The Charmer In Chaps
Princes of Texas, Book #1
By Julia London
Author Website: julialondon(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
Cimarron County knows the youngest son of the fabled Prince family as a womanizing hell-raiser, but Luca has another side to him. He intends to turn the overworked pasture land his father left him back to its natural beauty. There’s just one problem–a woman with sparkling eyes and more fight than a barnyard cat is grandfathered into some acreage on his portion of Three Rivers Ranch.
After years of living in foster homes, Ella has exactly three things to her name: A dog, a pig, and the rundown house she just inherited. Luca may not remember her from high school, but she definitely remembers him. He is as seductive as he was then, but Ella isn’t about to fall for his flirting–if only she could stop melting at his touch.
What begins as a game of seduction for Luca quickly turns into something more, but Ella has learned the hard way to trust no one but herself–especially when it comes to her deepest secret. Yet the closer Luca gets to Ella, the more he wants to be the one she leans on. For once, Luca is determined to do something right and give the woman he loves the home she deserves.
Ella is back home, if you can call an old house she briefly lived in as a child home, but it is home for her now. Especially when she can hardly manage to afford repairs on her old SUV. Everything in Ella’s new house is breaking down or needs repairing and YouTube videos can help her only enough. This is how she ends up stranded on the road after her SUV dies on her, and to Ella’s luck the only person around turns out to be her highschool crush, Luca Prince, dressed in chaps and riding his horse. What other fantasy could Ella ask for? If only Luca remembered her.
Ella has been working hard for years to give herself a better life than the one she grew up in. She went from foster home to foster home, to living in the city and getting herself through school and earning a Degree in Accounting. Things weren’t working out for Ella so when a lawyer appeared at her job and told her that her grandmother had left her a farm, Ella took the opportunity presented to her. She is trying her best to make it work back in Three Rivers but things aren’t turning out as she imagined. The old house came with some unexpected animals who can’t decide if they like Ella or not. To top of Ella’s luck, she keeps running into Luca, who doesn’t seem to remember the girl he stole a kiss from at prom.
Luca is part of the richest family in Three Rivers, the Prince family. You would think that as a rich kid he grew up in a happy environment, but it is all the opposite. Luca has a secret that he keeps from society, he can’t read. At a young age Luca was diagnosed with dyslexia. His family instead of helping him understand and manage a way to live with dyslexia kept it a secret for shame of embarrassing the family and never really helped him to overcome it. Now Luca is an adult who has trouble reading and hides behind a playboy persona when all he really wants is to bring his project of regenerating the soil at the family’s ranch to life.
This was a very interesting book. After a while, I learned that it wasn’t your typical romance story. It has a deeper plot to the story. Ella wants a place to call home and her own, while trying to start her own accounting business. Luca has dyslexia and not even all the money in the world can make him happy if he doesn’t have the support of his family or a loved one to overcome and understand his situation. His mother has never been much of a help and his father went through life donating money so Luca could pass school. Both characters are adults trying to find their way in life that doesn’t reflect the sins of their parents. When Ella and Luca begin their relationship, they finally have someone they can trust and confide their secrets and fears to.
“Still… I’m surprised you don’t want to buy me a winter carnival drink. I sort of thought you were falling for me.”
“I was,” she said with feigned enthusiasm. “Totally! But then the housewives thing came up, and you know how it is. Plus, I have to feed a dog. And a pig. And some horses. And a cat. And some random chickens that are leaving eggs from time to time.”
There are other characters that influence Ella and Luca’s lives, such as Luca’s twin sister who has a special twin connection with him and his grandmother, who sounds really fun with her dyed hair. Ella has her childhood friends Stacy, whom she cares for as a sister and Mariah, the voice of reason.
Throughout the story, Ella tries her best to fix her grandmother’s house while managing two jobs and revealing her feelings towards Luca, whom she is careful to take seriously knowing his playboy persona, but Luca slowly wins her over when he shows his true self and the plans he has for the future. Once they start dating, the reader can see that they are good for each other and Luca make a bigger effort to learn how to manage a life with dyslexia. There’s also funny moments involving Ella’s farm animals and Luca’s grandma and mom towards the end. I wish somewhere there were a story of those two together on a trip to Wal-Mart.
The Charmer In Chaps is the first book in the Princes of Texas series that already is showing to be more than your typical romance and cowboy story and hopefully the next book is even better and we get to see what Ella and Luca have been up to, but especially what Hallie Prince is hiding from her family. If you like cowboy stories than this book is for you.