A Texan's Luck
I looked at my database of reading for 2004, and realized that I’ve only read two Western romances this year. Fans of the Western romance subgenre know you can usually count on Jodi Thomas for an entertaining read. This book features nice leads, but is marred by sequelitis and a ridiculous action subplot.
A Texan’s Luck is part of a series that I haven’t read. It seems that in a previous book, Lacy was one of a trio of women who took part in a bride lottery. This book opens with Lacy marching into army captain Walker Larson’s office. He thinks she’s a prostitute but she informs him that his father “bought” him for her in the wife lottery and that they were married by proxy. She wants the marriage consummated right now. Walker knew that his father had done this, and has been trying to get the marriage annulled, but faced with Lacy, he loses all his sense and consummates the marriage. Then she leaves, knowing that he didn’t want a real marriage.
Two years later, Lacy is living in a small town where she publishes the local paper. One day, Walker comes to her office/home. A villain from Lacy’s past, whom she had assumed was still in prison, has gotten out and made threats. Walker has been ordered to protect his wife, but neither is very happy with the situation. Walker has his orders and Lacy could use an extra pair of hands with the newspaper, so they settle down to an uneasy living arrangement.
The middle part of A Texan’s Luck, in which Walker and Lacy get to know each other, is the best part of the book. Both are wary, both are skittish, and neither of them have a good reason to trust the other one. But you can’t live with someone for a long period of time in close quarters without getting to know that person very well, and that’s what happens here. The couple’s slow progression from distrust to love is very sweet and moving.
However, just as the book was getting really good, an almost absurd action sub-plot involving gypsies intrudes and almost wrecks the book. However, it soon gets back on track when the real villain shows up and puts Lacy is in real danger.
Lacy and Walker are both very nice characters – not particularly outstanding, but not irritating either. Lacy begins as quite the prickly pear – she snaps at Walker for touching her hair. But she soon mellows without becoming silly or clinging. Lacy has always worked and is very self-sufficient and she does not lose her pride in herself when she falls in love. Walker is a stern, silent type who hides his loneliness with work. He has to learn to share and communicate and love softens him up, without making him the Western equivalent of a metrosexual.
Fans of western romances will all probably pounce on A Texan’s Luck. Given the slim pickings in the field lately, who would blame them? The romance between the Lacy and Walker is engaging, but I was frustrated by the outrageous contrivances the author used to keep the hero and heroine apart. The result is a read that’s only just barely better than average.