Thursday, September 01, 2011

DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS by Christie Craig

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS – Christie Craig
Grand Central's Forever
ISBN: 978-0-446-58284-1
September 2011
Contemporary Romance

Miller, Texas – Present Day

Gallery owner Nikki Hunt is struggling to make ends meet, especially since she wants to help out her beloved grandmother. Although Nikki’s ex, Jack Leon, is not one of her favorite people after he cheated on her with one of her employees, she agrees to meet him for dinner at a swanky restaurant. But things quickly turn downhill after Jack leaves her with the bill, money she can’t afford. Nikki could kill Jack for what he’s done, but things become a nightmare for her when she discovers him dead in the trunk of her car, and the police finger her as the prime suspect. Good thing private investigator Dallas O’Connor happened to be nearby, and he believes in her innocence. He agrees to take the case, but it’s just too bad they didn’t meet under better circumstances, because Dallas is damn hot.

A former cop who was wrongly jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, Dallas has built an agency around defending people who are accused of crimes they didn’t commit. One look at Nikki and Dallas knows she didn’t do it, despite all the incriminating evidence. His belief has him being at odds with his brother Tony, a cop with the Miller Police Department. Dallas can’t deny he’s also attracted to Nikki, with her hot to trot body, but realizes he can’t let his sex drive cloud his efforts to clear her. Soon other incidents occur which convince Dallas that someone is out to kill Nikki. Perhaps the real killer?

With a charge of murder hanging over her head, Nikki feels her life spinning out of control in DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS. Dallas just happened to be eating nearby when Jack’s body was found and immediately stepped in to help Nikki out. Dallas provides a calming presence for her in her time of need, even if she thinks all he wants is sex with her in exchange. Of course, he is hot looking, and in better circumstances, she’d probably be interested. Tony O’Connor, the cop in charge of the investigation, believes his brother is thinking with the wrong head, and Nikki has too much evidence against her, including her comments of plans to kill Jack just before he was found. Of course, Nikki was only angry because she wouldn’t hurt a fly, and she does appreciate (for the most part) Dallas’s chivalry in taking on her case. The sparks fly between them in DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS though it takes a while before Nikki finally trusts Dallas enough for them to get between the sheets. Neither is looking for a future together, yet as Nikki begins to trust Dallas, she learns she wants more. Dallas’s job is to protect Nikki and search for the real culprit, but can he get past his insecurities over commitment to her?

Christie Craig has penned a cute, funny tale in DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS, and readers will be chuckling about the antics between Nikki and Dallas, as well as the minor characters. Tyler and Austin are in partnership with Dallas, and they can’t hold in their glee that their friend has been caught in a web of attraction with Nikki. The name of their agency is Don’t Mess with Texas Private Investigations, and readers will hope that Austin’s and Tyler’s stories are in store. Tony O’Connor is a tough cop who is still reeling from the breakup of his marriage to LeAnn. He wants her back but needs an impetus to take the first step. Dallas and Tony’s dad is still brokenhearted over the loss of his wife. Is there something his sons can do to help him?

While DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS does slow down a bit in the middle, at over four hundred pages it’s still an entertaining read. A bit of humor, whodunit, and sizzling sensuality make DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS a fun book you won’t want to miss.

Patti Fischer

No comments: