Deep breath, everyone. It is Thursday, almost the weekend. Have you had a long, exhausting week? Are you needing something light and lovely to relax? Pull up a chair, and as Carolyn Brown would tell you, grab a tall glass of Southern Sweet Tea and let's chat. (I hate to say it, but we don't have Southern Sweet Tea up here in the Northwest.... so I will get some iced coffee.)
Okay, ready? I am thrilled to once again have the delightful and wonderful Carolyn Brown visiting here, yet again. Since I discovered Carolyn back in 2013, she has become a favorite. I know plunging into one of Carolyn's books, that I will get a nice romance and feisty women who will make me laugh. Carolyn is best known for her cowboy romances, but I know there are a few of you out there who say you don't like cowboys (gasp). Okay, I hear you, so today, Carolyn is bringing the third book in her Cadillac Texas Series. This is chick lit at it's best. I have been a big fan of this series since it debuted, and I have to say The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop did not disappoint. It is my favorite book by Mrs. Brown to date! Alright, I know you are all saying, get to it, my drink is almost gone..... so let's once again meet Carolyn Brown.
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and a RITA finalist. Her books include historical, contemporary, cowboys and country music mass market paperbacks. Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, she refers to herself as a Tex-Okie. She and her husband live in Davis, Oklahoma. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Find Carolyn on her website,Facebook, and Goodreads.
Carolyn is stopping by and bringing along Stella, one of the proprietors of The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop. Stella has an interesting story to tell you all. It all started when her mother told the prayer angels her daughter needed a husband, and to Stella's horror, the next day the church sign declared to all, to pray for a husband. Let me step aside and let these two delightful ladies tell you all about it. Welcome gals!
Hello and thank you, Heidi, for inviting me back to Rainy Day Ramblings. I’m so excited about my new book,The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop, that hit the shelves two days ago. It’s the final book in the Cadillac, Texas series and Agnes and Violet have drawn up the lines, spit on their knuckles and issued all the challenges of a new fight.
A snippet from the beginning of the book:
If Nancy Baxter had known that she was turning loose a major shit storm, she would never have put Stella’s name on the prayer list down at the church in Cadillac, Texas. But she hadn’t had the benefit of hindsight that hot southern night, and she really did want Stella to get married. So when Heather, the president of the Prayer Angels, asked if anyone wanted to add a name to the list, Nancy had spoken right up and said, “Pray for my daughter. She needs a husband."
The Angels took their spirituality seriously, so the praying began in earnest, and before they were done God had been petitioned by a dozen women to send a husband to Cadillac and to earmark him special for Stella Baxter. No one dared to ask why she needed a husband, but they did have their ideas, which turned into juicy gossip by the next morning.
Now with that in mind I’ve asked Stella to join me here today and answer a couple or three questions about all that went on that summer in Cadillac.
Carolyn: Thank you, Stella for agreeing to talk to us. I know this hasn’t been an easy time for you. Tell us how you felt when they showed you a picture of the sign out in front of the church the next day after your mother put you on the prayer list.
Stella: I was mad as hell. Granted it didn’t have my name on it but that rat, Heather, Violet’s niece who acts just like her, blabbed it all over town that Mama had put me on the prayer list so everyone knew. I mean there it was right there on the church lawn and it said: Pray for my daughter. She needs a husband.
Carolyn: So did you and Heather get along before this incident?
Stella: I could get along with a hungry crocodile or a mean-ass rattlesnake better than I could get along with that hussy. She’s so self-righteous it’s unreal. So the answer isn’t no we didn’t get along, it’s hell no, we will never get along.
Carolyn: And then she set up that ridiculous barbecue ball and named it after your beauty shop. Did that add fuel to the raging fire?
Stella: Oh, yes, ma’am it did. Got it in her thick skull that if she could get me married off it would launch a new career for her. She would be known as a marriage minister where she’d help poor unmarried women who had a less than immaculate reputation, like me, make it to the altar.
