Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Introducing...Princess of the Wild Wild West

Princess of the WWW

aka Texas Red from TexasRed Books

I moved to a small town in West Texas in early 2008. After moving 11 times in the past 10 years, I'm enjoying putting down roots, the slower pace of life out here, and the ability to indulge in creative interests, such as my shameless addiction to fiction. I love science fiction, chick lit, romances, and pretty much any other good stories. I'm learning to love Westerns (in addition to Western-themed romances) and I'm a sucker for a happy ending!

Review of Last Mango in Texas by Ray Blackston


Pages: 272

Copyright: 2009

This last week, I finished Last Mango in Texas by Ray Blackston. I've got it classified here as "chick lit," although that's not a perfect fit.

Plot: This book tells the story of Kyle Mango from about the age of 16. It describes some of his childhood heroes, including his wild Uncle Benny, who leaves him a taste for adventure and ownership of several oil wells in West Texas.

Kyle heads to Texas Tech, in Lubbock, for college, where he meets Gretchen. Gretchen is unlike any other girls Kyle has met and he's immediately smitten. For one thing, Gretchen is focused on rescuing animals from oil spills and the ecological fall-out from the oil industry.

Does he have to choose between Gretchen and his new career as a small-time oilman? What about the other people depending on his decisions?

What I Thought: I really enjoyed this book. It was different from most chick lit I read in several ways. For one thing, it is written from Kyle's point of view, not Gretchen's.

This story also takes a broader scope than most romances I've read. I'm used to these books taking place over several months, not years, as Last Mango did. It gives us more information about Kyle's background and motivations than your average romance novel.

This book also goes deeper into what growing up means. This is especially true in the time period during and after college when so much of the "what do I want to be when I grow up" questions come up.

Last Mango is also a Christian novel. I was a little afraid, when I picked it up, that this would mean it was like the romances my grandmother read. Those books took the standard romance novel plot line and replaced the sex scene with a series of bible verses about how to become a Christian. Yeah, it was just as jarring as it sounds. Last Mango, though, just had some talk about people wondering what God wanted them to do with their lives. I didn't find it disturbing at all.

The only part of the book I found difficult was the anti-oil discussion. Most of these sentiments were voiced by Gretchen's friends and co-volunteers, who were portrayed as extreme. As someone who lives in West Texas, though, I found it difficult to handle some of the "oil = evil" messages. (Also, I found it funny that the far far west town of Abilene that Kyle mentions is still 2 hours east of where I live.) For a good counterpoint, check out Janie's post at Sounding Forth.

All in all, very glad I read this & I will be looking for more Ray Blackston books.

(Thank you to Miriam Parker at Hachette Book Group for this book!)


Blodeuedd said...

Welcome here :)
The book sounds nice

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Welcome Texas Red! Your avatar is just SO CUTE!

The Book Resort said...

What an interesting book Ray has penned!

Welcome, Texas Red! I am loving the poy tails... so cute. For some reason Reba comes to my mind! Love her!

mjmbecky said...

Okay...how stinking cute is your avatar! :) Not that they all aren't, but yours made me giggle a little. Look forward to seeing all these guest posts!

TexasRed said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm so excited to be involved here (and I agree that the Royal Reviewers ladies did a great job on the avatar for me!)

Kate said...

Lovely review Texas Red.

naida said...

great review and what a wonderful looking blog!

Teddy Rose said...


Teddyree said...

Welcome to our Royal Family, your avatar is just the most ADORABLE!

Marjorie said...

Blood Promise sound like a very interesting book, thanks for the
givewaway, I subscribe.