I Want Crazy
Loco, Texas #2
Author: Codi Gary
Publisher: Books With Benefits Press
Published: July 8. 2014
Source: Author for Review
Purchase Links: Amazon
Alfred “Red” Calhoun is in a rut so big, he doesn’t know how to climb out of it. After his second best-selling romance novel, Red signed a contract for three more books, but now he’s having trouble finding his romantic mojo. To top it all off, his favorite bar has been bought by a woman who wants to close down and re-vamp it. With his favorite place gone, Red is looking for a distraction…just not the kind that the bar-ruining Jessie Dale has to offer, no matter how hot she may look in a pair of paint-covered overalls…
Jessie has been running away from trouble since the time she was a kid and now that she’s decided to make a place in Loco, Texas, she’ll be damned if she’s going to let a pain in the rear cowboy with too blue eyes chase her out of town. As Red and Jessie go toe to toe in an epic battle of wills, Jessie finds it hard to stay mad when Red’s kisses make her want to forget her trust issues…and take him home for a test drive.
But when Jessie’s pissed-off ex comes to town to make trouble, Red finds himself playing a hero in his own life and can’t seem to stay away from the her. But will he be able to handle all the crazy baggage Jessie’s been hauling around, or will these two miss out on the greatest adventure of all…falling in love?
Meet Red and Jessie, two characters that are in need of a little change in their lives. Red thought he was in love with his best friend, but now that's she happily married to his other best friend, Red knows that he needs to move on. The problem is that no one has caught his eye. Jessie needs to get away from her douche of an ex-boyfriend and her father's new family. What should a girl do? Well, Jessie moves to Loco, Texas and buys a bar. From the moment Red and Jessie meet (after he bangs on her door demanding answers), we know they are in for a whirl of fun, laughs, and a whole lot of craziness.
I loved every moment of this book. It has just about everything I like in a quirky romance. Small Town? Check! Best friends and family? Check! Two characters that butt heads as they fall in love? Check! I adored Jessie and Red. Jessie tries to put up a strong front, but she's really hurting inside. She's afraid to open herself to anyone. What her ex-boyfriend did her to was really appalling and I just wanted to give her a big hug. I loved that Red's friends and family were so quick to welcome her to their group. I don't think she realized it at the time, but that was what Jessie needed the most. Red, on the other hand, is a romantic at heart. He's still nursing his wounds since his two best friend's got married and left him as the third wheel. I don't know which he needed most...a hug or a slap upside the head to wake him up. He's so adorably clueless, but I loved how he puts it upon himself to become Jessie's friend and shows her around town. Both as individuals and as a couple, these two characters were so damn adorable. I loved watching them butt heads and torment each other, all the while knowing that this was just how they got to know each other. Its safe to say that Jessie and Red will have a fun future ahead of them...
Although it is not required to read the first book in the Loco, Texas series before picking up I Want Crazy, I do recommend reading them in order to get the full understanding on Red's feelings towards Rand and Jake's relationship from the first book, Make Me Crazy. Trust me, you won't regret it.
I Want Crazy
© Cody Gary
Under new ownership. Closed for renovations. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Of course it was closed today, the one day when he really needed a few cold longnecks and some conversation. The day he needed to listen to other men's problems, so he could forget about his own.
Glaring at the sign, his thoughts fueled the fire of loathing for the unknown person who had just put the cherry on top of his crap-tastic day.
Who the hell had bought The Watering Hole and worse, what kind of "renovations" were they talking about? The place was a little rough around the edges but the creaky wood floors and cedar walls were familiar and the décor screamed "Redneck's welcome", which is exactly how he liked it. He couldn't imagine anything making the bar any more comfortable, unless they planned on opening up the kitchen again, but why did they have to shut down completely to renovate the kitchen?
He could hear music playing behind the double doors, so someone had to be in there.
Without thinking it through, he climbed the stairs until he stood on the wide, front porch. The music sounded like pop or rock instead of the usual country that most of the locals blasted and his mind flashed through several different owner possibilities, all of them setting his teeth on edge. Before he knew what he wanted to say, he banged on the heavy wood door and yelled, "Open up! I want to talk to you!"
The music continued to blare. All out of patience, he hit the door so hard it shook under his fist. "Hey! I said get your ass out here and give me some answers, asshole!"
Suddenly, it was silent inside and now that he had their attention, he shouted, "I want to know exactly what you think you're doing shutting down the bar without any kind of notice! People have been coming here for thirty years!" No one answered and he slammed his palm against the door, sweat trailing down the back of his neck at the exertion and his temper, in spite of the cool autumn air. "I am talking to you!"
Then he heard footsteps, the familiar slap of soles on the wood planks revving his temper again. It was probably some sissy from California, here to civilize the locals. He probably planned on cocktail hours and girly drinks. Well, if that was his game, Red was going to teach him a little something about what
flies in a town like Loco. And if the candy ass thought he was going to get away with ruining a town landmark, he was about to find out what "Don't Mess With Texas" really meant.
The door opened and Red gaped as his preconceived notions flew out the window. Standing in front of him was a beautiful, buxom blond woman sporting a pair of paint covered overalls giving him the stink eye with a pair of gorgeous green eyes.
"We're closed. Can't you read," she asked, folding her arms over her chest, and Red's gaze drifted down to where her breasts pushed up above the neckline of her black long sleeved shirt.
"Hey, eyes up here, jack ass."
Red jerked his head up, was speechless for a half a second, until her accent sank in. "You're from California?"
"Wow, how'd you guess that one? Was it the way I said jackass?" she asked.
She sure had a smart mouth.
"Or the fact that you have the manners of a rabid wolf," Red snapped, scowling.
"Me?" Her look clearly said she thought he was out of his mind, and he felt unease settle over him.
"You're the one who goes around banging on doors and making demands," she said, poking him in the chest with her finger. "If you want people to talk to you nicely, maybe you should start off the conversation right."
Damn, she had a point. This close, he got a really good look at her eyes, which were a pretty mix of green and gold, matching her shiny golden hair trailing out the back of the bandana she had on her head. If his mother had been standing here next to him, she would have slapped him upside the head and lectured him on his behavior.
Taking a different approach, he tapped the brim of his ball cap. "Apologies, ma'am. I am just having a bad day, and I'm sorry for dragging you into it."
He watched her lips turn up in a half smile. "My, that was charming. I see what people say about southern drawls."
Red returned her smile and held his hand out. "Red."
She surprised him by laughing. "Seriously? Your name is Red."
He dropped his hand, his irritation back in full force. "It's a nick name."
"Because of your hair?"
He kept his hair short so it wouldn't be so telling, but even then, people didn't make fun of his hair.
"It's short for Alfred," he said crossly. "I was named after my dad."
"Oh man," she said, her voice filled with mock sympathy. "You must have been in a lot of fights as a kid. Why didn't they call you Fred or Freddy?"
It was true he had been in fights, but she didn't need to know that.
"My sister had a problem with the letter F, and it always came out as "sred". So, they just shortened it to Red and it stuck," he said. "But, it didn't stop people from commenting on the color of my hair."
"I can see why," she said, smirking.
Tired of being the butt of her jokes, he added, "People don't normally make fun of me, especially when I don't even know their name."
"I'm Jessie. And I'm guessing people probably don't make fun of you because you intimidate most people," she said, looking him up and down and added, "I mean, I'd call you Jolly Green Giant, but the color doesn't fit."
He caught the twinkle in her eye, and had a feeling she already had a nickname for him. "Obviously I don't intimidate you."
He saw the twisted tattoo that started on her inner wrist as she pushed a few loose strands of hair back under the bandana, and his mind went to a dark place. I wonder how many tattoos I can't see.
He shook his head to get rid of those thoughts. Do not go there with her. This woman is the enemy!
"Oh, sweetie," she said, her voice oozing sweetness. "I've met bigger and badder men than you."
He leaned down until they were almost nose to nose. "California, you don't know who you're messing with."
