Thrifty Thursday: Texas Edition @JeanBrashear @KathyCarmichael @kathyivan #AnnDeFee #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #Giveaway

Posted April 18, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 6 Comments

The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).

This is a collection of freebies I have read which are set in Texas .

Kindle freebie on October 6, 2013  (currently $4.99 at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited as of writing this post)

Overall rating 3.88 with 4,687 ratings and 346 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Texas Edition @JeanBrashear @KathyCarmichael @kathyivan #AnnDeFee    #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawayTexas Secrets by Jean Brashear
Series: The Gallaghers of Morning Star #1
Published by Self-Published on August 1, 1999
Genres: Western Romance
Pages: 218
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Up-and-coming chef Maddie Collins finds out that her father's life was a lie when she is bequeathed a family homeplace she never knew existed—by the husband of the only woman her father ever loved.

A former SEAL, sexy cowboy Boone Gallagher arrives back in Texas to discover that the father who drove him away has struck one last blow. The only place he's ever thought of as home now belongs to a woman who doesn't want it, and he must keep her there for thirty days—or it will be lost to them both.

I never know exactly what to expect when I pick up a freebie, especially one I grabbed in 2013 when I was reading more romance.  Texas Secrets was my first experience with this author.

Maddie came to Texas to fulfill the terms of an inheritance but it was hurtful to Boone either way, if she stayed or if she left.  They didn’t trust each other but certainly they were attracted.   Maddie is at a point where she has lost her family and is excited to learn more about the ranch where her father was raised and her grandmother.  Boone has lost his wife and daughter but only wants to find his brother Mitch and shut everyone else out.

I appreciated that Maddie was a chef; I always enjoy foodie aspects.  I also enjoyed the ranch and the horses.   Maddie and Boone slowly became more familiar with each other.  I am excited about the future books in this The Gallaghers of Morning Star series as well where I could learn more about family secrets and connections. There are two more books in this trilogy.

Kindle freebie on March 31, 2015  (currently FREE at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as of writing this post)

Overall rating 3.70 with 1,859 ratings and 185 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Texas Edition @JeanBrashear @KathyCarmichael @kathyivan #AnnDeFee    #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawayChasing Charlie by Kathy Carmichael
Series: Texas Two-Step #2
on July 1, 2001
Genres: Western Romance
Pages: 192
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne Star

Raised in a family of rodeo champions on a South Texas cattle ranch, Charlie wants only one thing: to avoid thrill-seeking cowboys.

Davis Murphy, cowboy wannabe and one of Dallas's most eligible bachelors, needs a pretty and witty faux fiancée so his widowed mother will marry her longtime gentleman friend.

Charlie, his local librarian, seems the prefect choice. Charlie's first reaction is to run, but she's promised herself to step out of her plain-jane routine. When Charlie accepts, Davis's plan is set. But now Charlie's sweet ways are challenging his bachelor heart.

I was looking for a short freebie based in Texas.  Chasing Charlie features a sassy librarian who ends up being a fake fiancé to a businessman who has always wanted to be a rancher and rodeo rider.  Shocking because the other book I am listening to features a librarian also in a fake relationship.  I didn’t even know until I was reading!

So I loved Charlie’s character and her skeptical view of the player who needed a fake relationship so his beloved mother would get on with her own relationship.  Charlie’s past includes a family in rodeo and she knows the risks with injury and death so she never wants to marry someone in the business.

Davis is a player. He doesn’t think he needs a relationship and has no plans to marry.  He’s got rather an ego but he’s not a bad guy or a sleazy type of player.  But I didn’t like the way he pushed Charlie to further the relationship knowing she’s not the affair type.   Eventually he realizes he does view her differently than other women.

I had fun reading but it wasn’t the most tantalizing plot or well-developed characters, just a quick easy read.

Kindle freebie on December 27, 2023  (currently FREE at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.23 with 2,794 ratings and 220 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Texas Edition @JeanBrashear @KathyCarmichael @kathyivan #AnnDeFee    #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawayRafe by Kathy Ivan
Series: Texas Boudreau Brotherhood #1
on April 14, 2020
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 236
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne Star

When Sheriff Rafe Boudreau catches Tessa Maxwell climbing through the window of a house where she doesn’t belong, the crime rate isn’t the only thing that spikes. Turns out, trouble has followed the small-town schoolteacher to Shiloh Springs, and Rafe and the rest of the Boudreau clan must step in to keep her safe. Can they decipher the clues and end the danger Tessa faces before time runs out?

