Monday, March 26, 2012

Rainshadow Road

Rainshadow Road

He’s a cynic when it comes to love.  She’s been burned one too many times. Together Sam and Lucy have the chance to find something really wonderful, if they can open themselves to the magic of love. Lisa Kleypas’ new novel Rainshadow Road is a romance everyone should pass an afternoon (or night) with.

Lucy has been obsessed with glass since she was a child and is now a glass artist living in Friday Harbor. When she finds out her live-in boyfriend has been cheating on her with her sister she is shocked. As she is beginning to start the healing process, Lucy meets Sam. Sam is the kind of guy that can break her heart, and she wants to avoid that at all costs. Sam grew up with alcoholic parents and as a result as sworn off marriage and commitment. When circumstances bring them together, they discover more about each other, but Sam can’t give Lucy what she wants and Lucy is afraid of getting her heart hurt yet again.

What I love about Lisa Kleypas is that she can take a story that has been told before and breathe new life into it. Kleypas doesn’t take the oft told route that has been trampled on so many times before. There are moments when you suspect a cliché is about to unfold, and you wind up being pleasantly surprised with the direction we are taken instead. Take for example Kevin (the slimy ex now shacking up with Lucy’s overindulged bitch sister). When he asks Sam to take Lucy on a date to take the heat off of him, Sam could have kept that tidbit to himself. What could have turned into a predictable story - after spending time together, falling for each other etc. Lucy finds out Sam “lied” to her and it would have wound up being the ridiculous straw that broke the relationship. Not so for these two, Sam is straight with Lucy from the get go and damn if he isn’t hotter for it.

Kleypas has a penchant for superb characters and is shows in the way she takes the time and nurtures each one. We can see their growth and development and what you get in return is a real honest romance.  Just as the characters are nurtured, so is the relationship between Lucy and Sam. It’s realistic and sincere. It doesn’t happen overnight, their relationship grows over time. Lucy was just burned by her sister and Sam is afraid of commitment.  Instead of the unrealistic turnaround time of a month or so to get over their relationship issues and fall in love and live happily ever after, the time is invested and it happens over the course of a more natural time frame.

There were a couple of instances that stretched my belief, but I am enough of a romantic to want to believe. I want to believe in the magic Lucy can create with her glass and Sam can with the vines he grows that I gladly overlooked the occurrences. And on the whole, they aren’t anything serious, just two minor instances that I thought twice about.  Other than that, I think it was a well-written, well-done love story.

I will gladly snatch up anything Kleypas writes and I am thrilled she is writing more contemporaries.  I am highly anticipating the next installment of the Lucky Harbor series which is due out in August and looks just as promising. 

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