Carolyn: And how did Agnes figure into this?
Stella (who giggles): God, I want to grow up and be just like Agnes. She took the bull by the horns and decided we’d sabotage that stupid barbecue ball. Then Violet took Heather’s side and the fight was on. Nothing makes for a hotter summer than one when Violet and Agnes are at each other’s throats.
Carolyn: I hear you have a mystery man. Want to tell me about him?
Stella: Oh, honey, I don’t kiss and tell and besides not even my mama is going to know about my feller until after that ball is over. If she’s real nice I might tell her right before but today I’m so angry with her for putting me in the middle of this predicament that I wouldn’t tell her anything.
Carolyn: Do you think you’ll forgive her?
Stella: Probably so. After all she is my mother and I do love her but I’m not in a forgiving mood today so she’s going to have to wait.
Carolyn: Well, thank you Stella for stopping by. Do you have any appointments open today at the Yellow Rose? I could use a shampoo and set.
Stella: Not today, darlin’! Since all this started, we hardly have time to breathe down at the shop. I was terrified no one would every book another appointment but it seems that the beauty shop has become the hub for the gossip.
Stella has hustled off to the beauty shop now. I hope that all y’all enjoy reading this story as much as I did writing it. Having Stella and her friends and of course, Agnes in my head every day for weeks was a hoot!
A huge thank you again to Carolyn for stopping by. I don't know how she manages to keep up with everything. She is amazing! I urge you to check out something by Carolyn soon. I absolutely adore the Cadillac Texas Series. Carolyn wanted to be sure to offer up a chance to win a copy of her latest book. So to one lucky winner, Carolyn is giving away either a paperback copy of The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop (U.S. only or an ebook copy for International entrants). To enter fill out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop(Cadillac, Texas #3) by Carolyn Brown
Stella’s mama never should’ve put Stella on the church prayer list. With Stella’s twenty-seventh birthday coming up fast, Nancy desperately wants to see her daughter married and giving her grandbabies. Petitioning heaven seems like a surefire way to get it done. But in Cadillac, Texas, where the gossip’s hotter than the city’s famous jalapeño peppers, it isn’t long before all hell breaks loose.
Heather, the bossy leader of the church’s Prayer Angels, thinks a summer ball will get Stella and the town’s other single gals paired off. But nobody can tell redheaded spitfire Stella what to do—not her mama, not Heather, and not even the sexy beau Stella’s been seeing in secret. Together, Stella, her best friends Charlotte and Piper, and the loyal customers of the Yellow Rose Beauty Shop hatch a good old-fashioned scheme to sabotage the ball. But will it wreck Stella’s relationship with her mama forever? And what will the church folk think when Stella reveals the identity of her mystery man?
Paperback, 326 pages
Published: July 14th 2015 by Montlake Romance
Five stars: A terrific feel good, laugh out loud read.
Stella is spitting mad. The whole town is gossiping about her thanks to her mother and the prayer angels. Nancy told the girls in the prayer circle that her daughter needed a husband right away because Nancy wants a grand baby, and at almost twenty seven, Stella is practically an old maid. Things spiral out of control when the bossy, uptight Heather decides to spell it out on the church sign. Then Heather gets an idea, one that will rock Cadillac, Texas. Soon Stella, her two best girlfriends and the feisty, sharp tongued, old Agnes are plotting and planning to take down Heather who just so happens to be Violet's niece. Violet is Agnes sworn enemy, and there is no way that Agnes will let Heather and Violet take over Cadillac. What follows is hilarity and mayhem in a not to be missed book. The question is, will all the prayers help Stella find a husband?
What I Liked:
- I love that I can count on a book by Carolyn Brown to make me laugh and smile. I enjoy her cowboy romances, but her Cadillac Texas Series is my favorite series. This is chick lit at its finest. You can expect romance, friendships, feuds, gossip and mayhem with each and every installment. The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop didn't disappoint, in fact, it was my favorite book to date in the series. This book was hilarious and charming. I loved it!
