Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review - Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson

Any Man of MineAny Man of Mine
Avon, 373p, Isbn-0061579114

Synopsis - Autumn Haven [not a candle but a person!], as the single working mom, deals with the usual challenges that come with the territory as well as a reformed sexy ex who's unexpectedly charmed his way into her home, bed and maybe even her heart. If only she could forget their turbulent past. Can she?

Irresponsible, reckless and selfish hockey player Sam LeClaire knows more about partying and models than playing with his own son. When he comes across Autumn at a wedding years after their last disastrous meeting, Sam realizes he's still very much attracted to his ex whereas Autumn has nothing but contempt for the man who left her pregnant after a quickie Vegas wedding and an even faster divorce. How it all gets resolved makes for an enjoyable read.

In a nutshell, this story follows the usual formula of guy meets gal, instant attraction, hot sex, separation and then reconciliation which leads to the inevitable happy ending. Thus far, there are no surprises, good or bad. The pace is good, with the story flashing back and forth to explain the characters' past and present. The sexual tension between Sam and Autumn is sizzling hot and surprisingly enough, feels a natural part of their story instead of something thrown in to pander to the "sex scene before such and such page number" which I find is often the rule. Another interesting facet is Sam's gradual growth into an involved father and the reason behind it, as well as the overall developing relationship between the child and his parents. Light humor and characters from previous Gibson novels put in brief appearances. Autumn is a character I liked right from the start for her honesty (no 'forgive and forget' in her vocabulary!) and for her willingness to put her child's needs ahead of her intense dislike of her playboy ex and let him be a part of his child's and leading from there, her life as well.

Where this novel differs is in the treatment of the male character. To explain this, I will have to reveal some spoilers, so keep that in mind while reading further. If you'd rather not know, then just know that this is a nice and interesting book!

Spoilers ahead!! Click the "Read more >>" button to reveal some secrets
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In most romance books, the inevitability of the sparseness of the hero's character development is the norm instead of the exception, while the female lead gets pages upon pages explaining how she is, why she's in angst etc etc. That is not the case in this book. Here Sam also gets a sizable chunk of pages which reveal how his recklessness stems from his failure to protect his sister, and how he changes when he realizes he's acting distant with his son the same way his dad did with him. Sam is by no means a totally reformed character after all this self-realization, which is a big plus and a lot like real life. But he does his best and that comes across loud and clear across the pages.

Autumn, on the other hand, adamantly sticks to her, as Sam puts it "pull me in even as you push me away" routine which is perfectly understandable and realistic given the way Sam used and dumped her in the beginning of their relationship. But what is not understandable is the abrupt turnabout she does in the end, how she gives up the family trait of "never forgive or forget" and reconciles with Sam for the requisite happy ending. It felt too easy and too formulaic to digest.

That apart, the story flows well and many parts of it feel very real.

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Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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6 comments :

  1. Thanks for this Great review,...i'm so proud on this preview,...

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  2. The sexual tension between Sam and Autumn is sizzling hot and surprisingly enough, feels a natural part of their story instead of something thrown in to pander to the "sex scene before such and such page number" which I find is often the rule. <<<<<====== i like this...

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  3. I think this story is Real and same with my experience,..

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  4. In a nutshell, this story follows the usual formula of guy meets gal, instant attraction, hot sex, separation and then reconciliation which leads to the inevitable happy ending. [ Waiting for the next review ]

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  5. Adding this one to my list ;) I love Gibsons books.

    ReplyDelete