Princes of Texas series
by Julia London
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’m not a huge fan of the modern rake as a character (I don’t know why it works better for me in a historical) and Luca irritated me at first meeting, but while he was busy trying to win over Ella, he charmed me too. I grew to admire his determination and hard work, especially with the lack of real support from his family. As shiny as he looks from the outside, he has troubles that has followed him from his childhood and it takes a strong person to be willing to pursue a dream and try to improve not only themselves but the world while they are at it.
I honestly didn’t expect to like Ella. Usually when authors write about foster care kids they make them too independent and too afraid of commitment. While Ella is hesitant to get involved with Luca, her history of keeping herself walled off from others is more nuanced and less heavy handed.
If anything brought the story down for me it was Ella’s devotion to Stacy. I get that there was a bond there that is hard for her to ignore. It’s also easy to understand why Stacy does the things she does, both for the reader and Ella … but she’s not a very good friend. She blows in and out of Ella’s life, doesn’t really support her, and does illegal things. At some point, your history together stops being that important. I really wanted better for Ella.
London wonderfully blends together multifaceted characters, personal growth, family dysfunction, and life in the vast Texas plains to give readers a emotional and complex story. A very promising start to a new series!