Rafe is about a very large family of foster boys and one girl (I didn’t like her but she’s barely in the story).  The main character is a teacher, Tessa who left North Carolina after her parent’s death and a boyfriend became a stalker after she broke up with him.  Rafe Boudreau is the sheriff.  Tessa is better developed than Rafe but the primary development is really the Boudreau family.  They have an awesome found family vibe and support each other.

Tessa and Rafe have an insta-love kind of thing. The romance is clean.  Of course, her stalker shows up.  The plot is kind of weak overall.  Still it was an easy read and I might read more in the series because I like the family and their caretaking of others.

Kindle freebie on December 15, 2019  (currently $4.99 at Amazon as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.27 with 266 ratings and 37 reviews


Thrifty Thursday:  Texas Edition @JeanBrashear @KathyCarmichael @kathyivan #AnnDeFee    #ThriftyThursday #Challenge #GiveawayA Texas State of Mind by Ann DeFee
Series: Port Serenity #1
Published by Self-Published on July 1, 2005
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 244
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne Star

As the police chief of Port Serenity, Texas, and a single mom, Lavinia "Lolly" LaTullipe leads a busy life. But it gets even more hectic when she's hit by a double whammy– dead drug dealers floating ashore and Christian Delacroix, an undercover cop sent to investigate the murders. She doesn't need Mr. Tall, Dark and Dangerous on her mind–or messing with her lust-meter–while she's dealing with mayhem. On their first meeting Lolly makes quite an impression by zapping Christian with a taser–talk about shocking! Her dream is to meet a quiet, respectable man, not someone who wears a gun and deals with the dregs of society. Christian, on the other hand, is cozying up to Lolly's white picket fence kind of life with kids and a black shaggy dog. Set in a small beach town with an eccentric cast of characters,

I like a story with law enforcement so I was happy to see one of the main characters was the Chief of Police and it was the female! Lolly is a divorced mom of two and well established in her small town.  Things are pretty ordinary until dead bodies of drug dealers start washing up on the beach.

State agents who are undercover in narcotics join the the investigation. One of these Christian is insta love with Lolly.  His partner CJ is from the area. Lolly and her best friend (vet and coroner) Olivia both know him.

There are a lot of layers to this story which is usually a good thing but it seemed to add to the quirky and slow the pacing.  I’d rather have had a bit more character development than the tangents.  There’s Lolly’s horrible ex Wendell causing trouble, her mother and aunt, on their own shenanigans, and her teen son, Bren, making some bad choices.

The law enforcement was a weird contrast between the local kids vandalism or drunks which Lolly handles usually, to the murders and drugs of higher stakes Christian fights.  A Texas State of Mind was an easy read but I needed more plot, character development and better pacing.

Definition of Freebies for the challenge:

  • Kindle or other platform freebies where you purchase it for $0
  • Freebies through author newsletters that anyone can sign up and get for free
  • Giveaways won or gifts received

These do NOT include Audible Plus, Kindle Unlimited, Prime Free Reading,  Prime First Reads, or library books.

FYI – My Thrifty Thursday post with my reviews and the linkups and giveaway will normally post on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Sometimes though, due to blog tours, mood reading, and other personal problems, it will be moved around. There WILL be one each month on some Thursday.  You can post your reviews any Thursday though on your own site.  The linkup will be open until the next month’s post is published. You can easily find all the Thrifty Thursday posts under the Features tab on my top menu.

(Reminder – If I get more than 10 linkups in a month, I will randomly pick one to select a prize from a list I send them which may include gift cards or giveaway books I have. (Open International))

Add your review link here: 

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The prize will be an $30 Amazon Gift card or $30 gift certificate at of Better World Books or $30 (2 months at Audible).  Open International.  Runs January 1, 2024 to January 6, 2025.

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You can sign up for the 2024 Thrifty Thursday Challenge HERE


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Posted April 18, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 6 Comments

6 responses to “Thrifty Thursday: Texas Edition

  1. I’ve got the first one as a freebie so I’m glad you loved that most of the batch. The woman sheriff one sounds pretty good, too. I’ll watch to see if it comes up free again.

    I had a great freebie/gift/won reading month this last so I’m well ahead of my goal. Woohoo! Actually, I focused hard on my ‘won’ stack.

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