Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blame It On Texas (Hotter In Texas #2) by Christie Craig

  • Title: Blame It on Texas (Hotter in Texas)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 464 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (August 28, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0446582832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446582834
Author's Website:

Nearly two decades ago a kidnapping took place. A little girl, Caroline Bradford, was taken from her wealthy family and later murdered. Her burnt body was recovered, but the killers were never found.

We've all seen the stories of someone recognizing themselves or someone else on a milk carton, but for Zoe Adams it was an airing of an episode of Unsolved Mystery Hunters that had her come face to face with a suspicion she'd held for years, but had never voiced. She was certain the little girl whose picture she'd seen on her TV screen was her, and she was determined to find out if she was right. She wanted the truth. Luckily, she had the good fortune to get a referral to the Only in Texas detective agency.

Tyler Lopez and his colleagues had once been cops. Someone framed them for a crime they didn't commit and they spent several years in prison before being exonerated. They weren't allowed back of the force, so they opened up their own detective agency called Only in Texas. When Zoe came to them looking for help and answers, she was hesitant to tell any of them her suspicions. As she expected, Tyler first thought she was either a fortune hunter looking for some easy prey or just plain crazy, but when someone starts threatening and shooting at her, he finally starts to take her seriously.

Both Tyler and Zoe have their own emotional baggage. Neither was looking for love or a relationship. Sometimes, however, fate has other plans...

     Zoe held out the tray with the fortune cookies on them. "You choose."
     "That's okay," he said.
     "You have to, it has your fortune in it." 
     He smiled, "You believe in that?"
     "A little bit," she said...
     "Never let the past stop you from making a future." He dropped the the paper on the table and pretended as if it held no significance to him. "Your turn."
     She opened it, put a piece of cookie in her mouth, and then read it...silently.
     She looked down at the slip of paper. "It's profound."
     "So read it". He leaned closer.
     She focused on the tiny print. "Be leery of men who cross-dressed in their youth."
     He laughed. "And I thought I could trust you."
     She grinned and stood up. "Ladies' room."
     He watched her walk away, then he noticed her fortune beside the half-eaten cookie  He reached for it.
     'Love is always a risk. But it's a risk worth taking.'

This was a very fun story. Ms. Craig has a wonderful sense of humor that carries over into her books. I always know I'm going to do a lot of chuckling when I open one of her books. In this book, we get an additional romance between two of the secondary characters which wraps up neatly by the end. 

I liked how Zoe is sweet, strong, smart, loyal and a tell it like it is type of person. She realizes how crazy her suspicions sound, yet she doesn't waver from her mission--to uncover the truth. Her feelings for Tyler are complicated by the fact she will be leaving Texas to step back into the life she left behind when she came to Texas. In her 'real life' she's a kindergarten teacher, but has been working as a waitress to make ends meat while living in Texas because she's paying for two apartments, the one she rents in Texas while trying to find out the truth and the one she calls home. Her plan was always to go back to her old life whether she turned out to be Caroline Bradford or just plane old Zoe Adams.

Tyler is another strong, smart, and loyal character. He also bears the emotional scars of a boy who witnessed the abusive relationship his parents had. While his father never abused Tyler or his siblings, his mother was another story entirely. Despite the abuse his mother endured, he has a great relationship with his siblings who can't seem to stop poking their noses into his business, but truth be told, he reciprocates in kind. Additionally, Tyler was deeply hurt when his former fiance married someone else and that caused him to be relationship shy. He is convinced he needs to date a different type of woman than he has in the past. One that doesn't want a commitment. That makes his attraction to Zoe extremely disturbing to him because she doesn't fit into his new self appointed type.

I loved the sexual tension which builds up between Tyler and Zoe that becomes so combustible each starts looking for an excuse to ease it. I loved how every time Tyler took off his shirt Zoe would get a little tongue tied and start bumping into things. I enjoyed seeing Tyler try to keep himself in check around Zoe because he was having a hard time keeping his hands off her.

One of my favorite funny moments was:
Realizing she'd have to ask Tyler for a hand, she looked back. "Do you want to get Lucky?"
His eyes widened, "Now?"
"Yeah" Hadn't he said she could bring her cat?
They stood staring at each other.
Finally he said, "I'm not sure now is the right time."...
"No, I cat, Lucky."

I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I enjoyed watching everyone piece together what happened all those years ago and seeing how everything fit together. The book had a nice blend of humor, drama, and romance. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating scale, I gave it a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of series:

FYI, Only in Texas was formerly titled 'Don't Mess with Texas'

1 comment:

  1. Howdy from Texas!

    Thank you so much for posting the review. Bloggers have a special place in Publishing Heaven. LOL.


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