Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#Review: What Happens in Texas by Carolyn Brown - 3 Wine Glasses

Author: Carolyn Brown
Format: Kindle, 384 Pages
Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Reissue edition (June 7, 2016)
Links:  Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Carolyn Brown brings her unique voice to this tale of twin sisters finding love in a small Texas town

Cathy Andrew's biological clock has passed the ticking stage and is dangerously close to "blown plumb up." While her twin sister Marty thinks settling down with one man is just a waste of good cowboys, Cathy wants it all: the perfect husband, the baby, and a little house right there in Cadillac. But even as the town is laying bets on whose wedding will be next, Cathy doesn't see happily-ever-after happening anytime soon.

Fortunately, Cathy and Marty have best friends who aren't afraid to stir up a ruckus-and if it means Cathy's got to bust out and set the town on its ear they'll back her up-no matter how hot things get.

Linda's Thoughts:
She started up the car and sighed. If only her fiancé, Ethan, could be as passionate as the men that Candy Parker wrote about. It didn't matter if they were cowboys, firemen, Navy SEALs, or even mechanics. They all had one thing in common. They knew how to turn a woman on until all she could think about were their hands and lips on every part of her body.

WHAT HAPPENS IN TEXAS by Carolyn Brown is an entertaining fictional account of two twin sisters and a colorful plate-full of supporting characters. It was originally published as THE BLUE-RIBBON JALAPENO SOCIETY JUBILEE. It's billed as a contemporary romance but, in my opinion, that's a misnomer.

WHAT HAPPENS IN TEXAS is the story of Cathy and Marty Andrews, their best friends, neighbors and some not-so friends. There were so many characters  and so much going on that I had trouble at times keeping it all straight. Humorous dialogue and craziness was on almost every page. I just wish the tale had included more romance.

The story is set in the busy, small southern town of Cadillac, Texas. Cadillac started out as a cotton town. It got its name during the oil boom when it was rumored that Cadillacs would soon be produced in a plant there. The plant never materialized, but the name stuck.

The story opens with a meeting of the influential Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society whose members excel at winning ribbons at the Texas State Fair for their jalapeno pepper entries. Membership in the Society is coveted and limited to twenty one members. The twins' mother and grandmother had grown the hottest peppers in the state.

Here's a little bit about a few of the characters: Cathy story provides much self-imposed angst. She feels that her biological clock is ticking down and she wants to marry and have kids before it's too late. To that end, she becomes engaged to Ethan, a dull, aspiring politician with a controlling mother, Violet, Violet also heads up the Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society. Cathy's and Ethan's romantic relationship is ho-hum - it actually felt more like a business arrangement - but Cathy hopes - with a snowball's-chance-in-hell - that it will evolve to be like those she reads about in her steamy novels. With her wedding less than two months away, preparations are in full-swing with her future mother-in-law calling all the shots. Will Cathy see the light and stand up for herself and her future happiness?

Martha, who prefers to be called Marty, is a wild child. She loves to wear her grease-stained overalls around town and work on her caddy. One of my favorite scenes involved wrapping that same caddy around a tree - for a good reason.

A supporting character, Trixie, is best friends with the twins. She lives above Miss Clawdy's Cafe and is having an affair with Andy, her ex. Her ex is living with Anna Ruth, a neat freak that broke up Trixie's marriage. Trixie is still majorly pissed at Andy, but she enjoys having sex with him and it gives her a form of payback using Andy to cheat on the low-life who broke up her marriage.

Then... there's wacky seventy-eight year old Miz Agnes who lives across the street from the Cafe and totes a shotgun AND Christian Church preacher Darla Jean, a former paid escort. That's just the tip of the iceberg on the characters. There's plenty more where these came from.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this complex, but fun read:

She watered her pepper plants with the water she used to rinse out her unmentionables....

The closer he came, the bigger his eyes got through those thick lenses.
It was downright sexy when his eyelids shut and the lashes fanned out on his cheekbones. His lips brushed against hers and heat shot through her body. One arm tangled up in her hair and the other snaked its way around her midriff. His tongue gently parted her lips and he made love to her mouth.

"You killed Violet, Anna Ruth? How'd you do it? If you didn't drive a stake through her heart, she'll come back alive."

Carolyn's excellent storytelling skills are in the forefront in this book. She richly details everyday life in Cadillac and brings it to life in this riotous romp. Carolyn is one of my favorite romance authors. Unfortunately, I'm not a huge fan of southern fiction, unless it's integrated into a solid romance. So, please take that into consideration when you read this review as this tale is well-written, but not one that rocked my boat. If you enjoy humorous women's fiction with just a touch of romance, you will find yourself laughing-out-loud with the characters in WHAT HAPPENS IN TEXAS!

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