REVIEW: The Texan’s Tennessee Romance by Gina WilkinsSunday, February 22, 2009 1:00
I fully admit that I tend to impulse buy category romance. With the shorter format, and a quicker turnaround reading time, I find it an excellent way to discover new-to-me-authors. Like a lot of things in life, when it comes to impulse reading, you win some and you lose some. I’m sad to report that Gina Wilkins’ latest Silhouette Special Edition will not be going in my personal “win” column.
Natalie Lofton left Nashville for a vacation cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to lick her wounds. She used to be a high-powered, successful lawyer for a prestigious Nashville law firm that represented many celebrity clients. When her superiors get some pretty flimsy “proof” that she was selling client information to a sleazy tabloid, they strongly suggest that she resign. Not knowing what else to do, Natalie quits her job and hires a private investigator to look into the case. There’s no way she would violate attorney client privilege, but with all of her so-called friends abandoning ship, she decides a cabin in the woods for a few weeks is just the ticket.
It’s there she meets the worst handyman ever to walk the Earth. Little does she know that Casey Walker is no handyman. He’s also an attorney, a golden boy employed by a swank Dallas law firm. After losing a high profile case and getting dumped by his “almost” fiancée, Casey also feels it’s time for a long overdue vacation. He has family that works at the Gatlinburg cabins, so he convinces them to let him putter around as a handyman while he’s taking his break from the law. Naturally he’s inept, mayhem ensues, and he and Natalie start spending a lot of time together.
When I impulsively picked up this book I had no idea that it’s part of the author’s long-running Family Found series about the Walker clan. There’s an insane amount of name-dropping in this book. The worst part is, 95% of these characters aren’t even in this book. No, their names are just dropped. Every time the author (or Casey) went off on a tangent about the cousins, aunts, uncles, former college roommates, former family pets, etc., my eyes glazed over and rolled back into my head. Since none of this stuff is pertinent (at all!) to the story at hand, all it does do is serve as unnecessary filler, which gets in the way of the actual romance.
Casey and Natalie seem like nice enough people, but there’s absolutely no spark between them. I suspect because the conflict takes a back seat for over the first half the story. While the reader is busy trying to keep all the family names and connections straight, Natalie and Casey aren’t talking to each other, at least about anything important! One would think that their career crises would be more than enough conflict, but instead readers are subjected to Casey’s inept handyman act, and them taking care of a stray dog that comes around begging for food.
I found the whole thing really boring. A shame too, because there’s a decent read buried somewhere within these pages desperately trying to break free. Fans of the Family Found series will more than likely get a lot more enjoyment out of this book than I did. Gina Wilkins has a long and impressive backlist, but The Texan’s Tennessee Romance isn’t the ideal starting-point for newcomers.
After being falsely accused of breaking her sacred lawyer-client vow, Natalie Lofton’s main priority was clearing her name and getting her life back. That didn’t include taking in an irresistible mutt. Or falling for the sexy handyman who’d come to fix a leaky pipe in her secluded Tennessee cabin.
But Casey Walker wasn’t your ordinary fixer-upper. The native Texan had his own reasons for retreating to the remote Smoky Mountain resort. There he found a fellow attorney with a soft spot for strays. But what about the tender feelings Natalie was awakening in him?
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: