If you are a Texan and you pay any attention at all to politics, you are familiar with Susan Combs. The West Texas attorney was the first female Ag Commissioner in state history. She then served as Comptroller for nearly a decade. Before that, she went to Vassar where she studied French, and then lived in NYC. While she isn’t currently serving in any office, these days Combs is working to improve Texas schools and connect like-minded professional women. Regardless of whether or not you agree with her politics, Susan Combs is an interesting and engaged renaissance woman. That’s why I was not surprised when I found out that she had written a romance novel in 1990. I immediately wandered the internet until I found a copy. (The book isn’t currently on Amazon so I linked to her new book – Texas Tenacity: A Call for Women to Direct Their Destiny.)
Given Combs’ background, it isn’t surprising that the protagonist in her romance novel is a razor-sharp public servant from West Texas living in NYC. Emily Brown is a cryptanalyst for the NSA. She uncovers an unexpected message that puts her in direct danger. The feds attach a gruff bodyguard with a chiseled body and gentle hands to Brown. Unsure of who they can trust with sensitive information, they go on the run. Believe it or not, even though they are opposites, there are sparks!
Since I’m a novice romance reader, I can’t speak to the quality of the chemistry between the two main characters or the love scenes. I’m not sure what to compare the book to. The closest thing I can think of is that the plot is similar to a Hallmark movie and the love scenes are more like a Cinemax movie. Personally, I was most interested in the action scenes and how the characters interacted when they were solving the cryptanalyst case. The romance seemed a little predictable to me, but I guess that’s also kind of true in real life.
Overall, I’m glad I tracked down this book because it’s just cool that Combs wrote it. She has checked off a lot of things from the standard bucket list. I would recommend this book to Texans who are familiar with Susan Combs because it’s always interesting when public figures write fiction. However, romance enthusiasts might not love this one because it was published in 1990 and tastes change.