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REVIEW: Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes by...

Dear Ms. Cumbie and Ms. McClanahan,

book review Your first book was a delight, second I haven’t read, third was a disappointment and fourth I almost didn’t read. Ha. Let that be a lesson to me. From the blurb, I knew that this would be more comedy and mystery than romance and in the last book I had decried the lack of Buddy Overstreet and Vic Martin. I also realized that I’d probably be in for lots of culture clashes between the good ole girls from west Texas and the people of New York City. Both of these didn’t thrill me. But by gum you pulled it off and had me laughing even as the management of the Anson hotel whimpered at the damage unleashed in the wake of Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin – hair dressers extraordinaire and PIs still in training.

If “Shoes” had only been an ‘us vs them’ treatment of the differences between small town west Texans and brash Yankees, I’d have gotten tired of it pretty quickly. But I love the way you two have everyone pretty much end up laughing with each other. Sure there are some myths dispelled and some gentle fun poked at common misconceptions but on the whole, Debbie Sue, Edwina and their new friend Celina head towards NYC excited about seeing it and determined to have a great time. And NYC seems to enjoy the Texas women just as much.

The murder mystery isn’t really the main focus of the book and as such I was okay with it simmering on the back burner for most of the book. But when it does move to the forefront of the plot, our two girls use their intuition and street smarts to crack the case and ensure the villain is fingered. Though the way Debbie Sue goes about making sure the evidence remains at the crime scene is probably one that will give the NYC police and fire departments ulcers. I would hope in the future that if Ed is taking off after a criminal, she changes out of her platform shoes before the chase begins. And oh, what she has to do to her Jimmy Choos!

Wow, Celina and Matt fall in love fairly quickly. And I mean quickly. After four days he’s ready to move 2000 miles away to a totally different environment and commit to HEA lurve? Hmmm, falling in love? Yes, fine, that’s sweet as Debbie Sue and Ed agree. Being in love and staying in love takes a bit more time for me to really believe it. Plus Debbie Sue says something about Matt bothers her but it’s never explained what it is that’s setting her off. Nor is there a scene where she changes her mind or is reassured that the thing behind her feeling is taken care of. Or if there was, I missed it.

Jennie talks about books being readable. They might have flaws, they might push your buttons, they might not rate high grades but they’re compulsively readable. I was glued to this book for 4 hours, flipping pages like a revolving door in a hurricane. When a book amuses me, involves me and entertains me without pissing me off, I tend to grade higher and this one gets a B+


This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells or ebook format.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Jody W.
    Jun 27, 2008 @ 14:31:38

    It sounds great! Thanks for the review. I love Southern settings/characters/themes when they’re done right. Of course, everyone’s definition of “right” will vary.

  2. Jayne
    Jun 27, 2008 @ 18:56:42

    Jody, I don’t know if you’ve read any of the books in this series. Debbie Sue and Edwina are written rather broadly. By that I mean Ed has big hair, lots of jewelry and a wild fashion style. Debbie Sue is a former barrel racing champion, loves her horse, Rocket Man, and is married to an almost Texas Ranger. Everyone drives pickup trucks. Ed spouts lots of one liners. I think readers will either get into it or hate it. Since I know people who look, talk and act like these two, it works for me. The scene were a slightly drunk Ed is hauled through the DFW airport on their way to NYC had me in stitches.

  3. Jana J. Hanson
    Jun 28, 2008 @ 15:00:21

    I’m reading the second book of this series. It took a few chapters to get into it, especially when I didn’t much care about Spur/Paige. Makes me think I shouldn’t read any farther than book 2.

  4. Janine
    Jun 29, 2008 @ 19:50:45

    Not a comment on the book, which I haven’t read, but I think “Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes” is a great title.

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