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Tough Talk, Tender Kisses is book 2 of Deborah Camp’s Too Tough/Tough Man series. I began this series with anticipation, however right now have to say I’m going down that slippery slope of disappointment. Even though I still like the author’s writing style and all that, the characters in this series are really trying my patience!
I’m a big fan of the author’s more recent western historical publications such as Solitary Horseman or Lonestar’s Lady. However this particular series was first published in the 90s and maybe, the storyline and the character kind of show the datedness (?). The first book, Too Tough to Tame was the story of a small town doctor’s assistance and a Native American warrior. The heroine, Tess meets Storm in His Eyes under a very uncommon circumstance, where she was kidnapped then was forced to take care of the bullet wounds on him. With the demeaning way white folks viewed and treated Indian people, maybe that’s why Storm’s cousin thought this is how he could get some help for him. But apparently Tess didn’t have the same kind of hatred for the Indians so after the initial shock, she was happy to be taking care of the ‘manly’ Storm In His Eyes. Tess’s blonde beauty and Storm’s aforementioned ‘manly attributes’ playing a vital role, their romance (or ‘lust at first sight’ as I called it) takes off. It wasn’t an easy road to travel but they finally find their HEA after many ups and downs, revenge and a few murders.
Book 2 isn’t directly connected to book 1 as it takes place several years afterwards. The H and h of Tough Talk, Tender Kisses weren’t ever introduced in there. In fact, they lived in a different state and were first introduced under a very different set of circumstance. Book 2 opens up with Adele Bishop, a restaurant manager in Whistle Stop, which was also built near a train station, waiting for her ‘mail order husband’ to arrive, much to the dismay (and amusement) of the townspeople. The daughter of a known do-gooder, who was also a very open minded woman, Adele had grown up with a mindset very different than the people she has to deal with everyday. Adele’s father died when she was but a child, and her mother just a few years ago, leaving her an orphan and quite alone in the world. Well, except for Sally, a girl she’d befriended in her teens when she was living in Kansas years ago with her aunt’s family while her mother was busy traveling for her own causes. Sally married Winston, the cousin who was more interested in Adele than her. But Adele knew she wasn’t interested in Winston. Not in the way she was interested in his friend, the wild soul called Reno Gold. Sally later followed her to Whistle Stop after Winston died.