Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pretty Reckless

Jodi Linton's debut novel was not at all what I expected! Calm down Jodi, that was meant as a compliment. :) I went into this book expecting a romance novel with a little small town police story during the lulls of the rekindling romance. Within the first page or so, you are hit with a sassy Southern deputy by the name of Laney Briggs battling the ever present fight of "to eat the donut or not." Laney is such a character within herself that you would easily find yourself reading about her without a need of a story of romance. She could be the main character in a bestselling, NY Times Chart Topping Mystery series.

You are quickly brought into the small town of Pistol Rock, Texas and their disputes over land, poisoning cattle and multiple murders. During Laney's interactions with the town folk, you meet a slew of interesting characters. Meet Luke. "Luke Wagner was slumped up against a tree, rustling a toothpick around in his mouth. A white cowboy hat dipped low over his smoldering deep blue eyes,and a dirt-smeared white shirt clung to his wide chest and strong arms. His tight-assed Levi's pretty much had my tall, smooth-talking, and handsome cowboy fantasy all wrapped up into one, neat denim package."

Laney wanted a simple life with her new fiance, Nathan. "I'd pieced my heart back together and salvaged what little dignity I had left by jumping back in the saddle with a man safer than a Katherine Heigl click flick." The last thing she wanted was her ex-boyfriend to walk back into her town and turn her life upside down. Too bad, Gunner Wilson had different plans. This Texas Ranger strolls back into her life, and waltzes right into her crime scene investigation.

"That wink was deadlier than a Krispy Kreme donut to a woman's waistline. I should know. It'd pinned my back against the wall a time of two. And he even had the indecency to give me one of his lazy, cowboy grins."

Jodi maintained a balance of murder mystery and romance better than any author I have ever encountered. The back story was not downplayed in the least, and I applaud that in a writer. I often find that the HEA forces the rest of the storyline to be brushed over. Not in this action packed page turner. There were moments I found myself wanting to skim over the romantic interactions to get back to the murders! Don't let that fool you though, Jodi writes a MEAN romance story. And she got me, because while I am a sucker for the 1st love situation, I am equally as big of a sucker for second chances. And then you have Gunner. Gunner is cocky and abrasive and so obviously head over heels in love!

"Why the hell did you accept that douche's marriage proposal?"

I won't give away the fate of the colorful cast of Pistol Rock since you aren't sure who did it! Was it the butler in the study with a candlestick? Okay... okay, there is no butler and no mention of a study or a candlestick. But, there is a syringe in the water supply to the cows, a couple thugs wearing ski masks, a dirty person carrying a badge, and some land greedy neighbors. Toss in a couple of feuding (and sexy!) cowboys and you will find yourself reading this entire book in one sitting. I did!

I will leave you with my two favorite quotes from this book:

"The last time I'd seen the reverend was when he'd caught me skinny dipping with Gunner in the baptismal. Effectively, that little incident had cost me the part of Virgin Mary in the church Christmas pageant when I was fifteen." 

Now let's show Jodi some LOVE! 

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