Thursday, September 12, 2013

R. J. Scott - The Heart of Texas

Riley Hayes, the playboy of the Hayes family, is a young man who seems to have it all: money, a career he loves, and his pick of beautiful women. His father, CEO of HayesOil, passes control of the corporation to his two sons; but a stipulation is attached to Riley's portion. Concerned about Riley's lack of maturity, his father requires that Riley 'marry and stay married for one year to someone he loves'.
Angered by the requirement, Riley seeks a means of father's stipulation. Blackmailing Jack Campbell into marrying him "for love" suits Riley's purpose. There is no mention in his father's documents that the marriage had to be with a woman and Jack Campbell is the son of Riley Senior's arch rival. Win win.
Riley marries Jack and abruptly his entire world is turned inside out. Riley hadn't counted on the fact that Jack Campbell, quiet and unassuming rancher, is a force of nature in his own right.
This is a story of murder, deceit, the struggle for power, lust and love, the sprawling life of a rancher and the whirlwind existence of a playboy. But under and through it all, as Riley learns over the months, this is a tale about family and everything that that word means.

Comment: I've had this book to read for a long time, ever since I saw it had so many good opinions and a marriage of convenience in a contemporary. I was very curious to see how it all would play out.

This is the story of Riley Hayes, he is told by his father he only have any sort of control of the family company if he marries and has a more stable life. So Riley decides to go along with this and to ruin his father's plans of controlling him, he blackmails the son of one of his father's rivals to become his husband instead of finding a woman.
Jack accepts being blackmailed because it would mean a way to help his family. Pretending to be in love with Riley can seem stupid but he goes with it.
While the guys stumble through their new shared lives, things keep happening around them and there' even a mystery to solve.

This story was quite interesting to read. I haven't read anything by this author until this point but I liked how the story was done and structured. It shows how the author thought about what to insert and how to write things. I just thought some words were too repetitive, like husband. When the guys finally gave in to their attraction and admitted they had feelings for each other it was like the word husband suddenly wasn't enough. Every time one of them mentioned the other or was thinking about him, there the words "my husband" this and "my husband" that. It wasn't that special but after a while it was to evident to just ignore.
I had the impression the story was more seriously toned.That it would be more focused on the environment and the main characters, but there were lot of secondary ones and they all had a point of view scene here and there and would have an active part in the story. Usually I'm all for this, as I think it enriches a plot, but in this case there were too many secrets to bear in mind, so many "surprise!" moments and not always happy ones. At some point although the story was still interesting I couldn't help but think this was almost like a soap opera about all those Texan dynasties like we've seen on tv in the 80's.

There were mostly good things though. I liked the tension between the guys before they admitted they were in love and I liked how some family members were supportive after a while and there were many scenes engaging and I was eager to keep going. Overall, the feel of the story was a good one and I never stopped reading unless I had to. It's just that the good things, despite being more were not as memorable as the not so good things which remain more clear. But this isn't a bad book, it's just not exactly as I imagined.
Still, I plan to read the next one.

All in all, I liked the structure the story had. It gave it a sort of solid base to support the plot and the not so well done bits, and in general terms I enjoyed it quite much, in particular how Jake went after Riley after having decided he was his. It was a very good moment.
I'm curious to see what happens next and I hope it gets a more serious tone too, not that this was a comedy, it was far from it, but I hope it leaves the soap opera style.


  1. Hmm... I either read this story before, or read one just like it, Sonia. It sounds SO familiar. Everything sounds familiar. I have to check when this was first published, and my old Kindle. Hmm...

  2. Well, many stories with the theme marriage of convenience in hetero novels are pretty similar to this one...but I really couldn't ignore the soap opera style