The Baddest Virgin in Texas (The Texas Brands, #2)by Maggie Shayne Published 24 Apr 1997
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Jessi Brand decided she wanted Lash Monroe. He was the man she'd saved herself for. But this male was going to need some convincing - Lash had vowed never to settle down - but he couldn't get Jessi out of his mind. And he couldn't resist her tempting offer. But when he discovered Jessi was pregnant with his child, everything changed.
"The Baddest Virgin in Texas (The Texas Brands, #2)" Reviews
Too much brotherly love
Another Maggie Shayne book read . I really enjoy her writing. She brings family love into all her stories but still has some mystery in the story. This book is about a fellow learning that everyone needs love and family in their life.
Setting: Ranch and town of Quinn Texas;
Theme: love, family
Lash Monroe: mother gave left him and his brother on the church steps… his brother fostered in Texas, He in Illinois with a Reverend and 3 other foster brothers. Even though his circumstances are bad, he recognizes the heart of the Reverend, and does his best to be respectful. He was the youngest, he was the newest, and especially Zane caused trouble and he was the scapegoat. He determined when he could, he’d go out on his own – no big family for him; and the foster mom was weak – the boys and Reverend to coddle her – and she saw the truth of Zane, but would not speak up against him so Lash determined that he never wanted to be involved with a spoiled woman. He hooks up with the Monroes when he leaves his job as firefighter to go to his brother’s aid – but he was too late… then he stuck around to help out when Garrick and Chelsea go on their honeymoon. When Garrick returns, he asks Lash to stay longer to help him track rustlers & with ranch work – not knowing that his little sister has her eye on Lash.
Reverend Ezekiel Stanton and Olive Stanton: Reverend wanted a big family, wife couldn’t produce, they foster 4 boys… too bad the Reverend didn’t quite have a handle on the character of Zane.
Zane and Peter/Pedro: Especially Zane – mean, underhanded… Pedro always boasting of a rich uncle in Mexico how would come to get him one day.
Jessica ‘Jessi’ Brand: lost her mother when she was 8; raised the rest of the way by her 4 older brothers… she is a licensed vet, 23 years old, and her brothers coddle her, try to protect her from tough things. She has inherited a lonely, elderly woman’s house and money (and cat) that she had befriended, with the woman’s request she make a vet clinic on the property.
Garrett & Chelsea: one of Jessi’s brothers, the sherriff, just married… their story was an earlier book.
Monroe Brothers: Ben/ Adam / Wes / Elliot – Ben lost his wife a year plus ago and is still mourning; Adam is a businessman in New York; Wes, half Cherokee (his dad had an affair with his mom – but his dad’s wife welcomed him into the family when he was 8); Elliot, seems to be the most light hearted of the group.
Jessi has decided that she loves Lash – and she is going to get him to overcome his inhibitions about her, make love to her, and then he would know he loves her as much. She follows through with this plan even though her brother’s object. Lash does his best to remember that she is younger, that her brothers have treated him well and having sex with Jessi is not good, that he is a drifter who does not want a large family or a coddled wife. Some of the bible verses he memorized try to guide him into doing right. But he comes to realize that age doesn’t really matter, things would work out with the brothers, and that Jessi is not the coddling kind, she is strong willed and capable. Jessi finally manages to seduce him… but when Lash realizes she is a virgin, he feels even guiltier and takes off. Jessi is left with the realization that her dream isn’t quite turning out. After a couple of days, he goes to her and offers to do right by her and marry her – which she of course refuses – she isn’t to be his penance. Chelsea helps her realize that often men don’t know their own feelings, and love before they can label it love.
In the meantime, wranglers are taking cattle, and Garrick & Lash don’t have a clue, until Zack comes out to the ranch looking for Lash. Jessi is there, and thinking that she can learn more about Lash’s childhood and perhaps orchestrate a reunion for the 2 she escorts him around the ranch telling him all about their cattle, and tells him about the opening of her clinic, inviting him to the festivities (and letting him know when the ranch would be vacant).
When their cattle is wrangled during the party, Lash figures out that Zack must be responsible… he tracks Pedro’s uncle’s address in Mexico with its meat plant… and heads down by himself, with only Garrick (and Chelsea) knowing – wanting to keep it from Jessi since she tends to jump in. Jessi runs into him on the road, they have sex in the car – she saw his suitcase and figures since they know who, his job is done and he’s hitting the road. Then she takes a pregnancy test, and yes she’s pregnant. Chelsea clues her into picking up the phone at midnight when Lash is supposed to check in, and she heads out to help him… Garrick hears her car… they all head down… they stop her just past the border, and she tells them she’s pregnant, that Lash is part of the family… they’re angry at Lash… she takes off in the faster truck… Lash has had time to think, and realizes he loves Jessi… Jessi gets snagged (walking down the street to the hotel, eating a burrito) by Zack and pulled into a bar… Lash sees her out the window of his hotel window, goes in, challenges Zack, a fight starts, the brothers join in… they all get arrested (except the chauvinistic sheriff won’t take Jessi in)… they tell their story, the sheriff stops the meat factory until it gets straightened out… the brothers yell at Lash and tell him Jessi’s pregnant… she ‘breaks’ them out of jail… Lash asks her to marry him, she says no again because she thinks it’s because of the baby – he swears to prove to her he loves her… they get home, she has abdomen pain… he rushes her to he hospital… all are waiting with no news… when pushed a bit by the brothers, Lash says they are to stay out of it, he’ll have to prove to her on his own that he loves her baby or not… they overhear the nurse telling the doctor they lost her… Lash and Ben start to cry and Lash reiterates how much he loves her… and Jessi steps into the room, having heard their conversations, and into Lash’s arms… she had food poisoning, she left her room because she did not want to stay overnight, and that’s why the nurse said she was lost… and 8 months later, husband and wife and all the family are in the delivery room as Jessi gives birth to a baby girl… and… they… live… happily… ever… after.
As child, sitting in church, trying to listen to Reverend but cogitating over his circumstance – and starts to feel itching and tickling coming up legs, and notices others are hopping around too… and then sees the ants, and he has the ant farm… and looks at Zane who let those ants free… church empties, Reverend ‘sentences’ him to learn 100 bible verses and make an apology to the congregation.
We meet Jessi as she is helping a cow birth – sticking her arms up the birth canal – trying to do so in secret – where her brothers won’t find out and interfere, telling her she’s not strong enough. Lash helps her out by talking to the cow, getting the cow to relax.
Jessi stops at drug store to buy condoms, thinking that maybe Lash will take the hint and come to her inherited house where she made it clears she’d be staying by herself… and is a bit embarrassed with 5 year old Ben is watching her… After they make love, and Lash leaves, she goes back to the ranch, where Ben & his mom are leaving… Ben’s mom made him report to the sheriff because he was in the prophylactic aisle and was poking holes in the condoms on a dare from his friend. Hmmmm
In the middle of a storm, Lash and jessi get washed off a bridge, after stopping because a fawn was in the middle of the bridge and she was trying to rescue it… and a flash flood carries them off the bridge, and Lash wraps himself around her, keeping her close until able to get them to the river bank.
I always start saying this:
I LOVED IT.
I loved this book so much.
The story was simple but real.
We have a girl that knows what she wants and do
whatever she needs to get it haajahajahja.
Poor Lash jajajajah.
5 stars ♥
Good uplifting read
Editting issues. Love the family dynamics, but I hope the next books in the series change it up a little - Chelsea and Lash determined not to get sucked into the big happy family is enough of that plot. And gorgeous mid 20 y.o. virgins? Come on.
Lash & Jessi sure have some twists and turns, but luckily, a happily ever after! 😀