When I saw the reviews for “Texas Thunder” by Kimberly Raye I jumped at the chance to review it and hear it on audio. I thought that this sounded like a great plot and I love small town romances and settings. The story is set in Rebel. Rebel is a very small town that has a diverse industry. There is real estate, family owned diners, cattle raising and moonshine.
Callie Tucker is our heroine. She never left Rebel even though she wanted to. She is works for a real estate office but never got her license as a realtor. She is the oldest sister and very much a martyr. She is also an emotional eater, and half-eaten cupcakes are a testament to her bad days. The author constantly points out that Callie has “gained a few.” Not only that but the towns people are also very quick to point out that Callie is not as thin as she use to be. When she goes to the store even the clerk finds it her duty to point out what she should or should not be eating.
Brett Sawyer was a high school sweetheart. He is making a living as a rodeo star and is back in Rebel only because his Popi has early stages of Alzheimer’s. Since Brett’s father was an alcoholic, it was his grandfather that raised him. Aside from taking care of his Popi he also has to find a way to deal with the family home that is falling apart and he needs to sell to fix their financial situation. Brett almost took Callie’s virginity during high school but last minute he backed out and since then Callie has been scarred.
I have to confess that I didn’t like either Callie or Brett. I tried to be sympathetic but I didn’t feel sorry for Callie. Even though she spent the entire story feeling sorry for herself. She wallowed about everything. Her own background was like Brett in that her parents were killed one night on their way to help Callie. She is very down on herself because of her weight and because Brett rejected her all those years ago. She is also very angry and disappointed in grandfather whom she gave $10,000 to pay off a debt but ended up using it for his own enjoyment. Now as for Brett. I couldn’t find anything I liked about him. Yes, he was very loyal to his sister and his grandfather but everyone in this story seems so mean and vile. Even his cousin is trying to take over his contract with Wrangler… In the mist is an old family feud between the Tuckers and the Sawyers. Brett and Callie’s grandfathers use to have a very successful recipe for moonshine. When they fought and parted ways, each one took their piece of the recipe. Now Brett and Callie are trying to find it so they can get the cash they desperately need.
While they are working together, their old feelings resurface. I wish I can saw that I was happy for them when they finally got together, but I can’t. I didn’t enjoy them as a couple or as individual people. To add to an already thick plot, Brett has to figure out why the ranch is losing money and there might be someone who is trying to sabotage the ranch.
I hung on until the end because I found Callie’s sisters both funny and quirky. Although this was not a hit for me, I will continue to read more books by the author. It was interesting to read about the life of the cowboys and a small town.
I have to say that just like the story was lackluster so was the narrator… Rebecca Estrella seemed very robotic. She did not give too much emotion to the story.
**Audiobook provided by Tantor**