Cactus Flowerby Shirl Henke
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Jim Slade has his hands full. Not only does he own one of the largest ranches in the fledgling Republic of Texas; but he is a long time secret agent of President Sam Houston. To make matters even more complicated, he begins to suspect that his aristocratic fiancée may be a spying for the Mexican government eager to reconquer the Republic. He does not need anymore trouble…but he gets it when Charlee McAllister comes crashing into his life in search of her ne'er-do-well brother.
Not much larger than her scrofulous tomcat Hellfire, the pint-sized Missouri hill girl turns life on Bluebonnet Ranch upside down, gets tangled up with a British agent playing his own version of “Texas Hold ‘em,” finds herself kidnapped by a vicious commanchero, and drives an enraged Slade to distraction. He either wants to strangle her or bed her or maybe do both at the same time.
But Charlee’s fate, as well as that of the Republic is on the line, and a man has to do what a man has to do.
Meet the Author
SHIRL HENKE lives in St. Louis, where she enjoys gardening in her yard and greenhouse, cooking holiday dinners for her family and listening to jazz. In addition to helping brainstorm and research her books, her husband Jim is “lion tamer” for their two wild young tomcats, Pewter and Sooty, geniuses at pillage and destruction.
Shirl has been a RITA finalist twice, and has won three Career Achievement Awards, an Industry Award and three Reviewer’s Choice Awards from Romantic Times.
“I wrote my first twenty-two novels in longhand with a ballpoint pen—it’s hard to get good quills these days,” she says. Dragged into the twenty-first century by her son Matt, a telecommunication specialist, Shirl now uses two of those “devil machines.” Another troglodyte bites the dust. Please visit her at www.shirlhenke.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Charlee McAllister, a tomboy and at first glance a scrawny one at that, turns up at Bluebonnet ranch in search of a wandering brother. Jim Slade, the handsome owner of the ranch, feels sorry for the waif and gives her a job as cook. Poor thing, he thinks, she's homely as hammered mud...until he spies on Charlee skinny-dipping in one of the ranch ponds. Good lord! Under those baggy boy's clothes is a petite and perfectly shaped female body. And he had no idea so much hair could be tied up in the scraggily bun she always wears. Things have never been smooth between the arrogant man and prideful girl, but after the "revelation" the ranch crackles with sexual tension and male and female tempers clash, frequently with very funny consequences. When Deborah Kensington turns Charlee into the belle of San Antone, the powder keg explodes. This is a rip roaring romance (and given the tempers of the lovers, that's lots of roaring) set against a background of adventure and intrigue. You'll love it. Oh yes, as a bonus there is Charlee's battle-scarred tomcat, Hellfire, who raises as much hell fire as his mistress.
Good Read.......................................................... Nice plot. Fun characters. Some twists and turns to it.
This is the 3rd book i read from this author and i will read more if not all of the books she has wrote . Loved all 3 of them
This is a romantic adventure set in days of the Republic of Texas. Although the hero Jim Slade is a rancher, this is no "cowboy" story. The tumultuous romance of Slade and fireball Chastity Charlene "Charlee" McAllister is set against the background of the struggles of the young republic's efforts to resist Mexico's attempts to conquer it, the meddling of British spies (I had no idea the Brits were involved in that struggle), and the bloody raids of the Comanches, who hated the Texans as much as the Texans hated them. The love scenes are steamy and leavened with humor. In one fairy tale instance, Charlee is transformed from Ugly Duckling into Beautiful Swan, provoking Slade to give a good imitation of Rutting Bull. There is also a cast of colorful and intriguing secondary characters. Sam Houston who, apparently was in fact, bigger than life. The young Lee Velasquez, a sort of foster brother of Jim's, who encounters a haughty (and already fetching) twelve year old female, Melanie, who almost gets him beaten to a pulp. And we meet, the stunningly beautiful "widow" Deborah Kensington who has suddenly been reunited with her equally stunning husband Rafe Fleming. These last two pairings will obviously have their own stories in books two and three of the trilogy. There are no dull moments in this book. It's as full of excitement as the Texas Republic itself.