Western romance is a favorite sub-genre and I’d never read any of Eve Gaddy’s work so I said “why not?” “Trouble in Texas” is the first book of The Redfish Chronicles series and we’re introduced to Cat Randolph, an accountant who prefers rehabilitating wild birds. However, her practical side knows she can’t make a living as a bird rehabber so she keeps her day job to allow her to keep doing what she loves.
Mark Kincaid is slowly getting through the wreck of a house he inherited from his uncle, which is perfect cover for his real job as an undercover agent for the Fish and Wildlife Services in the tiny coastal town of Redfish. He’s hoping to wrap up an exotic bird smuggling ring that the FSW has been working on for two years.
When the neighbors meet it’s not exactly a joyous occasion but the sexual chemistry between them counteracts the negative energy and the situation gets hot and heavy in a Texas minute. But when Cat’s brother Gabe gets arrested for bird smuggling, the budding relationship between Cat and Mark is dead almost before it gets started. What kind of future can they have if there’s no trust?
As a plot device, exotic bird smuggling may not be original but it’s also not commonly seen, so points for that. The two main characters are well drawn even though it took some time for me to connect with Mark. He’s very full of himself while Cat is opem and says what’s on her mind. The Oscar for best actor though goes to Buddy, Cat’s African Gray parrot. He had me in stitches. The writing could use some polish. This passage had me groaning with its sophomoric language: “They kissed, and kissed, and kissed…..” (Chapter 19, page 220). That sounds like something a 13 year old would write in her composition book and it really grated on my ears. Ugh!
Lest I mislead you, it’s an okay story from a plot perspective and the pacing. Main characters are good but the antagonist is more a cutout. He’s so overtly bad we know right away and theres no mystery to it. I have to go with three and a half stars.
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