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Texas-Sized Trouble: Cowboy Dreaming (A Wrangler's Creek Novel) Mass Market Paperback – January 23, 2018
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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She's received the Booksellers' Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®. In addition, she's had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines. You can contact the author through her webpage at www.deloresfossen.com
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Lawson and Eve were high school sweethearts, but at age 17, eagerly awaiting the Sadie Hawkins dance at their high school, their steamy, sexy, can't-keep-their-hands-off-each-other, high school romance came to an abrupt end when Eve was discovered and signed to star in a new sci-fi teenage romance television series and was suddenly gone from Wrangler's Creek. The show was a huge hit, with millions of rabid teenage fans, but Eve did manage to keep something from back home--Lawson's unborn child, Tessie, a child she raised to believe was adopted, and a child Lawson didn't know was his.
Fast forward 18 years, and Eve is pregnant again after a drunken one-night stand with her co-star, Kellan, a totally self-promoting, publicity hungry, obnoxious jerk, and she's returned to Wrangler's Creek, buying Lawson's mother's old house, which is less than 1/4 mile from Lawson's newly built home. When Lawson heads over there to find out why she would do such a thing, he finds her in labor and ends up delivering Eve's second child, a son named Aidan, and although they each have lots of issues with one another, neither of them has really ever gotten over the other, but Lawson has nursed his broken heart all these years, and he still doesn't want more pain, any children or commitment. He also still hasn't figured out that Eve's teenage daughter, Tessie, is really his.
Adding to the complications is the fact that both Eve and Lawson still have nightmares over the alcohol-related death of their close friend, Brett, 18 years earlier, and the fact that Tessie just found out that she really was Eve's daughter, not adopted after all, that Tessie was away at college for the first time, and not responding to Eve's phone calls, and Lawson going to check up on her on his way back from a cattle buying trip. Although he doesn't realize it at the time, he prevents 3 very drunken college students, one of whom is Tessie, from leaving the dorm, and that's just for starters. Teenage drinking is a huge red flag to both Lawson and Eve, and underage drinking is enough to get Tessie expelled from college if her drinking binge is discovered.
There's also Eve's obnoxious, former co-star, Kellan, father of her second child, showing up with the paparazzi in tow, and wanting Eve to agree to co-star with him in a spin-off series, and prior to that, sending gigantic and hideous stuffed animals to the son he seems not to even care about seeing at all. As if that's not quite enough, Eve's crazy and obsessed fans keep showing up unannounced and literally jumping out from behind the bushes at her home. Add to that, a bicycle-riding, fortune-telling old crone casting predictions and prophecies, warning of curses and passing around an ugly chicken
Then there's the fact that even after 18 years apart, Lawson and Eve can't be in the same room together without wanting to jump each other's bones. And there's Lawson's ex-girlfriend, Darby, showing up unannounced and stark naked under a trench coat, Lawson's irritating and meddling siblings, Tessie disappearing after she discovers that Lawson is really her biological father, and you have the makings for one of the sweetest, saddest, funniest, sexiest, and most bizarre and brilliantly conceived novels Ms. Fossen has written to date. It's a wild ride of a second-chance romance and I'm so glad I got the chance to ride along.
I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions expressed are my own.
Lawson Granger may have been stuck in a rut but it was a rut that had suited him until Vita Banchini’s predictions came true in the form of Eve Cooper. Lawson had loved Eve once. 18 years ago. But she’d left him for tv stardom and had crushed his heart. Now she was back and living on Granger land. And everywhere Lawson went triggered memories of the past. Memories he’d been trying for 18 years to forget.
Wrangler’s Creek was the closest thing Eve had to normal and home. And that’s what she needed right now. Pregnant and needing a safe place for her baby, Eve returns home to confront her past and try to make amends with the only man she’s ever loved. A man she’s kept a secret from for 18 years. A secret that could cause her to lose the only people she’s ever loved.
I loved reading Lawson and Eve’s story and seeing them rediscover love while trying to make peace with the past. From the hilarious birth of Eve’s son, I knew this was going to be another Wrangler’s Creek classic that would keep me chuckling and sighing till the end. It was evident from the start that those old feelings were still there for both of them. But those feelings also stirred up painful memories that Eve and Lawson had never gotten over. So they tried to avoid each other. But thanks to a matchmaking family, Vita’s predictions, and Eve’s teenage daughter, avoidance wasn’t possible. Lawson “kept vowing to keep his distance from her, kept vowing not to kiss her and then that plan would go to hell in a handbasket the moment he laid eyes on her”. And Eve was no better at self- control. Every time she was near Lawson, the air practically zinged. The question was would those feelings still be there when the secret Eve had been keeping was out in the open.
I felt for both Lawson and Eve in this story, and while I wanted them to be together, I could understand their hesitance. Both blamed themselves for a past event that truthfully neither could have controlled. They were young and made some poor choices. And some hateful things had been said when they parted ways. That’s a lot to put behind you. But time and growing have a way of making you see things in a new light. Could they now put the past behind them and build a future together?
As in all the Wrangler’s Creek stories, the secondary characters add so much to the story. I love the Granger family dynamic. As Eve’s friend Cassidy said, “All that testosterone in one house!” And if you’ve followed the series, you know that the Granger men are strong and stubborn alphas. The relationship between Lawson and his brothers and cousins is just fun to read. There can be lots of bickering but you know there’s a lot of love there too.
I loved Eve’s daughter Tessie and felt for her struggles. She’d lived her life thinking she was lucky to have been chosen by someone as idolized as Eve only to find out she was the secret her mom had tried to hide from her fans. She was trying to work through a lot of hurt and adjust to the new circumstances of her life.
There were plenty of characters to lighten the mood too. The attention hungry co-star, the gassy baby, Vita and her curse breaking chicken, and a slew of Eve’s tv fans- the hornies, all kept things entertaining. Delores Fossen always manages to write the perfect blend of funny, romantic, and bittersweet moments. This story is fast-paced, tender, sweet and sexy, funny, and heartbreaking too. All the things I’ve come to love in this series. I can’t wait to see what happens next. (Hint to Ms. Fossen: I’m really hoping there’s more in store for Lucian and Cassidy.) Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me an advanced copy of this book. And thanks to Delores Fossen for writing a series that sticks with me long after I read “the end”. A Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team Selection.