Thursday, May 28

Review: True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson

Ames and I are on a roll!! LOL, two back-to-back buddy reviews, it's been a while since it happened :) The book we are going to review is again a contemporary romance by an author we both enjoy, True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson :)

It was a quick read and a quick review. So here we go...

*Warning: possible spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk*

True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson
published by Avon in April 2009
Disaster Number One: Men

Hard knocks and hunger taught Faith Duffy not to believe in love. Still, when she married her very wealthy—and very old—husband, she became the perfect wife. And then he went to that big bank in the sky, leaving Faith with lonely nights, a pile of money, and a total mess of a pro hockey team. Heck, Faith doesn't even watch hockey!

Disaster Number Two: Passion

But most of America and half of Canada is watching Ty Savage. His lethal sex appeal and deadly right hook make him the favorite of fans. For most of Ty's life, he's dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup. The last thing he needs is a bimbo messing up his plans.

Disaster Number Three: Love

Faith loathes Ty on sight, but she can't stop thinking about him all day... and night. Then a moment of temptation ends with Faith in Ty's bed, and she begins to see there's more to him than sex appeal. Ty discovers there's far more to Faith than beauty and billions. But a relationship with Faith is impossible, and falling in love—that would be a disaster.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Loosely connected to Simply Irresistible and See Jane Score

The Story: Basically, old Virgil Duffy finally got his trophy wife: Faith who was a stripper and former playmate. Old Duffy dies, leaving his prized hockey team, the Seattle Chinooks, to his wife instead of son. Son is not happy and wants Faith to sell the Chinooks to him; however, Faith decides to keep them... and thus, become involved with hockey and Ty Savage.

Nath: So what did you think of the newest Gibson, Ames? I just finished it and thought it was meh.

Ames: I enjoyed it, but yeah, some things got on my nerves.

Nath: Let me guess. Faith was one of the things that got on your nerves... right?

Call me prejudiced, but I didn't like Faith very much. I'm not holding the fact that she was a stripper/playmate/trophy wife against her, but it sure didn't endear her to me. Kudos for her though for not being embarrassed by her past career choices. She assumed the consequences of these choices and that was great. However, although she had a sappy "story" behind it all, I don't feel like she had much substance... She was kind of bland.

Ames: Faith was one of the things that annoyed me indeed. She kept saying she wasn't sure who she was - and we were never really sure either. In one scene, she's mulling over the fact (again, she mulls a lot over this fact) that she's not sure who she was. She used to be a stripper and playmate, then she used to be a trophy wife. Who is she now? Many of her decisions for the last 5 years were based upon her husband's wishes, even such things as what she should wear. So yeah she went out shopping for clothes she liked and she didn't try to fit into anyone's mold anymore, but there wasn't enough character growth for me.

Also, when Landon tried to blackmail her into giving him the team, she holed up in her apartment and avoided the world. She gave up!! There's nothing more frustrating than that. And THEN, she had this whole big thing about taking care of someone because she's been taken care of so long... so what does she do? She let's Ty figure out what they're going to do! I guess she gets an A for effort though, that she was going to give him up for love. But it was meh.

Nath: True, true, nothing worse then a hero or heroine that gives up. There was no fight, she just gave up and there's no excuse for that, even if she tried to protect Ty.

I felt that there wasn't enough growth for Faith and not enough strength. I imagined she'd have become more independent, stronger now that she was free; however, that didn't happen. The thing though is that Faith was not weak, she just didn't have much initiative. She went through the motion and never really fought back. She got kicked out of her home - so she found a new apartment. She got kicked out of the high lady society, she took it and found something else. She was told to sell the team and she was going to. She got invaded by her mother and she let it happen. Even Pebbles pushed her around and she let it happen.

Ames: I agree with what you say about Faith not having initiative. But I don’t think she was kicked out of the house, Landon inherited that house and she inherited the apartment in Seattle. But yeah, she did let people push her around.

