Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister.
Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.
Amy (short for Amaryllis) is an adorable main character, and is easy to like. She's smart and funny and has designated herself as "the normal one" in her family, doing what she can to keep a lid on the crazy. I like Amy's voice. She's a fun character to follow, and the type of girl that I could be friends with. Amy often becomes exasperated at her sister Phin's (short for Delphinium) inability to at least pretend to be normal. Phin combines witchcraft with science in ways that are both fascinating and hilarious. She's very pragmatic about it all, and anytime that she's involved in a conversation it becomes funny because of how seriously and scientifically she discusses things like ghosts and auras. Ben is the hot neighbor cowboy. He infuriates Amy because he is frustrated by her family's eccentricities and meddlesome nature. But he is also a good ole boy who can't help being helpful. If you like Tucker from Unearthly, then you'd probably feel some similar affections for Ben. They have some similarities (obnoxious cowboys who are still totally cute and gentlemanly when it counts, anyone?), but Ben also has some family troubles and burdens that weigh him down. The characters are well-developed with distinct personalities. One other thing that I like about them is that Amy has graduated high school, and all of the other main characters are college aged. Sometimes I get sick of reading about high school. So if you like the new adult age group this one would fit into that category.
I adore the setting in Texas Gothic: Amy's Aunt Hyacinth's ranch as well as Ben's family's cattle ranch. An anthropology/forensics team is sent from UT to Ben's ranch to dig up some old skeleton that was found during construction. I like the inclusion of this element to the story. The anthropology enhances the mystery surrounding the ghost and gives it some historical relevance. Plus, it's interesting!
Texas Gothic has a pacing that is quick and easy. The plot is constantly moving forward, but is not rushed. Some things about the story are fairly predictable, but not in a way that ruins the story. Everything is resolved in the end. I enjoyed Texas Gothic, and would recommend it to lovers of hauntings, fun characters, cowboys, anthropology, paranormal aura science, and Texas settings.