Monday, 4 July 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #81
As Good as His Word - Susan Gable
N.B. This book is a North American Release
From the back cover:
"Ronni might be back in his life, but Hayden's going to watch her like a hawk! He thought he'd seen the last of her when she broke his brother's heart years ago. Ronni's betrayal hurt that much more because she was the only woman Hayden could've seen himself settling down with…except his brother wooed her first.
So now she's in trouble and needs his help? Well, that's payback for you. But then, there's the promise Hayden made to his dying brother—to take care of the struggling mother and her kid. Guess a guy's got to do what a guy's got to do. Even if a guy likes doing it a little too much for his own good."
When I bought this I actually kept picking it up and putting it back down, for some reason I just couldn't warm to the blurb. But I'm so glad I eventually bought it as I enjoyed it very much. Perhaps the phrase should be "never judge a book by its cover and blurb"...!
The heroine Ronni's 14 year old son Nick has just been placed on probation after being arrested, to try and keep him out of further trouble the court suggests appointing a 'big brother'. Ronni asks her sons uncle Hayden, the hero, to do this and he agrees. We discover that Ronni and her son's father Ian (Hayden's brother) became teen parents after an accidental pregnancy. Ian sadly died of leukemia not long after. At the time Ronni has been scared and distraught at the thought of losing the man she loved so she had broken up with Ian shortly before he died. Hayden's family have never forgiven her for this and she has been mostly ignored since. Hayden still harbours bitterness towards Ronni but he promised his brother he would look after her and Nick, so he tries to put all this aside to help Nick. He is shocked to discover Ronni's current situation, she us married to a man in a permanent vegetative state after a car accident. It also turns out that she had planned to divorce him due to him cheating on her, but after the accident she felt obligated to care for him. Hayden had always cared for Ronni and he is desperate to see the vibrant young woman he once knew to return, but they both know that they can never be anything more than friends.
This is a very intense and emotional roller coaster of a book, it really got to me and I loved it. When I first started reading it I got to a point where I thought "man, life is shit!" If the book had continued in this way I would have struggled to get through it. But the more I read the more I realised that the book is all about hope and second chances. What also struck me about this book is how real it is, yet this doesn't make it any less inspirational. The heroine in this book is married and usually I don't want anything to do with books with infidelity, but it was handled with sensitivity, and I felt it was justified. As the author states in her 'Dear Reader' letter "people aren't perfect".
I really enjoyed this book, it was sad at times and funny at others, as well as very heart warming.