Cover image for My long tall Texas heartthrob
My long tall Texas heartthrob
Dawson, Geralyn.
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Publication Information:
New York : Pocket Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
370 pages ; 18 cm
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FICTION Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Library

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Dear Friends, So why did I leave the glamour of L.A. for a double-wide trailer in Cedar Dell, Texas? Blame it on a biker named Snake. If he hadn't ditched my very pregnant, helpless sister, then I wouldn't be in this sleepy town playing mommy to twins. And I didn't even get to have the sex! Yet.But there's this hot, handsome Texan in town who wants me -- and the babies. I can really use a hero like Nicholas Sutherland because tattooed trouble has ridden into town and my family is in a fix. Is this out of a movie, or what? It's my bad luck that once the credits roll, Nick's still home on the range while I belong on the beach. Can we possibly find our happy ending? Sincerely confused,Tess

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Every romance contains a touch of fantasy, but this new offering from Dawson (My Big Old Texas Heartache, etc.) has more than a few fairy tale elements. Lawyer, carpenter and philanthropist Nick Sutherland is the so-called "Santa Claus" of quaint Cedar Dell, Tex. Not only is he gorgeous and gentlemanly, but he is a "seeker of dreams" who has climbed the Himalayas and helped build a hospital in Africa. He's also, miraculously, single. When Nick isn't helping the town's elderly, he's busy trying to aid despondent Chloe Anderson, who's living in a broken-down trailer, awaiting the birth of her twins. Her boyfriend, Snake, walked out on her, and now Snake's mother wants to evict her. Enter Chloe's sister, Tess, a successful L.A. talent agent who has spent most of her life extricating her younger sister from one sticky situation after another. Sparks fly between Nick and Tess, but their romance is often interrupted by various implausible plot developments, including Chloe's abandonment of the twins shortly after their birth and Snake's involvement with the Cowboy Mafia. Tess's efforts at parenting her new nieces provides some comic relief, and Dawson's portrayal of Cedar Hill and its gossipy locals is not without charm. But more often than not, the story's twists feel fabricated for the sole purpose of adding tension where there is none. Agent, Denise Marcil. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One "Tomorrow is the anniversary. I simply must be in Memphis." Tess Anderson pulled the phone handset away from her ear and glared at it. The tinny-sounding voice continued to yammer without pause. Tess kicked off her Jimmy Choo slingbacks, crossed her ankles, and gazed out her office window toward the hazy Hollywood hills. Her client, Jennifer Hart, was young, she reminded herself. Young and extremely talented. She was allowed a few quirks. This, however, wasn't one of them. "Well?" she heard. "What are you going to do about it? Tess? Tess!" She dragged her attention away from the view and twisted her chair to get a sniff of the lavender-scented, peace-promising aromatherapy candle she kept burning on her credenza. "Jennifer, we discussed this conflict before you signed this movie contract. You specifically agreed to skip your annual trip to Graceland for the vigil. You will be on the set tomorrow morning if I have to haul you there by the hair." "But I haven't missed an August sixteenth in Memphis in ten years. It's like a holy pilgrimage." Save me, Jesus. Tess rolled her eyes, but gentled her voice. "You pay me to manage your career, Jennifer, so listen to me. I know that staying away from Memphis this year is a big step for you, and I'm proud of you for it. When you find yourself weakening, remember that this film is shaping up to be an Oscar contender." "But Elvis -- " Is dead. "You can send flowers. It'll be fine, Jennifer. You'll be there in heart, and that's what truly matters. Dedicate your scenes tomorrow to his memory and make them the very best you've ever done. It'll be your special tribute." "A dedication -- I like that. That's a nice idea, Tess." Sensing that the crisis was behind them, Tess picked up a pencil and drew a line through Jennifer's name on her call return list. "Now, go wash away those tears and fix up your face. You don't want the paparazzi catching you with runny mascara." "All right. You're right. I know that. Thank you. This has been so trying. I never expected the life of a film star could be so difficult." Keeping the handset to her ear, Tess dropped forward and quietly banged her head against the cool dark wood of her mahogany desk. Her stapler snagged a strand of her shoulder-length blond hair, and she winced. "You'll get through this, Jennifer, and you'll be stronger for it." "True." Jennifer released a dramatic sigh. "Shimmer magazine says that fire is the test of gold, and adversity is the test of strong women." The girl had always had a tendency to overact. "Sounds like Seneca to me." "Huh?" "Nothing. Go to work, Jennifer. 