Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor #2) by Lisa Kleypas
I love rereading but it's not something I do a lot of. I'm trying to make an effort this year to do some rereading and see if these books have retained their place on my Keeper Shelf. Today's book - Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas definitely did!
The premise of this one makes me nervous. Lucy has just been dumped by her live in boyfriend for her younger sister. The younger sister wants her and Lucy's parents to not be mad at her so she talks her new boyfriend into setting Lucy up with an acquaintance so that the parents can see that Lucy's moved on. Doesn't this just scream a huge conflict with Misunderstandings and Betrayals and Breaking of Trust? Except it doesn't because the acquaintance happens to be adorably geeky winemaker Sam Nolan and Sam has already met Lucy and likes her. So instead of going along with it and having it blow up in his face 100 pages from the end he goes straight to Lucy and says "Hey your terrible ex and crazy sister wants] us to date so that they don't look like awful people." and she rolls her eyes and that's pretty much the end of it. It's AMAZING what a little honesty can do in a romance!
So besides that I also liked Lucy and Sam. Lucy is just nice. And not in a sweet sappy way but in a relaxed she'd be fun to go to lunch with kind of way. I really loved her friendship with Zoe and Justine as it feels very authentic and I loved the addition of Duane and the biker gang church. Sam is just a nice guy into science and Doctor Who and all things geeky. He's also completely devoted to his niece Holly who he is helping his brother Mark raise. There's more about the Nolan family than there was in the previous book - Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor - and what we learn makes it easy to believe that Sam is reluctant to become involved in a serious relationship.
I loved how Lucy and Sam's relationship evolves. The emphasis on friendship and helping each other out despite the fact that they're immediately attracted to each other. I also loved how important it was to Sam for Lucy to follow her dream even if it meant things would be harder for him. I loved both the characters, the relationships that Sam and Lucy have outside of the relationship - Sam with his brothers and Lucy with Justine and Zoe- and I love how easily and wonderfully Lisa Kleypas pulled me into the world of Rainshadow Road.
The only thing that didn't work for me was the magic aspect. I'm good with touches of magic and supernatural in romance but this was such a tiny element of the whole story it felt a bit random. Despite that one tiny flaw this definitely earned it's place on my keeper shelf and make me excited to read the next book (despite having read it several times before I couldn't resist putting it on hold at the library!) which is always the sign of a good series!
This book is back on my keeper shelf and the authentic relationship and characters I love will keep it there!