Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Texan's Honor

A Texan's Honor by Leigh Greenwood
Mass Market Paperback, 353 pages
Cowboys Series #11
Dorchester Publishing, 2006
ISBN-13: 9780843956849
Leisure Historical Romance
no rating


Bret Nolan has never gotten used to the confines of the city. He’ll always be a cowboy at heart, and his restless blood still longs for the open range. And he’s on his way back to the boundless plains of Texas to escort a reluctant heiress to Boston-on his way to pick up a woman destined to be a dutiful wife. But Emily Abercrombie isn’t about to just up and leave her ranch in Texas to move to an unknown city. And the more time Bret spends with the determined beauty, the more he realizes he wants to be the man in Emily’s life. Now he just has to show her the true honor found in the heart of a cowboy.
Just Me choose this book (Don't Be A-Hatin' Amendment) for me to read based on the longhorns on the cover. She felt it would be a nice combo of a romance and a western.

First I need to say that Greenwood has served as President of the Romance Writers of America and has written over 30 romance novels. He very likely knows what sells. I am not his target audience. Even though A Texan's Honor is book 11 of a series, it is a stand alone novel.

This was a very tame romance that with a few minor changes could be set anywhere, at anytime. The first kiss doesn't even happen until pg 165. There is only one steamy scene. There is a lot of anticipation of what is going to happen. I'll confess that I don't quite understand how this is a historical romance other than the fact that Greenwood set it in 1881. (Is that enough? Don't you need more historical details?) For those of you following my Critical Monkey reads, this was much easier to read (less painful) than Roses of Glory. (Lud, what a book that was.) Part of this ease was because it truly was easy to read. The plot was painfully obvious. There were no great unanticipated twists, or surprises. I guess it's all about the anticipation of the romance and everything else is window dressing. (Additional thoughts are found after each of the quotes.) No rating


Boston, 1881
Bret Nolan approached his Uncle Silas Abbott's office with barely concealed anticipation, a smile threatening to banish his habitual frown. He was certain he was being called in for the long-promised but often postponed meeting about the changes Bret had proposed for the company. opening
(Hint: now we see that Bret is our hero.)

"Honest work never hurt anyone," his uncle said. "It's how you get ahead."
But Bret hadn't gotten ahead. Everybody in the office knew he and Rupert could work circles around Joseph, yet Joseph continued to get promoted, with commiserate raises in salary, while Rupert stayed a glorified errand boy and Bret an equally exalted clerk. Bret had tried very hard to control the bitterness that burned in his stomach like an acid, but it had become increasingly difficult in the face of Joseph's unwarranted promotions. pg. 3
(Hint: this is so you know who the bad guys are.)

"It seems the old renegade has managed to make a fortune in cows somewhere in that godforsaken state of Texas," Silas grumbled. "You ought to know all about that sort of thing."
Bret did know all about that sort of thing, and his family never let him forget it. Whenever one of them made any slurring remark about the South or the West, they always turned to him as though he'd been personally responsible for the Civil War as well as anyone wanting to settle west of the Mississippi 5
(Hint: repeat after me "Bad guys in Boston, good guys in Texas.")

"Samuel is dying. He wants this daughter - his only child - to move to Boston. The only problem is the old turncoat has given the girl such a poor image of the Abercrombies she refuses to budge. The only person she remembers favorably is Joseph, so Samuel wants us to take her in. I want you to bring her to Boston before she gets any foolish ideas about marrying a cowpoke."
Bret wasn't the least bit flattered by this very special assignment. His uncle had chosen him to go to Texas because he thought everybody else was too good to be subjected to the rigors of entering a state he was convinced was populated almost entirely by thieves and murderers. pg 5
(Hint: bad guys evil plan is being laid out for us to see.)

"Joseph is capable of handling his own affairs," Silas said. "Your job is to get her here. And don't get any ideas about marrying her yourself." Silas never thought anything he said was insulting. As far as he was concerned, only people like himself had feelings.
"I couldn't marry if I wanted," Bret said. "I don't make enough to support a wife much less a family."
"Don't despair," Silas said without the slightest hint of sympathy. "Once you work off some of the rough edges you got from spending so many years with horses and cows, you might find a wife. Boston is full of wealthy young women who don't come quite up to the mark and are willing to accept something less in a husband." pg. 6-7
(Hint: very bad guys, and mean too. Can you figure out their evil plan?)

What if I can't bring her back?
Then don't come back yourself. pg 13

Maybe women in Boston kowtowed to their men, but she was a Texan. She didn't jump to obey anybody's orders. pg. 21
(I actually don't know too many women who would jump to obey anyone's orders - just sayin'.)

So what on earth could have caused her to be attracted to this sourpuss of a dude?
He was unquestionably the most attractive man she knew. pg. 24
(Hint: see, we know they will get together because he's so attractive -see description below- but they have to start out acting like they won't get along even though they are attracted to each other. This creates some tension.)

The very unfinished quality that appealed to women caused the men to question his worthiness to join their inner circle. pg. 28
(Take note, Wonder Boy - women like an unfinished quality.)

Bret Nolan had looked good when he got off the train. Now he looked fabulous and smelled just as good....Emily thought it was wonderful that a handsome man was unafraid of a bath and a little cologne. pg. 32
(Take note Wonder Boy - women like men who take baths and smell good - maybe don't shave for the unfinished quality.)

The man was very tall with broad, well-muscled shoulders. He didn't appear to have an ounce of excess fat , his torso tapering down to a narrow waist cinched by a wide leather belt. Worn jeans clung to a rounded bottom and muscled thighs in a way that caused Emily to feel warm. When the man turned and she recognized Bret, the heat turned into a flame. pg. 48-50
(Take note: this is what women find attractive... except for maybe the round bottom. Don't worry about trying to get a round bottom, Snack King. I got that covered. You're good as is.)

"Well, there's one thing you need to learn about men," Ida said...."They learn early how to look charming and helpless. They also learn that a woman will crawl over burning sand if she thinks a man needs her, and they'll use it against you." pg. 68
(I'd never be crawling over burning sand to help some helpless man. I'd wonder exactly how stupid he had to be to get himself stuck out in the burning sand. Tell you what, Wonder Boy, keep this ploy in mind just in case, but avoid burning sand.)


Corey said...

Mmm...rounded bottom and muscled thighs...

Lori L said...

I'm still unsure about that rounded bottoms part...

Jeanne said...

This sounds hilarious. The bit about Bostonians being prejudiced against southerners is not as exaggerated as the rest, though. In my experience, Bostonians are some of the worst offenders in the "your southern accent makes you sound ignorant" snobbism contest.