THERE'S A FOX IN THE HENHOUSE
Inheriting the most notorious house of ill repute in Texas can spell trouble for a girl's reputation . . . especially when she's Elizabeth Murphy, Bramble's prim and proper librarian. Yet when she discovers a buck-naked cowboy handcuffed to a four-poster bed, she forgets all about the town gossips. Elizabeth has sworn off men, but the stranger's kisses melt her resolve faster than ice cream on a hot summer day.
Waking up in Miss Hattie's Henhouse isn't how Brant Cates reckoned on getting to the bottom of his great-granddaddy's murder. The plan was to solve the centuries-old crime, then get the heck out of Dodge. But after meeting Elizabeth and discovering that the buttoned-up beauty is a sexy siren in disguise, he just can't pull himself away.
Now Brant needs Elizabeth to finally put his past to rest, but is she willing to risk her future on Bramble's newest bad boy?
While this is the fourth book of Ms. Lane's featured in the small town of Bramble, Texas, I think it stands alone very well. We meet some of the residents of Bramble, though not like in past books, and we are introduced further to the Cates boys (Billy Cates was featured in Catch Me a Cowboy).
Elizabeth Murphy is a woman who avoids sex. She lives alone (except for her cat), dresses like a school marm, and firmly identifies as a spinster. She has no use for a flesh and blood man, especially when none of them have lived up to fictional characters. When one of the hens from Miss Hattie's Henhouse -- a house of ill repute that Elizabeth owns -- calls and Elizabeth ventures out of the city limits, she's surprised to find an unconscious and handsome and naked man handcuffed to the bed.
Brant Cates is on the trail of a mystery: his great-great-grandfather's murder. The trail leads him to Miss Hattie's and ultimately to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth and Brant have great chemistry; add eldest hen Minnie to the mix as a matchmaker and general pain in Elizabeth's a-s-s, and you've got a great romance. Trouble in Texas takes all the romp and fun of the previous books and adds some oomph with a well-thought-out plot. This was my favorite in the series by far.
(A very special thank you to Hachette Book Group, Forever Romance, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Trouble in Texas.)