Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS by Christie Craig

Publisher: Grand Central
Date published: September 2, 2011
ISBN: 978-0446582841
Romantic Comedy
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Publisher

Nikki Hunt isn’t having the best day. Her bank account is overdrawn, her ex-husband wants to get back together and while she doesn’t really want to, it does have advantages. She meets him for dinner and rather than doing all he can to win her back, he’s back and forth on the phone and then just disappears leaving her with the $200 tab. As she makes her way to her car she’s not feeling so good but worse than that, her ex-husband’s body is in her trunk. Before the police can move forward with arresting her she gets sick, again. This time vomiting on hunky Dallas O’Connor.

Dallas O’Connor has a bit of a checkered past which kind of factors into his current situation – his business, Don’t Mess With Texas private investigations is based in a former funeral parlor. That and his apartment is part of the structure. And, well the former owner has left one of his coffins behind—fortunately empty. Well sort of…Bud does enjoy sleeping in there.

Dallas has no doubt of Nikki’s innocence. How could she possibly have killed her husband. But complicating things is Dallas’ brother who happens to be the detective determined to arrest the petite blonde for the crime.

I’d already received Christie Craig’s DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS when I learned that the Texas Department of Transportation tried to have the book banned due to what it felt was salacious content. I certainly didn’t see it. There is a sweet love scene, but nothing so over the top that merited a lawsuit to ban the book!

There were some issues with the story. The version I read was an ARC so presumably the final version corrected some of the grammatical issues such as inconsistent spellings of blond and blonde, blonde being the spelling for females and it varied from time to time when describing Nikki.

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS is billed as a romantic comedy, but for the most part I didn’t see it. The first few times Nikki vomiting on Dallas comes up it was slightly funny, but after the fifteenth mention it got old. I didn’t find much humor in Bud’s gas problem and failed to see what Nikki and Dallas would find to laugh about it during their relationship. If that was one of the most endearing memories he had of her it doesn’t say much about his maturity.

Dallas’ brother Tony was annoying at best and while I understood the grief felt by his wife, it took far too long to explain what happened, as did explaining just why Dallas was no longer a police officer.

Bud was the best part of the whole book. The English bulldog was just a fun character and Ms. Craig certainly captured the dog’s personality. I wish there’d been more scenes with him because he was genuinely funny.

The aspects that I found juvenile and less than funny will appeal to other readers. Different things tickle different people’s funny bones. If this book simply did not tickle mine it would be a different story, but the writing just wasn’t the caliber I expected.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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