Saturday, 26 October 2013

Any Man of Mine (Chinooks Hockey Team #6) - Rachel Gibson

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 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 heart-breaking 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?

I am currently up to my eyeballs in deadline hell, so you're all going to have to forgive me and accept a second mini-view of the week. When I'm coming up to a deadline I really don't have time to read anything other than my work, but I just can't sleep without reading a chapter or two of something nice and easy. Not really caring what I read I just opened up a random Gibson (a great go to author) on my Kindle and settled in.

Any Man of Mine is Gibson's sixth in her Chinooks Hockey Team series and her third about a couple with a previous history (read: child) coming back together. 

While I absolutely love the Chinooks series, this book was a little bit of a let down for me; while I still enjoyed the novel I felt that Any Man of Mine was not up to Gibson's usual standard, her witty dialogue isn't quite as sharp as it is normally and I found it harder than usual to connect with the characters. Usually a big fan of Gibson's lighthearted reads I was disappointed to find Sam and Autumn's relationship and emotional plight lacking in her usual finesse. What is evident in abundance is the increasing trend of product placement in books, with three painfully obvious examples a dozen pages in. Is it just me who finds this really jarring? 

Throughout the novel it was hard to empathise with emotionally troubled Sam, whose difficult upbringing and family tragedy we learn about almost as a side note, and uptight, betrayed Autumn was far too martyr-ish to relate to. However, with our heroine being an event planner there were plenty of opportunities to catch up with characters from previous novels which is always nice to read, although a bit forced at moments. 

Overall the novel is a fairly inoffensive, standard light-hearted 'chick-lit' read but it's just sadly not up to Gibson's usual standard. Having said that, this is my second read of the novel and I still enjoyed it enough to finish it a second time, just maybe don't start here if you've never read a Gibson before.

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