The Charmer in Chaps

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

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
Was this review helpful?
I’m a fan of Julia London, so I was more than willing to give this book a try.  She did not disappoint. Our main characters in this book are Ella and Luca.  The story is set in Texas and it was full of non-traditional surprises throughout the story.  While there are is a lot of chemistry between our two characters and a HEA love story, the author tackles some tough issues.  The author does a wonderful job with the character’s back stories and talks about things we don’t always delve into in romance books.  Ella came back to where she grew up somewhat reluctantly because she inherited a house from her grandma.  She does not have money to fix it all up, or really any money for anything.  Ella was a foster kid as she was growing up, but she managed to go to college and get an accounting degree.  As her car dies on the side of the road, Luca Prince is the one who finds her.
Luca comes from one of the richest families in their town.  He was a star athlete, had access to whatever he wanted, and went through women like crazy.  People don’t expect much from Luca because he was never really good at school and people just assume he is not very smart.  He gets by on his looks.  However, readers will find out that Luca can’t read because he has dyslexia and that is why he did not do well in school.  His family is embarrassed by his lack of goals in life.  Little do they know that Luca is learning how to read so that he can get into environmental conservation and undo some of the damage his family has done to the land over the years.
Ella and Luca kissed once upon a time in high school.  Ella remembers every little detail and Luca does not seem to even remember that he went to high school with her.  No reader will be able to resist the charm and flirtatious nature of this hot cowboy!  Grab a fan and an ice cold drink because hot damn do sparks fly once Ella starts letting Luca into her life a little bit.  They are both cautious about jumping into any sort of relationship with anyone, but Luca’s persistence pays off.  I love that Ella worked so hard to make it on her own.  She is tough and smart and able to fend for herself.  I love that Luca was a male character who was working on getting help with reading.  As a librarian, I know this is a problem, but so many adults do not ask for the help they need.  So, it’s really progressive that the author wrote it into her story. It’s a perfect summer read for many reasons.  You can even pretend you are in Texas by the ranch with all this summer heat! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
Was this review helpful?
I love Historical Romance, yet I've never read Julia London's. So my first time with her is a contemporary romance - kinda odd. But cowboys? SIGN ME UP!

Luca is a wonderfully endearing hero, who was in general rather easy-going and good-natured and seemingly mild-mannered. He is all that but the depth I saw in him was so surprising! Especially towards the end, but more of that later. Luca is known for his pursuits of women. Nobody knows that he is dyslexic and almost illiterate. His restoration efforts of the land his family owns and his goal to become a naturalist are met with ridicule. For one, he can't read. Second, that costs a lot of money. Money, the Princes no longer have, despite their elevated status of being one of the richest families in America.

Enter Ella. She had a crush on Luca back in high school, after the one kiss they shared at senior prom. She has never forgotten him so when she returns to her grandmother's house and Luca doesn't recognize her it stings. But that's all right. She is poor compared to the Princes and would never fit in their orbit anyway. But Luca is intrigued and so begins a dance in which Luca pulls and Ella pushes. Ella has walls around her heart so high, scaling them will bring the reformed hell-raiser to his knees.

“Did you fall?” he asked, hearing that he, too, was a little breathless. 
“No,” she said, her voice full of wonder. “But I almost did. I stopped just in the nick of time.”

I loved Luca and Ella's connection. Luca's persistence, watching him fall, it was beauty. There were moments that touched me deeply, especially when he told Ella about his dyslexia or read in front of an audience. I wasn't expecting his pushing back when Ella heard him and I was actually really glad to see that he didn't make it easy for Ella to come back into his life. Ella delivered a pretty good grovel though, so ultimately their reunion was sweet and welcome.

I loved that the author didn't make Luca's dyslexia his defining character trait. No, this man was so much more. He was loyal and tender, tenacious, ambitious and he stood up for himself. He loved with all his heart and soul - he was a dreamboat and I fell head over heels in love with him.

“So, are you falling for me yet?” 
“Absolutely not,” she said, and kissed his chest. 
“Just checking,” he said, and sighed with a contentment that had settled into his marrow.

