Labels: CAnderson, ClassicRom08, TBRChallenge08, Triple8Challenge08
I have enjoyed many of Anderson's work but lately the stories are just not the same as the early ones. This one did not change my opinion even though it is an older title.
Joe Lakota has returned to his home town after a painful child custody battle. He was an NFL QBack but due to a knee injury he is forced to retire which left him without much of an income. The last of his funds were surrendered to his Ex-Wife to gain custody of his 4 year old son, who was being abused in her care. Returning to his old home allows him to be close to the women he most loves, his mother and his high school sweetheart Mary Lee.
Mary Lee had once broken Joe's heart when she suddenly broke off their engagement while a freshman in college. She has kept her reasons for the breakup quiet until Joe crashes back into her life and insists she start living again. Mary Lee was raped in college and the trauma has left her suffering severe panic attacks, alienating her from society. Now all of a sudden Joe is in her face, in her house, in her life and she feels like she is drowning.
2/3 of the book is about the rape trauma and Mary Lee learning to cope with her past. It took such a front seat in the story there was not much room for any romance. Then the romance did not need any developing because Joe was so in love with Mary Lee it gave you a cavity just reading about it. I'm telling you he was all about taking hold of her life and loving her to death. I know I would have suffocated if a man was that sweet.
Every other word was sweetie, darling, Mary mine... I wanted to hurl the book across the room. I am looking for alot more in my romance reading. I do want the hero to love the heroine desperately but I want him to fall in love with her, I want some relationship development. Some might argue that they had to rebuild their relationship after the trauma but it was not about their relationship but about how she needed to cope with the events in her life. She had to work on herself and not on Joe. We don't even get to see how she overcomes the trauma. One day she is stunted and then the next she is married and having sex.
There is a murder at the end of the book where Joe lands in prison and a child custody battle that really is not worked to the fullest either.
The book was a complete flop and I am just so disappointed, I will not be working any more of Anderson's titles into my reading selections for this year.