Hello book lovers, welcome back! Today I’m really pleased to welcome author, Julia London to Alternative-Read.com today!
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The Charmer In Chaps by Julia London is a heartwarming novel. This relationship story emphasizes the need for a little more acceptance in society today, as both the main female and male characters struggle with handicaps.
Luca Prince has grown up without a care in the world or so it seems. He is part of Texas’ high society where his family is regarded as one of the wealthiest in the state. Contrast that with Ella Kendall who is working two jobs and struggling to make ends meet. They have grown up in different worlds, the have and the have nots. Currently, Ella has exactly three things to her name: a dog, a pig, and the rundown house she just inherited from her grandmother. A chance meeting brings Luca and Ella together, but he has no idea she was a high school classmate of his who had a deep crush. Wanting to get to know her more, he decides to help her repair the house. But she knows him as a flirting womanizer cowboy. Having lived in foster homes all her life, she has built walls and barriers to hide her feelings and emotions. What makes the story so enduring is watching how both must overcome life’s challenges, open up their hearts, and begin to trust each other.
This was an uplifting story where readers root for the likeable characters to overcome their own handicaps. An added bonus is London’s trademark witty character banter.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Julia London: I wanted to write about a Dallas type of family who falls on hard times. I thought what would happen if you yank out all the wealth from underneath the Ewings. I hope the readers like the characters and want to learn more about them.
EC: You also delve into high school crushes?
JL: Who didn’t have one in high school? Most everyone can relate. Remember how we covered our books with the brown paper grocery bags? A lot of people wrote on those covers about what they fantasized. Then later in life they would dream of running into that person they had a crush on. I had my character Ella go from being on the fringe to having found herself.
EC: Dyslexia plays an important role in the book?
JL: I thought how hard it would be for someone who could not read as an adult. I would think they would not be able to talk about their problem. I know some authors who said they have this. For me, it is remarkable that they overcame it and are able to read, but also became a writer.
EC: Foster care is also highlighted?
JL: I have some experience with my extended family. As with Ella I know of children put in foster care because of drug problems. Here in Texas, meth is a big problem, and foster care is exploding. While I was researching this book, I found out that children were sleeping in the foster care offices because there was nowhere for them to go.
EC: It was interesting how you explored the have’s and have nots?
JL: There is the issue of class within our society, which I touched on the fringe. People can be judgmental about other people. Luca did not always get how his wealth looked to Ella, but she also did not always get how her poverty looked to him.
EC: Why the ecology factor?
JL: Ranches in Texas are going in that direction because it is so cost prohibitive. The cattle industry and farming have fallen on hard times. Some have turned the land back into an oasis. I am personally interested in that and thought it a good interest for Luca. Today, people are trying different ecological approaches instead of mass production, which has basically killed family farming. There is also the issue that happened here after the hurricane. Not only horses, but cattle became feral. Those big ranches sometimes cannot find their livestock. I thought it interesting that there are now wild Mustangs running around Texas.
EC: Cordelia Prince, the mom was an interesting secondary character?
JL: She interests me the most, maybe because we are the same age. Also, she is widowed and I am divorced. I have many of the same feelings as she does, but hopefully I am a lot nicer. I do admire her since she says what is on her mind and never sugar coats it. She straight talks, which gets her into trouble. I wanted to make the family realistic and did not want to make the mother 100% supportive. I have a lot of friends who have different types of relationships with their mothers. Some say my mom is my best friend and others say I have not talked with her in years. I hope Cordelia is seen as a mom with faults, but someone who loves her children.
EC: How would you describe Ella?
JL: A loner who is trying to find her way. She is framing her own path slowly and methodically without having any real foundation in her life. She is practical, quiet, responsible, and is very guarded. I had this quote of how she has built a “border wall that is 30 feet high.”
EC: How would you describe Luca?
JL: Overly confident. Basically, what is not to like since he is gorgeous and has an outgoing personality. But he also has a very sensitive side. He presents himself to the world as a fun playboy, but is hiding something. Not everything is as it seems. With Ella, he has found his soul mate and wants to be with her for the long haul.
EC: What about your next book?
JL: It is titled Devil In The Saddle and is about Luca’s twin sister Hallie. She has just broken off her expensive high society wedding after she found her fiancé cheating on her. Now she is floating around and questions who she is. It comes out in November. With this series, I want to explore how the Prince family with all its faults impacts each child. I come from a very big family so there is a lot to draw upon regarding relationship issues.
The Charmer in Chaps (The Princes of Texas Book 1) Kindle Edition
A Texas Prince Meets His Match…
Cimarron County knows the youngest son of the fabled Prince family as a womanizing hell-raiser, but Luca has changed and he intends to prove it. There’s just one problem—a woman with sparkling eyes and more fight than a barnyard cat.
After a childhood of living in foster homes, Ella Kendall has exactly three things to her name: A dog, a pig, and the rundown house she just inherited. Luca may not remember her from high school, but she definitely remembers him. He is as seductive as he was then, but Ella isn’t about to fall for his flirting. She recognizes a playboy cowboy when she sees one.
Luca knows Ella has learned the hard way to trust no one but herself. Yet the closer he gets to Ella, the more he wants to be the only one she leans on. Because Ella is the only woman for him, and he wants to be the man who finally gives her the home she truly deserves.
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