Ella was just as lovable, although she really had a hard time letting Luca in. She was never cruel though, so I just couldn't hate her for pushing him away. She never had anyone who stuck with her, except her foster sister, Stacey, who I really disliked. Stacey was a leech and I hated how she tried to dominate over Ella. She was so bitter that she made a relationship between Luca and Ella almost impossible. All Ella knew in her life was abandonment, though, so she stuck with the one person who's never left her, despite Stacey being a constant disappointment.

"I’m telling you—I’ve been telling you—that I’m not walking away from you. If you fall, I am here to catch you. I will catch you, and I will hold you close.”

I loved this story so much. I was totally charmed by the main characters, their sweet banter and I'm glad it worked out the way it did. It got a little angsty toward the end which I totally didn't expect but it fit the story anyway. Luca and Ellla have captured my heart and I can't wait to see what Julia London has in store for Hallie, Luca's twin sister. I'll definitely read that one.
Was this review helpful?
This is a delightful addition to the More Than Words series, focusing on another child of Barclay Reed-his daughter Bethany and her nemesis, Clint Holmes.

Clint’s father was swindled by Bethany’s father and Clint is convinced Bethany is involved since she was his Dad’s financial adviser. He flies to Hawaii to try and find proof of her conspiracy, only to find himself falling for her. But with his lies and deception, has he doomed the relationship before it ever starts?

Bethany is a totally sympathetic character, incredibly bright, but socially backward because she skipped several grades and was far younger than her classmates. With her father as an example of what not to do and her Mom a distant figure, she lives a lonely existence and falls hard for Clint.

Clint is a little tougher to warm up to, as his goal is to destroy Bethany, but from the very beginning he is conflicted by his sympathy for the vulnerable young woman. Eventually, he falls hard for her, but his purpose in meeting her drives a wedge between them. Can he overcome it?

As always, Shayla Black portrays the emotions of the characters with skill and sympathy. The story is well written and catches us up with the characters from the previous books.

Overall, a delightful read and worthy of its five-star designation.
Was this review helpful?
Okay, this book is actually pretty funny. I like Ella. She’s actually quite a little spitfire. I love the thoughts that go through her head, particularly at the beginning. When Luca Prince finds her stranded on the side of the road next to her broken down jeep in snow boots….man I had a good chuckle. When she realizes Luca has no idea who she is after stealing her first kiss as a teenager, she outraged. Hilariously so. Luca can’t figure out why she seems to be resistant to his charms… until he scares the dickens out of her sneaking up on her in his silent electric car while she’s surveying the new damage to her porch. Then he makes it his mission to befriend her and I dare say, fall for him like all the other girls.
I also find it interesting that the author gives Luca some serious hurdles to get over. Like his…well let’s call it a disorder that he is trying to overcome. Or his family, who refuse to take him seriously because he’s been such a playboy for all of these years. It’s a pretty refreshing take on the charming young man who will win our main lady’s heart. 
And Ella is no Mary sue, even if Luca is intrigued with her because ‘she’s not like other women.’ She’s a foster child, given a gift of a run down house on a piece of gorgeous property, complete with a barn/garage that is leaning dangerously, a jeep that keeps breaking down, a stray dog who’s decided she owns him, and a pig that just randomly showed up and decided to call the place home…kinda funny. What’s not so funny, but more admirable is Ella’s struggle to make ends meet. She’s an account trying to get her business off the ground. As a result of her struggling business, she’s also a hostess at a local bar and grill.
This book is just refreshing. It’s a good contemporary, western-ish modern romance.
Was this review helpful?
Yet another fantastic read.   While I'm always sad to see one set of Julia London's books wrap up, there's always another set waiting in the wings.  I really enjoyed the story of Ella and Luca.  The story was very entertaining. It's great to read a story to realize that sometimes you can indeed go back. Wonderful story line.  It does a superb portrayal of life in a small town as well.  I really look forward to the rest of the series.
Was this review helpful?
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro

Ella is back home, if you can call an old house she briefly lived in as a child home, but it is home for her now. Especially when she can hardly manage to afford repairs on her old SUV. Everything in Ella’s new house is breaking down or needs repairing and YouTube videos can help her only enough. This is how she ends up stranded on the road after her SUV dies on her, and to Ella’s luck the only person around turns out to be her highschool crush, Luca Prince, dressed in chaps and riding his horse. What other fantasy could Ella ask for? If only Luca remembered her.

