Friday, January 19, 2007

Review: Reclaiming Nick

I usually avoid spending three days in a week talking about books. But hey, I love books. And sometimes, you just have to talk about them.

Yesterday, you could read my interview with Susan May Warren. Today I want to tell you a bit about the book Reclaiming Nick. Isn't the cover great! This is not what I would consider typical Susan May Warren. It is pretty straight romance, without the strong suspense element. But I still enjoyed it.

From the back cover copy:"Nick Noble hadn't planned on being the prodigal son. But when his father dies and leaves half the Silver Buckle -- the Noble family ranch -- to Nick's former best friend, he returns home to face his mistakes...and to guarantee that the ranch stays in the Noble family.

"Award-winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she's determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging that she thinks. So does resisting his charming smile."

The story focuses on a host of broken and hurting characters who have to work together to save a ranch in Montana. Nick Noble left the ranch ten years earlier after an explosion with his family. He's come home to prevent his former best friend from inheriting half the ranch under Nick's father's will.

Piper Sullivan, an investigative reporter, is chasing Nick to prove that he murdered a woman instead of her brother who was sent to jail for that murder. She's signed on as the cook for the summer...only problem is she's a vegetarian on a cattle ranch who can't cook biscuits let alone Rocky Mountain Oysters.

Throw in Nick's high school love Maggy who is now married to his former best friend Cole, a dozen lies and misunderstandings, and you have a family in need of healing.

I don't usually read straight romance. I find them too predictable and routine. I read to escape and learn something, and I think that's why I like historical fiction and suspense. Here Susan crafted a book filled with characters that I cared about. They were three-dimensional with the kind of struggles that kept me thinking about the book when I wasn't reading.

The setting was also interesting and though there was a legal subplot, Susan did enough research to get it right.

In the end Nick and Piper discover that a prodigal can come home, but the journey to that point is filled with twists and turns that I sometimes thought they wouldn't navigate -- but it's a romance, so there is a happily ever after. At least until the sequel comes out.

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