Lilly Atkins is Erin Brockovich in boots, ensuring plenty of sass and Southern charm.
In Kalan Chapman Lloyd’s latest mystery caper, So Many Boots, So Little Time, a fast-talking Southern lawyer trades life in the fast lane for small-town values, only to find that being at home on the range isn’t as laid-back as she’d hoped. Lloyd’s sassy, conversational tone and tough but tenderhearted protagonist make this an enjoyable selection for beachside summer reading.
Lilly Atkins left her hometown of Brooks, Oklahoma, to test her mettle in a big-city law firm, only to return brokenhearted and burned out from one homicide investigation too many. Back on the ranch, Lilly is looking for a break—a little yoga, a few hands of poker, some reconnecting with her family—but that just isn’t in the cards.
Before Lilly can say “namaste,” her family’s prize-winning herd of cattle are stolen, and though she’s forbidden to participate in the investigation, Lilly just can’t resist. Along the way, old flames return, passions rise, and soon enough, Lilly is toting a gun around town instead of her yoga mat.
Lloyd’s no stranger to the romance-novel rodeo: So Many Boots, So Little Time is the third in the MisAdventures of Miss Lilly series. Though parts of the book may feel akin to jumping into the middle of a long-running conversation, Lloyd leaves a decent trail of clues to Lilly’s former life and loves to bring new readers up to speed on her current situation.
The tone sparkles with Southern banter, and descriptions of the rolling Oklahoma landscape are taut yet illustrative. A lot can also be learned about characters by their footwear: Lilly’s father wears custom boots while shoveling manure—not because they’re expensive, but for his extra-long feet; FBI agents stomp about in flashy new orange-and-black numbers; and former lovers strut their stuff in full-quill ostrich boots. Of course, Lilly has a few pairs of boots herself and changes them up, depending on the situation.
What really makes the novel so enjoyable is that Lloyd writes like folks might actually speak in a sleepy ranch town, with short, declarative sentences that cut right through any baloney. Unfortunately, spelling errors like “cattle-rusting” mar this edition, and some sections, especially descriptive narration, appear hastily written, with similar words appearing more than once in the same paragraph (“complete” is a noticeable repeat offender). However, these are minor setbacks in an otherwise well-crafted story.
So Many Boots, So Little Time is frothy, saucy chick-lit for fans of all things country, and Lilly Atkins is Erin Brockovich in boots, ensuring plenty of sass and Southern charm.
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