The Texan's Touch

To Kiss a Texan

Two Texas Hearts

To Wed in Texas by Jodi Thomas
(Berkley, $6.50, PG-13) ISBN 0-425-17516-2
Tender, sweet, funny and touching, To Wed in Texas is another romance winner by talented author Jodi Thomas. Her stories are engaging, genuine and difficult to put down.

Karlee Whitworth has been passed from relative to relative since her parents died when she was only six years old. Karlee is used to not belonging anywhere or to anyone, but that doesn't mean she doesn't wish for more.

No beauty and odd in her ways, Karlee doesn't expect to be loved but she does want to be more than the invisible poor relation she's been all her life. And she'd like a little adventure. So when her aunts want to send her to Texas to care for her dead cousin's twin girls and their widowed father, Karlee, literally, packs herself in a trunk in order to get there.

Although it's been three years, Daniel McLain has never fully recovered from losing his beloved wife. A preacher, Daniel has lost much of his passion; his lackluster sermons are hardly inspiring. But Daniel is a passionate man; he does love his daughters and he cares deeply about justice for the people in his town.

When Karlee springs herself on him, Daniel's first impulse is to send this young, unpredictable woman packing. But after he finds her crying on his porch, trying to hide her hurt at yet another rejection, Daniel's tender heart can't bear to cause her more pain. Besides, he needs Karlee's help to care for his children or his rich sister-in-law will take them away.

The threat of losing his daughters prompts Daniel to propose to Karlee within a week of her arrival. Karlee accepts because she already loves the girls, and she recognizes what a good man Daniel is; she wants to help him. Helping Daniel care for his family and friends tests Karlee's courage and provides her with more adventure than she could ever have imagined.

Karlee quickly realizes that just below the surface of Daniel's gentle strength lies a very passionate man -- a man who seems to be having a hard time keeping his hands off his new wife. Karlee decides she's got nothing to lose, so she sets about trying to change her marriage of convenience into something much more.

I picked up To Wed in Texas and read it in one sitting. The characters are portrayed with such feeling and the story is so engaging that everything else I had to do just didn't seem as important as making sure Karlee and Daniel lived happily ever after.

Give me characters worth rooting for and an interesting story line, and I'm a happy romance reader. I have a feeling that To Wed in Texas is going to make a lot of romance readers happy.

--Judith Flavell

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