by Katie Lane
Series: Deep in the Heart of Texas #4
Publication date: December 18, 2012
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Western
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
THERE'S A FOX IN THE HENHOUSE -Inheriting the most notorious house of ill repute in Texas can spell trouble for a girl's reputation . . . especially when she's Elizabeth Murphy, Bramble's prim and proper librarian. Yet when she discovers a buck-naked cowboy handcuffed to a four-poster bed, she forgets all about the town gossips. Elizabeth has sworn off men, but the stranger's kisses melt her resolve faster than ice cream on a hot summer day. Waking up in Miss Hattie's Henhouse isn't how Brant Cates reckoned on getting to the bottom of his great-granddaddy's murder. The plan was to solve the centuries-old crime, then get the heck out of Dodge. But after meeting Elizabeth and discovering that the buttoned-up beauty is a sexy siren in disguise, he just can't pull himself away.Now Brant needs Elizabeth to finally put his past to rest, but is she willing to risk her future on Bramble's newest bad boy?If you have been following my reviews you know how anal I am about reading books in order so when I downloaded and accept an ARC of Trouble in Texas and discovered in was book four I was pretty darn nervous; in fact I kept shuffling it back in my reading pile..But holy hot cowboys am I glad the responsible side of me that keeps and honors commitments forced me to read it. Lane gave me a delightful tale that had me laughing, crying, giggling and sighing! This was a fast paced story, with wonderful characters that I connected too and had me buying the previous books in the series. Like a lot of the series I love each book can be read as a standalone and centers on a couple.
The tale begins at Miss Hattie’s Henhouse once a place men traveled to from miles around for good brandy, fine Cuban cigars and lovely ladies; the home is crumbling but Brant Cates goes there searching for answers surrounding a family curse and the death of his granddaddy. With a chip and the weight of his family resting squarely on his shoulders he’s seeking to solve a century old crime. Imagine his surprise when he is greeted by a couple of old hens and ends up getting shot. Then finds himself handcuffed to a four-poster bed kissing a woman. Elizabeth Murphy the town librarian and reluctant owner of the Henhouse gets a call from the three old women who reside there and immediately heads out to the farm to see what trouble they have gotten themselves into this time. Imagine her surprise when she discovers a naked man handcuffed to the bed. Brant wakes up and begins kissing Elizabeth thinking he is dreaming but before things can go to far she makes her escape. What have the hens done this time and how will she get them out of this mess? The tale that unfolds was hilarious, romantic and captivating.
Kane provided some of the most unique and colorful characters. Elizabeth is a thirty-seven year old woman who dresses like a school marm, wears her hair in a tight bun and lives alone with her cat. Her mother taught her to avoid men and sadly she lives her life through the pages of the books that line the library walls. I immediately connected with her as we book lovers gotta stick together. The hens exasperate her. She loves them even though she is determined to sell the Henhouse. Brant Cates just oozes smexy, despite the hard-ass walls he has built around himself. This man bears the weight of loss and family. I found him to be noble and sweet. Brant was complex and the more layers the author revealed the more I admired him. (swooned over him!) His brother Beau is go luck after surviving some challenges and I am hoping to get his tale. We meet his other brother who just recently wed, and I am assuming his tale was a previous novel. The Hens themselves were an absolute riot. Their outrageous behavior, willey ways and kind hearts won me over in a heartbeat. The three of them plot to help Elizabeth find happiness and I was rooting for them the entire time. The townsfolk added to the tale and I think I’d have a grand old time if I ever visited just people watching. The romance felt genuine, developed slowly and was at times very hot. I enjoyed watching it unfold.
I thought Trouble in Texas offered up a fresh, fast paced plot. Now granted I do not read a lot of contemporaries and maybe you will tell me it’s been done, but it was new for me and I became completely swept up in the tale. At the top of each chapter the author shares Hen House Rules and each was funny, unique and sometimes truthful. The mystery surrounding Brant’s ancestor was interesting and the reveal shocking. I liked the way the character’s tied into the tale and it came full circle. This was an excellent escape from reality and I enjoyed it immensely.
It should not come as a surprise that I recommend Trouble in Texas and the entire Deep in the Heart of Texas series. Kane spins a wickedly good tale with delightful characters and I am looking forward to reading her books for years to come.
I want to thank Hachette Book Group for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
Four and a half campfire cups of coffee out of five