Despite his best "I'm the boss" voice, she snorted in his face. "Well, Alfred, as charming as this little interlude has been, I need to get back to painting, so-
He didn't even have time to bristle at the use of his full name before the last word pierced his brain like an arrow. Painting?
Red pushed past her inside, ignoring her, "Hey," and sucked in his breath at the plastic covering most of the floor. Sure enough, everything was off the walls and the counters of the bar were pulled off. She had already started covering the wood walls with some kind of plaster.
"What the hell are you doing?" he shouted.
"You! Get the hell out of my bar and go take your meds!" she yelled back, picking up a paint brush and flinging it at him.
Leaning to the left, the brush whizzed by his shoulder. "You're calling me crazy? You're covering cedar walls with cement! You're fucking crazy!"
"I'm calling the cops," she said, heading for the bar.
"Good, cause I want to file a restraining order!" He knew he had no legal recourse, but there had to be something to stop her from ruining his second home. Okay, maybe third home.
"A restraining order against me? This is my bar!" She had picked up the phone and was pointing at her chest, and Red tried not to lose track of his mission, but damn, she was stacked. Why did someone that hot have to be so disagreeable?
"Lady, this bar has been the same for over thirty years and if there's one thing the people of Loco hate, it's change."
"Which is probably why I got such a great deal. Because this place is a run down piece of-
She picked up the phone, dialing loudly. "Yes, this is Jessie Dale, I just bought the..." her lips thinned as she paused, probably listening to the person on the other end, "yeah I'm the flat- landing hippie from California."
Red didn't even bother smothering his laugh and earned a killing glare from her.
"I've got some crazy guy that won't leave my bar and I need someone to...well he's huge and says his name is Red..." she waited a second, then held the phone out to him, "he wants to talk to you."
Red walked over the plastic covered floor and took the phone. "Hello."
"Red, are you trespassing?" the amused voice asked, and Red recognized Finn Meyer's low tones. They were friends and had grown up together, but Finn was a cop first.
"No, I was just admiring the way Ms. Dale was plastering over the cedar planks," Red growled. "She's ruining the Watering Hole!"
"Regardless of how much you hate her decorating style, it's her bar now," Finn said, making him feel like a child.
"But, you don't know-
"Don't make us waste a trip down there to put you in hand cuffs," Finn said, his tone amused, but there was enough weight behind the threat that made Red believe him.
Disloyal son of a bitch.
Red slammed down the phone and faced off with her. Her triumphant little smirk would have made him stand his ground, except for the first time in days, he felt inspired.
With a grin, he leaned over the bar towards her. "This ain't over, California. Not by a long shot."
He turned to walk away, but her voice stopped him. "I look forward to it, Alfred."
Gritting his teeth he walked out and headed for his Dodge Charger.
Oh, honey. You picked the wrong bear to poke.
An avid reader since I was a kid, books were like candy to me. I went through them quickly and I always wanted more. Although I would read just about anything, I craved stories of first kisses, romantic gestures, and happily ever afters, and after a while, Sweet Valley High just didn't cut it anymore. And then I found the world of romance.
It was amazing! I could read about a Marine and a Shop girl running for their lives, or a Prince wooing a Barmaid when his royal carraige loses a wheel, or even just a couple of ordinary best friends living in small town U.S.A. trying to figure out how they feel.
And the best part was, I know they are going to end up together. No matter what drama unfolds or how many struggles they face, they are getting that Forever deal.
As I continued to fall in love with every genre of Romance, I found myself thinking of stories I would like told. Stories of best friends, crazy small town folk, and guys with that special something that gets hearts pumping and girls swooning. I mean, who doesn't love the mushy centered bad boy or the good guy fighting his own set of demons that just screams to be comforted?
Codi Gary has THREE giveaways going. The first giveaway can be found HERE and it is for one copy of I Want Crazy. The second giveaway can be found HERE and it is for one copy of Bad Girls Don't Marry Marines. The last giveaway can be found on Codi's website and it is for a signed set of her Rock Canyon series.