The Texan's Dream
Everything about The Texan’s Dream was average. The hero and heroine were acceptable but not remarkable. The same was true of the plot, the secondary characters, and the pacing of the story. It certainly wasn’t hard to read stylewise, but nothing about the book stayed with me once I put it down.
Karina O’Riley is told by her father to leave Pittsburgh for her own safety, in order to escape the dastardly McWimberlys. (The reasons for this are dribbled throughout the story.) She is not to contact her father for at least three months, and cannot return to Pittsburgh for a year or more. Like a dutiful daughter, Karina does what her father asks, takes the money he gives her and heads west. She is concerned that she will not see her almost fiancé, Devin, before she leaves, but her father says Devin is aware of the situation.
After traveling as far west as Missouri, obtaining schooling as a bookkeeper, and running out of money, Kara is desperate for work. She is not an adept bookkeeper and has not had luck finding employment. Fortunately, ranch owner Jonathan Catlin is just as desperate.
Indians captured Jonathan as a child, killing most of his immediate family. Then as a young man, whites killed his adopted Indian family and he was returned to the white world. As a result, he has decided to shut off his emotions because everyone he loves dies. He has inherited the Catlin ranch and has one year to make the ranch prosper, or it will revert to the state of Texas. Jonathan doesn’t care about the ranch, but he does want the money from it to continue his nomadic lifestyle. Of course, he hires Kara, and the two of them travel together to his Texas ranch.
Jonathan and Kara’s first meeting is rather funny, and Kara is somewhat of a spitfire. That character aspect, however, seems to cause Kara to make some flaky decisions throughout the book. Jonathan, a typical hardened hero, is so disturbed by Kara that he sets a rule that there is to be no casual touching of any kind. He is determined to keep his emotions reined in.
The relationship between Kara and Jonathan had potential, but got bogged down in too many subplots. A few of them are: Jonathan’s only remaining Indian brother needs help; Kara’s problem and the identity of the McWimberlys; Kara’s fiancé Devin; rustlers stealing the Catlin cattle; the feud between the Catlins and the Wellses; and numerous appearances of characters with previous books of their own.
These are only a few of the destracting subplots. As a result, I connected with none of the secondary characters and had problems learning enough about Jonathan and Kara. Large amounts of time also pass in a few pages during which the reader is told things happen, but never gets to experience them first hand.
Some of the other characters who have had their own stories seemed interesting, and perhaps those who have read some or all of the previous books in this series will find it appealing. Author Thomas has an easy to read style of writing, and had the number of subplots been eliminated, the overall story would have been more enjoyable. I plan to try one Thomas’ earlier books before I make any further judgments about her work.