Blame It On Texas by Amie Louellen

TEXAS
Blame It On Texas by Amie Louellen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (109 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

Every first love deserves a second chance.

Shelby Patterson has come back to Texas for one reason and one reason only—to get her husband to sign divorce papers. She’s worked hard to build her California bakery, where clients clamor for her one-of-a-kind creations.

Seven years after her disastrous marriage, she’ll finally have everything in perfect order—just as soon as Ritter McCoy signs the dotted line.

Ritt is still pissed that Shelby walked out all those years ago without giving their marriage a chance. Sure, they were young and had just lost the baby that had rushed them to the altar, but they’d loved each other beyond reason.

Ritt gave up his college baseball scholarship, only to have Shelby and her mom take his parents’ bribe money and run. If Shelby wants those papers signed, she’ll just have to wait until he’s good and ready.

Or maybe, before she flies the coop again, he can convince her the love they had between them is still there—and still hot enough to melt their hearts back into one.

Everything is not just bigger in Texas, it seems everything is also more complicated. At least, that’s how it seems when Shelby comes home to get her husband to sign the divorce papers.

The author managed to show the tension between Ritt and Shelby very nicely; there’s attraction but also the insecurity and fear that they feel because of the events from seven years ago. Both are presented as complex characters, with believable development and complicated emotional lives. The other characters were well-written despite having very small roles.

The novella was the perfect length to tell the story with an effective pace. I was slightly disappointed by the ending (I’m referring to Ritt’s secret) that felt a bit out of character and threw a shadow on an otherwise fitting resolution. It made the ending less believable and therefore less satisfying. The wonderful characters deserved better.

The story could benefit from better copy-editing and fewer clichés, but the characters and the story were compelling enough to help me ignore that. The conflict between the main characters was especially strong because it originated in a misunderstanding that was based on Ritt’s and Shelby’s emotions. The progression from their doubts and fears to realization and acceptance was nicely shown through the story and it made it easy to identify with them.

I wished for the story to never end, I couldn’t get enough of Ritt and Shelby. This is a hot summer read.

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