A lovely book that lived up to its preview in Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor.
The story is about Lucy, an artist who has been burned one too many times by love, and Sam, a wine maker who grew up with two alcoholic parents and has a strong aversion to commitment. In classic Kleypas stye (which is why her series books are so terrific) we are treated to glimpses into the lives of past characters Maggie, Mark, Holly (the child), and Alex (star of next book). We also meet cousins Zoe and Justine who will both also have books of their own.
There is an element of magic to the story, but it doesn't drive the plot or even the resolution, in a way, it's more symbolic than significant to character development. I've read a couple complaints about the magic and also the "geeky" hero, and neither are particularly major elements of this story. Sam rarely talks like a geek and certainly doesn't live or look like a geek, if that is a stumbling block for you, it's insignificant.
What Rainshadow Road has in common with Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, is the story arc is more tied to personal development and emotional growth rather than external factors with a significant peak/finale. While this book has that to a degree, it isn't explosive - a bit more quiet.
Another commonality, and significant difference from LK's other books is the lack of sensuality. In the 20 odd books I've read, LK always gives attention and detail to the love scene. This book has them, not doubt, but written rather differently. The scenes are relatively brief and sparse. A bit of a disappointment for this reader, but the book is still a winner.
Contemporary romance is not my favorite genre. However, this book is well written, well paced, and an enjoyable read. The characters were nicely developed through the book and I found myself hoping the Hero and Heroine would have their happy ending. All relationships are discussed in the book; parent to child, sister to sister, brother to brother, and none of the relationships were written as comic relief or unneccesary.
Excellent offering by a talented author.
I enjoyed this more than the first Friday Harbor book; it was a full length novel. It's not as intense, emotionally or sexually, as some of Kleypas's other books, but it was a satisfying read anyway. At times I could have sworn I was reading a Nora Roberts book-the 3 brothers, one of them operating a winery, the old house that they were renovating, the snall town locale, the orphan child they took in, even the paranormal touches-it had a lot of similarities to a Roberts' trilogy. Also a bit of a Cinderella story, with the heroine always getting pushed aside in favor of her selfish sister, who of course gets her comeuppance near the end, which is always fun. As I said, not Kleypas's usual style but good light reading.
I liked this one a lot more than the first one. I found Lucy's family dynamic intriguing and I have to say the most heartbreaking part of the story was the history of Lucy's parents. It's hard not feel for Lucy's mother after reading that.
Both Lucy and Sam were really likeable characters. It was great to revisit Mark and Maggie (even though I didn't love their story I thought they were cool charaters). I look forward to reading Alex's story (most likely with Zoe?). Everyone got what they deserved pretty much which is always satisfying.
Things that got on my nerves, of course, was Kleypas doesn't seem to have any new ideas. She always relied on illness or sickness as an excuse for the two main characters to bond. Here was no different. It was better done here and less melodramatic than her other books though.
Overall, nice read.
I loved it. The first book in the series was also a great book and this one is great, as well. I love how the town and houses are characters themselves in the context of these books. I enjoy following the Nolan brothers as life opens to them. And now I await the next book that will tell the third son's story.