Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson ****

I've been reading a fair amount again, but this is the first time in months that I've just sat down and read an entire book in one sitting. And it's the first new book I've read in a while too - although I have listened to some new audio books.

First the review - I actually did a recent re-read of Rachel Gibson's See Jane Score because it was the first book of hers that I had read, and I wasn't that impressed. Since then I have become a true fan, and mostly like everything else I've read - which is almost everything she's written. I even liked See Jane Score better the second time around!

This is another of the fictional Seattle Chinooks hockey team that is featured in See Jane Score. Team Captain Mark Bressler had a bad auto accident that has left him too disabled to ever play hockey again, and also left him bitter and angry as a result. When the team goes on to win the Stanley Cup under the captainship of a rival player (Ty Savage of an earlier book), Bressler is about at his lowest. He's run off every home health care worker the Chinooks has sent him - until a Chinooks admin worker sends her unemployed sister, Chelsea.

Chelsea is an actor. Well, an out of work actor, whose best parts so far have been in teen slasher movies where she's the first one slashed. She's decided to take a break from the Hollywood scene and spend some time in Seattle with her sister Bo, who works for the Seattle Chinooks. She takes the job working for Mark Bressler with the carrot of a $10,000 bonus if she can stick it out 3 months. Since she's had a lot of experience with bad jobs and worse employers, she figures she can take anything for a bonus that size! But it's not easy, even when she's chanting "$10,000" over and over to herself. Bressler is a tool, just as she figures out early on.

It's not a new twist on an old theme - it's just a straightforward plot where the 2 start out adversaries but her stubborn streak keeps them together, and they turn the relationship around. Even the necessary almost-at-the-end conflict is pretty dang predictable. But I like Gibson's voice, her style, her characterizations. No Nobel-prize-worthy prose here, just a story with some funny dialog and some heart-felt moments that I enjoyed enough to sit there and read for several hours. Chelsea chips away at the ice surrounding Mark's soul until he realizes she makes his life worth living, and Mark brings out the love Chelsea's been missing in her own life.

Sister Bo is featured as the secondary love interest with a co-worker, metrosexual Jules, but they are pretty minor characters, actually. Mostly we get the story from Chelsea's and Mark's POVs which are narrowed to mainly their own feelings.

I enjoyed it - maybe less than a full 4 star read, but still... Yeah, fun stuff.

Mostly I've been doing a lot of re-reading - Marsha Canham, Loretta Chase, among others. I have read the newer Robyn Carr/Virgin River series, but they don't reach the level of the first one, even when I do enjoy them. (One is looking to be a DNF mainly because the characters irritate the hell out of me.)

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