Nath: In a way, Faith and Landon were somewhat stereotypes. Faith the trophy wife with a golden heart and Landon, the mean and angry son who hates the trophy wife. In my opinion, Virgil could have done a better job at protecting Faith for the future. I wished Faith had the guts to crush Landon's balls LOL.

Ames: Ok, I have to disagree with you about Virgil taking care of Faith’s future. He gave her 50 MILLION dollars!! And a hockey team!! It’s not Virgil’s fault that Faith let’s people push her around. LOL

Landon, Virgil's son, struck true as a villain for me. He's the spoiled rich son that believes he's entitled to everything and everyone and there's no way his inheritance is going to fall into the hands of a golddigger. He was a sleazeball. LOL

Nath: LOL, put that way, Virgil did take good care of Faith. However, since Faith said that they had become "best friends," he could have done more... but I guess it's not really important.

Speaking of something important... Ty, the hero :P What did you think of Ty? I thought he was okay, but that's pretty much it ^_^;

Ames: I liked Ty. The only thing though - is that scene in the restaurant, you know when he finally gives in to his attraction and follows through with it? There was no inner dialog from his point of view about why he decides to go all the way with Faith. I mean he pulled away from her before, why the change of mind?

Nath: Because he just couldn't resist, if not, there wouldn't have been any story! I don't feel like we really got to know the real Ty, it was all superficial. He didn't want to be like his father, he wanted to win a Stanley Cup... Okay, but what about the real Ty? Does he feel anything but lust? What is his view on life? I liked that he came up to defend Faith against Landon and I liked that he didn't commiserate with his teammates about Faith. Other than that? Nothing.

Don't you think there was little chemistry between Faith and Ty? In a way, I thought that Jules got to know Faith better than Ty and he was her better champion. Wonder why he came back to work for her, hmmm.

Ames: I think Jules came to work for Faith because he knew it would be interesting and a challenge for him. Also maybe as a way to make up for what he said about her. But I thought the stuff with Jules was left unresolved. They kept making reference to the way he dressed and no one showed him how to dress differently. It was just page filler, the stuff going on with Jules.

Nath: Yeah, there was a lot of page filler going on :( Also, one thing that I don't understand in the book is why did Ty and Faith keep their relationship a secret? I understand that she and Ty are in a delicate situation, but was it for professional reasons or because her "husband" has just died?

Ames: I think Faith and Ty wanted to keep their relationship a secret for professional reasons. I know they kept saying something about Ty’s career – but I think it was just contrived to create some conflict.

Nath: I agree with you, the secret relationship felt forced to me. Especially since in the end, they didn't seem to really care who knew. I mean, Ty just retired and announced it to the whole world... but I'm still wondering, how would it have affected them? Sure, there would be some negative press, but then, once she gave the team to Landon, he would have exchanged Ty to another team no matter what.

Another thing that didn't work for me: the parents - Faith's mother and Ty's father...

Ames: The parents – ewww!! LOL They were just wrong. Worse is that Faith and Ty didn't really do anything about are they going to let them barge in on the rest of their lives? Especially Faith's mom - she's a user.

Nath: The parents were totally unnecessary. It seems their only purpose in the story was to gross us out and also, show the readers what Faith and Ty DO NOT want to become. Poor Faith, walking on them having sex!! As for Faith's mom, she was a user and the worst kind. I'm so tired of those kind of moms! She reminds me a bit of Mac's mom in Visions in White, but worse!!

What did you think of the references about the Canadians? Like Sa-Vah-ge and aboat instead of about...

Ames: OMG! The aboat thing pissed me off!! When I was in school in Germany, all the American students made fun of our supposed accent, but unless you're French, it's really not that noticeable. I don't say aboat. I say ABOUT. Ugh.

So was Ty French Canadian? Otherwise the whole sahvage thing would be for no reason.

