Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Friday Harbor, Book 2
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Contemporary Romance (with paranormal elements)
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Lisa Kleypas Reading Order
Glass artist Lucy Marinn has the two things in life she’s always wanted: the ability to do what she loves for a living and the love of a trustworthy man. Then her boyfriend gives her the worst sort of surprise: he’s been cheating on Lucy with her sister, Alice, and he wants Lucy out of their house so Alice can move in. Stunned and burned by betrayal, the last thing Lucy wants is to jump into another relationship. However, fate isn’t content to let Lucy hide herself away with her glass and Lucy soon crosses paths with vineyard owner Sam Nolan. Sam’s sexy as hell, but commitment shy — not the best prospect for someone like Lucy. But the longer Lucy and Sam are around one another, the fewer reasons they can think of to be apart. Can two people scarred by their pasts bring themselves to take a chance on love?
Starting a Lisa Kleypas book is like been greeted by an old friend; it’s both comforting and joyful. In Rainshadow Road, Ms. Kleypas returns to the world of Friday Harbor that she introduced to readers in Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. The life Ms. Kleypas imbues her novels with comes through in the details about Friday Harbor, Sam’s vineyard, and Lucy’s glasswork. I felt like I was walking alongside Sam and Lucy all throughout Rainshadow Road.
Lucy and Sam are undoubtedly the heart of Rainshadow Road. Lucy has gotten the short end of the stick her entire life and her boyfriend’s betrayal is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. My heart broke for Lucy, who is such a likeable, intelligent heroine that you can’t help but adore her. She deserved to find happiness, and it’s no surprise that she does so with Sam. For all that he’s a ladies’ man, what’s truly appealing about Sam is not his sex appeal, but his caring heart and utter geekiness. The further into the story I got, the more layers I discovered Sam had, which was wonderful. As a pair, he and Lucy are fantastic and it was easy to cheer for them to get together.
Rainshadow Road is the second Friday Harbor book, but you don’t have to have read Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor to enjoy Lucy and Sam’s book. However, fans of the first book will be delighted to see how Mark, Maggie, and little Holly have grown and changed over the past year. In Rainshadow Road, Ms. Kleypas also delves further into the character of Alex Nolan — whose story I am dying for — and introduces two new wonderful characters, Zoë and Justine, who I can’t wait to read more about.
There were only two things that kept Rainshadow Road from being a perfect read for me, and I feel they’re important enough to be mentioned. First is Alice, Lucy’s sister. Though I won’t provide spoilers, I was disappointed that at one point, Ms. Kleypas seemed to be making excuses for the woman’s poor behavior, when all along Lucy had been frustrated by the fact that everyone made excuses for Alice’s actions. The second factor was the slight paranormal element to Rainshadow Road — it didn’t work for me. Ms. Kleypas has included paranormal elements in her books before, but they’ve always felt organic. In Rainshadow Road, the paranormal scenes felt forced and slightly awkward, which was very disappointing. Yet, even taking these two points into account, Rainshadow Road was a great story and I could not put it down.
Lisa Kleypas is a master storyteller and the fantastic characters she has created will keep me coming back to Rainshadow Road again and again. I love the Friday Harbor series and I cannot wait to read Dream Lake!
Note: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.