Rainshadow Road, by Lisa Kleypas (2012)

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Interest Level: Adult
Rainshadow RoadAs this is not a genre I generally choose, it was with more than a little trepidation and suspicion that I started reading this romance novel. It’s set in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington State, which is likely the reason I requested it from the library. I like local settings. This book is apparently the second in the trilogy which will ultimately see all three Nolan brothers married despite the intimacy issues they all share, thanks to a pair of narcissistic alcoholic parents. Okay, Kleypas got me with that. Sam is the middle brother, who make it clear to his female lovers he is there for the short term only. No commitment, period. Lucy is recovering from the shock of being dumped by her boyfriend when she thought things were great. Instead, he’s been having an affair with none other than her selfish, overindulged sister Alice. Sam and Lucy enjoy a no-strings arrangement (“I still don’t love you”) until neither can deny the inevitable. Sorry if that’s a spoiler – it is a romance, after all. Kleypas makes good use of the setting, without overrelying on stormy days and solitary beachwalks. I thought she did a great job of characterization, I loved her descriptions of the vineyard and Sam’s house, and she describes the world of glasswork art without sounding like an encyclopedia entry. The elements of magic realism were odd, I thought. I’ve not read her work before, so perhaps this is her style, but it rang a little false and was never given any explanation (can one explain magic? I suppose not). I surprised myself by completely enjoying the story, even when I instantly spotted the seeds of the final book in the trilogy.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12035802-rainshadow-road


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