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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Absurd Ending to a Great Historical Series

Texas Splendor - Lorraine Heath

This is the third and final book in the Texas trilogy, and in my opinion, the weakest of the three, but you have to read it anyway to see how Austin's story turns out. At the end of Texas Glory, Austin had just been sentenced to five years for a murder he didn't commit. He had an alibi, because he was with his sweetheart Becky Oliver, but he wouldn't say so because of the damage to her reputation. (Uh huh, because it's totally better to for her reputation to see her boyfriend go to jail for five years, then marry him and start a family under the specter of his murder conviction, than it would have been to fess up, exonerate him, and repair the damage to her reputation by getting married right off, but no one seems to think of that.)

 

Anyway, Austin serves his time and comes home only to find out the fickle Becky has married his best friend. (That's gotta sting.) Reeling from this betrayal and belatedly concerned with clearing his name, Austin heads for Austin (the town) to search for the real killer...and is successful in a way that is utterly absurd. (I knew early on how that mystery would turn out, but hoped I was wrong; when it was revealed as I'd predicted, I groaned out loud at the sheer WTFery of it.)

 

On the way to Austin, Austin meets Loree, a solitary girl with a tormented soul to match his own. One thing leads to another, they end up 'having to' marry, and only afterwards do they learn how to trust and love each other. That part of the story is unexceptional (except for the aforementioned WTFery) and kind of slogging. The epilogue, in which Austin picks up his violin for the first time in six years and is a musical prodigy all of a sudden, challenges credulity, but that's a minor quibble compared to the other baloney the plot requires you to swallow.

 

In the end, the series is pretty great, but this is a silly way to end it.