'Bye." Replacing the handset in its cradle, Tess lifted her gaze toward the ceiling. "Give me patience, Lord." She said the prayer every day. Anyone who attempted to manage creative personalities needed patience at the top of their list of virtues. Lately, Tess had noticed her patience growing thin. She needed a vacation, a long weekend, at least. Maybe she'd take Friday off and drive up the coast, find a little bed and breakfast, and laze around for a couple days. That, or schedule a spa weekend. A full body massage sounded heavenly right now. She loved her job, but stress could eat her alive if she didn't manage it. But then, managing was Tess's job. Tess was considered one of Harrison & Associates' top talent managers. She'd started with the firm as a receptionist twelve years ago, fresh off the bus from Texas with a high school diploma and little else. Over time, she'd worked her way both through college and up the Harrison & Associates ladder. Now she maintained her own list of clients, and for the most part, excepting a neurosis or six, she truly liked and respected the people she represented. That's why, when her intercom buzzed, she didn't hesitate to respond. "Yes?" "Mr. Muldoon is holding on line two." "Thank you, Lena." Tess picked up the handset and punched line two. "Good morning, Jake." "Hello, beautiful. Do you have a minute?" For the Emmy-winning star of television's most popular legal drama and the only man with a law degree she truly admired? Always. "Sure. What's up? Have you made a decision?" Jake had been offered a role in a feature film during Line of Defense' s hiatus next summer, and for the past three days, they'd debated the pros and cons of taking it. On top of being drop-dead gorgeous and a great actor, Jake was one of the most intelligent men Tess knew. She considered it a great testimony to her skills and instincts that he continued to seek and value her opinion. "I'm going to turn it down." Smiling, she sat back in her chair. "Why?" "Because you're right. That's not the role I should take at this point in my career." "Have you told Sam?" she asked, referring to Jake's agent, who'd been pushing him to do the film. "Yeah. He didn't take it well. Told me I should fire you." She laughed. "That's the third time this month. He sent a new client my way yesterday." "He thinks you're the best." "I am." "Yes, you are. So, is our date still on for tonight?" "Business dinner," Tess corrected. After they made arrangements to meet at a small, family-owned Italian restaurant that Jake often frequented, Tess hung up the phone with a smile. Business dinner or date. They argued the point every time. Tess didn't date her clients, period. That was bad business all around. Jake had been trying to get her to change her policy for over a year now, and the man was certainly persuasive. Tempting, too. Women all across America -- all across the world -- fantasized about Jake Muldoon. But Tess had an inviolate list of men she'd never date. Clients, actors, and lawyers occupied three out of the top five slots, and Jake, though sexy, smart, and genuinely a nice guy, was guilty on all three counts. Darn it. The thought saddened her. Tess loved her job, loved living in L.A., loved her friends, her house, her car, her yoga class. She lived a full, busy life. Still, though she hated to admit it, at the end of that full, busy day, Tess was often lonely. She wanted a man in her life. One who mattered. A man who could be her family. "Oh, stop it." Restless now, she took a look at her calendar for the rest of the afternoon. She knew just how to cure blue thoughts like these. She could squeeze in half an hour. It wouldn't hurt for her next appointment to wait on her a few minutes. Standing, she grabbed her purse from its usual space on the credenza, blew out her lavender candle, and headed for the door. "Lena, I'm going out." Her secretary glanced up in surprise. Her gaze quickly shifted to the wall clock. "You have Mr. Holbrook scheduled for two." "I know. I'll be back in time." It seldom took her a full thirty minutes to buy a pair of shoes. With a wave, she exited the office and headed for the elevator. Shoes were Tess's vice. She couldn't resist them. The owner of the boutique down the block kept a generous supply in her size, and as soon as Tess walked in the door, Linda started