Friday, June 20, 2008

Family Man by Jayne A. Krentz

Krentz is a hit or miss with me. She publishes under several alias most notably Amanda Quick. This title in particular has been recommended to me in so many instances I needed to just break down and read it. It helped that I put it among the lists of many of the Reading Challenges I am doing this year. This year would not pass without me reading the darn book!

Katy Wade is the personal assistant to the matriarch of the Gilchrist empire. The Gilchrist restaurant business is floundering and the grandmother asks Katy to bring back to the family fold Luke Gilchrist. He is the son of the black sheep of the family. Luke's father ran off with a nobody and lived happily ever after before dying in a car accident that claimed his life, his wife's and Luke's wife and daughter. The accident left Luke alone in life and he has lounged in the solitary life style for Four years. He hates his grandmother for causing pain to his family by her dismissal. He has no intentions of helping the family save their business. Until Katy shows up at his door and he cannot refuse her allure and the challenge she presents.

Katy is the daughter of the woman Luke's father left at the altar. Her parents died when she was a teenager and she had to take on the responsibility of raising her brother. Matt is about to graduate high school and go off to college some place, giving Katy a chance to start living her own life. She is determined to have Luke step into his role as savior to the Gilchrist fortune so that she can step down from keeping everything in order and she can open up her own business.

When Luke shows up the whole family expresses their misgivings and question his motivations. He sees this all as a business arrangement that will gain him possession of the one restaurant he really cares for, the key stone to the Gilchrist empire and the restaurant his father most missed. He does not hide why he is stepping up to the plate but everyone thinks he is out for revenge (which he would have been entitled to). Between Luke and Katy, they must find why the businesses are failing after so many years of prosperity and take action to stop those that are really seeking revenge.

Katy Wade drove me mad with Gilchrist this and Gilchrist that. Everyone referred to those in the family as Gilchrist this and that. Everyone except Luke and it was refreshing. I liked that he was fed up with it too. I understand that Krentz wanted to make the family sound elitest but I feel she overplayed that hand.
I kept waiting for the big misunderstanding and it never arrived. Yeah Krentz! Luke and Katy had complete faith in each other and that was such a relief. When Luke, at one point, shows a bit of doubt, he smacks himself over the head and recommits himself to Katy almost immediately. Katy never doubts Luke and doesn't hide things from him which is a step off the beaten path in the romance genre, especially back when this one was published (1992). It was re-issued in 1997 and is available in Audiobook (cassette) format but it's HTF (Hard to Find)

Although I don't regret reading the book since it was very entertaining and is among Krentz best, I could not give it an A because Katy's third person reference and generalization of the Gilchrist family drove me to really despise her at one point. It was such a strong flaw that I had to kick the book down a bit. I would highly recommend this one, even with the annoying heroine.

Grade: B+


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