This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson

I decided to read this during our drive to Florida, after finishing the Half-Blood Prince and before starting on The Deathly Hallows. It was a fun, albeit cheesy, read.

I had read a review about it several months ago and at that time, I was in the mood for a light summer read. For me that sometimes means romance. But my idea of the "romance" genre has changed over the years. Give me books by Sarah Addison Allen vs. the Harlequin-type novels. But I was on the library list forever and it finally came through and I thought I'd try it. After all, if it sucked, I wouldn't finish it.

It didn't suck. It probably would suck for many of my reading friends. But there was some pretty funny parts in the descriptions...and some extremely cheesy parts.

The premise is basically this: two people meet in Las Vegas, have the "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" fun. Have a quickie marriage and then the man leaves the woman hanging. She ends up being pregnant and, while he provides child support, is pretty much a "when I want to be a dad, I will" while he parties hard. Because this man, Sam LeClaire, happens to be one of the most watched hockey player for the Chinooks.

Meanwhile, the woman, Autumn Haven (yes, that is her name), has been able to build a wedding planning business as a single mother. Five years have gone by and Sam and Autumn end up seeing each other at one of Sam's teammates' wedding, that Autumn has happened to be the wedding planner for...and some schedule mishaps occur with Autumn and her babysitter and Sam happens to be there to pick up the pieces.

Of course, there is the hate-hate relationship that so many romances build off of and Sam decides to be a real father after Autumn tells him:
While you're off playing hero to thousands of other little boys, your own son cries himself to sleep like this heart is breaking. 
His arms fell to his sides, and he rocked back on his heels as if she'd hit him. "I'm no one's hero."
"I know that." She pointed toward the window without looking up at her son. "But he doesn't. Not yet. He doesn't know you're just a selfish prick unworthy of him, but he'll figure it out someday."
I actually thought this was pretty emotionally strong. I would agree that most men, who decide to leave their family to enjoy the single life, are under the delusion that their kids are OK when they spend occasional dates with them. They pat themselves on the back for providing monetary support and a movie night or two, and call themselves a "great dad".

But it's this part of the story that shakes Sam back into reality and relates to his own terrible relationship with his dad, that he decides to become a better dad. And during his frequent visits to his son, he starts seeing Autumn in the same light he did while in Vegas. And those - reminiscing Vegas, as well as what happens towards the end (spoiler: they hook you didn't figure that one out), are pretty funny.

This is one of her first few meetings with Sam in the pool. She has no idea who he is and he asks if she has sunblock on and this is what takes place:
"Sorry. I already put some on."
"That makes one of us." He looked up at the broiling sun and cringed. "I can practically hear my skin sizzle."
She pointed up at the palm trees. "In the shade?"
"I'm sensitive."
"Uh-huh." She reached into her beach bag and pulled out a tube of sunscreen. "It's SPF 40 and -" He whipped off his shirt, and she about fell out of her chair. Holy crap! He had big pecs and shoulders and a six-pack of killer abs. She'd never seen anything like him. Not in person, anyway. Not close enough to lick. Would probably never see anything like him again. Where had he come from. What did he do for a living? Lift small buildings?
And later, once the good dad comes out and is now flirting with the mad woman, he asks her to help him take  off a figure eight bandage, after breaking his clavical during a game:
She took a step closer and grabbed the edge of the soft cotton. she undressed Conner all the time. This was no different. It was mechanical. No big deal. She lifted his shirt past his waist and up his chest. See. No big deal. No biggie. No - Holy mother of God! She'd forgotten what corrugated muscles and six-packs and happy trails looked like up close.
That stuff cracked me up. So did the whole "do you want me", "yes I do" stuff but with the good comes the bad.

These books by Gibson apparently is a series that centers around this Chinooks hockey team. I wasn't sure what that meant until I saw the back of the book, advertising her other books and basically, each novel centers around another player on the hockey team. So some of the people in this book are the main characters in her other books. This might intrigue me enough to read others...especially, with Autumn's hunky, broody brother, who just happens to be an ex-Navy Seal.

But first...the end: The Deathly Hallows...

No comments:

Post a Comment