- The red haired Stella doesn't take things lying down. When the nosey Heather decides to plot against her and make her look like a fool, Stella fights back. Along with the help of Agnes, Stella and her friends set out to sabotage Heather's ball. I loved Stella. She is full of fire, but when the chips are down, she knows what is important: family and friends, and though she loses sight of the family part for awhile, she remembers her roots. Stella is a girl that has endured being the topic of idle gossip in Cadillac ever since the one night she made a big mistake with the preacher's son as a teenager. Stella is known as a wild child, and no respectable man would want her because of her wanton ways. Fortunately for Stella, she isn't the girl the gossip mongers thinks she is. The best part about Stella is that she has a little secret. She doesn't really need a husband. Why you ask? Read the book!
- This book is all about friendship. Stella has two best friends, Charlotte and Piper. The three of them have been best friends since Kindergarten. They have weathered plenty of storms and been there for one another through thick and thin. Hopefully once again, their friendship will see them through the current set of troubles. Stella is the target of the prayer angels. Charlotte is engaged and set to be married soon, but she is getting cold feet, and Piper is divorced and fighting with her pigheaded ex husband. Luckily, the girls have their old favorite movies: Steel Magnolias and Something To Talk About to see them through along with ice cream. I loved that the heart and soul of this book was all about friendship.
- For all of you romantics out there, this book has two fledgling romances, and it takes a look at a romance that has weathered a few years, and one that is headed to the alter. I liked comparing the different romances. The newbie romances were all kinds of fun as well. There is a secret romance that was all about stolen time and clandestine meetings, and no it wasn't an affair, and one that is full of heat and sizzle just in a look or a smile. Loved all the romance in this one.
- Agnes once again steals the show. If you are new to this series, Agnes has always been the heart of the series for me. She is an eighty something old gal who lives in flip flops and overalls, and she spares no one her sharp tongue. Agnes tells it like it is, and she never tones it down. You can expect cussing and straight shooting honesty when it comes to Agnes. Agnes has a life long enemy, Violet, the town do know it all, do gooder, who wants to run everything. Violet is everything Agnes is not: uptight, respectable and straight laced. I love the fireworks that ensue when Agnes and Violet meet head to head. Trust me, you need to meet Agnes, she is a hoot. I hope to grow up to be just like her someday!
- This is a companion novel series. Each volume features different characters with their own set of problems, and you get a complete story with each book. The ladies from the previous installments pop in and out of the subsequent books, so it is alway fun to catch up. You do get a hefty dose of Agnes in each and every book, so it is worth reading them all just to catch up on Agnes' antics. However, if you need a great, pick me up, chick lit read right now that will make you laugh, drop everything and read this one, and then go back and read the other two.
And The Not So Much:
- I mentioned that there was a secret romance. I was a bit disappointed that the majority of the clandestine romance occurred before the book even started. I got snippets here and there of how everything came to be, but I missed having it play out. I wanted to experience all of the butterflies and all that. I wanted more.
- I was surprised that Violet took a back seat in this one. Yes, Heather was a worthy adversary, but she didn't quite live up to the awfulness of Violet. It wasn't the same only having Agnes and Violet do one battle. I hope Violet is back in full swing next time up.
- I hope the next book catches up with Stella, Charlotte and Piper because I am most anxious to hear about the wedding and see how the romance is going as well as the arrival.
The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop is a not to be missed book. This was a terrific, laugh out read. It has all you love in a cozy, chick lit book. If you like books set in a small town with relatable characters, sweet romances and a couple of feisty old gals, you must check out this book as well as the others in the series. I am a big fan, and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series. Just do yourself a favor and try this book.
"The Good Book doesn't say you got to pray nice prayers."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
That's a wrap folks. Now what are you waiting for? Grab those sweet, cold drinks, head to your favorite reading spot and start reading this book immediately! Then y'all come back here and tell me what you thought!
Don't miss the first two books: