To Wed In Texas
by Jodi Thomas, historical (2000)
Berkley, $6.50, ISBN 0-425-17516-2

I'm horribly confused by Berkley's way of marketing this author. Her books are always something Texan and the covers look all the same - flowers and more flowers. I have stopped buying this author unless I have a list of all Thomas books with me. The last time I bought a Thomas book, I ended up with three copies of Two Texan Hearts (or is it To Tame A Texan Heart... no wait, I think it's The Texan's Heart... oh forget it) in my TBR pile. I didn't buy this book, I actually borrowed it, but I'm writing the title of this book clearly for the next time I go shopping.

To Wed In Texas is vintage Thomas - great emotional stuff.

Karlee Whitmore is a dreamy woman stuck in a boring town with little to stimulate her thoughts. Karlee is an orphan who has been passed on from relative to relative (not all are eager to take her in), and now she's all ready to be her own woman. When her aunt decides to send Karlee to care for her late cousin's twin girls, she leaps at the chance.

Texas, here she comes!

Turns out the twin's father is the oh-so hunky preacher Daniel McLain. Still griefing over his wife, he has lost much of the fire that drives him on in another life. But you know Karlee, ever the feitsy no-nonsense heroine. She has Daniel's heart in her view, and that man is going down screaming. In the meanwhile she will whip the household to shape, teach the kids and Dan to live again, and pick up her own self0-esteem while she's at it.

Okay, so maybe this plot has been flogged to death, but Ms Thomas always have a way of creating characters so wonderful and good that I have to love them. I can't resist. Karlee and Daniel are oh-so-wonderful together as people trying their best to adjust to a hard life while keeping a happy facade for the kids. Dan marries Karlee out of convenience - he doesn't want his sister-in-law (not Karlee, another one) to take away his children (two adorable brats, I must say). But Dan does love his late wife, and he doesn't know if he can love again.

It doesn't matter, of course. The two leads are so perfect together, it's like watching your close friends fall in love and get shackled. Their relationship is funny, warm, poignant, and heartwarming. I especially adore the way Karlee tells Daniel outright that she's in love with him, and she's gonna get him. No, no, no, the man protests, completely befuddled. But soon he's not putting up much of a fight.

TWIT is just that - a nice, pick-me-up read that makes me feel warm fuzzies at the end of the day. It's a nice slice of Americana about noble, hardworking people with good principles, people I would love to know and wish happiness for. In short, a great read.

Rating: 88

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