Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5 reasons to read Don't Mess With Texas by Christie Craig

List by Tosca

"Get anything?" he called.
"There's two Nikki Hunts," Tyler called back. "One's a dancer at a men's club - very hot - the other's an artist and almost as hot. Which is she?"
"You know which one we're voting for, don't you?" Austin called.
Dallas slipped a shirt over his head and envisioned the woman back at the parking lot. She'd been hot, but was she the stripper kind of hot? Were strippers that soft?

- Dallas, Austin and Tyler from Don't mess with Texas by Christie Craig

What kind of hero wonders if the heroine is 'stripper kind of hot?' THIS KIND, apparently. I've just finished reading contemporary romance novel Don't mess with Texas by Christie Craig and thought it was worth a Top 5 list. Specifically, top 5 reasons to actually read it.

So, what's the book about? "Nikki Hunt thought her night couldn't get worse when her no-good, cheating ex ditched her at dinner, sticking her with the bill. Then she found his body stuffed in the trunk of her car and lost her two-hundred-dollar meal all over his three-thousand-dollar suit. Now not only is Nikki nearly broke, she's a murder suspect. Former cop turned PI, Dallas O'Connor knows what it's like to be unjustly accused. But one look at the sexy-though skittish-suspect tells him she couldn't hurt anyone. The lead detective, Dallas's own brother, has the wrong woman and Dallas hopes a little late-night "undercover" work will help him prove it...? -- Publisher description.

Of course, if you're not a romance reader than you can feel free to totally disregard this post! By the way, I'd recommend that any men reading this post take this advice into account: You can think that your own real-life heroine is 'stripper kind of hot' but do not ever, under any circumstances, tell her so. I'm just saying.

I'd also like to point out that just because I read romance novels doesn't mean that:
  • I'm looking for a Greek tycoon or a billionaire playboy
  • I'm going to end up with unrealistic expectations of relationships - I'm quite capable of separating fact from fiction
  • I think life is all about happy endings - I enjoy romance novels because THEY all end with an HEA (happy ever after)
  • all romance novels are disparaging toward women - there are some strong, independent and grounded characters in love stories
  • all books are formulaic - so *not* true, sure the guy may get the girl, but not everyone ends up there the same way, the journey is just as important as the ending
  • it's literary porn - that's demeaning to the time and effort authors put into their work, and it's demeaning to readers. Out of context, of course some of the steamier passages can seem LOLworthy, but it's unrealistic to expect that sex play no part in any solid relationship, so why should it here? Does not art reflect life, and vice versa?
  • anyone can write romance - if that *were* the case then, surely, everyone *would* be writing romance? You might have noticed that everyone is not

  • And so, on to the list: 5 reasons to read Don't mess with Texas by Christie Craig...

    It has a slight cheese factor
    Emphasis on 'slight.' I'm going to list the cheese factors just to put it out there before anyone else points it out to me (again): The hero is Dallas and his BFFs (don't tell me guys don't have BFFs) are Austin and Tyler and, yes, those are also cities in Texas. They own and operate the Don't Mess With Texas Detective Agency. So there!

    Rather steamy read *adjusts collar self-consciously*
    I feel pervy just for saying that but, really, it is a steamy read. Not in a gratuitous sense. I don't mean that the characters have sex willy nilly (probably not the best phrase to use, considering the subject), because they don't. I mean that the quality of it is steamy. While I don't believe that a sex scene in a romance novel is de rigeur, I find the ending somewhat more believable if the hero/heroine actually are real people who have real emotions, great sex (good sex?) that forms a part of an actual relationship.

    Somebody dies...
    ...and I love it when people die in romance novels. Don't look at me like that. It's not romantic if there's no murder. (And yes, I do realise how unromantic that statement sounds).

    This book will make you LOL
    I laughed out loud. Seriously. The snort-that-turns-into-choked-coughing kind of laughter. (Possibly I have a perverse sense of humour). The hero/heroine first meeting is a hoot (see #1 on this list) and it just sort of keeps getting better from there.

    Nikki pukes on his shoes AND his shirt...
    ...and they still fall in love. Awww. In fact, he even kisses her. Not right after she hurls on his footwear because eeek, toothbrush/toothpaste, anyone? BUT STILL, as Amanda Palmer said of her relationship with Neil Gaiman, '...(on a side note: neil says that one of the moments he realized that *I* really loved *him* was the time he was sick with the flu in a texas hotel room. he puked in the bathroom, and when he came back to bed i still made out with him. that’s love, he said.)' So there! Dallas can be sure Nikki really loves him :)

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