Thursday, May 23, 2013
Review #32: One Reckless Summer, by Toni Blake
One Reckless Summer begins with Jenny Tolliver coming home to Destiny, Michigan, to lick the wounds her rat bastard of an ex-husband inflicted on her by having an affair with a 21-year-old student teacher. Destiny is the quintessential romance novel small town, complete with a slightly dotty old woman living next door and a bookshop with a clever name. (In my next life, where finances and reality are not issues, I want to run a bookshop with a clever name in a romance novel small town. And maybe meet a strapping cowboy. Or construction worker. Ahem.) Jenny's dad is still the sheriff, and her best friend Sue Ann is thrilled that Jenny's back home.
On one of her first nights back in town, Jenny takes the old canoe across the lake to the old Brody place, long abandoned since the the elder Brody brother was taken to jail and the younger brother, Mick, left town. Only it turns out Mick is back, and he's none too pleased to see Jenny on his land. He confronts her, they argue, and then they inexplicably have sex in the middle of the woods. Because that's the natural thing to do when confronted by a scary guy in the woods in the middle of the night.
It turns out that Mick is hiding a secret - his brother has escaped from prison and is living in their old cabin, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He comes to Jenny's to remind her of how important it is that she keeps his secret, and then they inexplicably have sex again.
There's a lot of lather, rinse, repeat in this, but overall, it's not a bad story. Jenny's clearly struggling with finding her new role in life and Mick's interactions with his brother are surprisngly sweet. The sex is pretty good, too, which always gives an extra star to any review. It did bother me that Mick made several references to how Jenny was sweet and good and pure and the only thing that could take away the ugliness in his life. I felt at times that he was using her to forget about things, without a whole lot of thought to her problems, but then I remembered that this is a romance novel and not my life, and I pushed those thoughts to the side. I focused on the sex instead.