Ruthless gossip, philandering husbands, flawless makeup, hunky bartenders and true friendship bring Cadillac, Texas, into vivid focus.
Brown (Just a Cowboy and his Baby, 2012, etc.) brings her cowboy-romance writing talents to bear on this hilarious tale of women in a gossipy small town. The social bully and queen of the town’s jalapeño club, Violet Prescott, may look ridiculous in her pantyhose and bottle-black hair, but she has spent her nearly 80 years on Earth controlling every woman in town. Dominating the other 20 women in her club, Violet insists on pantyhose and frames every blue ribbon won at the annual jubilee—blue ribbons that rightfully belong on the walls of Miss Clawdy’s Café, since Claudia Andrews concocted the soil in which the prize-winning peppers have grown for the last 40 years. But this year, she may have gone too far. Claudia’s daughters, Marty and Cathy, and their best friend, Trixie, run the Café. Cathy is engaged to Ethan, Violet’s lukewarm son with political aspirations. Faced with a prenuptial contract but no “I love you,” Cathy is beginning to reassess her plans, particularly after Violet arranges for the town to reconsider the Café’s zoning status. Having a weekly tryst with her no-good ex-husband is turning out to be more dangerous than Trixie bargained for. She’s less worried that Anna Ruth (Andy’s histrionic, hyperorganized new girlfriend—and most recent addition to the jalapeño club) will find out than that Cathy and Marty’s Aunt Agnes will shoot any man in her bedroom dead. It’s a good thing Darla Jean—former hooker turned preacher and savior of abused women—lives across the street, ready to run interference at a moment’s notice. Fast-paced, the intertwined tales collide along a bumpy road toward a surprising calamity at the jalapeño jubilee.
A high-spirited, romantic page turner.