This is my book blog, where I review books I read as part of Cannonball Read 16, where members compete to be the first to reach 52. We also try to get people excited about books and reading, and make money for cancer charities. This year, I will be reading and reviewing in memory of friends and family who died of cancer in the past few years. I managed 104 reviews last year, let's see if I can repeat the feat. Wish me luck!
Wednesday 16 July 2014
#CBR6 Book 74: "Rumor Has It" by Jill Shalvis
Page count: 304 pages
Rating: 304 pages
Summary from Goodreads, cause I'm lazy:
He’ll help unleash the new woman in her...
Special Ops soldier Griffin Reid doesn’t
exactly have happy memories of growing up in Sunshine, Idaho. He’s only come
back to recover from a war injury, and while he refuses to admit he’s in a
weakened state, he finds comfort in the last person he’d expect.
Kate Evans teaches fourth grade science in
Sunshine, the place she’s always called home. Dreaming of graduate school and a
happily-ever-after, she’s desperate to break out of the monotony of Sunshine.
Luckily, a certain sexy man has just come back into her life.
To Griffin, Kate has always been his little
sister’s best friend, but now he’s finding her to be so much more. As both
attempt to forge their paths, they must decide if their passionate connection
can turn into something lasting…
This is my
first ever Jill Shalvis contemporary, and I signed up for the RITA Reader Challenge specifically because I’d been curious about her writing. I generally
read a LOT more historicals than contemporaries, Julie James and Jennifer
Crusie, as well as Lisa Kleypas’ Travis-trilogy
being the only notable exceptions. Still, I like to diversify my reading, and
have read so many complimentary things about Shalvis on various review sites,
that this seemed like a perfect opportunity.
I did enjoy
the book a lot. I figured out from checking out the blurbs of the previous
books in the series that Holly and Adam, who are about to get married in this
book, as well as some of the other couples who are mentioned repeatedly, find
their HEAs in the earlier books. Holly is Griffin’s little sister and Adam is
his best friend. He returns to Sunshine only a few days before the wedding, not
really telling anyone about the reason he’s been discharged permanently from
working with bomb disposal, he only barely survived a close encounter with an
explosion, having managed to get the rest of his troop safe before the
explosion went off. Now he’s suffering from crippling migraines, sudden bouts
of nausea, light sensitivity, horrible nightmares and is generally not in a
good state. Of course, being a big, tough soldier guy, he’s reluctant to admit
weakness or vulnerability to anyone, and keeps his scar hidden under a baseball
cap most of the time.
person Griffin runs into upon his return is Kate, Holly’s best friend, who’s
had a crush on him pretty much forever. She’s fallen on her ass in the snow in
front of him, and is naturally quite mortified. He helps her up, and notices
just how attractive she is. Even though he is warned off her in the strongest
possible terms by his sister – Griff has a reputation for loving and leaving
women, Kate is inexperienced and vulnerable – Griffin can’t forget about her.
bending over backwards to help everyone around her. As well as being the ideal
teacher for each and every fourth grader she teaches, she spends much of every
day taking care of her widowed, slightly hapless father, bratty teenage drama
queen sister and geeky, off-beat little brother. She feeds the homeless guy in
the park and brings her ex-boyfriend coffee every morning when they drive to
work together (her ex is the school principal). For three years in a row, Kate
has been offered a prestigious graduate position at UCSD, with a full
scholarship, but every year, she’s turned it down to take care of those around
her. Now the deadline to accept is less than two weeks away, and she
desperately wants to send in her acceptance e-mail, but is worried her family
will fall apart without her.
that she’s sick of always being the good girl, and wants some fun, crazy
adventure in her life. She sets out to seduce Griffin at the wedding, and
though he tries his best to heed his little sister’s warnings and be a gentleman,
he can only resist Kate’s increasingly determined efforts to throw herself at
him for so long. He’s also surprised to discover that Kate seems perfectly fine
with them having a one-night-stand, while he wants to spend more time with her.
Kate is one
of the first people in Sunshine to discover his injuries, and insists on taking
care of him when she finds him having an especially bad migraine attack. Having
only been back in Sunshine for a short while, Griffin has nonetheless
discovered how much time Kate spends caring for others, without anyone really
ever being there one hundred per cent for her.
As I said,
I really liked this book, but it was by no means perfect, and there were a few
things that annoyed me about it. There’s a minor subplot about someone possibly
stalking Kate when she’s out running, which felt out of place in an otherwise
quite light-hearted book.
also the fact that Kate is so gosh-darned perfect! Really, barring the “doesn’t
realize how attractive she is even after several different guys hit on her at a
party” and the fact that she appears to be completely unable to actually ASK
her family whether they’ll be ok if she goes away to graduate school for a
year, just assuming that everything will fall apart if she’s not there
mothering them. She’s so perfect, I almost expected to discover that birds ate
out of her hand and small rodents and forest creatures braided her hair as if
she was a Disney princess. I would have liked her to have some flaws, she felt
unrealistically flawless, good-hearted and kind.
I also didn’t
really care about Griffin’s conflict with his father. I understand why it was
there, and that it was an important reason as to why he never felt at home in
Sunshine, where pretty much everyone else obviously thrives, but I just didn’t
the various family relationships in the book, though; even though Kate’s younger
siblings occasionally veered a bit too far into stereotypical bratty teenage
girl and geeky weird kid plot moppet territory. I will absolutely be checking
out more of the Animal Magnetism
series, as well as Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor
books, which I’ve also heard many good things about. I just hope the
protagonists in her other books are more fully rounded as humans, not Mary