Other Georgina Gentry reviews can be found in the Archives.

Travis: The Texans
by Georgina Gentry
(Zebra, $6.99, G) ISBN 978-14201-2168-1
This storyline was so improbable. I kept reading, thinking it would get better. However, when I started skimming at page 170 and realized even to the end that this was just not working, I knew that the rating was doomed.

Travis is the brother of the Texans featured in other Georgina Gentry entry stories. He is a half-breed but that never really plays a part of the tale. He is a Texas Ranger and lives his life on that reputation. The book opens as Travis shoots down an outlaw in Kansas, even though he shouldn't have gone there after him. He is injured and worried that he might never shoot a gun again, decides to ride in the great land race, hoping to get some land, since his family ranch in Texas barely supports his brothers and their families. He hooks up with what he believes are five orphan children - a 13 year old named Violet, a couple of boys named Limpy and Harold, a red headed Kessie and a toddler called Boo Hoo.

In actuality, Violet is a nineteen year old whore who is on the run from the whorehouse in Kansas owned by Duke Roberts, a man known for shooting anyone who crosses him but who gets away with it by claiming self-defense. Violet met the children at the train station as they were waiting on the orphan train to get shipped back to the orphanage because no one wanted them. Limpy (later named Houston) has a leg that is shorter than the other, causing him to limp. Harold is Chinese and everyone tells him he belongs in a laundry. Kessie is an unattractive little girl who wants to be a suffragette and tells everyone she has rights. Boo-Hoo crys a lot and wets her pants, luckily she is renamed Bonnie fairly quickly by Violet. Violet passes herself off as only 13 thinking she will get more sympathy and wanting to distance herself from her past.

The actions of these characters are hard to believe. They make it to a small town in Texas where Travis gets hired at a job immediately, the kids go to school, and they find a house and Violet, who has never done anything but survive, is a wonderful mother to the kids. She and Travis fight their attraction - she because of her past and her lies and he because he thinks she is child. I just couldn't buy it.

The dialogue is stilted. There is not much action but what there is seemed too coincidental and just too out of the realm of reality. I know things were different in the 1880s but this just didn't fit together. The ending was equally as coincidental and far-fetched.

Westerns can be engaging and are often a nice respite from the slew of perky contemporaries or Regency historical books that dominates the romance market. However, Travis: The Texans will not satisfy that Western craving.

--Shirley Lyons

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