Ella has been working hard for years to give herself a better life than the one she grew up in. She went from foster home to foster home, to living in the city and getting herself through school and earning a Degree in Accounting. Things weren’t working out for Ella so when a lawyer appeared at her job and told her that her grandmother had left her a farm, Ella took the opportunity presented to her. She is trying her best to make it work back in Three Rivers but things aren’t turning out as she imagined. The old house came with some unexpected animals who can’t decide if they like Ella or not. To top of Ella’s luck, she keeps running into Luca, who doesn’t seem to remember the girl he stole a kiss from at prom.

Luca is part of the richest family in Three Rivers, the Prince family. You would think that as a rich kid he grew up in a happy environment, but it is all the opposite. Luca has a secret that he keeps from society, he can’t read. At a young age Luca was diagnosed with dyslexia. His family instead of helping him understand and manage a way to live with dyslexia kept it a secret for shame of embarrassing the family and never really helped him to overcome it. Now Luca is an adult who has trouble reading and hides behind a playboy persona when all he really wants is to bring his project of regenerating the soil at the family’s ranch to life.

This was a very interesting book. After a while, I learned that it wasn’t your typical romance story. It has a deeper plot to the story. Ella wants a place to call home and her own, while trying to start her own accounting business. Luca has dyslexia and not even all the money in the world can make him happy if he doesn’t have the support of his family or a loved one to overcome and understand his situation. His mother has never been much of a help and his father went through life donating money so Luca could pass school. Both characters are adults trying to find their way in life that doesn’t reflect the sins of their parents. When Ella and Luca begin their relationship, they finally have someone they can trust and confide their secrets and fears to.

“Still… I’m surprised you don’t want to buy me a winter carnival drink. I sort of thought you were falling for me.”

“I was,” she said with feigned enthusiasm. “Totally! But then the housewives thing came up, and you know how it is. Plus, I have to feed a dog. And a pig. And some horses. And a cat. And some random chickens that are leaving eggs from time to time.”

There are other characters that influence Ella and Luca’s lives, such as Luca’s twin sister who has a special twin connection with him and his grandmother, who sounds really fun with her dyed hair. Ella has her childhood friends Stacy, whom she cares for as a sister and Mariah, the voice of reason.

Throughout the story, Ella tries her best to fix her grandmother’s house while managing two jobs and revealing her feelings towards Luca, whom she is careful to take seriously knowing his playboy persona, but Luca slowly wins her over when he shows his true self and the plans he has for the future. Once they start dating, the reader can see that they are good for each other and Luca make a bigger effort to learn how to manage a life with dyslexia. There’s also funny moments involving Ella’s farm animals and Luca’s grandma and mom towards the end. I wish somewhere there were a story of those two together on a trip to Wal-Mart.

The Charmer In Chaps is the first book in the Princes of Texas series that already is showing to be more than your typical romance and cowboy story and hopefully the next book is even better and we get to see what Ella and Luca have been up to, but especially what Hallie Prince is hiding from her family. If you like cowboy stories than this book is for you.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Was this review helpful?
Sweet, dysfunctional, small town romance…

Ah, the quiet and loudness of a small town is on full display in the first of the Prince family stories. Do you know what I mean? Small towns with homes spread far and wide, a downtown of one full block and people going about their business, quietly. But open a few doors and you find that people are people – critical, loving, supportive, and oh so dysfunctional. Including the Princes…

Luca is the baby of his wealthy family. A bit of a black sheep, very much a ladies’ man, but hiding a big secret that has held him back his entire life. When his entire family is thrust into life-changing events, he is determined to overcome it all. His way… Ella grew up in the same town but with an entirely different upbringing. No money, no family and always trying to hide in the background. Growing up in foster care has smashed any hint of rose-colored glasses but her long ago crush on Luca may not be entirely gone… 

