I am a long-time fan of Phillip's writing style, she writes fun, breezy stories with likable characters and engrossing plots both for her main and secondary characters. In these Chicago Stars stories we're usually presented with the dominant, gorgeous, filthy-rich, misogynistic hero and the sassy, smart, not wealthy, but not money-hungry, and caring heroine. Each of the characters will have emotional issues stemming from problem with their parents. This formula didn't manage to work for me with Heaven, Texas. And that was mainly for one reason: Bobby Tom Denton. Wow, what a patronizing, condescending ass this character was.
We first encounter him in his condo decorated by an "artistic" interior decorator. It's a decor he doesn't like but he humors his friend because as he says he has other abodes. I guess this was suppose to put him in a better light after when first encountering Gracie Snow, whose come to escort him to the movie set he's due at in his hometown in a few days. He and his friends assume she's a stripper and push her into the center of them, turn on the music and start encouraging her to strip. However, when that doesn't work Denton pulls Gracie into his lap and begins removing her clothes. Gracie, a huge fan of his is almost too star-struck to speak up but, thankfully for this reader's sake, finally does. Don't get me wrong, had Gracie been a stripper or even adventurous and game to strip, I'd have had no problem with that. But, this scene's sexism just got my hackles up.
Following this there are several scenes where Gracie keeps trying to convince Denton to (a.) not to send her away and (b.) be responsible and show up in time for the job he signed up to do. Only to have her employer fire her when she arrives late but with him in tow. From this point Denton does manage to show a few admirable qualities, but for me, his misogyny & condescension until the last few pages made him, and ultimately. this book, unpalatable. Sorry for that, SEP!