Cowboy Come Home

Man of His Word

Remember Texas by Eve Gaddy
(Harl. Super. #1367, $5.50, PG) ISBN 0373-71367-3
Remember Texas is about a sister who disappeared when just a teenager and comes back to Texas, finds her family and a man to love.

Ava Vincent, formerly Miranda Kincaid, is a marine biologist studying different dolphins and their dorsal fins. She hires on to an Institute that will allow her to further her studies in Aransas, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico. Ava has a past. She was an abused teenager and one night she left her home, her three brothers, her father who beat her and her mother who did not protect her. She had a rough couple of months, until she was saved, literally by a doctor in an emergency room. He and his wife took her into their home and she changed her name to theirs.

Jack Williams is a widower with a seventeen-year-old son, Cole, who is struggling to find his place in the world. Concerned after Cole gets involved with some boys who are taking drugs, Jack moves to Aransas to take on the job of captain of the investigation vessel. He and Ava will work closely together.

Mark Kincaid and his brothers, Brian and Jared, have all moved to Aransas in the twenty years since seventeen-year-old year old Miranda left town. Their mother ended up hospitalized in a psychiatric unit to recuperate from the verbal and emotional abuse from their father. He is long gone and all are glad to be rid of him. The boys all suffered various amounts of abuse, but have become well-adjusted adult men with families. They have all made peace with their mother, too. Mark is still haunted by the loss of Miranda. It was just recently that he decided to stop trying to find her because it was too depressing to keep coming up empty-handed.

Now, Ava is back. She didn’t seek out her family, but is pleasantly surprised and a little scared, too. She meets with Mark and they hold a reunion of sorts. There are many issues to work out, the least of which is Ava’s unwillingness to meet her mother and try to forgive her. Ava is also hiding a major secret about the way she survived on the streets that she is convinced will cause everyone to hate her. Her ex-husband divorced her once he found out, so she has experience in the dejection she feels when the story is told.

The basic tale follows the romance between Jack and Ava, along with Cole’s acceptance of the relationship. In between is the reunion plot line and the hidden secret that Ava hides from them all.

I liked Jack and Ava. I enjoyed the portrayal of a realistic teenager in Cole. Mark is a strong character, too. The only downside is the abundance of angst that Ava goes through. Her secret is fairly easy to guess, and yet, she has made it such a dominant part of her being, it is difficult to identify fully with her. I often felt like saying…just tell them and get it all over with. Given that this is a romance tale, it was clear the reactions would not be like Ava feared.

The sexual tension between Ava and Jack is a highlight and their romance is enjoyable. The big misunderstanding almost ruins it, but the author pulls out all the right stops at the end, producing a satisfying conclusion.

Remember Texas doesn’t break new ground, but it is a generally engaging and stimulating little story.

--Shirley Lyons

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