The Best Husband In Texas
by Lass Small, contemporary (1999)
Silhouette Desire, $3.75, ISBN 0-373-76201-1

Woohoo! Life sure is fun in TEXAS. If TEXAS is filled with hunky, masculine, and sensitive inside guys like Austin Farrell, I'm going down there to brand me some cowboys meself. TEXAS, here I come!

Indeed, as this is my first Lass Small book, I'm pleasantly surprised at her gentle, whimsical Did you hear about this couple? Here, sit down and I'll tell you writing style. I feel as if I'm seated at the author's parlor on a lazy afternoon, iced drink in hand, as she tells me this wonderful story.

At 24, Iris Smith is thrice-widowed. All her husbands died in accidents and as a result, not only did she become financially well-off as a result of insurance claims and hence the target of more male attention, she also feels as if she's some sort of Black Widow, the Lucrezia Borgia of the New Millennium. She returns home to TEXAS to her wise mother to mourn and withdraw from the world. Austin Farrell is the kindhearted and blustery hunk who has been waiting in the wings for years for Iris to come home to him. The poor man is content to wait when Iris leaves for college, an all-girl college, mind you. He is definitely not pleased when three men get her first. How on earth did that happened? No matter. Iris is here and he is not letting her get away.

This story is so sweet and simple yet astoundingly elegant. Nothing can be more perfect if there's a sweet little doggie. Oh, there's one? Perfect. Country music in the air could only add to the atmosphere as Austin gently coaxes Iris back to the living. And Iris is delightful - she knows when to stop her self-pity and start loving again. And this woman has no hang-up about her sexuality. In fact, she could teach Austin a thing or two about where that man could use his mouth!

I must admit Ms Small's writing style can wear thin after a while - she tells a story and as a result, sometimes I feel as if I'm indeed a third-party observer of the wonderful relationship between Austin and Iris. Sometimes it would be nice to have an illusion of participation in the story, and it would be nice to delve deep into Iris' psyche before she decides to start living again. But still, this is a great introduction to Lass Small. If cowboys are like Austin, well, pass me that lasso, somebody.

Oh, one more thing. TEXAS is always in caps each time it is mentioned. Like Cowboys of TEXAS. Life is good in TEXAS. At first I'm puzzled - don't tell me I've lived for decades oblivious to the fact that TEXAS is probably some sort of acronym? But then someone told me it's a patriotic thing. Texans are pretty proud about the size of their state and the fact that every billionaire cowboy, businessmen, rancher, and beautiful heroine with amnesia seem to be from Texas. Figures: it all boils down to size in the end.

Rating: 60

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