If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review: Hot Texas Days Boxed Set by Jessie Evans / @TastyBookTours @JessieDEvans

Title: Hot Texas Days Boxed Set
Author: Jessie Evans
Publisher: Self Taught Ninja
Release Date: February 16, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Western, Romance
ARCs Received From: Tasty Book Tours

Hot Texas Days, Hotter Texas Nights… 

Three full-length hot, suspenseful novels by New York Times Bestselling author Jessie Evans, featuring rugged, alpha cowboys and the women feisty enough to tame them.

Welcome to Lonesome Point!

Other books in this series

Cowboy bikers, fireworks, and romance, oh my…

Wild girl, Mia Sherman, has a secret—she isn’t as fearless as she pretends. Descended from Lonesome Point, Texas’ founding family, Mia grew up hearing tales of an ancient Irish curse that followed the Shermans to America. The first-born daughter of every generation is cursed to lose her husband on her wedding night, which is one of the many reasons Mia has sworn off relationships. Until the fateful day rancher Sawyer Kane rides his Harley into her life… 

Can true love conquer all, even a centuries-old curse? Mia and Sawyer will be the first to find out.

Mia seemed to have it all--the love of a her family, great friends, and her own business. She seemed to be fun-loving and well-liked by those she didn't prank. But she was alone, which was so odd for a woman who was incredibly warm and friendly. Why?

The answer came in bits and pieces but it was... I don't know the right word. It wasn't gut-wrenching or agonizing or devastating. It was just... Sad. She really truly believed a little white lie her grandmother told her, that she would lose her husband on her wedding night. That deception plus the actions of an obsessed ex hold her back from wanting to get to know Sawyer better. But it soon becomes apparent, to her and her friends, that Sawyer's not just a one night stand or a summer fling. He's everything.

Sawyer's life ended when his dad and sister died because of his dad's selfishness and carelessness. His second chance at life brought him to Old Town in Lonesome Point, a ghost town that needs historically accurate renovation. Though he met Mia in the most unusual of ways, he can't forget her. His job might be renovating Old Town, but his purpose in Lonesome Point is Mia.

Sawyer's the anchor Mia needs when her doubts start yelling over her heart's feeble pleas to keep him close, to hold onto him because he'll keep her safe at all costs. When it came down to it, he was there. He proved he wasn't her ex, showed her how much he loved her, protected her with his life.

Falling in love isn't a planned event in someone's life. It's not like planning and coordinating a trip to Disneyland or the Grand Canyon or France. Love just happens. When it does, it's a matter of accepting it at face value or running from it because of the past. I thought Mia would run but I was so proud of her when she didn't. It took courage to accept Sawyer and his love after what she'd been through, just like it took courage for Sawyer to accept Mia's past and love her despite her attempts to push him away.

Small town stories can pack a punch or fall flat. This one packed one hell of a punch. The characters, primary and secondary, brought their own touch to this opener, adding a depth to it that is, I think, what makes these kinds of stories so unique. A little suspense, a touch of quirkiness and a whole lot of loving made Sawyer and Mia's small town romance an adventure worth reading.

Even sweet cowboys have a sinful side…

Robert Lawson—Bubba to his friends—is six feet, four inches of tall, dark, and handsome cowboy, with a panty-melting voice and a face made to launch a country music career. But when his family’s ranch hands go down with the flu, Robert cancels his high-profile auditions and returns home to help out. Marisol Medina has been looking for her golden ticket since she became a country music manager, but she refuses to mix business and pleasure, even if it will be hell, resisting temptation while spending a week at the Lawson family ranch with her star client. 

But as Marisol and Robert grow closer and the passion between them ignites, Marisol must decide if a chance at forever is worth breaking all her rules.

This could have been a cookie cutter country-boy-turned-country-singer-falls-in-love-with-manager romance. Except Marisol was Marisol and Bubba was Bubba.

Who people see when they look at someone else can be very different from who that person really is. Makeup, stylish clothes, the latest car, a quick wit, and a sexy smile can hide pain that runs soul deep. Sometimes it doesn't seem worth exerting energy into cracking through that kind of a person's walls. You push, they push back. You peek inside, they slam the door shut. It's a lot of give with what appears to be very little receiving.

But if there's patience and understanding, there will eventually (and hopefully) be results. Walls come down, doors open up. The past comes to light and is addressed. Sins are confessed and forgiven. Love proves once again how it will always win over doubts, fears, bitterness, resentment, misconceptions, misunderstandings, etc..

I loved that about Bubba. He was the sweetest guy ever, partly because he'd been raised that way and partly because it was who he was. His heart always seemed to speak louder than his mind, which was a good thing when it came to Marisol. He needed that to really see how much she was hurting, to see the walls she built around her heart were there for valid reasons. He needed to gain her trust before he could effectively destroy that barrier. Sure, it took time, it was frustrating, but it was worth it.

