To Tame a Texan (Zebra Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 26 Jun 2003
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School teacher Lynnie has only one reason for attending the Valentine ball at the state capital and it's not romance. She finds her escort, roguish Ace Durango, is nothing but an irritation - even if his good looks and charm are suddenly hard to ignore.
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His father blames Ace for leading Lynne to jail and decides his son needs to learn responsibility as only a cattle drive can give him. He demands Ace take cattle on a trail drive to Dodge City, something rarely done anymore. Lynne needs to go to Dodge City to attend a suffrage conference. So she dresses up as a teenage boy and joins the drive. Eventually, Ace and the crew realize that Lynne is not a boy. However, since she has done all they asked of her and more, the crew wants her to finish the drive with them, all that is except Ace. Not long afterward even Ace's secret admiration for Lynne turns into love.
TO TAME A TEXAN is an interesting western romance that uses the women's suffragette movement to propel the plot forward as actions and reactions to the late nineteenth century women's movement seem so vibrant. Fans will also enjoy Lynne's efforts to further the cause, but feel frustrated that an intrepid individual like the heroine fails to accept responsibility for her actions. Though Ace's obstinacy can become irritating, readers will want to come along on one of the better trail runs since Westward Ho the Women.
The male lead, Ace, was raised by seemingly intelligent parents, yet he seems rather illiterate. Every time Lynnie (the female lead) uses a word that's over a few letters long, Ace is overwhelmed. He's spoiled and rude, he drinks, he visits [prostitutes], it's alluded to by mention of a marked deck that he cheats at cards. My hero? Lynnie was working for women's rights, and most of the time wanted no help from Ace. However, she had these unexplained moments where, when she was disguised as a male, she wondered why no one was offering to help her. She chased him out of his bedroll on a rainy night (what happened to equal rights?) and got snippy with him the next morning when he was cranky from sleeping on the ground.
There were numerous inconsistencies. One page, during a river rescue the reader reads that Ace is swimming with his horse, not on his horse. At least that's how I read it. The next page he confesses to Lynnie that he can't swim. He WAS swimming. Taking calves safely from their Longhorn mamas? I don't think so. When Lynnie was still disguised as a male, she was sleeping close to the men. You can't sleep wearing a cowboy hat. What did she do with all of her bright, red hair? And, on a final picky note, I don't think that they would have castrated the young bulls and then headed right out on a long, difficult cattle drive. I could be wrong on that, but after having seen bulls being castrated all I can say (after I say "Ouch!") is that they are pretty traumatized critters.
I believe this was a Romantic Times Book Club Reviewer's Choice, so I may be alone in my opinion. In one final (and irrelevant) note. I SWEAR the male cover model has a manicure. :-)