“Currently being sold as "Only In Texas"”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“I didn't really enjoy this book. I thought the writing was terrible.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Currently being sold as "Only In Texas"”Judith A Lattin wrote this review Thursday, September 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Dallas O'Connor is one sexy man!!!!!!!”bookkrazy_gurl35 wrote this review Tuesday, September 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I didn't really enjoy this book. I thought the writing was terrible.”Gen72 wrote this review Monday, August 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Very fun book. I really liked both Nikki and Dallas, though each had their relationship issues. The mystery of who killed her ex was delightfully complicated. I really enjoyed seeing how Dallas and his partners went about their investigations of both Nikki's case and that of the teenager. Their methods were a bit unorthodox at times, but very effective. There were a couple times when I thought I knew who did it, but then I wasn't sure. As far as the romance went, there were definitely a fair number of bumps in the road. Dallas had been burned by his ex-wife's attitude and refused to think about anything permanent. Nikki's ex had done a number on her self-esteem, and she also had issues of abandonment from her parents, so she didn't trust that any relationship would last. There were a bunch of really funny predicaments that both of them got caught in, both together and apart. I also enjoyed seeing the interactions of Dallas's brother Tony and his wife as they tried to repair their marriage. I'm really looking forward to the next book.”
“When I first saw this cover my thoughts were this is a book about cowboys! But no actually is about an ex-cop who was convicted and went to jail for something he didn’t do it. After proving he and two friends, who he was framed with, decided to work investigating but from other angle and they opened a PI firm named “Don’t mess with Texas”. They are trying to do some good by helping people who get accused but are innocent and prove the man who framed them.
And that’s how he meet Nikki, who is being framed for murdering her ex-husband. I liked her, she’s actually very smart and start investigating who may want to kill her ex.
This was a fun book to read and some moments gave me a smile. I liked the investigating part, and best of all it doesn’t get in the middle of the romance.
The book is a bit long but the story was good from the begin so I was hooked from the first page and read the hole thing to discover who was the killer. Also the dog was amazing, so fun.”
“Don't Mess with Texas
by Christie Craig
4.5 stars/Contemporary Romance
Don't Mess with Texas is a sexy, romping good time that you won't want to miss!
The first in a new series by Christie Craig called Hotter in Texas, this book opens with two lovable characters; Nikki Hunt and Dallas O'Connor. Nikki becomes the prime suspect in a murder case when her no-good, cheating, ex-husband's body is discovered--- in the trunk of her car!
Dallas is a private investigator and ex-cop, who knows exactly what it is like to be falsely accused. At first he thinks Nikki might be involved in the murder but things just aren't adding up once he gets to know her. Jumping in to help her case, neither can deny the chemisty between them as Dallas tries to uncover the truth.
This book is laugh out loud funny. I totally loved it! The suspense of the investigation to find Jack's killer was interplayed well with the budding romance between Nikki and Dallas.The great cast of supporting characters including Tony and LeAnn were perfect to help keep the story moving forward.
I am already anticipating the next book in this series called Blame it on Texas, expected in September 2012.
“She didn't do it. Nikki Hunt didn't kill her ex-husband. Sure she was angry at him. And, okay, she may have been overheard - twice - saying something about killing him. He ditched her during a dinner that he had invited her to and stiffed her on the check! And the only reason she was meeting him to begin with was her wretched financial situation. She couldn't afford a candy bar, let alone a five star meal, so yes, she may have muttered under her breath about offing the jerk and those mutters may have been overheard. It isn't like she would ever actually do it. Hell, she didn't even use kill traps on mice!
Try convincing the cops of that, though.
Okay, the facts that his dead body was crammed into her trunk and she was the listed beneficiary for his life insurance were a mite damning, but she didn't do it!
When Dallas O'Conner was a cop, he was set up and did time in prison before his name was cleared. Now he and his two best friends, also former cops sent to prison along with him, are private investigators. It shouldn't be at all surprising that they specialize in investigating cases for the unjustly accused.
Stumbling onto a murder scene with his homicide detective brother Tony and coming face to face with a shaken Nikki was a coincidence. Being puked all over while he was talking to her was just bad luck...that his partners would be tormenting him over forever. Still, he believes her when she says she didn't kill her ex, and there are too many suspicious things going on around her that have to be connected to his murder. In fact, not only is he positive Nikki Hunt didn't kill her ex-husband, he's pretty sure she's in danger from whomever did.
Speaking of pretty... When she's not projectile vomiting all over him, Nikki is definitely all kinds of that, and soon it becomes more than just a job to keep her fine behind out of prison...it may just be his reason for being.
It didn't take me too long into this latest Craig book to realize I was going to be in the minority with my review. Don't Mess with Texas is certainly classic Craig. It's romantic suspense with plenty of humor and instant, sizzling chemistry between likable characters. It reads easy, with a fast pace and some nice depth of plot provided by a couple of strong ancillary storylines, including a secondary romance thread that had a lot of appeal. Yet despite all that goodness, I had some problems with it.
