Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Any Man of Mine

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson 1230 L

Six years ago Autumn Haven had lost her mother and decided that a wild week in Las Vegas was just what she needed. Sam le Claire was in Vegas with his fellow Chinook hockey team members blowing off steam when he saw a woman on the dance floor and even though she wasn't his usual tall, skinny, top-haevy bimbo, he wanted her. The two spent 5 days together, checking off some of things on Autumn's list, and spending quite a lot of time getting crazy between the sheets and when Sam proposes they get married Autumn jumps on it, sure that she was found someone special. But Sam has second thoughts and Autumn wakes up alone and Sam files for divorce and she only sees him again after a paternity test proves that her son, Connor, is also Sam's. For the next five years the two agree not to be in the same room together but to try to do whatever is best for their son, even though Autumn feels that Sam spends enough time with Connor and Sam thinks that Autumn is a man-hating shrew. Sam has no trouble going back to his old womanizing party life and Autumn settles down to raise their son.

They reconnect at a wedding and in one large blowup Autumn lays down her feelings about the way Sam has been treating Connor and he decides that he will take a more active role in Connor's life. Autumn is worried that Sam's newfound father instincts will disappear soon and this colors all of her interactions with him and she finds that she is especially worried about the women in Sam's life. Sam can't help but admire the way that Autumn has been a single mother running a successful event planning business and he realizes that she is entitled to the poor opinion she had of him and that he had not been a good father. Despite the animosity that still simmers beneath the surface, the sexual attraction between them has never left and while Autumn is determined to keep their relationship purely sexual, Sam wants more; he wants a second chance. Autumn does not know if she can ever learn to trust Sam again but even she will admit that Sam has changed and the idea of them being a real family is very enticing. She realizes she has never stopped loving Sam and together they take one more leap for a chance at happiness.

Autumn was incredibly strong and capable and I liked that she had a job that brought her fulfillment and did not feel guilty over being a working mom and still managed to raise a very great kid. Her feelings about Sam were totally rational in my opinion and she was smart for wanting to avoid him and worrying about Connor's well being when Sam backed out on plans with him. Sam was a womanizer who spent half the book not really giving a shit about anything but his own pleasure with no thoughts to anyone, including his own son. He was really quite a jack-ass, constantly calling Autumn names just because she was mad at him and didn't seem to have any sympathy for what she went through after he abandoned her. Even at the end I did not get the sense that he had really changed in any way except as a father and he gave only a cursory thoughts to Autumn's very justifiable anger and he still seemed to view her as a shrew. I wish there had been more development of Sam and that he had honestly seemed to regret his actions towards Autumn and had done more to make up for it.

Their relationship was clouded by their past and their past played a very big part of them getting back together, although it seemed to be more important to Autumn than Sam. Sam gave lip service to it, but for the most part, it seemed like he just wanted Autumn to get over it and that bothered me. There were frequent flashbacks to their time in Vegas and I liked that Gibson made it clear that although their marriage was hasty, Autumn had a reason to believe that their could be a real relationship between them. There was a decent amount of sex, a lot of it taking place in the past, and while it was plenty hot I felt like it did not completely live up to expectations for people who were so attracted to each other. I really did not feel the connection between them and did not really understand how they fell in love with each other. They had a connection through their son but they had nothing in common and there was just no spark of anything other than sexual. Connor was a well written five year-old, very realistic and a fun little boy who was obviously loved.

Rating: I enjoyed the very fast and fun pace of the book but did not really "get" the romance between them and the one thing they had going for them, the sex, wasn't very well done either.

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