Texas Homecoming
by Leigh Greenwood, historical (2002)
Leisure, $5.99, ISBN 0-8439-4972-4

Now that Leigh Greenwood has publicly outed himself as a guy, shall I call him Mr Greenwood or Ms Greenwood? Anyway, I think I'll stick to Ms Greenwood. It's either that or Omnisexual Greenwood, and the latter is way too long a phrase for me to type.

Anyway, Texas Homecoming is the start of a new series. This time around, a bunch of Confederate raiders called Night Riders are betrayed by their comrade named Laveau diViere. Lives are lost, and they all swear revenge.

Today. The captain of the Night Riders (anyone here gets spooky visions of David Hasslehoff, or is it just me?), Cade Wheeler (I'm hearing the theme song of Knight Rider in my head now - make it stop somebody) is back home to rebuild his ranch. But he found squatting there are Pilar diViere - Laveau's sister - and her grandmother. The two women have nowhere to go and definitely no home to go back to. Cade Wheeler immediately plots vengeance, but alas, Pilar and he may be way deeper than he first expected.

I want to love this story more than I do. Ms Greenwood doesn't try to evade the difficult issues of the romance between Cade and Pilar. Yet as the story progresses, she has Pilar and Cade making decisions to choose love that frankly don't ring real. Cade and Pilar confront the issues in their relationships, but just as easily brush them aside when the time is ripe for them to shag. While I'm all for love and understanding between lovers, we are talking about treason, family loyalty, and betrayals here - complex dilemmas that rarely offer an easy solution. But an easy solution is what Ms Greenwood offers.

Hence, while I find the prose and characters decent and even likable, nothing rings real. Not once can I forget that I am reading a story and not living it. With Ms Greenwood's tendency to tell more than she shows, I'm not even offered the chance to be a participant in the story. In short, I'm just another anonymous passerby in the crowd, and that's a pity, because this story could've been so much more.

Rating: 70

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