As much as I enjoyed Nikki and Dallas, they're fairly interchangeable with all the other Craig romantic lead characters I've read: macho manly man gets a rise from weaker female lead who needs a man to help her out/protect her from whatever danger she's gotten herself into. Nothing there to dislike, really, but I prefer a bit more strength and independence in my female lead characters and more equality in the gender roles.
I also wasn't sold on why Dallas' brother Tony was so set on Nikki as the most likely suspect, especially after tallying up the events that occur the night of the murder. Not to mention the doubt caused by sheer logistics and scene evidence. It never seemed feasible, even initially, that the petite Nikki could kill, then physically dump her larger ex into her trunk given her size and without getting any blood on the clothes she was wearing, be cagey enough to ditch the murder weapon, then scream when she "discovered" the body, drawing instant police attention. The ills and imps of that threw off my ability to fully embrace the core of the plot concept.
Beyond that, I struggled with the development of the romance arc throughout the book. Most of the relationship conflict was the result of a lack of communication - not a favorite theme of mine - and there was a lot of waffling from chapter to chapter by both characters regarding the depth of their feelings for each other and the importance of the relationship to each of them. That was especially troublesome in this case, where the characters have known each other for too short a span of time to warrant a relationship longevity issue.
I wish that the secondary plotline between Tony and LeeAnn had been given more room for development. It was one of the high points of the book for me and had a lot of story potential that I would have enjoyed seeing expanded.
Unfortunately, there's something else that's been bothering me about the last few books I've read by Craig, an issue that has had an impact on my rating of this book and my willingness to read others by Craig. This is the sixth romantic suspense I've read by Craig and out of those six books, four of them have included material and/or characters disdaining homosexuality, or using gay stereotypes as punchlines or to infuse humor into various situations. This seeming trend disturbs me on a personal level and fosters an impression of a lack of sensitivity awareness that makes me uncomfortable. In a day and age where children are killing themselves because they're traumatized or hopeless because of their sexuality, macho men threatened by pink couches sort of loses comedic appeal for me. This sort of humor no more appeals to me than racial humor.
I wanted to settle back and enjoy this book for it's lighter-toned suspense and humor, for the hallmark Texas settings and manly men, for the quick and easy read that's pure pleasure. And honestly, even with one or two of the exceptions I mentioned, there were pleasant stretches in which I was able to do so. Craig writes entertaining books. The problems I had with this one may have tarnished the gold for me, but I'm the first one to say that I know I'll be in the vast minority.
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Forever publisher Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
“Dallas O'Connor runs a private investigation service, Don't Mess With Texas, with two other ex-cops: Tyler and Austin (do we see a Texas theme her) - a firm that specializes in proving their clients DIDN'T commit the crime. Nikki Hunt looks like she may have killed her ex-husband and stuck him in the trunk of her car, but Dallas has the feeling she's being framed and takes on her case. Dallas’ cop brother Tony is investigating the murder and thinks (initially) that Nikki is the prime suspect. But that doesn't explain why her home has been ransacked and her employee attacked on the same night. Great characters, including a superb supporting cast make this a delightful read that will have you laughing out loud. ”Susan G wrote this review Monday, October 24, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Artist Nikki Hunt is a gorgeous woman who married a wealthy but controlling lawyer. It was no surprise that she ended up divorcing him after finding him being unfaithful. When her ex-husband calls and wants to have dinner, she decides to go and see if she still has feelings for him. Dinner is a disaster, he leaves her stuck with the bill, she ends up really ill, and then finds her ex dead in the trunk of her car. Nikki's night can't get any worse, right? Wrong!
Nikki ends up being the lead suspect of her husband's murder. She hires Dallas O'Connor to prove her innocence and find who really did kill ex-husband. Dallas is the brother of the police officer who is leading the investigation that is building a case against Nikki. He has a spotted past and understands Nikki's situation in more ways that she knows...
This book was a fun read. With hunky Texas investigators, gorgeous women, and a dangerous situation, it kept me interested and on my toes. The mystery was interesting and kept me guessing for quite a while, but I did figure it out before the end.
I didn't get really involved with any character - at least not the way I like to. Maybe it was because everyone was so beautiful and it didn't feel realistic. I had the attitude that if Nikki wasn't so pretty, no one would really care. There was a lot of focus on looks and desire between characters.
I did enjoy the parallel story of Austin (brother of Dallas) and his estranged wife. I found that story more realistic and I found myself cheering Austin on.
Note, this book contains adult language and situations and descriptive sex scenes.”
“This was a fun read!
I was expecting it to be heavy on the romance, which it was pretty steamy, but it was heavy on the mystery. I loved that this story had me wondering at every page turn, who did it and why, not so much as to whether people would hook up.
I am glad they hooked up though. These characters were made for each other. I mean both sets.
A definite recommendation to mystery-romance lovers from me!”