These characters, as well as their quirky friends and family, were so much fun to read. A slow burn, the buildup was paved in drama and laughter as well as hints of sadness and many barnyard animals! In other words, real life in all its shades… With more to come!
Was this review helpful?
A sweet, feel good story with likable, flawed characters. Luca and Ella may have come from different backgrounds, but are very similar in heart. Ella had a tough life growing up, but she has worked hard to have a life she feels happy with, and when she finds she inherited her grandmother’s house, she finally has a home that is hers, even if it is run down and comes with all sorts of animals she can’t turn away.  When moving back to town brings her face-to-face with her high school crush, Ella does her best to avoid him. Luca Prince grew up with every advantage, or so it seems.  His reputation as a playboy precedes him, and Ella doesn’t want to be another notch, besides, she is definitely not good enough for him. When Ella doesn’t fall at his feet, Luca is intrigued and works doubly hard to get to know her. It helps that her house is on a plot of land right in the middle of Prince land and situated near a feature that Luca is interested in.
This was a story of interesting, well-developed characters. The Princes are an interesting group and it will be fun to see more of them.  I enjoyed watching the development of Luca and Ella’s characters and their relationship. 
With humor, romance, friendship, and random stray animals that come to stay, this is a fun start to London’s new contemporary series.
#TheCharmerinChaps #julialondon #PrincesofTexas
Was this review helpful?
After surviving a childhood in the foster system, Ella Kendall doesn’t have a lot to her name. She has her dog, her pig, and a home she just inherited that could use a little work. She remembers Luca Prince and remembers that he was a player. Yes, he’s gorgeous and charming but she has no intention of falling for that.

The youngest son of Cimarron County’s Prince family, Luca had once had quite a reputation for getting into trouble and womanizing. He’s not the same person he once was and means to prove it. There’s just one little problem with his plan and she has beautiful eyes and a penchant for sass.

Luca knows Ella doesn’t trust easily and understands she has no reason to trust him at all. But he wants to be there for her, to be someone she needs. She’s the only woman he wants and he wants to be the one to give her the happiness and home she’s never had.

The first in Julia London’s Princes of Texas series, The Charmer in Chaps won me over. I’ve been a fan of Ms. London’s historical romances for years but normally don’t select cowboy-type romances for myself. This book, however, swept me away to Cimarron County and a story infused with the same humor and chemistry that kept me coming back to this author to begin with.

The back and forth between these two characters was incredibly fun to watch. The story had a lot of heart too. Our characters have changed a lot since high school, in some ways not so much. They both learn not to make assumptions, to listen, to learn. Kudos to the author for taking on the subject of learning disability with such intelligence and dignity. As someone with the same disability, I really appreciated that. Thank you.

The Charmer in Chaps is the start of a series I’m personally looking forward to reading. The characters are people I’d love to have as neighbors, the dialogue is spot on, and the story is going to have you up until 4 AM — but it’s worth it. Luca and Ella’s story is beautiful, moving, and funny as hell. This is the perfect book to put at the top of your summer reading list. Not normally into cowboy romances? Trust me. Give it a read. You’ll love this story.
Was this review helpful?
Ella and Luca’s story was an emotional and moving tale in The Charmer in Chaps by Julia London, book one in her Princes in Texas series. Luca, the youngest of the renown Prince family was handsome as a model, womanizer, and struggled to find a direction to dedicate his life work. People had little faith in Luca and could not believe Luca had changed. Ella spent the majority of life moving from foster home to foster home but now has three possessions that she will not let go; a dog, a pig, and a rundown house, inherited from her grandmother. After an unexpected encounter, Luca does not remember Ella from high school; but she has never forgotten her high school crush. Luca is still a flirt and the jaded Ella refuses to fall for his lines; recognizing a player. Luca is determined to break down the walls Ella has built to protect herself and her heart and prove that she is the only one for him.  

There are many sides to both Luca and Ella. Luca might have grown up in a wealthy family but having dyslexia and not getting help for it caused Luca to be ridiculed and bullied for not being able to read. This was a secret he did not share with anyone except Ella. Luca was determined to learn to read and become involved in the conservation of land; returning it to its natural state. Ella never lost her ability to care about others despite being a foster child but struggled to trust anyone but herself. Trusting that wealthy Luca could fall for poor Ella was not something that came easily to her. Luca had his work cut out for him to prove to Ella that he was the man she could lean on and could finally give her the home she deserves.

