The Charmer in Chaps (The Princes of Texas Book 1),
by Julia London
Publication: Berkley (May 7, 2019)
About the book:
A Texas Prince Meets His Match…
Cimarron County knows the youngest son of the fabled Prince family as a womanizing hell-raiser, but Luca has changed and he intends to prove it. There’s just one problem—a woman with sparkling eyes and more fight than a barnyard cat.
After a childhood of living in foster homes, Ella Kendall 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. She recognizes a playboy cowboy when she sees one.
Luca knows Ella has learned the hard way to trust no one but herself. Yet the closer he gets to Ella, the more he wants to be the only one she leans on. Because Ella is the only woman for him, and he wants to be the man who finally gives her the home she truly deserves.
I am a newbie to Julia London, but no more! I absolutely loved this book! The Charmer in Chaps is hilarious (Luca’s mother and grandmother especially), honest, sexy, and romantic. Regardless of how things were growing up, we all had that one guy that was our vision of perfection, right? Twelve years after Luca randomly kisses Ella at prom, they meet again when she moves back home to inherit her grandmother’s crumbling house. She snubs him at first, mortified that he doesn’t remember her, but once he realizes she’s not falling at his feet like other women, he’s a goner and finds himself sharing more with her than he ever imagined.
I’m going to start with the only thing I didn’t like about this book – Ella’s oldest friend and fellow foster child, Stacy. I’ve thought about this a lot during and after reading but honestly, she had no redeeming qualities, brought Ella down, and was just awful. I tried to put myself in her shoes regarding the foster care life, but being a child of a parent that grew up in foster care, I don’t buy it. She was just a shitty person. Selfish, immature, killer of joy, thief, etc… Shall I go on? No.
Moving on, besides Stacy, I loved every other character. Even the horrible Sherriff, Blake, was a well-written character, despite his sleaze factor. Ella was amazing, as was Luca, and as I stated before, Luca’s mother and grandmother were fantastic! London’s realistic characterization was fabulous and left me longing to lounge around the tombstone with the mom and Grandma!
But I can’t help but saying that one of the things I loved most was Ella’s random animals that ended up at her house, followed her, etc. I mean, I LOVED this part of the story!
So many important issues were covered in this book ranging from foster care to environmental concerns to dyslexia to death. I applaud Julia London for tackling such difficult issues with grace, respect, and above all – amazing humor! I am truly overwhelmed at the incredible balance within this novel. It’s hilarious, sexy, frustrating, and socially relevant all at once.
I adored The Charmer in Chaps and hate that I didn’t get to this one sooner, however, it comes out next month and is certainly not a book to miss. This novel made me laugh, made me crazy, and made my heart swoon all at once. This is a must-read for anyone that loves romance, family drama, overcoming insecurities, and especially, anyone that has ever lived in a fixer-upper.
Julia London, I am now your biggest fan!
*Many thanks to Berkley and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!