Denim and Lace
Denim and Lace is a cut above the hackneyed western romances that seem to be cropping up lately. Although the author offers up the traditional feisty, red-haired heroine and an equally traditional hard-bitten, tortured hero, she injects enough humanity into them that they keep the reader interested.
Denim and Lace is the story of Samantha Neely and Sloan Talbott. Samantha and her family have moved to the California Rockies from Tennessee to track down her father and maybe, just maybe, kill Sloan for what she believes he’s done to her father. Sloan, owner of the small town, wants nothing to do with these women; indeed, he’s kept women out of his town for years because of the trouble they bring.
Suffice it to say that Samantha and her family win the right to stay. Suffice it to say that one look at Samantha’s long legs and bountiful chest drives him crazy. The difference between Samantha and most other romance heroines? She’s not beautiful. The difference between Sloan and most other heroes? He doesn’t fall for her “in spite of” her looks; he falls for what he sees as a beautiful woman. For that alone this book is worth reading.
There is plenty of action in this book – those who enjoy Road Romances will approve. Samantha and Sloan join forces to find Sam’s father. Their journey changes their lives in ways neither had ever imagined. Samantha discovers what it is to be a woman. Sloan discovers that his humanity is slowly being awakened after a ten year sleep – make that coma.
What Samantha and Sloan share is uncompromising and difficult. It will take lots and lots of sexual tension, anger, betrayal, trust, amnesia, and another road trip to turn Sloan around. When this book begins it is easy to assume that Sloan will tame the tomboy-ish Samantha as “man” tamed the west. But by the end of the story it is not so much Samantha who has changed, it is Sloan.
This book also offers a rich array of secondary characters. While they add quite a bit of humor to the story, I found much of the goings-on related to Samantha’s father a bit boring. While necessary for the plot to work, I would have preferred the author devise another explanation for his disappearance.
Also, this book had a bit of extra padding that slowed down the pace at times, mostly related to the nemesis of the book. Granted, there has to be a nemesis in stories such as these, but Sloan’s relationship to this man and his reason for hiding out west was a bit convoluted.
Still, this book does offer an intense and satisfying romance, with wonderful chemistry between the lead characters. It was delightful to read about the most handsome man visibly lusting after the plainest sister. Samantha’s family was remarkable as well, and I can envision a sequel or two focusing on Samantha’s beautiful twin sisters. They are as bright and funny as Samantha.