Ms. London wrote a wonderful, emotional and updated version of the Cinderella story that is not to be missed. She provided a tale rich with sexual chemistry, amusing banter, and endearing characters giving Ella and Luca a chance at love, happiness, and a future neither expected as they both overcome the struggles in their lives.  I highly recommend The Charmer in Chaps to other readers and look forward to reading the next book in this series.
Was this review helpful?
The Charmer in Chaps was a wonderful book.  The Characters, Ella Kendall and Luca Prince were very believable.  I felt sorry for Ella having to be in so many foster homes during her life.  Finally being left a house by her Grandmother was truly wonderful for her.   Ella had her heart broken by Luca while in High School and never got over the heartbreak.  There were many trails and tribulations they both went through, however them came though it better people.
I was given the ARC for a sincere review by the publisher.
Was this review helpful?
This story really grabbed my attention and kept my interest so well that I kept reading it until I finished it in one day! The characters of Ella Kendall and Luca Prince were so real in their relationships that I needed to know how they would handle the challenges of their upbringing and their friendships and I was not disappointed by their choices. I am really looking forward to the next story in the series.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for an ARC; all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
DNF, this wasn’t the book for me. I tried a few times to pick it back up again and again but I jus could connect to the characters or the story.
Was this review helpful?
Usually, I really love Julia London's work, but this one fell so flat for me that I couldn't bring myself to finish it. I didn't feel the chemistry between Ella and Lucas at all and I found that I just wasn't interested in following their story. So disappointing!
Was this review helpful?
This story left me on an emotional high.

Ella Kendall and Luca Prince have a history that goes back to high school.  He was the wealthy, handsome guy she couldn’t take her eyes off – couldn’t breathe around.  He was that guy.  They had classes together, even shared a kiss!   Unfortunately, Luca doesn’t quite remember those years as vividly as Ella does. Actually, he doesn’t really remember her at all, or at least he doesn’t at first.  It’s been years since high school and so much has changed for Luca.  He is more than the rich kid whose family is a local dynasty.  He has also achieved less than everyone’s expectations for a Prince.   There are secrets in his life and so many insecurities, too many it would seem for someone who had life delivered to him on a silver platter.  And, Ella, she is more than the kid who aged out of the foster care system.    She’s beautiful and she has secrets, too.  She hasn’t forgotten Luca, and he definitely sees her now.  Can they really learn to trust each other?

I love Julia London’s writing and this one really touched me on personal level. I’m not going to lie, I felt very emotional when I finished this book. I loved them both. I wanted to reach out and give them a hug and I’m not sure if it was for me or the characters.   This book will make you think about high school and all the secrets that most of your classmates didn’t know about you.  It will also make you wonder – what didn’t you know about your friends? 

I loved it – left my heart feeling so good.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first story in a new series and I already can't wait for the next book! Ella doesn't show her feelings easily. She's been taught to hide her emotions. So when she runs into her former high school crush, he doesn't realize the effect he has on her. She dismisses him as a playboy, but there is so much more to Luca. He's battling with his own struggles and trying to achieve his dreams. Their banter is so fun and I loved their emotional connection. This is a great contemporary romance and I'm excited to read more of this series. 
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Ella Kendall has inherited a rundown house from her grandmother. She loves having her own place. She wants to belong. I was touched by her desire to belong. She hides her feelings and emotions. Being in the foster system taught her to hide her heart. She's such a wonderful person. The way she cares for the abandoned animals made me feel good. When she runs into her high school crush Luca Prince. I had to laugh. The wealthy playboy doesn't know how to handle the fiery Ella. She won't let him know that he flusters her. He's Texas Royalty. At first glance he seems to be a flirt with no purpose, but Julia London skillfully reveals an insecure man. He suffers from a learning disability that is a well guarded secret. My heart broke as he struggled to conquer his issues. His dreams were amazing. I hoped that he wouldn't let others crush them. . Charmer In Chaps was an uplifting story. Watching Ella and Luca grow close was sweet and romantic. I connected with the characters. I cared for them. The dialogue sparkled. It was sharp and sassy. I couldn't  put this book down. It's a wonderful start to this new series, The Princes Of Texas. I can't wait for the next book. 
I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Ella Kendall’s life has been one of hardship. Her mother’s in prison and she bounced from foster home to foster home throughout her youth.  But Ella finally has a place to call her own.  Her grandmother left her a small home in the middle of the vast acreage known to belong to the infamous Prince family. Ella is quite familiar with the Princes’ from the outside.  After all, Luca Prince was her first crush.  She spent her high school years yearning for his attention.

