Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

TITLE: Rainshadow Road
AUTHOR: Lisa Kleypas
PUBLISHER/YEAR: St. Martin's Press/2012
GENRE: Romance/Fiction
SERIES: Yes. Two more books are set to be released within the coming year. 
SOURCE: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book from the publisher through the Goodreads first reads program.

Goodreads / Author's Website

Summary From Goodreads
Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington, with a boyfriend, Kevin, who she believes is her soul mate. She has always had a magical side - a gift that finds its way into the breathtaking glasswork she creates - and she struggles to keep it contained. But when Lucy is blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal, she questions many of her choices. Her boyfriend leaves her and his new lover is none other than Lucy's own sister. Lucy's bitterness over this devastation is multiplied buy the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life.

In Rainshadow Road, Lisa Kleypas brings together a group of intricate characters that I cannot wait to read more about. I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It seems very formulaic at the beginning, but the more I read the more I realized I didn't really want to stop reading. Every time I would start to roll my eyes, thinking I knew exactly what would happen next there was a slight change in the formula. It was enough to keep me interested. I really enjoyed that I didn't know every move before it happened. 

I also thought that Lucy and Sam were fairly three dimensional characters. Their friends were a little flat, but so much of the book focused on the two of them that I didn't find it too jarring. Lucy and Sam each had flaws and baggage. However, they were also fairly self aware, mature adults, something that I find to be rare in a romance novel. I especially liked that Lucy wasn't a one dimensional female character. She had her flaws and fears and they read as real. They weren't the kind that had me wanting to strangle her for being blind or stubborn. The same was true with Sam. I appreciated that these characters were rooted in a reality that I could recognize. 

Stock scenarios and characters are used, but not to the detriment of the book. It's a strong enough story to withstand this trope. A lot of the story could have been a part of a number of other romance novels, but it's the way that Kleypas executes the story that sells it. Worth a read for that alone.

My one minor issue with this book is the fact that the cover emphasized a mystical element. Lucy can communicate in a way with glass; that's why she's such a fantastic glass artist. However, for most of the book this wasn't mentioned. I'm holding out hope that this will be further explored in future books about Friday Harbour. I realize these books won't be about Lucy, but I would love a further exploration of the Harbour and whatever that brings to this mystical element. 

Rainshadow Road is the kind of romance novel that I love to read. It's smart, funny and not entirely predictable. It's not the deepest, most thought provoking novel, but it's smarter than a lot of romance novels and it's perfect for a day when you want a light read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to the next installment in what I'm hoping will be a delightful series. 

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