Red Hot Texan
by Katherine Garbera
Release Date: August 27, 2020
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in the Corbyn Sisters of Last Stand
Number of pages: 160
Source: ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 8/22/20 to 8/23/20
Red Aldean has his sights set on his longtime friend, Emma, who seems more interested in her regency romances than dating. A renowned river, adventure, and fishing guide, Red is no stranger to a challenge. With his heart on the line, he turns to his trusty Texas guide to fishing—all he needs is patience, a plan and the perfect bait.
Last Stand librarian Emma Corbyn prefers to find her romance in books. It’s much safer. While she’s not set on perfection, she needs honesty. When larger-than-life Red Aldean starts wooing her, Emma can’t help but let her guard down. And even this bookworm can’t ignore the sizzle that ignites when he’s near.
Emma feels like she can trust Red with her heart, until she learns he’s keeping secrets. Does Red need a better lure to reel in the prize of his life?
This book is the first in a new series by this author, but this series seems to be an off-shoot of another series of hers. She is a new-to-me author so I haven’t read that other series. While this book can definitely be read without reading the other books, I couldn’t help but feel I was missing something the whole time I was reading this book.
It’s quite obvious that there were interactions, and possibly even chemistry, between Emma and Red in previous stories. I wish I would have read those stories in order to more invested in these two. I felt the author fell back on the assumption that the reader knew the characters and the town already. That’s fine if the book isn’t the first in a series, or if there’s some warning that it’s a continuation of another series. Due to the low page count in this book, I felt it could have been longer in regards to world building.
Both Red and Emma are wonderful people. But, just as with real people, they had their hang-ups. Emma’s was “no lying”. Since Red is keeping a huge secret from her, it’s obvious from the start where the conflict will come in. Now, I don’t feel Red keeping his secret is so much him lying…at least not in the first half of the book. I understand why he was wary to share the secret with Emma when she was wanting to keep their budding relationship on the down low. But it drags on and on and on. Fair warning, if you’re like me and don’t like when characters try to justify hiding life altering news, this story will drive you crazy. I was sighing so loudly each time Red almost told Emma his news, but didn’t, my husband commented on how frustrated the story was making me.
There were things I liked about this story, for sure. But the holes I was feeling from not reading the author’s previous work, as well as the way the culmination to the conflict dragged on, makes this one a no-go for me. Looking at some of the books in the previous series, it seems they have the same “keeping secrets” theme. It’s just not my thing.
The writing style is decent, although there were a few moments of inconsistency. Nothing too obvious to someone who doesn’t notice all the tiny details. So I’m trying to be fair in my rating in weighing all of the good and bad as best I can. Basically, if you like the unnecessary but secret trope, you may like this one.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**