by AlTonya Washington, contemporary (2012)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86269-6
Firstly, let me start by saying that you should not read His Texas Touch without reading the previous book in the Lone Star Seduction series, Texas Love Song first. This is because the relationship between our hero Samson Melendez and heroine Avra Ross as well as the suspense plot are carried over from that book. If you read this book without having read the previous book, you'd be spending most of your reading time scrambling to piece together the story and figure out the large cast of characters.
Anyway, just to give a short synopsis to keep everyone up to date, we have a mystery here. Someone is killing off the employees of Machine Melendez, and, if you have read the previous book, you'd know that the people in that book don't seem particularly interested in solving the mystery. Avra and Samson are a bit more interested, so they put in some effort here into getting to the bottom of things. They consummate the attraction between them, so that counts as love and a happily ever after.
The best thing I can say about His Texas Touch is that it has this sleazy vibe reminiscent of a trashy soap opera or a novel by Jackie Collins from the 1980s. There are sordid family secrets, mean villains with over the top notions of vengeance, and other fun stuff, and everything come together pretty well. This is a book that is hard to put down because the whole soap opera suspense thing is addictive. I have to know what the revelations are going to be.
Unfortunately, this one has the same problems as the previous book. The main characters don't behave in a manner that I find believable. For example, Avra and Sam discover some horrifying sordid secrets of their fathers, one that would make anyone else hesitate before giving those men a hug, but here, they shrug it off as if those men had merely jaywalked on some streets in Mexico. I'd expect them to be more emotionally affected by the secrets they discover since these secrets are closely associated with their families, but Sam and Avra are instead cool and detached. I don't get these people. As for the romance, it's rushed, going from zero to one thousand quickly without any build-up or preliminaries.
Therefore, His Texas Touch is a romantic suspense where the romance is rushed and the suspense is marred by the unrealistic dispassionate attitude of the main characters. It's neither here nor there. Still, the campy elements of the suspense plot have their charms, although the pay-off isn't so good due to the characters' sanguine reaction in light of all the explosive revelations.
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