, , , , , , , , , ,

“I love you. I love all of you. There’s nothing I don’t love about you. The way you talk to yourself. The way you care about your crazy grandmother and her friends. The way you accept people and make everyone happy. Including me. You make me happy, Nikki. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been happy? Oh, and I love your body. I really love your body.” – Dallas O’Connor

Sit down and get ready, ladies, for the ride of your life! Christie Craig’s PI trio is here to rock your socks off – in the most fabulous and hilarious way possible!

Dallas O’Connor has been misjudged and betrayed before – the first makes him want to protect Nikki Hunter and prove she’s innocent, the second has him trying to keep his heart from falling for her angelic looks and kind soul. Nikki, on the other hand, has way too much on her plate already to be looking for her kind of forever in the sexy PI’s arms. She’s the main suspect in her ex husband’s murder case, she is flat broke, and her sexual life is so not something anyone would envy… What’s a girl to do when her heart and mind are at war with each other? And who DID kill Jack Leon, anyway?

Christie Craig took what could have been a typical romance born during a murder investigation, twisted it, and turned it into one of the hottest suspense romances. Her plot is a cliché, used many times, and told twice as much. Boy is a private investigator or cop, girl gets accused of something she hasn’t done. Boy defends her and fights to prove her innocense. Boy and girl fall in love. We’ve all read it or watched it at least once in our lives – especially us women, something about a big, manly detective protecting us clicks in our feminine hearts, no matter how tough we say we are, don’t you think?

Even so, her approach on the matter was delightufl, and rather refreshing. While her main male leads are all roughened up from the betrayal they’ve faced and the cruelty of the world around them, they still take the time to show they’re actually very humane, and that, above all, they’re still three MALE FRIENDS. Why am I putting emphasis on those two words? Well, let’s just say that the banters between those three were precious! I even have them memorized!

Dallas was admittedly not my favourite of the three. Not that he wasn’t dreamy or anything – God, the man sure knew how to talk to make even a reader’s panties go to hell, not just Nikki’s – but he lacked that something that could have done me in. I had to give it to him, he was sweet, and protective, and all pure male, but honestly, his motto sucked. I understand where he’s coming from, I really do – hell, I would have deprived myself from any interractions with the opposite gender if I had been through what he had – , but one would have to be blind not to see how Nikki was feeling. And okay, even if it wasn’t obvious on her part, saying all those things in front of her every time was very hurtful. I mean, sure, you’re not certain of your footing with relationships, because you’ve been burned, but this gives you no reason to deny things between you and Nikki so vehemently when someone asks you – IN FRONT OF HER! It doesn’t take a genius to know she will one day have enough and leave your sweet ass.

As for Nikki, if you haven’t already guessed on my rant above on how stupid Dallas’s actions were, then I’ll tell you right now – I loved her! She was cute, and I could sympathize with her, and unlike Dallas, she wasn’t trying to hold him away emotionally while humping his sexy body. She had morals, and her kindness was beyond enough to make me melt and care for her. And despite what everyone said, I was all in for her wanting to keep her distance from Dallas. Alright, she was hurt in the past and shouldn’t think all men are the same, but she was still far better in my list than the PI – I just can’t get over the vulgar way he treated the whole thing between them, I guess…

But the amazing parts of the story weren’t reserved only for the main couple. Turns out Mrs. Craig has quite the talent in telling two love stories – at the same time! So, Dallas’s big brother, Tony, and his distanced wife, LeAnn, were also trying to make things work between them – and damn me, it was so sweet and so right, I wish all marriages could get as good as theirs. The good thing about it was that both love stories were fantastic, and actually shared the book successfully, without the main couple stealing the glory from the secondary one, and vice versa. Two in the price of one!

Ellen was a wonderful main heroine’s best friend, too, even if she didn’t get enough “screen time” – who am I kidding, that morphine-induced monologue on how she would jump Tony’s bones or, hell, Rick’s, will forever stay ingrained in my mind! Speaking of Rick, who wants to bet this seemingly chauvinistic pig is actually a big bad softie? Oh, and don’t forget Nana – ok, a question here, why do the crazy grandmas always bring out the most laughs? I see a literal pattern here, hmmm…

So, you want your fair dose of suspense, plot twists, and a good whodunnit love story? Look no further, because Don’t Mess with Texas is just the series opener you need – and really, who would want to miss out on a two-in-one deal in romance, anyway?