Texas! Chase (This DIK review was written by a reader)
1991, Contemporary Romance
Fanfare, $7.50, 352 pages, Amazon ASIN 055328990X Part of a series
Texas! Chase was my first keeper. It was also the first book I ever re-read. It has everything I require in a keeper: a strong heroine, a sexy if slightly tortured hero and realistic problems - plus emotion, humor, hot love scenes, and absolutely wonderful secondary characters.
Even though this is the second book in a trilogy, it stands alone quite well. If you have not read the first book, Texas! Lucky, the short prologue of Texas! Chase will give you all the background information you need.
Chase Tyler is the eldest sibling in the Tyler family. With his father gone, he is also the one the others most depend on. He and his brother run the family business - Tyler Drilling - in Milton Point, Texas. Chase is a very happily married man with a baby on the way. He loves his wife Tania very much and they are blissfully happy. On the day that Tania wants to go house-hunting, she brings her realtor Marcie Johns to Chase's office in order to convince him to go along. Chase is thrilled to see his wife and childhood pal Marcie however, he is too busy to accompany them, so Tania and Marcie go without him. As Marcie and Tania are driving, a drunken driver crashes into them and Tania and her unborn baby are killed. Marcie, although badly injured, survives.
At Marcie's bedside, Chase is devastated and ravaged with pain at the loss of his wife and unborn child. He talks to Marcie in the hospital and, although she is in much physical pain, she answers his heart-breaking questions about what Tania was doing and saying seconds before she died. Before Marcie lapses into unconsciousness, she vows to herself that someday she will "give life back to Chase Tyler", the man she has been in love with her entire life.
Marcie, or Goosey as her classmates called her, has had an enormous crush on Chase Tyler since they were children. When they were in school, Marcie was a shy, awkward "brain." Chase was popular and the class president. Although Marcie has since grown into her looks and is a very successful realtor in Texas, she still harbors the same insecurities about herself. And, every man she has come across has paled in comparison to her image of Chase Tyler.
Two years after the accident, Marcie is at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth watching a rodeo with some of her clients. To her complete horror, the second bull rider is none other than Chase Tyler. Marcie watches as Chase is thrown off the bull and then stomped on. She abandons her clients to accompany an unconscious and drunken Chase to the hospital. Marcie is aware that shortly after Tania's death, Chase had abandoned the family business and taken off on the rodeo circuit, competing with men a dozen years younger. She had heard rumors about his emotional state and drinking problem. But this is the first time she has laid eyes on Chase since the accident. Marcie takes charge at the hospital, demanding that she be allowed to stay the night in Chase's room on a cot.
In a funny hospital room scene, a bimbo arrives looking for Chase after he doesn't show up for their "date." Marcie is horrified to see the kind of women Chase has been keeping company with and tells the woman she is Chase's wife. The woman doesn't even blink an eye. She tells Marcie she only slept with her "husband" three times. "It wasn't very good. He was drunk all three times. As you well know, the equipment is im-pressive..." This scene shows one thing I love about this book. Although Chase and Marcie's story is at times heart-wrenching, it doesn't bog down with angst and turmoil. Yes, you cry. But it's leavened with humor and you also laugh, chuckle, and smile.
After some wonderful scenes with Chase in his hospital room the next morning, Marcie drives him home to Milton Point. Chase discovers that the family business is going under and decides to help his brother try to save it. Marcie makes a very bold proposition to help him save the family business. And much to everyone's surprise he accepts. Marcie's proposition involves a modern-day marriage of convenience. (I know, I know. But in this instance it is believable.) And that is where the love story of Chase and Marcie really takes off. Marcie is a strong, sensitive woman who goes after the man she wants. Chase is stubborn and frustrating, but also sexy and lovable. The Tyler family all play major roles here and they are probably my favorite secondary characters of any book I've ever read.
I have read about ten Sandra Brown books, and her books about the Tyler family of Texas are my favorites. I know after you have finished Tyler's story you'll want to go back and read about the others. Sandra Brown has a strong reputation in the romance community. These books show why.
-- Ruby Gills
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