REVIEW: The Charmer in Chaps
THE CHARMER IN CHAPS is meet-cute scrumptiousness, exactly how I love my romantic reading. Lots of flirting and charm overload that made me laugh. I needed this couple’s happy-ever-after as much as they did!
Luca Prince is clueless sometimes on how to woo a woman. He slid by on his stunning good looks, a radiant smile, and extreme wealth, so much that he doesn’t even realize he’s pathetic. But any guy who refers to a woman he admires as the “who from whoville” when he describes how she looked when he met her is hysterically funny. No, it wasn’t one of Ella’s shining moments, but Luca is enamored anyways.
I laughed like crazy at the interaction between Luca and Ella when they meet for the first time since high school. Ella knows who Luca is – the guy who devastated her with one kiss at a school dance. But Luca doesn’t remember Ella. The fact that she now runs or hides every time he sees her is giving him a complex, and making him want her all the more.
Luca and Ella do the meet-cute scene over and over. I never got tired of it. They went their own separate ways a few times in the book, having to deal with issues on their own. What I loved is that Luca never gave up trying, and Ella never quit denying him. He’d push forward and Ella would swear she wasn’t going to fall for him. That flabbergasted Luca. No woman had ever denied him, that he remembered, or made him want her more just by being difficult. He was so intrigued by Ella. I liked that a lot.
Ella isn’t fooled by Luca’s suave way with women. She’s not going to fall for him no matter what. I couldn’t blame her. When he thinks of her as the “Who from Whoville” when he tried to rescue her from car trouble, I couldn’t stop laughing. I can visualize Ella at that moment, all frazzled and not her best. Luca is such a “player” as Ella calls him, but once you get beyond the layer of the looker he is, and find out what’s really going on with him, he comes off as a lot more sensitive.
Ella’s menagerie of pets she denies are funny. Luca’s reaction to them makes another meet-cute. Luca is a goof. Ella is just as special in her inability to let Luca into her world. Their banter back and forth is just adorable.
Luca seemed like he had it all but his rich world is falling apart and he has well-deserved insecurities. Ella is a mess but she’s strong. You put them together and they’re exactly what each of them has needed, but didn’t realize until now.
I also loved Luca’s messed up family, especially the outspoken grandma with too many crude stories. She was a hoot. His mom wasn’t likeable at first, but she grew on me and became extra special at the end.
The second time I read this, I had intended to read a few chapters at the beginning, then at the end, just to firm up my thoughts for the review. But I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t stop reading – again. I had forgotten exactly what was special from the first time I read it. I became a highlighting maniac, showcasing all that I loved about this novel, laughing when I realized I was highlighting page after page.
There’s some really good snark like…
“She’d always been the moon of a lesser planet, at the far end of the galaxy, and nothing had changed.”
“She knew all about rain checks. It never stopped raining.”
Or, when getting dressed, Ella “pogo-sticked” her way into her jeans. Descriptive words like this are threaded throughout the book that really animate the scene for the reader without taking much page space.
Or, dialogue that’s sharp like this…
“So what, you’ve bagged your friendship limit? Can’t take any more without paying a hefty fine?”
All those special nuances make this novel continually enjoyable, no matter where you’re at in the story.
There were a few repetitive thoughts, phrases or words used, but I read an advanced copy of the book, so those easily could have been smoothed out in the finished copy. Even with those small criticisms, they couldn’t possibly make me dislike the book. THE CHARMER IN CHAPS is an entertaining way to relax for a few hours, and I want more like it.
There are so many cute scenes in this novel. Not just between Ella and Luca, but between their friends as well. Author Julia London has the most unique way with words while setting a scene, then coming out with something endearing or laugh-out-loud funny. I couldn’t quit grinning all through THE CHARMER IN CHAPS because THIS is the type of contemporary romance I love. It’s filled with the feels. Some of them are sad and nostalgic, and others are filled with goodness – like puppies and rainbows. It’s really magical.
I cannot wait for book two in The Princes of Texas series, THE DEVIL IN THE SADDLE, available October 29th 2019. That’s Luca’s twin sister Hallie’s story. The excerpt at the end of THE CHARMER IN CHAPS is the perfect teaser, even though book one already had me anxious for her story.
Who knew I’d fall in love with contemporary western romance again? Thanks to Julia London for snappy dialogue and quick wit and all the warm fuzzies from this couple’s journey to love. Highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to grin like a Cheshire cat.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of TheZestQuest.com. A digital advanced copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Thanks in advance for following links and sharing this review on social media.
The Charmer in Chaps by Julia London
Category: Contemporary Western Romance with Humor
Publisher: Berkley (May 7, 2019)
Rated 5 out 5, Recommended