Nov 17 2007
This is the second book I’ve read in your series set in the minuscule west Texas town of Salt Lick featuring the dynamic duo of hair stylists Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin. And while I still love all the titles of the books, this one fell far short of book one in the series, “Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash.” I wish more time had been spent with Debbie Sue and Edwina, that their husbands had had more than cameo appearances and that the humor didn’t seem quite so forced.
There isn’t much to do in Salt Lick, Texas so everyone minds everybody else’s business. And since the setting is Texas, the hair dressing shop of Debbie Sue and Edwina is central to a lot of the town action. These two are still the good ol’ gals I remember but as their love lives are in good shape, you’ve moved the romantic action to a newcomer to town, Allison Barker.
She’s sweet and kind and a good mother and dutiful daughter but she doesn’t have the “kick” that either Debbie Sue or Edwina have. The humor in her scenes mainly come from the disastrous dates she has with Quint Matthews, former rodeo champ and long time friend of DS and E. And thank you for having Allison be as appalled as I was that her 11 year old daughter had signed her up for internet dating, been chatting with a man in his 30s and given out their address (over the internet) to someone she’d never met. Unfortunately, Allison ditches her anger too quickly for me and dives into dating this man she’s never met either.
I know you’re making the dates as bad as possible to push Allison together with Quint’s friend (and also former rodeo bullfighter) Tag Freeman. But after a while, I had to wonder just why either Quint or Allison bothered to keep going out, beyond the fact that they wanted to finally finish at least one date together. I did like the “guy” relationship between Tag and Quint, and liked that Tag tried to do the honorable thing and not move in on a woman he thought his buddy was still dating. I also appreciated the Rodeo for Dummies information you included and thought you did a nice job integrating it into the story.
But back to Quint. I was stunned that, given his past history, Quint decided to try internet dating. I mean, talk about a pig in a poke. The reason he asks for the professional services of DS and E, as the “Domestic Equalizers” makes sense but also reinforces the question of why this man is still willing to date women he’s never even met? Perhaps it’s to again highlight the differences in suitability between Tag and Quint? Though DS and E logically go about discovering who the mystery woman is who loved and left Quint, I was a bit amazed at how quickly they got an answer and how coincidental it is that Allison knew the person. I also think the more serious ending didn’t match well with the humor of the rest of the story. It was just too jarring.
By the end of the book, I had to agree with Quint’s stalker about how much people in west Texas drive, drive, drive….Jaysus I’d hate to see their monthly gasoline card statements. The violation of the Texas penal code was hysterical. However, are all Texas law personnel in small towns such hicks? I know these books are comedies (mainly) but the way you describe them, they couldn’t pick the lint out of their navels if given a month to do it. There’s one final thing that bothered me though others might not care or even notice it: the worshipping at the Temple of the Womb. All mothers are wonderful, all fine and upstanding women want babies or grandbabies and if they can’t have them, they’re desolate, and any woman who doesn’t want babies is an evil tramp. Though I enjoyed seeing DS and E again, this book will not be one I reread and is not one I’d recommend to newbies to the series. C-