Publisher: Berkley 2011
Genre: Western historical romance
Source: Own book
Award: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for best Historical/Frontier (2011)
Gambling man Lewton Paterson wants to marry into a respectable family. After fleecing a train ticket,from one of the three gentlemen picked to call on Duncan's cousin, Lewt makes his way to Whispering Mountain. But seducing a well-bred woman is hard, and Lewt realizes that to entice a McMurray sister, he'll need to learn a thing or two about ranching-and love.
Emily McMurray has no intention of ever getting married, so she convinces her friend to take her place when the suitors arrive, leaving her to run the ranch as usual!
Texas Blue is #5 in the Whispering Mountain series by Jodi Thomas. I really enjoyed it, it has all the elements of a very satisfying western historical romance. I have come to love the McMurray clan, and this story about Emily - daughter of Teagan McMurray helped me appreciate this frontier family all the more.
Teagan's three girls are looking after the Whispering Mountain ranch while their parents are away. Emily is left in charge of the ranch. She is well able to do so and does not want to ever be married. She is off men, having witnessed something as a child that put her right off. She is also scared of the dark. So when she hears about the men sent a-courting she puts a friend in her place and melts into the background. Em is an excellent ranching woman, a kind sister and loyal daughter.
However Lewt has inveigled his way into the suitors threesome, soon meets up with Em, not realising she is one of the McMurrays. Lewt has had a poor upbringing and all he wants now is a wife (preferably rich), a home and a family. He in fact yearns for family, never having experienced it himself. He is very skilled in cards, and is a great human being. He cares about people and puts his body on the line for his friends. Lewt wants to learn about ranching and so goes out every day with Em. Slowly and surely their relationship develops, Lewt grows in riding and ranching skills and Em grows in trust and kissing skills!
Lewt and Em don't realise each one is not exactly as they seem. Lewt notices a few oddities but passes it off, a little odd I thought for an astute gambler who is well able to read people. When they hear that Duncan, Em's cousin - a ranger, is in trouble over on the Mexico border, they both join the search party to find him. And so the second half of the book is full of action and continued relationship building. Perfect western action, I grew up on Zane Grey and it reminded me of those books.
How do Em and Lewt react when finally the truth comes out? Well you will need to read this worthwhile book to find out!
I was a little annoyed at the end to realise I had read out of order. I thought I had checked properly, but got myself mixed up. I wondered why I was a little hazy about how Teagan came to have three daughters - well I hadn't read the book! I am going to need to backtrack and read 3 and 4. If you want to read the series - do read in order!
Whispering Mountain series
1. Texas Rain 5. Texas Blue
2. Texas Princess 6. Wild Texas Rose
3. Tall, Dark and Texan 7. Promise Me Texas
4. The Lone Texan