Happily Ever After, Texas Style: A Collection of Short Stories
Outskirts Press (2010)
Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views (07/10)
“Happily Ever After, Texas Style” contains eleven short stories set in the land where the men “still say ma’am, they’re glad to lend a hand, and they’re willing to take a stand.”
Texas and “Good Ol’ Country Boys” go together like peanut butter and jelly, and these eleven stories give us real cowboys, wannabe cowboys, and country boys with hearts of gold. They all have one thing in common; they happen to show up at the right place at the right time to meet the woman of their dreams in these fairy-tale-like stories.
While the writing seems to be a bit stilted at times, the stories themselves will bring a smile to your face. My personal favorites are the one about two students at the UT law school in Austin who seem too busy for love until a ladder and a narrow corridor reveals otherwise, and the one about two women who go on a trail ride with a picture in their minds of exactly what they want, only to find out that Cupid might have a better idea of what they need.
The short stories stand alone and most are only a few pages long, so this is a perfect book to grab if you need some light reading entertainment here and there, without having to commit any serious time to it. The first few pages showcase some of the Texas landscape along with the writing, and I would have personally preferred to see this trend continued throughout the book. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case so we’re only treated to a small handful of pictures.
Each story features a woman as the main character, who, for one reason or another, hasn’t made that special connection yet. If you’re looking for drama or emotional angst, this isn’t the book for you. “Happily Ever After, Texas Style” lives up to its name and all the couples wind up with the relationships that dreams are made of. Realism is not the name of the game here. True love and happy endings rule the day. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and won’t detract from the experience, unless you’re one of those people who feels cheated out of a good story because everything fell so easily into place during a Disney movie.