This great series mainly follows one couple, Riley and Jack.
Click here for the review of the first three books.
- The Heart of Texas (book #1)
- Texas Winter (book #2)
- Texas Heat (book #3)
- Texas Family (book #4) - in this review
Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes begin a journey that will change their lives forever. Set against the backdrop of the Double D, the cast of the Texas books face changes that won’t leave a single one of them untouched. Jack and Riley want to extend their small family of three.
Their first choice is surrogacy with Jack as the father and when all this begins smoothly both men can't help but contemplate at what point would things go wrong. After all, their lives are far from normal and nothing is ever smooth. Add a small four year old boy in foster care into the mix and suddenly things become a whole lot more complicated.
So what did I think?
Texas Family really is about family! The story is much focused on Jack and Riley and family they are looking to build. They already have one daughter and are now looking at surrogacy and adoption. The previous book very much had a soap opera feel with lots of drama and action and new characters. This book has a slower pace and more of a sense of domesticity. I actually liked the dose of reality as the men faced their doubts about choosing the right surrogate, their worry throughout the pregnancy and their concern about raising their children in a household such as theirs - busy lives, full careers, and yes, the two dad's issue. There is also a special needs child who they take into their hearts.
You definitely do need to read this series in order to follow the back stories and to know who the characters are - but that's actually a good thing because who would want to miss any of it?! I appreciated the fact that the author didn't rehash the previous story lines to bring new readers up to speed but still allowed these stories to continue into the new book. We were provided with a glimpse of the issues that Eden was facing with Sean, continued concerns about Beth's health and got to see a little bit (maybe not enough?) of Eli and Robbie.
But rest assured, although we see Jack and Riley largely in the role of fathers - school visits, doctor's appointments, family functions - they are still hugely passionate with each other - the barn especially plays a key role both in Jack's fantasy and in one particular encounter! This is one of those stories where reading is really like spending time with old friends which makes for warm and fuzzy reading.
One final comment...on a side note, and totally unrelated to my enjoyment of the story itself is the cover. I LOVE the pics of Jack and Riley and have always thought these men were so appealing on the covers of all the book in the series. They don't disappoint on this cover either (totally gorgeous) but I wasn't overly excited by the kids. I found they had a slightly old-fashioned feel but more than that, thought they maybe gave away the plot just a little too much - it wasn't hard to guess how things would turn out.
Many thanks to the author who provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
To find out more about. R.J. Scott and her books, visit her website.
Buy the Texas series from Amazon.
Check out my blog (Because Two Men Are Better Than One!) for other reviews of books and series by R.J. Scott as I can highly recommend them all!