Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 TBR CHALLENGE REVIEW: "A Texan's Luck" by Jodi Thomas


A Texan's Luck (Wife Lottery, #3)

A Texan's Luck by Jodi Thomas
(Wife Lottery #3)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- 1880s America

Jove/Penguin -- Published in 2004
Paperback, 330 pages
Read in May 2015
Received from Paperback Swap

THEMES/TROPES
Western, Arranged Marriage, Tortured Hero

SUMMARY
Captain Walker Larson received the shock of his life when a beautiful stranger boldly walked into his office—claiming to be his wife. His father may have bought Lacy Larson for him in a wife lottery, but Walker had no desire for a bride—even one as captivating as the one standing before him. So he promptly sent Lacy back to Cedar Point.

Nearly three years later, Lacy is shocked when Walker shows up on her doorstep—ordered by the military to protect his wife from a killer. Lacy wants nothing to do with the gruff soldier who once drove her away.

But despite their different lifestyles and expectations, she finds herself wondering if their marriage was a far better gamble than either of them had imagined...and what it would feel like to be in his arms.



FIRST LINE
"Captain Walker Larson gritted his teeth as Sergeant Peterson ushered in another of the prostitutes who came to complain about the evacuation order."

MY THOUGHTS
Read for the 2015 TBR Challenge--May--Kickin' It Old School.  The challenge is hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian.  

Why I Chose It For My TBR Challenge Read: I read the first two Wife Lottery books back in 2010 and I requested the third book through Paperback Swap in 2011.  Then I lost interest in western romances for awhile and A Texan's Luck just got pushed farther back on the TBR shelf.

Western-themed romances are a genre that I (strangely) enjoy especially since I always get bored with western TV shows or movies.  But, there is something about post-Civil War America that intrigues me in fiction and that is how I got introduced to the Wife Lottery series.  It took me some time to get to A Texan's Luck, but it was an enjoyable experience.

The basis of this series is that three women show up in a small town sheriff's office and confess to accidentally killing a man who was trying to rob them.  Rather than letting them rot in jail, the sheriff decides to use this incident to find wives for the men of the town.  The three women agree to have men chose to bail them out in exchange for marriage.  Readers of this series have to just take the odd premise and run with it.  What helps make it bearable is that the sheriff had good intentions with the wife lottery and just wanted the women to be settled and happy.

Lacy was only fifteen when she was entered in the wife lottery.  She was chosen by Mr. Larson, an elderly man, as a wife for his son, Walker, when he returned from serving in the army.  Mr. Larson ran the print shop in the town and spent the next three years training Lacy to take over the business.  After he died, Lacy traveled to meet her husband for the first time, but things didn't go as she planned and she returned to Cedar Point alone.  Now, Walker is back on an order from his superior officer to protect Lacy from the man that she and the other women thought they killed five years earlier.

I really enjoyed the characterization of Lacy and Walker.  Lacy is independent, smart, and a hard-worker who just wants to feel like she belongs somewhere.  Walker never wanted a wife and finds himself at a loss when dealing with her.  The book basically has these two circling around while figuring out to live together until Lacy is safe.  Their relationship takes time to develop which I appreciated especially since they had only laid eyes on one another once before.  Both Lacy and Walker have some adjustments to make and I had fun reading their bickering.

Besides the love story, A Texan's Luck has a subplot dealing with Zeb Whitaker, the man that tried to rob the women at the beginning of the series.  He didn't die and now believes that one of the women has the gold that he had with him at the time.  There is quite a bit of danger associated with Whitaker, but I never felt like it overshadowed the main storyline.

Readers of the series will be happy to see cameos from Bailee and Carter (The Texan's Wager) and Nell and Ranger Dalton who get their own story in The Texan's Reward.  Despite these appearances, this book can be read as a stand-alone and I recommend it for fans of sweet western romances.


4 STARS


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Texan's Wager
2. When a Texan Gambles
3. A Texan's Luck
4. The Texan's Reward

OTHER REVIEWS
All About Romance
Tiny and Her Books

LEARN MORE
Goodreads -- LibraryThing -- BookLikes -- Shelfari

WHERE TO BUY
Amazon -- Barnes & Noble -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play

6 comments:

  1. This looks like an interesting book about two people that are already married and have to make it work.
    What you say about the difference in Westerns from TV or movies and in the romance genre is something that also happens to me. In my case, I know why that happens. There are not important roles for women in Westerns, they are just -generally speaking- plot excuses for the men to do this or that.
    The only one that I remember now as different is Sam Raimi's The Quick and the Dead that's a little bit parodical of the genre.
    But I like Western romances, because in them, women are important by themselves, they've got a part to play, it's their story.

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    1. That is a great point! The journey of the heroine is my favorite part of reading romance so your theory makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. I'm generally not a huge western romance lover, but I have read them a time or two before. This one does sound interesting though, so I will have to look into it. Do you think I need to read them in order?

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    1. Nope. I had completely forgotten much about the characters or plots of books 1 and 2 since it has been about five years. The author does a good job of explaining the premise of the series. If you want to try westerns, I really recommend Always to Remember and Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath, The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osbourne, and Nobody's Darling by Teresa Medeiros.

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  3. I have this whole trilogy in my TBR - because, of course I do. I love westerns. And while I hadn't really thought about it - I think Bona is on to something with her comparison between historical western romances and westerns in TV/movies. The western romances I like the best feature self-reliant heroines. The ones I tend to avoid? The plot where the city girl comes west getting more than she bargained for and the hero has to rescue her all the time ::eyeroll::

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  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I'm actually starting the second one today!

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