Review: Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson.

Posted April 25, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Holly‘s review of Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS . . .

DOESN’T ALWAYS STAY THERE.

Autumn Haven’s Las Vegas “to-do” list said to catch a show and play the slots—not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam Leclaire. The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her run. And she did—right into the wildest fantasy weekend of her life. But Monday morning jolted her back to reality and before she could say “pass the coffee” Sam was gone.

Now a successful wedding planner, Autumn she hasn’t clapped eyes on the heart-breaking hockey superstar for over two years… until she organizes his teammate’s “Special Day,” where Sam makes a BIG play to pick up he left off! But she has vowed any man of hers plays for keeps. Is Sam the man for her or does she banish him to the sin bin forever?

Gibson is known for writing smart, sexy contemporary romances. There was a lot to like about this book. When done well I love the reunited lovers theme and Gibson has always done it well in the past. Sam and Autumn got married on a drunken whim in Vegas. Autumn thought it was love until she woke up alone  the morning after her wedding and realized her husband wasn’t coming back. Unfortunately they weren’t able to make a clean break, because somewhere along the way Autumn got pregnant. In the 5 years since their son was born, Sam has proven that he isn’t a much better father than he was a husband. For two years they didn’t see each other or speak at all, but after running into each other at an event Autumn realizes she no longer hates Sam..she doesn’t feel anything for him at all.

Sam is surprised that Autumn is being civil to him. He knows he didn’t handle their marriage well, but he’s done his best by his son since them. Or has he? When Autumn calls him out about how badly he’s been treating Connor, Sam realizes he hasn’t been making a real effort to be the kind of father he should be. Once he makes up his mind to be a real father, he’s all in. Along the way he realizes he’s been missing out time with his son. And maybe he’s been missing out with Autumn, too.

Autumn is surprised at the change in Sam. Does this mean he can also be the husband Autumn always dreamed of having? Not likely. But Sam just might surprise her again…

I think Gibson did a credible job of writing the animosity between Sam and Autumn. It was easy to understand why Autumn hated Sam. Not only did he not handle the wedding well, he was a complete ass about the pregnancy, too. Although she knows he loves Connor, he’s only around when it’s convenient for him. Autumn was a great mom. She was strong and balanced the need for structure with the need for fun. She never bad-mouthed Sam to Connor, and made sure he knew his dad loved him, even when he broke dates or missed phone calls. Her mistrust of Sam made perfect sense.

I struggled with some of Sam’s actions, from the past and in the present. Gibson tried to give us a reason for what he did, but I haven’t decided if it hit the mark or was just a flimsy excuse. The romance worked in the beginning, but the resolution seemed to come out of nowhere. I also felt Sam’s change of heart about Autumn came out of nowhere. We didn’t see enough internal juxtaposition to make his sudden desire for a family with Autumn to make it believable. I would have liked to see another 20 pages to develop the romance.

I loved the scenes with Sam and Connor. At first Sam really struggled with not knowing what to say or do, but as the novel progressed he figured it out. I’m such a sucker for a good dad. Though Sam failed at that in the beginning, as the novel progressed he stepped up.

I didn’t really understand the opening scene with Sam and his sometimes lover, a supermodel. I also didn’t understand why she turned up again later in the story. To show that Sam had changed and really cared about Autumn? If so it didn’t work. I was also a little annoyed that Autumn hadn’t been with anyone since Sam. I understand that she’s a busy working mom, but it smacked of a throwback stereotype that annoyed me.

For the most part Gibson delivered. The characters were just as smart and sexy as always. The storyline was interesting and the hints of their past added just the right amount of tension and mystery. The relationship both characters had with their son really worked.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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4 responses to “Review: Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson.

  1. This book worked better for you than it did for me. I wanted Sam to grovel and grovel HARD. I never felt like he redeemed himself from his initial asshattery. I also was aggravated by how hot and cold Autumn ran. She’s all, “I hate you” and then, “I want you” then “Please leave immediately, I can’t be with you.” I felt like both of them were pretty immature.

    Here’s hoping the next book works better for me, because I love Gibson’s writing style.

  2. I liked the book over all, I liked it a lot more than the two previous ones. But I still had a problem with Sam, like you I couldn’t decide if his behavior had a good excuse or not.

    But I liked Autumn and their son, he was cool.

    Was mad that Autumn’s brother left in a bit of a mystery.

  3. I have to say, this book irritated me to no end. Not just the unnecessary dry spell for Autumn (b/c she had to stay pure for Sam?) but pretty much everything Sam did. Or didn’t do.

    I had a hard time believing Autumn would forgive Sam as easily as she did. Sans any significant character growth or groveling.

    What he did to her? Yes. Virtually ignoring his son for 5 years? No.

  4. Anonymous

    I agree with your review Holly, and a lot of what has already been said. I just read this one … not a big fan of the RG hockey books.

    I too was annoyed with the stereotypes in the book … the athlete and the supermodel … the sex-deprived single mom …etc. Sam’s feelings changed too quickly for me (and Autumn’s too for that matter).

    It was an ok read, but it wasn’t anything new and it wasn’t as good as some of her other books, IMO.

    LindaLou

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