Pub Date: April 26, 2011
FTC: Digital galley from the publisher
Publisher: Avon (Harpercollins)
Length: 384 pages
I've been stalling about writing this review. Because I know it's not going to be fair. There are those occasional books that just push your buttons (not in a good way) and this, unfortunately, was one of them for me. *Spoilers Ahoy!*
I'm one of those readers who wants to 'plug in' to the characters. To meaningfully connect with the heroine. To put myself in her shoes and look at the hero through my eyes. I don't have to match exactly with personality, life experience, age or anything else. But I want her to act in a way that makes sense for her experiences and her character. And, at least for me, that didn't happen with Any Man of Mine.
I really did not buy into the redemption of the hero in this book. It may very well be that I identified a little too much with the heroine, Autumn Haven. Not the getting married and knocked up by a stranger in Vegas bit, but the mother of a 5 year old boy part. And so, looking at the hero through a mother's eyes, I found Sam LeClaire to be a grade A asshole.
Sam marries a stranger (Autumn) in Vegas (because he was drunk?), sneaks out of the hotel room and abandons her without a word, divorces her via lawyers (still not manning up), then demands a paternity test for her baby (that she delivered alone, without any family there). Then the asshat proceeds to blow off promise after promise to his son (whom he supports financially but not at all emotionally).
And she not only forgives him, she falls in love with him again. And everything is all sunshine and rose petals? Not buying it. It took him 5 years to figure out he needed to make time for his son. I could see a year. Maybe 2. But 5? And only after a brutal haranguing by Autumn. No. Thank. You.
A hero can be many things that I will fictionally forgive. But an indifferent or emotionally cruel father? Nope.
I also didn't believe in his "I'm in love; I've been in love with you all this time" realization. One too many hockey pucks to the head? Or is he really just not all that bright? Again, it's been 5 years. Just how slow is this guy? (Counting the pregnancy, it's actually been 6, but jeesh!)
The writing was fine, but the hero was not at all heroic. I didn't like him at all. I didn't find anything romantic about him. Nothing redeeming. And that meant that I thought the heroine was stupid, too, for creating a family with someone who took 5 years to figure out he had a son and had been behaving like an ass.
As an added irritant, I really hated how the author made a point of saying that Autumn hadn't slept with anyone besides Sam since her son was born. But Sam had slept with countless women. Why was that necessary? What is this? The 1950s? Why couldn't Autumn have had some normal relationships in those 5 years? It might have made me trust her judgment a bit more.
My Grade: C+
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?