Snow In Texas by Lauren Gilley
Series: Lean Dogs Legacy #1
Also in this series: Tastes Like Candy, Prodigal Son
Published by HP Press on February 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Biker / MC
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From the author of FEARLESS, the first in a new Dartmoor spinoff series:
Colin O’Donnell grew up in a lie, believing the man who raised him was his father, stirring up hell in the Louisiana bayous. A shocking revelation about his parentage led him to his half-brother…and his half-brother’s motorcycle club. Now Colin is a prospect for the Lean Dogs MC, and he’s just been transferred from his home town of New Orleans to Amarillo, Texas, where Vice President Candyman runs a tight ship, and holds tight secrets.
Jenny Snow has spent the last seven years in limbo, waiting for the pain to recede, when she unwittingly catches the eye of the club’s newest prospect. She doesn’t have the time or patience for a biker in her life. If only she can convince herself she truly believes that.
If Lauren Gilley had been in front of me when I found out she was doing a Dartmoor spin off series featuring the Lean Dogs, I would have hugged her. Even when I’m not particularly fond of a main character, her writing is so unbelievably rich I end up enjoying the book. The fact that I got to do another buddy read with Lily on Snow In Texas was some mighty fine tasting icing on the proverbial Lean Dog cake.
If you have not read the Fearless series, I strongly urge you to read it before starting this one. There is important backstory, especially pertaining to Colin and his brother Mercy that you need to know. Plus it’s one heck of a kickass series you do not want to miss.
Colin is a man in the midst of an identity crisis. He is lost and floundering after having his entire world pulled out from under him when he found out the man who he thought was his father wasn’t, and the person that killed that man (no matter that it was under unfortunate but justifiable circumstances) was his half brother, Mercy Lécuyer, a member of the Lean Dogs MC. Making the decision to join the Lean Dogs, albeit a different chapter than his brother, Colin finds himself sent to the Texas chapter to “toughen up”.
Even though Colin was not my idea of the perfect H, I couldn’t help but like him. He is definitively not an alpha, but the absolute sweetness that shone through with him won me over. He came across as not necessarily immature, but young and naive at times. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to reach into the pages, pull him out, tell him it was going to be okay, and give him a big hug. He wasn’t down on himself, he just seemed to be lost and embarrassed about his circumstances. What won me over was the fact that even though he didn’t have an alpha personality, nor was he as much a badass as you would think a 1%er in training would be, when he knew what he wanted, he went after it. Plus, I know that after a few years of toughening up with the Lean Dogs he will no doubt become one hell of a badass biker.
Lauren Gilley can write a strong heroine and Jenny was no exception. The sister of the VP of the Texas chapter, as her history we learn that at one point she was brought low, but she fought back and although damaged she’s much stronger. She also did everything in her power to learn how to fight back so she would be prepared if the shit ever hit the fan. My freaking favorite type of heroine, one who strives to be a help and not a hindrance when the going gets tough.
Snow in Texas was a slow burn book that was extremely relationship driven but it had some action to it too. I’m not as in love with the Texas chapter as I am with the Dogs in Tennessee but I think they could definitely grow on me. They have some big problems facing them, but they have shown they can come up with some interesting solutions when faced with adversity. I’m thinking it’s going to be a wild ride and I plan on being on it with them. I’m pretty sure Candy’s book is next, and I can’t freaking wait.
Spice’s Rating: 4 I Love The Lean Dogs Stars
Lauren Gilley is an author I look out for and as soon as I could I downloaded Snow in Texas and organised a Buddy Read with Spice. My first question to her was “Does Snow in Texas has the same connotation as the saying ‘When hell freezes over'”? I asked this because I have limited knowledge of the possibility of snow in Texas. Well, regardless of how the title fitted in, I had a fair idea there would be trouble of some sort up ahead.
It’s not an unusual evening for me to be reading and my family watching television. To filter out the noise of the television, I put on my headphones and listen to music while I read. Depending on the nature of the book, my headphones pipe anything from Alt-J to classical. This time, it was Lana Del Rey that soothed my soul and allowed me to lose myself in the latest installment of the Lean Dogs MC.
Snow in Texas is the first book in a new series and a spin-off from Lauren Gilley’s Dartmoor Series. And while some spin-off series can be read in isolation from past series, you would be missing so much if you were to skip the Dartmoor Series. With this in mind, my review may contain unavoidable spoilers from the Dartmoor Series.
What struck me were the similarities between Mercy and Colin. At the same time the differences in their maturity separate them, the way they were raised added to the subtleties between the two larger than life characters. Their paternal upbringing separates the two men but the blood flowing through their veins is one and the same. While they shared unique traits, it was their differing personalities which highlighted their individuality. Whereas Mercy draws on violence to relieve stress, Colin becomes violent only when driven to react. Both are men to be feared, but it’s the way they both emulated a French air of romanticism, that added to the admiration I felt for both brothers.
It wasn’t long before it dawned on me the reason snow was referenced in the title. The heroine, Jennifer Snow is the sister of an MC Brother. Jennifer is in her 30’s, on the other side of a messy first marriage and a mess that still haunts her. She impressed me with her stoicism, dealing with her demons in a way that didn’t leave her cold nor indifferent.
Colin and Jennifer have a lot of maturing to undergo despite their history and age. Coming from an abusive relationship, Jennifer battled between her heart and mind. Trust was an issue for both, knowing the threat of abandonment in different ways and learning to trust again was a task neither found easy.
There are a couple of niggling points I need to share. Firstly, I couldn’t get past an alpha male character being referred to by the road name Candy. I grant the story behind it was witty as usual but whenever I read the name Candy, it evoked images of a club girl and not a big biker. Thankfully, his character and actions reiterated him a man of unquestionable alpha confidence.
The second point was the apparent differences with the timeline between this book and Secondhand Smoke. Spice picked it up initially, then when we both went back to check and what we discovered was it appeared the timing was set either before or at the beginning of Secondhand Smoke. It didn’t spoil the story, but it did throw us trying to bring together the two series in relation to the main characters.
What I enjoyed in this book and the series from which it originates from is the writing and uniqueness of the characters. Trust is earned, not given yet respect is always present. I can’t wait for the next book in this series and will be clearing my schedule to read it when it does.
What I loved:
- Ava’s advice
- Love bringing out the best or worse in a man for all the right reasons
- Candy’s candidness when it came to breakfast time
- Pup stepping up
- The imagery of her sanctuary – a wicker chair and a glass of Merlot… nice 🙂
- French endearments from a 6′ 4″ Cajun gator hunter, turning on the charm for their one and only. A trait both Colin and Mercy radiate beyond comparison
- Loving a woman with total abandonment
- The suspense, twists and finding home
What I struggled with:
- Candyman’s moniker… see rant above
- Pup, his immaturity
- Injustice and the cover-ups
Lily’s Rating: 4.5 Stars
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