Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Wild Texas Rose by Jodi Thomas

Wild Texas Rose by Jodi Thomas
published by Berkley in August 2012
Twenty-five-year-old Rose McMurray may be beautiful, smart, and capable of running her family's ranch at Whispering Mountain, but she's backed away from marriage three times without giving anyone reasons. Everyone thinks she is a coward, afraid of any adventure, including falling in love. She's never done a single wild or reckless thing in her life...until now.

Duncan McMurray, like Rose, was adopted into the family. As a Texas Ranger, he swears he'll never settle down and marry. He's been Rose's guardian angel since they were kids but for the first time in their lives he's the one who has caused her to be in danger. Somehow, he has to protect her from an outlaw gang determined to kill her without letting Rose know of the danger she's in. He's convinced that her heart can't take the stress if she knows...the only question is can his heart take the nearness of her. When opposites collide the adventure begins...
Genre: Historical romance, western
Series: Whispering Mountain, Book #6

The Story: Rose McMurray's favorite place in the world is her family ranch at Whispering Mountain. That's where she felt safe for the first time in her life and also where her loving family lives. To everyone's surprise though, Rose has left home and traveled to Austin because Victoria, Rose's friend from finishing school, is in distress. Victoria has always been spoiled by her father, the Major who cannot forget that his side lost in the Civil War, making her a demanding person. However, this time around, her father is forcing Victoria to marry the man he has chosen... But deep down, Victoria knows something is wrong and in addition, she loves someone else. So she needs Rose's help to avoid this marriage.

Duncan "Duck" McMurray has grown up with Rose. From the first moment they met, the two have been at odds with each other. At the same time, they've always have each other's back as well. When Duncan learns that Rose is coming to Austin, he makes it his responsibility to check up on her and make sure she is safe. As she wears the same family name as him, Rose could be a target for people who have a grudge against Duncan... And this possibility becomes a real eventuality when criminals from Duncan's latest case escape jail...

My Opinion: As you know, I'm not a huge fan of western romance; however, I am a big fan of Ms Thomas :) As a result, I've read quite a few books in the Whispering Mountain series and am familiar with the characters and the series. I actually wasn't aware of Wild Texas Rose's release, but when I found out that it was Rose and Duncan's book, there was no doubt I was going to get my hand on it! I loooove Duncan! LOL. Duncan first appeared as a little, wild boy in Texas Rain and I've really enjoyed seeing him grow into a man. So I was really looking forward to read his story. Unfortunately, I ended up having mixed feelings about Wild Texas Rose.

It's hard to review Wild Texas Rose because I cannot say I was disappointed with it. It was actually quite a good book... The problem is, it wasn't really Rose and Duncan's book as there were 3 additional couples to the story ^_^; All three couples had interesting romance and their presences actually fit seamlessly into the story of Wild Texas Rose. However, it doesn't change the fact that they took the focus away from Rose and Duncan and that's why I have mixed feelings. I actually really enjoyed reading about Rose and Duncan. They were great characters in my opinion; they have an interesting history together and great chemistry. Still, I wished Ms Thomas had focused on their romance more, fleshed it out a lot more. I understood the attraction between Rose and Duncan. After all, they've been frenemies since they were young LOL... but I thought the transition from "friends/cousins" to two persons in love wasn't well handled simply because it was too abrupt and seemed to come out of nowhere. For Duncan's story, I was expecting something more romantic... and Wild Texas Rose just wasn't it. Oh it was sweet and gentle and I loved that, but it wasn't enough and also, I felt Duncan was clumsy at times. The way he proposed to Rose to be together was very off-hand and casual. At the end, while Duncan loved Rose and knew her, I don't think he understood her totally. As for Rose, I really liked her character :) She was a lot stronger than people thought and I really liked her loyalty.

The other three couples in Wild Texas Rose were Killian and Victoria, Stitch and Hallie, Abe and Sara. All the couples were interesting and so their romance. As secondary characters and romances, they fulfill the job :) I especially liked Killian and Stitch's back story - it was very touching. While Abe and Sara's romance was very gentle and interesting, I thought it was a bit superfluous in Wild Texas Rose. Just because there were so many other romances in the book. I wouldn't have minded reading Abe and Sara's romance in another book perhaps.

Finally, the overall story of the book was really well done and very interesting. It was surprising how everything connected together :) As usual, everything would not have fit if it wasn't for Ms Thomas' writing :) I think if you're a fan of Ms Thomas, you definitively want to give Wild Texas Rose a try. If you're new to her books though, this might not be the best too start with.

My Grade: C+. Wild Texas Rose was not a bad book, it was actually quite good. However, it lacked focus and the romance suffered from it, hence the grade. Had there been more of Rose and Duncan, the book would have easily been a B read.


  1. Great review, Nath. I love Thomas too! But, I wish this book had been more enjoyable for me, it was a big disappointment. I just didn't feel that chemistry between Duck and Rose, instead they just felt like friends even to the end. :( I loved Killian and Stitch's story too! I think theirs and Abe and Sara's saved this book for me.

    There's always the next book, right? I'm hoping it will be a great one!

  2. Hilcia - Thanks Hils! :)

    Yep, there's always the next book LOL. I still wish we can see more of Duck and Rose. I think sometimes, friendship is great basis for marriage :) I just wished we've really seen the depth of the transition from friends to more.

  3. Book sounds like it had too many characters in a way
    Also the adopted to the same family thing is a little icky to me, but oh well.
    Sorry it wasn't more romantic :)

  4. Hello Nath..that cover reminds me of Robin Carr's books...although I haven't read any of the 10 in my TBR list...hum, anyway, I love this type of stories, loved Cheryl St John's western historicals (have you read her)...and I was curious about this author, but it's opinions like yours that keep me from trying..would you say that, overall, the books were a disappointment?

  5. Alex - In a way, you're right, Alex. There were too many characters. They were all interesting and if the book had been like double the length, perhaps it would have worked out LOL.

    Rose and Duncan were adopted into the family, but not by the same parents. So they grew up at "cousins," but I don't feel they had a cousin relationship, you know... So I didn't mind that aspect.

    Sonia - You think so? I think it fits with the last cover of this series really well :) and LOL at the Robyn Carr books in your TBR pile. Well when you read the first one and want to read the rest, you'll have them at least :)

    I loooove Jodi Thomas writing, whether it's western or contemporary. Ms Thomas has something in her writing... A gentleness that I haven't found in any books. If you want to give her a try, I recommend that you start with Texas Rain. I think that one will give you a better idea of the writing and I really enjoyed it. As for Wild Texas Rose, I was disappointed, but not by the writing or the story, just the fact that there wasn't enough of Rose and Duncan. Personally, I say you should give her a try. Hilcia also loves this author :)

  6. Hello Nath!
    Well, I'll try her then..one day. I'll add up that first book to my To Buy List. Lol

  7. Sonai - LOL, let me know when you do! I'm sure you're going to enjoy her, Sonia!

  8. Well, at least there were some parts that you liked. And a C+ for a western is pretty good for you. :)

  9. Leslie - Nod nod. It definitively wasn't all bad :) and I liked it wasn't too dark and gory LOL.