Which reminds me, I had to laugh after the one game when he said to her how to pronounce his name properly and she said well for his information, she was Miss July!

Nath: LOL, that tiny part was one of the few laughs I had while reading the book :)

As for Ty, he wasn't French Canadian, he was from Saskatchewan! Also, I'm nit-picking here, but the back blurb? About most of America and half of Canada watching Ty Savage... Please, that would be the opposite. Most of Canada and about half the States.

Ames: I don't even think it would be half of Canada. Overgeneralizations like that bother me. Because its just not true in either case.

Nath: Hmmm, I'm giving True Love and Other Disasters a C-. In my opinion, it was just okay. It really didn't catch my attention and I had difficulty connecting with the story, let alone the characters. Even Jane's brief appearance couldn't save this for me... and I hate the cover! What is up with the crack on the ground between her legs?!?!

Ames: I gave this a C+. I enjoyed it, but it definitely had some flaws. And I never even noticed the crack on the cover. LOL


Hilcia said...

Hah! This book is next on my list of contemporaries to read. It doesn't sound very promising, lol! I'm not a usually a huge fan of sports figures in Romances (except maybe for SEP) but decided to give this one a shot.

Lori said...

Yipes! SHe's almost always a fun, fluffy read for me. I haven't picked this one up yet, but was looking forward to it. Killjoys. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Dierdre Martin does hockey books well. And Linda Howard did a "trophy widow" book in _Up close and dangerous_ that was very well done, in my opinion.

C2 said...

I think this would have been a good novella - take out all the filler, etc. add some chemistry.

I do think this one was better than most of the last series, though.

As for your accent or lack, ms. ames, someone else needs to verify that. ;-)

nath said...

Hilcia - Can't wait to see what you think of it, Hilcia :) I truly hope you enjoy it more than we did.

Lori - LOL, sorry ^_^; but then, it's really not my fault. You should blame the book :P

Anonymous - Hmmm, Deidre Martin is usually miss for me... as for Linda Howard, still haven't read Up Close and Dangerous ^_^; but thanks for the suggestions!

C2 - Maybe, but even as a novella, I would have wanted more of the couples... but yes, this book had a lot of filler :(

LOL, I'll take a video of Ames and you'll judge, kay?

Kristie (J) said...

Normally I'm driven to try Gibson, even if I don't like the book and when I first heard she was coming out with another hockey book I was real excited since See Jane Score is among my all time favourite books but since I heard about the heroine of this book, I wasn't the least bit interested.
And by the sounds of it, this one would only make me mad with it's misconceptions (such as one person owning hockey team - hello - that's just not done anymore) and what you said about most of the States and half of Canada?????? Um - I think not!! Hockey has just never taken off in most US markets - despite what Gary Bettman keeps hoping. And yep the pronounciation of some words would drive me bonkers too. I don't say about any different then the vast majority of Americans.

Jill D. said...

I just read this one too and I pretty much agree with everything you said. You bring up a good point about the parents. Those issues were never addressed, and had they been, the character development you were missing from Faith and Ty might have been better.

nath said...

Kristie - Hey Kristie... well this one was under my radar until Rowena from Book Binge made a Book Watch post. Ms Gibson has been on my auto-buy list for the past few years, so I just bought it without really paying attention to the blurb. It's only when I got home and realized that Faith was a trophy wife that I was put off ^_^; but then, Ames wanted to read it to buddy review.

I agree with you, there might be more hockey teams in the States (just because there's more people), but I don't think that hockey has taken off in most of the States.

As for pronunciation, I don't see why it's a big deal between Canada and States... when in the States, it's already different depending on where you live.

Jill - I'm glad you agree, Jill :) Always feel validated when people agrees :)

Ugh, the parents were gross and pretty useless in my opinion.

Kate Diamond said...

I think this review just gave me an urge to reread "See Jane Score."

nath said...

Kate - LOL, not a bad choice :)