Friday, November 30, 2012

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

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Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in Friday Harbor, Washington, with a boyfriend, Kevin, who she believes is her soul mate. She has always had a magical side—a gift that finds its way into the glasswork she creates—and she struggles to keep it contained. But when Lucy is blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal, she questions many of her choices. Kevin leaves her and his new lover is none other than Lucy’s own sister.
Meanwhile, facing the severe disapproval of Lucy’s family, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to “romance” Lucy so that she can more easily move on. But when Sam and Lucy begin to feel real sparks between them, Lucy must ask herself if she can easily risk her heart again. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings are explored as Lucy learns that some things in life—even after being broken—can be re-made into something beautiful. And that it is only by discovering who you really are that you can find the one who truly deserves you. (

I have been a Lisa Kleypas fan for long time.  She is one of my top three favorite romance authors – in good company with Julia Quinn and Amy Lane.  I initially fell in love with her historical romances.  When she started writing contemporary romance I was skeptical.  Her first, Sugar Daddy, was just meh.  But the following two, Blue-Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger, were absolutely stellar.  Seeing that she could rock the contemporary romance just as much as she did historical romance, I was super excited to read her new Friday Harbor series.  What did I think of them?  Well keep reading to see what I think of Rainshadow Road.  A review of Dream Lake will be up in the next week or so.  The last in the trilogy, Crystal Cove, will be published in February and you can bet your sweet self that I will be reading and reviewing that one too.

Lucy thinks life is pretty perfect right now.  She is making a living doing what she loves.  She lives on a beautiful Pacific Northwest island with lots of lovely friends.  Her boyfriend, Kevin, of three years is absolutely amazing.  Then all of a sudden that perfection is lost when Kevin showed up in her glass shop out of the blue to inform Lucy their relationship wasn’t working for him anymore and he had met someone else.  That someone else being her sister. 

Handling the news as well as anyone would, Lucy takes off on a bike ride - her way of blowing off some steam. And along the way she meets the very sexy and commitment-phobic Sam Nolan.  That initial meeting sets off a friendship that both insist will never be anything more.   

As is usually the case with a Kleypas book, I really loved the characters.  Sam was my favorite kind of hero.  Geeky AND sexy.  The Nolan brothers are a hot mess.  And when I say hot, I mean, “Hot damn!”  And when I say mess, I mean, “Yikes, look at all the emotional baggage.”  I enjoyed Lucy’s independence and how she was open and honest about protecting herself.  Lucy’s friends, Zoe and Justine, are the best kind of friends.  Between the pastries and the reading, this trio of friends made me think of Bel, Shel and I.  Except that the three of us would probably get into a lot more trouble if we were all living together with no supervision. 

Overall this was a good read.  But I didn’t love it.  Although it was both engaging and romantic with plenty of sexual tension, there seemed to be something missing.  Maybe I am greedy but I wanted more.  I wanted more examples of Sam being a geek.  I wanted more scenes with Lucy and her girlfriends having fun.  And I wanted more magic.  Because there is magic in this book and it is beautiful magic.  But it was so tentatively done that it left me a little confused and unfulfilled.   

That being said…there are two reasons I would recommend this book.  One:  If you are a big Kleypas fan like me, then you should read it for that reason alone.  Two: If you are going to read Dream Lake (and you are because I told you to) then you should read this because the two stories overlap a little bit.  They stand alone but it is my personal opinion that it is fun to see some overlapping scenes through more than one point of view. 

Until next time; when I annoy you by gushing over the second installment in the Friday Harbor Trilogy.




  1. It was the first time I read about a glass artist in Rainshadow Road, and I loved that concept. Lisa Kleypas is so original in her stories, and I love her every work. Great review!

  2. Thanks! If you liked the glasswork aspect of it I would recommend Nora Robert's Born in Fire. Great contemporary romance set in Ireland about a feisty glass artist and a very sexy well-to-do gallery owner.

  3. I really enjoyed Rainshadow Road!