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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars . . . Chasing Life and Love
With a name like Kyle Mango, life can either fail to live up to the hype or refuse to let you settle into the mundane. Kyle gets off to a rough start during his freshman year of college, but finds himself the unexpected benefactor of an attractive female's attention--and her mummy dancing skills. Thoughts of love soon come to a crossroads as desolate and dry as any West...
Published on May 2, 2009 by Eric Wilson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Last Mango in Texas
Texas Tech student Kyle Mango is attending a fraternity party when he meets Gretchen, an artsy animal lover whose independent spirit immediately sparks his attention. But after a month of bliss, they suddenly find themselves in rough waters. When Kyle inherits four oil wells from his uncle, he sees his affluence as an opportunity to impress Gretchen. But just before he...
Published 15 months ago by Lollipops


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars . . . Chasing Life and Love, May 2, 2009
By 
Eric Wilson "author" (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
With a name like Kyle Mango, life can either fail to live up to the hype or refuse to let you settle into the mundane. Kyle gets off to a rough start during his freshman year of college, but finds himself the unexpected benefactor of an attractive female's attention--and her mummy dancing skills. Thoughts of love soon come to a crossroads as desolate and dry as any West Texas has to offer.

Once again, Ray Blackston leads us on a whimsical, globe-trotting journey, as told through the eyes of a single male trying to get a grasp on relationships, careers, and spirituality. Given little by way of fatherly example, Kyle learns some lessons--good and bad--from his well-meaning uncle, and later inherits profitable oil wells. The very sort of business that Gretchen (yes, mummy-dancing Gretchen) despises because of their environmental hazards. While Kyle soaks up the "black gold" of his Texas oil fields, Gretchen is fuming over the birds harmed by a massive Alaskan oil spill. To win the heart of the woman he loves, Kyle must make decisions about his career, family, and relationship with God, while overcoming Gretchen's concerns.

Blackston seems incapable of writing a bad book. I still have that first-love memory of reading his debut "Flabbergasted", but his other books all have characters and scenarios worth discovering. Each is unique in exploring new settings or vocations, yet each pulses with a heart for life, love, God, missions, and the humility to stumble toward some understanding of each. If you haven't been "Flabbergasted" or "Delirious" yet, it's time to start here with "Last Mango" then work your way back through Blackston's lighthearted but always thought-provoking stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for A Chuckle, March 4, 2009
This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
Written in first person narrative, this humorous Christian chick lit couples an oil man with an environmentalist. That's creativity! The Texas man, Kyle, and the tree-hugging Gretchen are strong characters who pull apart toward their own special interests while being drawn together romantically. Will they ever get together? If so, how?

I looked forward to reading this novel. I've read two other books--Flabbergasted and A Delirious Summer by Ray Blackston, and he always has me chuckling as I read. This book is no different. Imagine an escape from a fraternity during a frat party. How could it happen with the brothers watching? What background music will be playing? Ah, you'll have to read the book to see the answers those questions.

This is a fun read, with a serious theme: "What does God want from me?" Try it, you'll like it. Included is a Reading Group Guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining yet inspiring read, June 8, 2009
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This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a really enjoyable and fun book to read. Yet again, I feel like Blackstone writes about characters we all can relate to and most importantly, be entertained by. Few authors can find a balance between insightful and humorous, yet Blackstone does just that again in the "Last Mango in Texas."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Priorities and Personality, January 14, 2010
By 
Wolfe Moffat (Franklinville, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
When you plan on digging into the work of Ray Blackston, expect the not-so-serious to occur from time to time. Yet on the other hand, expect a good read, as he taps into the heart of things that not all authors can do. In this case, he taps into a Mango, Kyle Mango, to be exact. And through the narration of this Mango, things might not go the way they were planned out.

Kyle meets Gretchen, and she's quite the catch. She's also quite the animal lover as well. Kyle, however, has an uncle who has a few surprises under his belt, especially after revealing what he's left to Kyle in his will. The Texas Tech man has been given a gift in oil wells, won't Gretchen be impressed! But Gretchen has other ideas as her roads take her to Alaska to scrub down birds DRENCHED in oil. When it comes down to it, what's more important? Does Kyle want to continue to run a wealthy business, or is the girl in Gretchen a little more important than dollar signs?

