Book: Any Man of Mine
Author: Rachel Gibson
Publisher: Avon Books
RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2011
Rating: 3.85 Stars
Read an Excerpt
Is there such thing as a second chance at love and forgiveness? Rachel Gibson explores this in her sweetly poignant Any Man of Mine about Chinook’s player Sam LeClaire and the girl next door that captured his heart for five days in Vegas. But that was six years ago. Can love be resurrected? And can forgiveness be given when so much has transpired?
It’s very easy to buy into Gibson’s story. Who wouldn’t want to root for the underdog…to believe that even the most broken of couples can make a go of it? Gibson doesn’t rely on a lot of props to shoot her point home-just the simple assumption that love will cure all. There are no zany settings, no nutty situations, just two characters stripped bare who are at odds with another, and trying to regain the trust and love that was lost. But life has gotten complicated for both.
It’s taken years for Autumn to get over Sam LeClaire, but the one thing that has sustained her through the entire drama of their five minute marriage and the aftermath, was the gift of her son Connor. Despite being a constant reminder of his gorgeous father, Autumn has managed to carve out a life for herself and Connor-finally able to brush aside the ghosts of the past and get to point where Sam can never hurt her again. For Connor’s sake, she has finally let go, and if that doesn’t sound like the death knell of the torch she carried for him for so long, she doesn’t know what else is. But are her feelings really dead? Or are they just buried?
For Chinook’s number 16, Sam LeClaire has barreled through life like he does on the ice-never pausing, never reflecting. But when he finally begins to realize how much his son means to him, things begin to change. He’s desperate not to turn out like his own father, and that thought chills him to the bone. It’s a harsh reality check for Sam.
It gets even harder when he makes a commitment to be a better dad, that he has to be around Autumn more. Those initial feelings that drew him to her haven’t gone away, and Sam is perplexed. What is so different about Autumn? She resembles none of his many women, yet, she can hit him in the solar plexus with just a look.
Readers might not quite feel Sam’s repentance, and it’s critical that they do. Because without having faith in Sam as a character who can change, ends up jeopardizing the entire connection that Gibson has floated her story on.
Any Man of Mine will definitely test readers. I loved See Jane Score, but it was an entirely different book-Autumn and Sam’s obstacles are much more than Jane and Luc’s and on a more somber note. The conflict that Gibson has created is more true to life than may feel comfortable for some. They have real baggage that can’t be prettied up. And it’s bound to squeeze out a tear or two.
What Susan Elizabeth Phillips does with chatty banter and riotous situations, Gibson does with a velvet glove. Her love stories are soothing, realistic and touching. Any Many of Mine is not the sports romp trademarked by SEP or Kasey Michaels, but it still pulls at the strings of your heart. What readers get from the story is entirely up to them.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)