Monday, December 20, 2010

True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson ****

True Love and Other Disasters (Chinooks Hockey Team, #4)True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This wasn't my most favorite Rachel Gibson in print, but I'm a big fan so when I saw the audio release, I had to get it! The narrator is new-to-me Susan Bennett, who has 14 listings at She was great! I thought she had just the right kind of voice for this genre, and although her range wasn't that great, she managed to give each character a separate, recognizable, consistent voice. The story is in the Seattle Chinooks/NHL series, and one or 2 of the other series characters make an appearance. Short, fun - if you're a Gibson fan, spend the credit!

below is my original review from May, 2009:

This book is one of many that involve Gibson's fictional Seattle Chinooks hockey team players, the first of which is... maybe Simply Irrestible? It includes See Jane Score as well, even though on Fantastic Fiction, True Love et al is listed as Chinook series #1 (that is just plain wrong!). In Simply Irrestible, Chinooks owner Virgil Duffy is left at the altar when Georgeanne runs away and gets together with Chinooks player John Kowalsky, who leaves a little souvenir behind (think Secret Baby plot). In See Jane Score, Jane is a journalist hired to be a temporary sports writer traveling with the team. In TLAOD, Virgil Duffy's widow Faith inherits the team and gets together with Chinooks captain, Ty Savage (pronounced sah VAH zhe, not savage).

So this is at least Book #3. [note: at Goodreads, it's called Book 4!]

OK, the plot has already been laid out: Faith is a former stripper and Playmate whom Virgil married as purely a trophy wife - he was too old and ill for consummating the marriage. However, she felt loved and protected, and he left her a lot of money in addition to the team. Of course, she was hated by his other family members, especially his son Landon who expected to get the team when Daddy died.

Now, think about Susan Elizabeth Phillips and It Had To Be You - blonde bombshell inherits a sports team without knowing dick about sports. Even the word Bimbo appears in the book cover blurb. The team circulates Faith's Playboy spread, and the players crack a lot of rude jokes at her expense. She fully intends to sell the team to Landon until he shows what an asshole he is - then she reneges on the deal, and steps in to try to run it herself, with the help of her loyal assistant. Yeppers, there's a lot of similarities here. There's even travel by airplane - but no Mile High Club initiation.

I did like this story well enough but it had some of those Rachel Gibsonisms that I don't like - she needs a better editor. She seems to repeat herself - no, I didn't mark any specific examples, but as I read, I kept thinking, "didn't she already say that?" as though she didn't go back over her work and pick out similar phrasing and wording while she wrote. Of course, that might have cut her word count by 10% or so, too, so maybe she was under some kind of contract and in a hurry. I dunno. But I wanted a tighter story. Authors: don't hit me over the head with what they're thinking, please.

Gibson does have a knack for steamy love scenes, I must say. And although her alpha hero was surly and rude some of the time, he did not really come off as an asshole as much as just someone who was surly, and sometimes rude. Maybe that doesn't make sense! But I didn't really have the urge to slap him like I have with, say, many of Elizabeth Lowell's heroes and even 1 or 2 of Linda Howard's. Ok, more than 1 or 2...

There's a slimy secondary relationship between Ty's father and Faith's mother that was really written to be creepy and not at all likable. I wanted to wash my hands after reading about those 2 moochers. And a dog - Valerie's dog - yuck, not notable at all.

So I'm calling it a 4 star read, because I did enjoy reading it, but not 5 star because I didn't love reading it.

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