My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Net Galley Earc in exchange for honest review
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BOOK SYNOPSISTHERE'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?
My ThoughtsBeing a lifelong Texan the fact that the setting was my home state was what really attracted me to this story in the first place, the fact it was set in a small town and centered around a house of ill repute was an even greater attraction because we live near the town of La Grange Texas whose claim to fame inspired the movie The Best Little Whorehouse starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds back in 1982 .
Opening page you quickly get drawn into the story, even if like me you have read not one book prior in series that will clue you in to past events. Following along as we learn a bit more as to how someone as straight-laced and proper as Elizabeth Murphy came to be the owner of Miss Hattie's is an eye opener at times, especially when the much renowned house of ill repute once again takes front and center stage as the main source of gossip for the town of Bramble.
The mystery of the centuries old murder may have been the reason why Brant Cates first came to Bramble and ended up involved with the infamous Henhouse but even once he finds his answers his new found lease on life and his fascination with the secretly sexy librarian Elizabeth Murphy keeps him from leaving. As we follow along laughing at times when Brant and Elizabeth lock horns over one thing or another we are reminded that the journey to true love is not always smooth but in their case it is certainly never boring!
This story is full of humor, it takes the reader on a journey about friendships, family relationships, love and honor from a very unexpected source. There is nothing quite like the joy of discovering that there is so much more than meets the eye as to what is going on, after all half the fun of a secret is discovering what it is and why it is being kept, especially when you find yourself enjoying visiting a small town like Bramble where the characters are so outrageously entertaining that you never want to leave!
Going back through the synopsis for the rest of the books in the series you will find that in each instance there is a little more back story revealed on each of the Cates family members and to truly be aware of how things tie in to this 4th book one might want to at some point read the three prior books. (I firmly believe it is not really necessary but it would be enjoyable if you did go back to the first 3 books just to catch up on the characters back stories a bit more.)
[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]