Dancing Shoes and Honky-Tonk Blues

Dark Roots & Cowboy Boots

Trick My Truck but Don’t Mess with My Heart

 

 
A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action
by LuAnn McLane
(Signet Eclipse, $6.99, PG-13)  ISBN  978-0451-22460-6
*****
I have discovered a new favorite contemporary author in LuAnn McLane.  Having enjoyed her previous book, I was anxious to see if this one would be as fun and energizing.  A Little Less Talk and A lot More Action not only matched the witty, intelligent, funny and sentimental tale told in Trick My Truck but Don’t Mess With My Heart, it surpassed it.  This book will be one to return to time and again for a romance worth re-reading.

Macy McCoy and Luke Carter were introduced as secondary characters in Dark Roots and Cowboy Boots.  Their story opens at Jamie Lee and Griff’s wedding.  Macy is the maid of honor since she is Jamie Lee’s best friend and partner in the Cut and Curl in Hootertown, Kentucky.  Luke is the best man since he and Griff have been friends forever and he happens to be Jamie Lee’s brother.  Macy and Luke have known each other since they were kids.  Macy has had a crush on Griff forever, but feels her love is and always will be unreturned.  Luke is something of a hero around Hootertown and Macy just doesn’t feel she measures up.

Luke was a high school football star, who went on to play college ball.  When he had an unhappy love relationship, Griff convinced him to return to Hootertown as coach of the local college football team.  Now that they have won the Division II championship, Luke is again seen as a hero and is talking to several schools about Division I coaching, from Vanderbilt in Nashville just an hour away, to a team in Florida.

Macy is a beautician and her dreams have really not taken her anywhere. She and Luke have grown closer since they have been so involved in the wedding plans. In Macy’s eyes, Luke is just being nice to her.  Jamie Lee has pushed her to take a chance on Luke, but it seems like every chance she gets, something happens to keep her from putting her feelings on the line.

Macy’s life changes the day after the wedding when she is in the shop doing inventory and County Music star Tammy Turner walks in her door. Tammy has a hair emergency and hires Macy to come with her to Nashville, fixing her hair on the way.  In the process, Macy meets her entourage, including two sisters, Sam and Lilly, who are back-up singers and songwriters. What follows is an intelligently written romp that is at times laugh out loud hilarious and at times brings tears to your eyes tender.

Lilly manipulates Macy into letting Luke know she is in Nashville and missing him.  When he calls, she offers to cook him dinner if he comes to see her while he is there interviewing at Vanderbilt.  When she realizes after the spur of the moment invitation that she can’t cook, Tammy hooks her up with a TV chef who agrees to help her if she will let them film her lessons.  The show would be a way to help hapless cooks everywhere realize that they, too, can be an expert in the kitchen.  The chapters where she is cooking are so funny, I laughed out loud.  Yet, the people are shown with feelings and depths that make them seem like real people.

The whole tale is full of that type of writing. The love scenes with Luke and Macy are hot. The characterizations of the entire cast were done so that these folks were real personalities rather than sidekicks to grace the pages.  McLane has a knack for taking what might seem a tad unrealistic…seriously, how often would a star come to a small town cut and curl for help?... and made it seem like it could happen.  Tammy is a star but one with down home roots that fit.

The HEA came about a bit quickly but was extremely satisfying.  Luke is a hero to moon over and yet, is a strong and gentle man not afraid to ultimately go after what he wants.  And since the tale is written from Macy’s point of view, we see him through her eyes.  Macy has just enough strength to counteract her innate nature of being a bit down on herself due to what is not a model thin physique. 

Having read two of McLane’s stories, I will definitely go back and find Jamie Lee’s tale.  And I heartily urge you to pick up A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. 

--Shirley Lyons 


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