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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

REVIEW: "Any Man of Mine" by Rachel Gibson


What happens in Vegas . . . doesn't always stay there.

Autumn Haven's Las Vegas "to-do" list said to catch a show and play the slots—not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam LeClaire. The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her to run. And she did—right into the wildest fantasy weekend of her life. But Monday morning jolted her back to reality, and before she could say "pass the coffee," Sam was gone.

Now a successful wedding planner, Autumn hasn't clapped eyes on the heartbreaking hockey superstar for over two years . . . until she organizes his teammate's "Special Day," where Sam makes a big play to pick up where he left off! But she has vowed any man of hers plays for keeps. Is Sam the man for her or does she banish him to the sin bin forever?

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Setting: Present-day Seattle, Washington
Hero: Sam LeClaire
Heroine: Autumn Haven
Sensuality Rating: Hot
Overall Ranking: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Rachel Gibson is one of the few contemporary romance authors that I read.  This is not a genre that usually appeals to me so she is in an exclusive group.  I especially enjoy her Chinooks hockey series due to my love affair with athletes and romance.  "Any Man of Mine" is not my favorite of the series, by far.  But, I felt it was an enjoyable read that kept me hooked from beginning to end.

I am a fan of reunited couples in romance.  There is just something about the whole reunion scene and learning to look at someone differently that gets me everytime.  So the overall theme of this book was definitely appealing.

Sam LeClaire is a hockey player whose team just won the Stanley Cup.  At first he appears to be the stereotypical athlete: sexy, dangerous, womanizing, party boy.  And...we learn that Sam is also the father of a five year old boy.  He and the boy's mother hastely married in Las Vegas after a weekend of partying, but Sam split after realizing what happened.  When he was told that he left his ex-wife pregnant, he took responsibility and provided hefty child support.  He also sees his son, Connor, on rare occasions.

Autumn Haven is Connor's mother.  She took a solo trip to Las Vegas to clear her head after her mother's death and ended up married and pregnant by the end.  Since then she has essentially been raising Connor on her own.  Autumn opens an event planning business that specializes in weddings shortly after Connor was born. 

These two have not physically seen each other in over two years.  Then they meet up again at Faith Duffy and Ty Savage's wedding (See: Gibson's True Love and Other Disasters) which Autumn helped organize.  This meeting starts up a series of events where Sam is confronted with his lack of paternal skills and eventually leads to Autumn and Sam spending more time with each other.  As they learn to cooperate with each other when it comes to Connor, these two also start to realize the spark from Las Vegas is still between them.

Overall, I enjoyed this story.  Sam was a sexy bad boy hero who showed definite vulnerability when confronted with his past and his lack of parenting to Connor.  Autumn was the definition of a protective Momma Bear who was willing to do anything for her son and had to learn to accept Sam's changing approach to fatherhood.  Connor was cute and sweet without being a standard five year old.  He acted the way most children his age act, tantrums and all. 

While I enjoyed the characters and the general plot, I was left feeling a little letdown by the end.  The beginning and middle were so charming, but the conclusion seemed rushed.  Sam and Autumn had real issues to deal with, but it felt like they were quickly solved.  I liked them together so I would have enjoyed seeing the inner workings of their relationship more toward the end. 

Favorite Quote: "You are the pinch in my heart. The catch in my breath. The reason my stomach tumbles and why I lie awake at night just to look at you. And every time I look at you, I know that I want to look at you forever."--Autumn

1 comment:

  1. I heart heart heart Rachel Gibson! She is my Kresley Cole of the CR genre. She's funny, knows her fashion and pop culture, her women are usually sassy and dont take shit from the alpha males in their lives. This wasnt my favorite of the series either I think that goes to Kate and Rob! Oh Rob Sutter with your snake tattoo and bulging muscles, how I love you! =)


    -Amanda P
    Paranormal Romance
    Books, Shopping & Rock N' Roll

    ps im following now. And you need to get moving on Catching Fire!

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