bringing them out. Flats, heels, sandals, sneakers -- Tess had them by the dozens. She'd considered seeing a shrink about her compulsive shoe shopping, but decided that as far as neuroses go, in Los Angeles, a shoe habit was too tame for therapy. Tess loved shoes. Buying them made her feel good, so she indulged herself. She knew plenty of people in the entertainment business in L.A. who had habits much more destructive than buying shoes. "So sue me," she muttered, then promptly bit her tongue. Since that nuisance suit a disgruntled wannabe actor had filed against her last fall -- the lawsuit that put lawyers on her Do Not Date list -- she'd tried to quit using that expression. No sense borrowing trouble. Just as the elevator bell rang to signal the car's arrival, Lena rushed out of the office. "Tess, thank God I caught you. You've a phone call. It's your sister. She says it's an emergency." Tess hesitated. Chloe's emergencies ran the gamut from split ends to broken engagements to civil disobedience arrests. Four years younger than Tess at twenty-eight, Chloe was beautiful, vain, willful, stubborn, and more than a little selfish. She went through phases as often as the moon, and each time she changed men. In the past ten years she'd been a Buddhist, a vegetarian, an evangelical Catholic, an environmentalist, a candle maker, a Southern Baptist, and a singer in a mosh band -- and those were just the ones Tess knew about. But Chloe was Tess's only sister, and Tess loved her. "Tell her I'll be right there." Back in her office, Tess kicked off her shoes, poured herself a glass of sweet tea -- that southern habit that persisted much longer than had her Texas drawl -- lifted the telephone receiver, and punched the flashing light. "Hello, Chloe." "Tess!" Chloe sobbed. "Oh, Tess, I'm in trouble." Tess's stomach took a roll. Something in her sister's voice said it wasn't split ends this time. "What's wrong?" "He had somewhere to go, Tess. Now, of all times. He's gone, and I'm all alone." Hmm...a man had left Chloe instead of her leaving him? That was unusual. No wonder the histrionics. "I'm sorry, honey. It's hard when a man lets you down, but just give it a little time. It's a cliché, but true, that time heals all wounds." "I don't have time. I have two weeks, tops. I'm alone, Tess, and I can't do this alone. You have to come help me. You have to come to Texas." She burst into sobs. Texas? Chloe was back in Texas? What happened to Oregon and the hot-blooded tree hugger? She hadn't mentioned breaking up with him, although that shouldn't surprise Tess. Ever since she'd criticized the conservationist for getting Chloe arrested that last time, they'd avoided the topic of men in their phone conversations. "Hush, Chloe. Get hold of yourself. Come on out to L.A., and we'll work through this together. I'll buy you a ticket. You can probably get a flight out tonight. Where in Texas are you? Which airport is closest?" "No! I can't go anywhere. You're not listening. You have to come to Cedar Dell. My OB won't let me travel, and besides, I must be here when Snake comes home!" Oh-Bee? Oh-Bees and snakes? What had she gotten herself involved in now? Then another possibility occurred to her, and the breath whooshed from Tess's body. Did she mean OB as in ob-gyn? As in..."Obstetrician? Chloe, did you just tell me you're pregnant?" "Yes. Very pregnant. Very, very pregnant. I need you, Tess. Please come." Oh, Chloe. Tess's heart pounded. She sank into her chair as questions swirled in her mind. Finally, she asked the scariest. "Who or what is Snake?" "He's the father. We hooked up when we were riding with the Devil's Own. We've been together over a year, Tess. He's a really good Harley mechanic." A motorcycle gang? And I thought the commune of candle makers was bad. A combination of annoyance and hurt stole through Tess. Her sister had been pregnant almost nine months. She might have thought to mention it before now. Closing her eyes, she set aside bruised feelings and cut to the chase. "Let me get this straight. You're pregnant with this Snake person's baby, and he's abandoned you in some hellhole in Texas." "Cedar Dell is a nice town, and Snake didn't abandon me. He's delivering a car to someone back East. He does that for extra money sometimes. He wasn't supposed to be gone this long, so I'm...well...he'll be back. I know he will. Except maybe not in time. Please come, Tess." Chloe was her only sister. Her only living relative. What choice did she have? Tess grabbed a lighter from her desk drawer and relit her lavender aromatherapy candle."I'll be on the next plane." Copyright (c) 2004 by Geralyn Dawson Williams Excerpted from My Long Tall Texas Heartthrob by Geralyn Dawson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.