cover image Be My Texas Valentine

Be My Texas Valentine

Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, and DeWannna Pace. Kensington/Zebra, $6.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4201-1967-1

The authors’ sixth Texas-themed collaboration (after Give Me a Texas Ranger) is all hat and no cattle. Thomas’s quietly effective story unites a two-time widow and an itinerant Yankee cowboy looking for human comfort in a lonely world. Nuanced writing brings the couple to almost cinematic life. Far less readable is Broday’s story, which reunites two characters duped into believing they were betrayed by each other. The responsible party is obvious, and a second villain is so nasty he actually kicks pregnant dogs. In Miranda’s contrived contribution, a former heiress returns from back East to live like Cinderella with her uncle and his rude family. Pace wraps things up with her story of a wheelchair user and a doctor brought together by pet lovebirds. The terminally cute premise and the heroine’s spoiled, meddlesome sister sink the story. (Jan.)