Luca Prince has led a life of privilege.  He’s known as the playboy prince who loves em’ and leaves em.’ However, his life was not without difficulties.  He’s a thirty-year-old man learning to read for the first time while trying to follow his dream.  A dream no one seems to think he can accomplish.

Ella and Luca crashed into each other’s life with intense passion.  Will they be able to fall in love when neither has ever felt it before? 

Julia London’s The Charmer in Chaps is a sweet and sexy southern romance filled with interesting characters, sensitive storylines and a heady love story. I enjoyed taking this journey with such complex characters as Ella and Luca.  Ella has a wall around her heart and Luca has never tried to have a relationship before.  They are both in unsteady waters trying to maneuver without getting hurt. Unfortunately, the thing about love is if it can’t hurt you in some way it’s not worth it.  I feel like these two went to war with self-doubt and many other insecurities.  It was beautiful to watch as these two learned how to love themselves and each other.

The Charmer in Chaps is a heartfelt read that will leave you sighing with happiness and wondering what will happen next with these unique characters. I Joyfully Recommend The Charmer in Chaps!
Was this review helpful?
This book has all the feels for me.  I’ve been reading Ms. London since her Harlequin days and in my opinion, this is a start to one of her best series.  Of course, I don’t really read her historicals, so I can only compare this to her other contemporaries.  One of my all-time favorite series that any author has ever written is her Thrillseekers but then that’s just me.  
I live in Texas, so the setting and Luca’s story about the land, is powerful and relevant.  I could also see the resistance from his family, too.  Most rich ranchers don’t want people to know that they are in dire straights when it comes to money.  Trust me on this.  You wouldn’t believe the huge ranches in Texas that are basically bankrupt but since we are dealing with old money, the resistance for help just isn’t there.  They don’t want people to know that the land has been over ranched and depleted of its natural resources.  This is what Luca wants to do.  Find solutions to the problems that not only his family ranch has endured but to all the others in Texas.
One problem and it’s a biggie.  And no, I’m not going to say what it is but my heart broke for Luca.  I can’t even imagine what it was like growing up with that secret.  And then to have the town bully, Blake, the town sheriff never let you forget it.  What was heartwarming was when Luca did tell Ella and she didn’t even bat an eyelash over it.  She was proud of him and it showed.
Ella is a tough nut to crack.  At times, I really wanted to smack her for the walls that she had put up, but I could understand it at the same time.  Her friend Stacy was a trip, but she was also holding Ella back from any true relationships.  Stacy is the type of friend that is selfish and doesn’t realize what she is doing.  I was truly happy when Stacy rode off in the sunset and I felt Ella’s loss, but it was necessary for any type of growth for Ella and her relationship with Luca.  
The secondary characters in this book are fantastic.  From Luca’s brother Nick and sister, Hallie.  Dolly, his grandmother and Cordelia, his mother.  Cordelia is such a strong name for his mother, but she is a hot mess in the book.  At times, funny and other times, annoying.  There is a bigger story arc that will play out in Hallie’s book, which is next and hopefully we will get Nick’s story sometime.  
Overall, the romance is a slow build and sweet.  They went to high school together and Hallie has never forgotten Luca.  And that’s her biggest problem.  She is still in love with him but doesn’t really know how to have a real relationship with anyone.  Luca, on the other hand, has found his soulmate but he must climb her walls for her to be able to see that.  
There really isn’t a villain in the story but Blake comes close.  I’m glad that he finally got his comeuppance in the end and from an unlikely source.  Unfortunately, it cost Luca in the end and I’m hoping for some resolution in the next book.
I can not recommend this book more highly.  A sweet, sexy romance with real life problems that both Luca and Ella must overcome in the end.  Ms. London has delivered her best story yet.  A Western Contemporary Romance that is relatable, relevant and touching.
Was this review helpful?