Apr 26, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson (Chinooks Hockey Team #6)

Contemporary Romance
April 26 2011
Mass Market Paperback
384 pages
Avon Books
Received from NetGalley

Yummy Man – Sam LeClaire
Kick Ass Chick – Autumn Haven

From Goodreads
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 to 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 hasn’t clapped eyes on the heartbreaking hockey superstar for over two years . . . until she organizes his teammate’s “Special Day,” where Sam makes a big play to pick up where 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?

———-

Any Man of Mine is my first read by Rachel Gibson, although it is her sixth book in her Chinook Hockey Players series.  Back in January, I attended an Ottawa Senators hockey game and said that I wanted to read a book about hockey players.  I came across this one and jumped on it.  I had heard that even though the Chinook Hockey books are part of a series, you could read them as stand alones – and I did feel that way while reading this.  I didn’t feel lost at all or jipped either.  I could tell that there were some back stories here and there, but the story was written in a way that I still followed everything and everyone easily.  I really appreciated that.

Five years ago, devastated over his sister’s loss, Sam traveled to Las Vegas with plans to drink himself into a stupor.  He meets Autumn who is there to try to get over the loss of her mother.  They spend five wild days together and even elope!  The morning after they marry, Sam wakes up and sneaks out of the hotel room leaving Autumn alone, confused…and pregnant.  All she knows of Sam is that he is a professional hockey player with the Chinooks.  All he knows about Autumn is even less.  After a paternity test confirms things, Sam takes a roll is his son Connor’s life, albeit a small one.  He often cancels at the last minute leaving Connor confused and Autumn livid.  After a yelling match a couple years back, these two decided that it would be best to just not be in the same room at the same time ever again.  But Autumn is an event planner and is responsible for the wedding Sam is attending.  They meet again and events happen leaving Sam feeling like he’s missing out on his son.  Which really, he is.

I found Sam to be a surprisingly complex character.  He is gorgeous, athletic, rich and Canadian.  Everything every great book hero should be. *g* Too bad he’s such an ass!  It’s actually quite difficult to like him in the beginning.  I guess that is proof of the author’s talent.  Eventually he comes around as did I, and we see that Sam has lots to learn, but his heart is in the right place.

And Autumn.  Man…now there is one strong lady!  I read some reviews that said they found that Autumn was too hard on Sam.  I think she did just right.  She is very ‘hot and cold’ as Sam puts it, and sometimes I found it to be a little bothersome, but not really enough to take away from her character.  Really, who could blame her for almost hating how she feels about the man who left her all alone!

A quick note about Connor, Sam and Autumn’s son.  He’s 5 in this book and he is written incredibly well.  He is like an actual 5 year old!  Not some super genius kid or some know it all annoying kid.  Like a true kindergartner.  That was great to see.

There really wasn’t much dialogue in this book.  Almost everything you learn, you did through memories or observations.  It was very different for me and it took me a little to get used to.  But then I felt as though I was truly a part of these characters minds.  That I knew and felt exactly what they did and how they did because of how all the information was presented.  And eventually, I didn’t mind it so much.

I enjoyed this book.  I must say that it was quite different from what I was expecting though.  For some reason I was expecting funnier, lighter.  (Maybe that’s because someone told me that this was a funny series.)  It had its lighter moments, but what it really ended up being is a heart-filled story where past and present are very well inter-woven.  I found the way we went back and forth between now and then was well done.  Unfortunately, I prefer a lighter book when I read contemporary romance books.  I like a little more silliness.  But if you want a book where well written characters tug at your heart strings and do so from the beginning to the very end of the book, check out Any Man of Mine.

3.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’You said you would have him home at noon.’
‘I said ish.’
‘What?’
‘I said noon-ish.’
The tick in her eye moved to the center of her forehead.  ‘What is that?  Some sort of special Sam time?’  While the rest of the world lives and operates in time zones, you’re special and operate in ish?’”
—–
“Autumn walked into the dining room and stopped in her tracks.  Sam stood at the kitchen sink, spray nozzle in one hand.  Autumn’s gaze stuck on the stretch and pull of his thin sweater across his wide shoulders and big arms as he reached for a plate on the counter.  He whistled as he rinsed in one side of the sink and bent over to put the cleaned plates in the dishwasher.  No man had ever done her dishes.  Sam towering over her sink, squirting water all over, then bending over, was about the sexiest thing she’s ever seen in her life.”

Books in the Chinook Hockey Players series –
Simply Irresistible
See Jane Score
The Trouble with Valentine’s Day
True Love and Other Disasters
Nothing but Trouble
Any Man of Mine

  1. I was wondering about this series. Great review Julie.
    I love this line “He is gorgeous, athletic, rich and Canadian. Everything every great book hero should be.” LOL

  2. This was one of her darker books. I would def suggest starting with the first book and seeing how you like it 😉

  3. I plan to read this one, just as I get that e-reader back (netgalley is just evil 😉

  4. Bookaholic Cat – *g*

    Patti – I did like her writing voice so I think I’ll take your advice and try the first book someday for sure! 🙂

    blodeuedd – What happened to your eReader? And NetGalley can suck you in, can’t it? lol

  5. Ok, I have to ask…what the heck does *g* stand for? Is it giggle?

    Back to the review, I loved this review Julie! Very well written! I have the first book of this series placed on my TBR list because I also wanted to read a love story about a hockey player. 🙂 Now you get a series of hockey players and I am on cloud 9. I can’t wait to check out one of these books and see how I feel about the series. Thanks for the great review and I’m glad the 5 year old actually felt like a 5 year old!

  6. Deanna – I was told *g* stands for “grin”. Because that’s what I was told, I use it for ‘silly grin’ or ‘shit-eating grin’. And imagine that. A 5 year old written as a 5 year old! Shocking. lol

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