Original thought is always worth something, but to think of others before yourself is awesome. Living in a day and age where becoming 2nd best is not always acceptable, this makes you think just a bit about why you might do that. Is this a lesson that will change all hearts? Probably not. But is it one of those reads that gets the wheels turning to the point where some good thoughts come into play? Oh yeah! I think it also dives into the priorities of one's life, as to what is more important in the end. And in between, some personalities may clash just a little. But I think it is worth it, and Blackston has done his part! Can't wait for the next offering.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing romance with humor and faith, March 5, 2009
This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
Last Mango in Texas by Ray Blackston is a light-hearted romance with an undercurrent of faith and responsibility. Kyle Mango falls in love with Gretchen his freshman year at Texas Tech after she rescues him from a fraternity house while doing the mummy dance from the Thriller video. The two bond, but Gretchen pulls away and becomes deeply involved with rescuing birds and wildlife, especially from the damage done by oil companies. In Kyle's senior year at school, he inherits four oil wells from his uncle, which makes his courtship of Gretchen more than a bit difficult. He's torn between providing for his mother, siblings, and employees and pursuing the woman he loves. Blackston has a real talent for writing laugh out loud humor and creating characters who are just quirky enough to be interesting without being completely unbelievable. He handles the controversy of the damage oil companies do to the environment vs the service they provide consumers with compassion and heart. Blackston's romance is a fun read with a real message of faith and responsibility.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Colorful Tale Of Romance From The Male Perspective Of Ray Blackston, February 28, 2009
By 
Stacey (Las Vegas, NV USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
"Last Mango in Texas" is signature Ray Blackston. His dialogue sparkles. His characters are bright and funny. His narrative is some of the wittiest writing in the business! Kyle Mango is a college student with an unthinkable decision to make! He must choose between Gretchen, the girl of his dreams, and being set for life financially as the owner of four oil wells that he inherited from his uncle. No brainer? NO WAY!

Ray Blackston weaves a colorful tale of love and environmental responsibility that will make you laugh out loud and seriously question how you would handle yourself if faced with the same circumstances. This is a completely enjoyable, intelligent read with a thread of faith woven throughout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Last Mango in Texas, March 4, 2009
This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
The Last Mango in Texas, by Ray Blackston, is a refrshing novel. I enjoyed this novel from the first page until the last. The main character, Kyle Mango, is such a lively character that you are intrigued with him and his life instantly.

Kyle is a student who meets the girl of his dreams. However, things soon become confusing. He faces the hardest decision of his life: Love or Money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just a whole lot of fun, March 24, 2009
By 
Suzie Eller "(Suzie)" (beautiful NE Oklahoma) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
Kyle inherits an oil company while pursuing an environmentally conscious Greenie, Gretchen. While he doesn't think that oil is necessarily bad, Gretchen sees oil as the enemy. Can he get away with throwing money at good green causes, while hiding the truth from the girl he loves? Fun fast-paced storytelling with tongue-in-cheek moral dilemmas. This was just a whole lot of fun to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, October 2, 2013
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This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
A good book on coming of age and working out your values and relationships. Enjoyed reading it myself, then bought it for my 3 teen to twenties kids to read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Last Mango in Texas, August 26, 2013
This review is from: Last Mango in Texas: A Novel (Paperback)
Texas Tech student Kyle Mango is attending a fraternity party when he meets Gretchen, an artsy animal lover whose independent spirit immediately sparks his attention. But after a month of bliss, they suddenly find themselves in rough waters. When Kyle inherits four oil wells from his uncle, he sees his affluence as an opportunity to impress Gretchen. But just before he makes his move, Gretchen hears news of an oil tanker spilling its load near the coast of Alaska. Leaving Kyle behind in Texas, she joins a group of campus activists in Alaska for the summer to clean oil from suffering birds.

Kyle is torn between managing his business--and being left lonely in the Lone Star state--and risking everything to fly to Alaska to pursue Gretchen. The young oil man soon discovers that oil slicks are nothing compared to relational slicks. The early bird may get the worm, but the oily bird can ruin romance! Through it all, Kyle explores faith in God and His power to change lives.

LAST MANGO IN TEXAS is written in first person, kind of a coming-of-age story about a young man. It starts when Kyle is thirteen years old. The story is told more than shown, keeping the reader distant, and the book easy to put down.

Still, there are some laugh out loud moments, and times you hurt for Kyle--like when he's mourning the death of his uncle, and when he's mourning the loss of Gretchen. And I did want things to work out for him. Mr. Blackston is kind of a quirky writer, with normal people, with not so normal problems. Discussion questions are included.
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Last Mango in Texas: A Novel
Last Mango in Texas: A Novel by Ray Blackston (Paperback - March 13, 2009)
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