Marisol didn't go quietly. Her attraction to Bubba wasn't reason enough to open up completely to him, but it was a start. Through all of their arguments, their intimacy, their conversations, Bubba stayed true to his word and his heart. He loved her despite the secret she tried so hard to keep from him. He loved her despite how she hid from him. He loved unconditionally.

I have to say that how Ms. Evans handled Bubba's acceptance of Marisol's past was beautiful. He listened, questioned, demanded answers, but didn't storm off or tell her he needed space or tell her he needed time. Instead, he told her exactly what her past meant to him.
“I don’t care what you did, baby,” he said, the tenderness in his voice making her tears fall faster. “I love who you are. The rest of it is water under the bridge. It doesn’t matter, not even a little bit.” (ARC, Kindle Loc 2783)
Of all the tender moments they shared, this was the most touching because, I feel, it reflects what we want as people. We want to know that we are loved, that we can be loved, despite our pasts, despite our indiscretions, our mistakes, our weaknesses. We want to feel worthy of someone's affection. We want someone to reassure us that we are not defined by our past, that the future is just as bright for us as it is for everyone else.

This is what makes this story not so cookie cutter for me. Bubba and Marisol's lives were interesting and the sex was hot, but it was Bubba's heart and that simple message that touched and moved me in ways I wasn't expecting. Marisol might not have believed her past was forgivable at first, but she did afterwards. She just needed the love of the right man to see it.

The home run neither of them expected…

Pike Sherman is a legend in Lonesome Point, a hometown boy who made it to the big leagues. Literally. Professional baseball acquired one hell of a pitching arm and it’s latest celebrity bad boy when the gifted Pike was drafted seven years ago. Pike’s broken heart came along for the ride, too, but he kept that private. Tulsi Hearst knows she should stay far away from the brooding man her summer love has become, but she can’t resist a dance with the only man who ever made her blood rush. 

After a few days back in Lonesome Point, Pike can’t imagine life without the girl he left behind, but when Tulsi’s secret is revealed, his heart is broken all over again. The only thing worse than losing Tulsi, is losing six years with the daughter he didn’t know he had.

Lies spoken in anger never result in anything good. Actually, nothing spoken in anger usually results in anything good. Pain and hurt are usually the result, but so is hatred. All of these are familiar to Pike and Tulsi.

Tulsi fell in love with Pike as a little girl, while Pike didn't know it until she was much older. One night led to a baby girl Tulsi loved to pieces and Pike never knew. Tulsi's hurt over not hearing from Pike for almost a month led to them saying ugly things and going their separate ways. Seven years later brings them back together with a past lying between them like a gaping hole. The problem wasn't what to do next; it was how to deal with the past without losing their future.

Pike and Tulsi's interactions were emotionally charged, and I don't just mean in a sexual way. There was so much betwen them that needed to be said, so much that needed to be done before either could move on either alone or with each other. Tulsi keeping Clementine from Pike for six years wasn't her smartest choice. I can't even say it was acceptable because that would be condoning it. But she owned up to her mistake to Pike. His forgiveness and his willingness to love her anyway was a beautiful thing to see.
“I was thinking about love on the drive over,” Pike said, making his way slowly around the fence, closer to the gate. “And I think the country songs are wrong. You don’t fall in love; you choose it. You get close enough to a person to look into their dark corners and see things that scare you, but you choose to stay and keep loving them anyway. Because love isn’t meant to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. It’s beautiful, but it’s also painful. If you really love someone, you sign on for both, and when the painful parts come, you hold on even tighter.” (ARC, Kindle Loc 2257)
It takes two to make a relationship work. There has to be a willingness by both to hang in there when things get tough and turn ugly. Pike and Tulsi's beginning wasn't ideal, neither was their separation, but time and distance worked in their favor. They grew up and matured enough to handle their past like adults,  to see that the happily ever after they wanted as kids was still possible, and that life wasn't about regrets. It was about finding and loving that one person your heart knows you belong to and never letting them go.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessie Evans, gave up a career as an international woman of mystery to write the sexy, contemporary Southern romances she loves to read.

She's married to the man of her dreams, and together they're raising a few adorable, mischievous children in a cottage in the jungle. She grew up in rural Arkansas, spending summers running wild, being chewed by chiggers, and now appreciates her home in a chigger-free part of the world even more. 

When she's not writing, Jessie enjoys playing her dulcimer (badly), sewing the worlds ugliest quilts to give to her friends, going for bike rides with her house full of boys, and drifting in and out on the waves, feeling thankful for sun, surf, and lovely people to share them with.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting the HOT TEXAS DAYS Boxed Set!