ago I subscribed to the Harlequin’s Reading Services and I got 2 free American Romance books. I eenie’d and found my head burrowed in Rebecca Winters’ The Texas Ranger’s Reward.
Now I was at least halfway through the book before I decided to search the author up on the interwebs and I found out the book is actually part of a trilogy. Yes. What is with all the trilogies right?
Naw. That wasn’t what I was thinking. I was thinking ‘please let this be the first in the trilogy’. Unfortunately it wasn’t, AND I’m warning you now. The end ruins a heckuva lot of the plot of the first story in the trilogy. I mean, A LOT, as in the mystery subplot of that novel is completely blown away.
Which is fine because I don’t blame the author. I blame myself for ignoring the shiny badge on the cover with the overarching trilogy name. Shoulda known what that was… -sigh-.
Thankfully I really had no regrets reading The Texas Ranger’s Reward.
Set in my fourth favourite state—yes, I have favourite states—the novel follows the story of orthopedic therapist Melissa Dalton and former Texas Ranger-now-P.I.
When I read the back of this book I thought it was a twin trope. As in the heroine, Melissa, was Travis’ late wife’s identical twin sister.
BTW I’m not spoiling anything. It’s all in the back cover blurb. Go. Read it.
And spoiler! It’s not a twin trope story. Melissa isn’t related to Travis’ wife, so no extra melodrama. Phew.
But she looks like her, and that’s what makes this story really cool to read.
“Have you ever been told you looked like someone else or that someone else looked like you? Do you like being compared?”
The author, Rebecca Winters, asks this question in her ‘Dear Reader’* section at the front of the novel. My answer is “yes” and “it depends”. If we’re talking celebrity look-a-like—I’m kidding.
But it does depend. For instance I’ve been compared to my mom before by her friends. Sometimes I look like her and other times I sound like her, or it is other little nuances I share with her.
Looking at it this way I don’t mind. But if I’m being compared to a really nasty-piece-of-work human, I’m better off not knowing what you think. Thank you. Don’t come again.
Veering back from my tangent into the review, we get Melissa’s response to this question in the novel when Travis tells her early on and in a very up front manner I enjoyed that Melissa looked like his deceased wife and mother to his seven-year-old son.
Naturally Melissa is totally freaked out, and it doesn’t help that she’s attracted to Travis. Especially when she can’t bring herself to ask him: So is it lust/love on your side, too? Or is it that I’m your type—as in your dead wife-type?
Big, big questions. And Travis better answer them right or no nookie! In all seriousness he’s a single father though, and it isn’t entirely about how he feels about Melissa. See this is how single parenting works. At least good and healthy single parenting works. Disclaimer: I’m not from a one parent family. My parents have been happily married for more years than I’ve been born, and hopefully many more years at that. BUT I do understand that for a moment if I put myself in Travis’ pants I would be considering how my child felt about a possible love interest.
And like a good father Travis worries if his son sees his mother in Melissa. Which is a prime concern—a perfect seat of main romantic conflict if I do say so myself, and I say “oh yeah”!
Besides that main conflict there is a mystery/suspense subplot. Actually 2 kinda. One is more overarching and that’s the mystery one, and the other is a short suspense ride filling the hole that the mystery subplot left.
What I didn’t like was everything was wrapped up in a neat bow. All tucked in and tidy presentation that was gag-worthy fake. Really? There was some ridiculous melodrama at the end of this novel.
BTW coming out of having just read/reviewed a sexier romance, I’ve learned through experience that American Romance is behind-doors sexy time. As in scene-blank and couple is laying in each other’s arms after the deed. I’m cool with that, but for those of you looking for on-screen nookie this book is not your friend.
Still it’s a great read. A fun couple of days spent avoiding studying for finals, and what more could I ask for, right?