One thing I've learned as a book blogger is that there is usually a reason self-published books are self-published. In other words, I have generally found that books that are self-published are books that publishers were smart not to take. When First Wildcard offered Texas Roads, I didn't realize it was self-published, which is a good thing, because I wouldn't have taken it had I known--which would have been my loss.
Texas Roads is a Christian romance set in the present day. Dani is a young woman who was recently widowed when her husband and his mistress were killed in a car accident. She doesn't feel at home with her mother, or anywhere, but something draws her to an aunt who lives in a small town, an aunt her mother seems to try to keep away from her. On the way into town she meets Steve, who she later learns is the mayor, and a good friend her her aunt. The town is dying, and Dani comes up with a way to save it; but she doesn't want anyone know know she is the benefactor. The novel is a pretty basic romance with attraction, conflict, and finally resolution.
The religious aspects of Texas Roads are front and center. Dani is searching for a home, and the book makes it clear through sermon excerpts, Bible passages and prayers that the only real home she'll ever find is with God, and it isn't until she accepts God that she gets the guy. Steve is attracted to her, but the book makes it clear he'll only marry her if she has God in her life.
As I noted at the beginning of this post, the book is self-published. It could have used a little more polish, but it was head and shoulders above most self-published things I've read, both in quality of writing and in quality of layout, cover etc. This is part one of a series, and I'd definitely be interested in reading part two. Grade: B-
First Wildcard will be touring this book June 1. Check back then to read the first chapter.