by Dixie Cash

September 2004
ISBN: 0-06-056536-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Salt Lick, Texas is a small town where everybodyís business is talked over at the local beauty parlor. The Styling Station is owned by Debbie Sue Overstreet, an independent woman with friends who care and an ex she still cares about. Sheriff Buddy Overstreet though is dating a new girlfriend. The schoolteacher from the neighboring town is his first steady girlfriend since the divorce. A murder and the promised fifty thousand dollar reward, as well as some minor and mayor dating disasters are what it takes to get Debbie Sue and Buddy back together.

Since Youíre Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash (donít you just love the title!?) is one light, fun and cute read. Pure entertainment! Is it a romance though? No, not even a suspense novel. What it really reads like is what the chick lit label stands for. Itís all about a young professional womanís life. Money and boyfriend troubles (is she to go for the ex, or the one with the money?), as well as an assortment of interesting friends are included. So itís not set in New York or London, but in small town Texas and thatís what makes it really stand out.

I really liked it. Itís different. Itís nice. Itís so nice that even the not-so-nice protagonists get their happy ending. Not one of the characters gets judged too harshly, they all get what they deserve. Debbie Sue is likable and itís easy to identify with her. And whereas the writing style is mostly light and fluffy, there are still some serious interludes. The jokes are tender ones. Itís okay to laugh about yourself. The authors are comfortable with the subject matter and upfront with their love for the characters and the state of Texas. It shines through every written word.

Itís a joy to read a book that obviously was fun to write. A junk food loving horse, old ladies having a better social life than the young, men that want to be women and women that do everything to keep their man, keep the gossip flowing at the Styling Station and the readers glued to the pages. Sure I might have wanted something different when I picked the book, and yes it did leave me a little disappointed when it didnít deliver the expected. However, the authors and the publisher may be excused as I still had a wonderful and very enjoyable time reading this debut release of one very talented writing team.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Kris Alice.

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