Also by this author: Dating-ish, Beard in Mind
on July 20, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance, RomCom
Tropes: Hollywood Princess meets Country Sheriff
Buy on Amazon
Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when getting laid starts to feel more like being waylaid. Could it be that Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?
Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.
When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.
I’m a hardcore fangirl of Penny’s books. I’ll keep on reading her no matter what – I believe that we all have the small number of books by an author that just won’t completely work for us. That was TOTALLY FOLKED for me.
Penny Reid released the prologue as a separate shorty a few weeks ago. JUST FOLKING AROUND introduced us to Raquel, Hollywood’s hottest up and coming star. Back then I found her to be shallow and she showed some signs of being quirky. In short, I was convinced that we’d see some character growth over the course of the full length novel. Unfortunately that’s not how I felt by the end of TOTALLY FOLKED. The quirkiness was just a blip and the shallowness hung to Raquel for most of the story. There were several instances I was wrinkling my nose in confusion. Like when two of her friends, Sienna and Charlotte, who happened to be the deputy’s former girlfriend, gossiped about Jackson’s “kraken tongue” and she actually chimed in. Sure, she didn’t want to at first but she did anyway. Later when one of those friends said Raquel could trust her with information she had the chutzpe to question Charlotte’s trustworthiness. I found Raquel superficial, a little selfish, a little cowardly and clueless for quite some time and I just didn’t feel as drawn to her as to pretty much ever other of Reid’s female characters.
Jackson James was supposed to be a hardass. The character we were shown in this author’s Winston Brother’s series was a bit of jerk. I wanted to see Jackson turning from this former lady’s man and tough guy to someone who cared. Instead we got a Jackson who was already that. Sweet, patient, sensitive and thoughtful. I’m not complaining a hero being all that, mind you, no, it’s the development I’m missing. It’s like this guy had a complete personality transplant. I also found him a little bit too average, to be honest. There was nothing super exciting about him. I liked him well enough but he definitely isn’t my favorite male main character in any of Penny Reid’s books. I also found the author’s (repeated) description of his kraken tongue rather unsexy.
Every Winston character in this book and especially Cletus stole them the show. Cletus made me laugh but that’s pretty much the only couple of times I actually saw Penny’s wonderful sense of humor. Speaking of our favorite Winston brother (what am I saying, they all are favorites), Jackson’s sudden friendship with him that came out of the blue wasn’t very plausible. As I said, there are holes of “not knowing how it came to be” in this story. I did warm up to Raquel in the end but, you know, too little too late.
Another thing I found jarring was the sudden ending of the epilogue. We were told about Rae’s estranged father throughout the story and how his not wanting anything to do with her shaped her. And when we actually are supposed to get a resolution to that it’s cut off. Just like that. What?
There were parts that I found endearing and I am not giving up on Penny Reid. I know she has immense talent, I have complete faith that her next book will win me over once more.
As always please read other reviews to get a fuller picture – my thoughts on TOTALLY FOLKED aren’t universal.
“You’re sunshine and rainbows.”