The Texan's Dream

The Texan's Touch

The Texan's Wager

To Kiss a Texan

To Wed in Texas

Twilight in Texas

When a Texan Gambles

A Texan’s Luck by Jodi Thomas
(Jove, $7.99, PG) ISBN 0-515-13848-7
A Texan’s Luck is the third in Jodi Thomas’s trilogy about three women who participate in a wife lottery. This is Lacy’s story. With prickly characters and a story that’s slow to get started, this book needs more than luck to keep readers interested.

Captain Walker Larson is trying to evacuate the town of Cottonwood, Texas, when he is surprised by the news that a woman is here to see him. It turns out to be his wife, Lacy, whom he wed by proxy three years earlier.

Lacy married Walker when she was 15. Since then, she cared for his ailing father and ran the family printing press. Now that Walker’s father is dead, Lacy comes to tell Walker that she wants to be a real wife to him. The problem is that Walker never wanted a wife: “I’m a soldier, madam, I have no need or desire for a wife. You’d be better off married to someone else.”

Lacy won’t take no for an answer. She insists that he consummate the marriage: “I’m not leaving until I’m your real wife.” When he realizes that she is serious, Walker obliges her, but it’s a quick and unsatisfying experience for both of them. Afterward, Lacy returns to her life in Cedar Point, and Walker continues his career as a military officer.

Two years later, Walker returns to Cedar Point. He has been ordered to take 30 days leave so he can protect Lacy from Zeb Whitaker, a man who attacked her and went to jail. Now that he’s been released, he plans to come after Lacy because he believes that she has his money. Walker moves into her house to protect her.

Walker and Lacy’s first encounter exemplifies their behavior for the next 100 pages. There’s no logical reason for the fact that Lacy wants him to consummate their marriage when she knows he’s planning to put her on a stagecoach that’s leaving in 15 minutes. Logic doesn’t play a part in their initial relationship. They snipe at each other constantly. Lacy gets angry with Walker when he tells her he wants to kiss her. Walker accuses Lacy of “exposing herself in front of a man to prove your point,” when she is only showing him why the man’s shirt he brought won’t be an effective disguise. The mutual griping continues while they are at Cedar Point.

A Texan’s Luck also fails the put-down/pick-up test. For the first half of the book, it was all too easy to put down.

Thankfully, the characters and the story become more interesting in the second half of the book. Less patient readers may not make it this far. However, those who do will see some sweet moments between Lacy and Walker. I was also pleased that the Whitaker subplot fades into the background for a while before being resolved.

While the characters from the previous books make appearances here, it isn’t necessary to read the others before reading A Texan’s Luck. If you’ve read the first two installments, you’ll probably want to read this one. But if you start with this one, its slow pace may discourage you from reading the others.

--Alyssa Hurzeler

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