Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Rachel Gibson - The Trouble With Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day sucks. And this year it's worse than usual for Kate Hamilton as she tries to seduce a handsome stranger in a motel bar - only to find out he, unfortunately, has other ideas...
Escaping from embarrassment to her grandfather's tiny town of Gospel, Ohio, she's determined to relax. What she's not expecting is a reunion with Mr Handsome Stranger, aka Rob Sutter, who, it just so happens, lives in the town. But then Rob and Kate find themselves in an compromising position in the local store after hours, giving the phrase "clean-up in aisle five" a whole new meaning and, in the process, causing a whole lot of gossip in Gospel...

Comment: I've gotten this book to read for some time now. I've read the first two in the series years ago, I no longer remember when but it was certainly before 2011. So 6 or 7 years ago. I barely remembered details, except the overall ideas. I was expecting this book to remind me of most of what I've read before but this is more a connection series than a following facts one, meaning although we see why it's part of a series it really has no big link and this can be read out of order, for sure.

In this book we meet Kate Hamilton, a woman in her early 30s who is running from a bad work experience and decides to take refuge in her grandfathers store for a while to decide what do yo in the future. Before taking that step, she tries to seduce a stranger in a bar bust is rejected. Felling humiliated but trying to forget it, it's quite the surprise when the man she never wanted to see again not only is the son of a close neighbor but he is opening a store right on the other side of the street.
Although Kate tries to avoid him, she can't deny he still feels attractive to her and soon they are becoming closer to one another. But both their pasts and fears will play a part in separating them..or will they get past that and try a relationship after all?

This book wasn't so bad, but apart from the lack of connection with the other books an the flimsy link to the Chinooks team, this story also disappointed a bit in the romance.
I confess I liked it when Kate and Rob weren't just making things easy and fought, because that was adding up spice to the plot and even some almost comic scenes. As soon as they got together it turned out weird because they just gave in. Having Kate have feelings for Rob and getting annoyed when he didn't immediately share the same seemed illogical. Their behavior wasn't exactly hat of a couple that was respecting each other, was it? I get the idea, the why this developed the way it did but it wasn't romantic or special enough to win me over.

Individually I liked Kate and Rob. Their personal stories were interesting and I was very curious how their looks on hat happened to them in the past would affect their decisions now but their attitude towards certain things annoyed me a bit. I guess I'm getting picky but I prefer characters to act reasonably and respectfully if they're actually thinking about s relationship with the other person. I don't  mean to say they should act like they're in a 19th century play but  in their private moments wouldn't they think better of the other, or more seriously than they admit? I just think that despite the good moments, all the details don't truly add justice to what happens next. For instance, when Rob decides to get serious with Kate close to the end, I don't really believe it because he didn't seem to have reasoned with himself well enough for me to accept it. It just seemed that, because this is a romance, he had to.

As for the good things, I like the quirky secondary characters of the small town, I liked Kate's grandmother and Rob's mother and my favorite part were the scenes where Kate seems to put all her efforts to make her grandfather's store a success and what she does to bring it up to contemporary needs. This means when the end comes, it's more believable and special because we got to see she was putting don roots of a kind.

The story is not too big, of course there is a conflict toward the end to make all more dramatic, something I'd remove if I can because there was enough drama already, but most of the time things did work out well enough and the story is worth it more by the small scenes here and there than it's whole. At least to me.
I'm not certain I'll read more so soon but I might try the next one one day.
Grade: 6/10

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