Rainshadow Road (by Lisa Kleypas)

I had never heard of Lisa Kleypas, although she is apparently quite a prolific author. It seems that she writes the kinds of books I like, too - women's fiction with positive endings. So I was pleased to be able to have this book from The Bookbag site for review.

It's about Lucy, who's a glass artist and pleasant enough, although she seems a bit feeble at times. She grew up rather in the shadow of her younger sister Alice, but did NOT expect that her boyfriend Kevin would dump her in favour of Alice. If that weren't bad enough, Lucy is then knocked over by a car...

Naturally, there's a hero who comes to the rescue. Sam is a likeable guy, one of three brothers who grew up in a severely dysfunctional family. Sam is quite a looker, and he's a sensitive guy too, his only real flaw being that he is totally commitment-phobic. Predictably, his first few meetings with Lucy are fraught with tension, despite distinct attraction on both sides. But after her accident, a new kind of relationships starts to develop.

The writing is good, but there's a strange mystical element popping up now and again. Sam has a rapport with plants, and particularly his grapevines; Lucy, even more oddly, finds random things happening now and again when she is in the throes of strong emotion. I don't have a problem with magic in books, but somehow it didn't work.

Still, it was decidedly readable, and a bit more interesting than some women's fiction of this kind. I finished it in just a few days, eager to find out what happened, and was pleased that the ending was satisfying, albeit predictable. I was even more pleased to learn that it's the second in a series about the three brothers: it stands alone well, but I was hoping to find out a bit more about Sam and his family.

I was particularly pleased to find that there was no bad language in the book, and only one scene of intimacy, which was perhaps over-long but, happily, did not use gauche schooldays slang. I was less pleased to discover a series of questions in the back of the book, as if this were a set book for an exam... but skimmed over that quickly.

So, on the whole, I'd recommend it.

You can also read my longer review of Rainshadow Road at The Bookbag site.

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