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book cover Limecello’s review of Taming the Texas Tycoon by Katherine Garbera
Contemporary romance published by Silhouette Desire on 14 July 2009

Katherine Garbera is a harlequin author I always keep an eye out for. I really enjoy her Silhouette Desire books, and Taming the Texas Tycoon was no exception. It also has one of my favorite romance tropes. The boss-secretary romance. It’s my guilty pleasure, and I love it in fiction, although I think it’s so smarmy and implausible in real life. But that’s why I can indulge in the books I read, right? I found the personalities of the characters very real, and really enjoyed the storyline. Taming the Texas Tycoon is also the first Brody brother book – the second is The Oilman’s Baby Bargain. Not only that, but this book heralds the beginning of another set of Texas Cattleman’s Club books. Yay for Southern gentlemen!

Kate Thornton is a great person. She’s smart, talented, loyal, and… in love. Kate is rather normal, but that makes her a good romance heroine, in my mind. She doesn’t have a ridiculous past, although she isn’t as close to her family as she might like. Nevertheless, Kate is very rational, and the beginning of the book also is the true beginning of Kate’s transformation and own life. I liked that Kate was willing to make herself the main focus, and that she valued herself enough to not let Lance take [total] advantage of her. Most importantly, Kate realizes that she has to make and adopt changes for herself.

Lance Brody isn’t the type of hero I’d normally like – but he’s so clueless that it’s rather endearing. I think it helps that Kate ends up being a strong enough match for him, and also that Lance does sink pretty low – and grovels nicely. Lance is a really stand up guy – generally on the straight and narrow, but emotionally confused. He gets engaged to a senator’s daughter purely for business reasons, but comes home and realizes that he’s in love with someone else. (Hey, I never said he wasn’t emotionally stunted.) Everything is pretty black and white to Lance, and I think that helps excuse his actions – though in his mind, there’s nothing that needs to be excused. And that seems smarmy – but in actuality, it’s because Lance feels that he’s already severed all ties with Lexi. (The senator’s daughter and short term fiancee.)

This book had a number of tropes I really like, and dislike at the same time. I’m a huge sucker as I said for the secretary-boss romances. However, I am totally against two-timing, and in a way, Lance is sleeping with Kate while still engaged to Lexi. Kate doesn’t know it – and in his mind Lance knows he won’t marry Lexi – he just hasn’t formally taken care of it yet. I know it seems a bit too pat, and unrealistic, but the way it’s written, and based on the personalities of the characters, it works. (Hopefully you’re still with me.)

All the secondary characters are great, and I really liked the focus on Kate and Lance’s relationship. It helped that they had a history. Granted, the heroine pining after the hero, the whole unrequited love thing isn’t my favorite either. It’s hard to respect a woman who is wasting her life on someone or something that will never work… but understandable at the same time. That, and, well – it’s a romance. So obviously it will work out in the end. It doesn’t hurt that Ms. Garbera is a fantastic writer, and her Silhouette Desire books are almost always a guaranteed good read.

If you like your stories with Texas flair, a friend to lovers story, Silhouette Desire books, or Ms. Garbera’s stories, then this is the book for you.

LimecelloGrade: B-

For Texas Cattleman’s Club member Lance Brody, marriage is about gaining the right connections. But one plain-Jane personal assistant is about to change his mind…

For years Kate Thornton had dreamed of becoming Mrs. Lance Brody. Then her boss became engaged strictly for business and Kate had had enough. Giving her two weeks’ notice should have released her, but Lance’s eyes had finally been opened. Kate couldn’t be allowed to walk away from the business, or him. And if it meant taking her to bed to keep her…well, that was one job he would gladly do himself!

Read an excerpt here.